Making sense of common problems
anadian immigration programs are similar to those of Australia, the United States of America, Britain, Germany, France, Scandinavia and others. There are programs, initiatives and opportunities for families to reunite, individuals to invest, start their own business, transfer their skills, students to embark on an educational path and gain work experience and for foreign workers to help grow businesses and sectors.
But things do go wrong, and the process is often confusing.
Immigration to Canada questions:
- Can you please provide me with information about how I can come to Canada? What are the steps I have to take to live in Canada?
- There are more than 60 immigration programs through which people can apply to come to Canada. Each program has its own eligibility criteria, and requirements that would have to be met by applicants before being considered eligible. Being eligible does not necessarily translate into an approval to come to Canada. For example, you can be eligible for a certain program, but still be inadmissible to Canada for a number of reasons. Likewise, you may be eligible for a program but your total ranking score may still not be high enough for you to be selected.
Canada consists of thirteen provinces and territories. Each of these 13 have some degree of latitude from the Canadian government to develop initiatives to address their individual needs. Most notable of these initiatives is the Provincial Nomination Program, where the selection process revolves around a discretionary set of rules and criteria set by each province and territory. Successful applicants are only “nominated” by the province or territory for permission to come to Canada. It is still the federal government that reviews and approves all applications, including those augmented by a nomination certificate.
It is therefore not possible to provide each person with an answer to their burning question, unless and until an assessment is conducted of that person’s:
- Personal circumstances;
- Family background;
- History of previous travel;
- Unsuccessful applications to Canada and other countries;
- Employment history;
- Language proficiency, and several other factors.
UCIC will perform this assessment, weigh your chances in several possible scenarios, and provide you with an overview of your situation. We will also provide you with a strategy to consider as a critical path if we feel you are eligible, and let you know why if your assessment suggests that immigration to Canada is a long chance for you.
- What are some of the different avenues that I can take to come to Canada?
- Almost all of the programs and initiatives of Canadian and Provincial governments provide access directly or indirectly to permanent residency. The key to obtaining a permanent resident visa is to develop a strategy that will bring you to Canada legally. The following are programs that, if you are a successful applicant, will “land” you in Canada under a permanent resident visa:
- Family class sponsorship;
- Provincial Nominee program;
- Federal Skilled Worker Program;
- Federal Skilled Trades Class;
- Canadian Experience Class;
- Business Entrepreneur;
- Start-Up Visa Program;
- Business Self-Employed;
- Business Investor.
In the Province of Quebec, immigration programs and selection criteria are reflective of the province’s French-language-oriented socio-economic and cultural characteristics. Some programs that provide access to Canada on a temporary basis, but may provide individuals with either access to or opportunity to eventually apply for permanent residency are:
- Work permits;
- Study permits;
- Visitor visas.
Canadian visa questions:
- What are the procedures to come to Canada as a visitor?
- You must first apply for a visitor’s visa from your country of citizenship or residence, pay a processiong fee of CDN $100 and then wait for an answer.Technically, you will have applied for a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV), which may entitle you to stay in Canada for up to a maximum of six months. TRVs may be issued by the Government of Canada as “single-entry” (most students get this) or “multiple-entry” and valid for the balance of time left on your passport at the time of application, or for up to ten years. TRV holders cannot work or study while visiting Canada. TRVs may be extended for people who would like to stay for longer than six months. Such applications are submitted from within Canada, while the applicant is still legally visiting.
- I have applied several times for a visitor’s visa but was unsuccessful each time. Is there a chance I can still be successful?
- Having an unsuccessful visa application in your client profile is detrimental. Once you have been refused a visa, you must disclose it in your current application. The visa officer will then look up your information in their global computerized information management system to examine the factors that led to a negative decision. Unless you are inadmissible, have not demonstrated enough supports for your stay in Canada, have not established sufficient ties to your homeland, or the officer perceives you to be a flight risk (not returning to your country at the end of your stay, you are probably not going to obtain the visitor’s visa. Retaining the services of a skilled immigration practicioner to identify these factors, and help you overcome these “barriers,” is your best chance of succeeding with your next visa application.
- My Canadian visitor’s visa was denied. I know of someone who obtained a visa, when that applicant has fewer assets and funds than I do. It doesn’t seem logical.
- No two applications are the same, since different applications represent different people providing separate documentary evidence to support their respective applications. Presuming applications from people with similar backgrounds asking for a similar request, the outcome of an application is based on two main factors:
- The quality of the submission;
- The state of mind of the visa officer.
If your application is well-founded, fully compliant, supported by evidence and well presented, then even a skeptical visa officer will be inclined in your favour. If however, your submission is lacking in purpose, without supporting evidence, riddled with inconsistencies, and sloppily put together without a cover letter, then even the most patient and easy-going visa officer will be frustrated, and will move on to a more solid application.
- What can you do when you apply for a permit or visa, and your application is refused?
- If you are serious about coming to Canada, and your application for a permit or visa is refused, you will obviously want to know the reason why. Often, your letter is a generic, or template response, but a licensed immigration consultant can obtain the Visa Officer’s notes or a copy of the entire case file in order to gain insight into the cause for the negative decision. With this insight, you may be able to understand what the next steps are. Read more.
Working with a consultant, or doing it yourself
- How do I know that you are a bona fide Immigration Consultant?
- Any prospective client can look up the credentials of the consultant on the website of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). All active regulated consultants are listed in the Council’s registry. Andrea Seepersaud can be found under Consulting Firm: Upper Canada Immigration Consultants and is identified under the ICCRC website as Regulated and active under #R515545. “It is an offense punishable by law to provide Canadian immigration services for a fee or other consideration if not regulated by ICCRC, a Canadian law society, or the Chambre des Notaires du Quebec.” ICCRC website.
- Why should I pay a consultant to help me when I do not have a guarantee of succeeding in the application?
- The success of any immigration-related application is based on the honesty and accuracy of the information provided by the applicant; documentary evidence submitted in support of the application; and the strength of the rationale or argument put forth for the request.
- If individual(s) do not retain a skilled consultant or immigration practitioner to help them present their case in an accurate and consise manner, they substantially increase their chances of failure many times over;
- Each time your application is denied, you are leaving a trail of information that is reviewed each time you submit a subsequent application. Do you want to make a case against yourself? Additionally, information-sharing agreements between Canada and other countries such as the USA, UK, Germany and Australia mean such information is readily shared, when requested by the Canadian visa officer who is reviewing your application;
- In a highly specialized field where rules, policies, regulations and instructions are based on Canadian federal law, it is imperative that those submitting applications be knowledgeable and competent. Unless you consider yourself an authority on the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada (IRPA), and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations of Canada (IRPR), and you monitor changes to immigration programs and initiatives on an ongoing basis, competent help to strategize and implement your plan to come to Canada is a sounder option.
- Can I give you cash for your services, or to attend a meeting?
- For some countries, it is difficult to transact business using a credit card and by wire-transfers through the local bank. This will pose a problem, but there are other ways to make payments, such as enlisting the assistance of family and friends in Canada and elsewhere. That said, we will accept cash for small amounts, and we will issue you a receipt for the full amount, including any taxes applicable. Get a bank account if you don’t have one already. Get a major credit card if you don’t have one already. Learn to use it wisely. Establish a responsible credit history. It is an asset in coming to any country worth the visit.