Immigrating to Canada can be a complex and complicated matter. There are different criteria to meet whether you want to work, study, visit, travel through or live permanently in Canada. In order to work, study, or live permanently in Canada, each option has its own path or stream to follow in the immigration system.
There are also unique application and eligibility requirements for each method. You will need to provide some basic information like current nationality, age, family status and if there are any dependent children or other relatives. If you want to work in Canada you may also be asked to provide information on language abilities, education and work experience, as the details on any employment offer you may have received.
1. Applying for Canadian immigration
Every year, Canada accepts over 250,000 applicants to become citizens and there are a number of steps and processes that you must follow if you want to be part of that. In some cases, you can apply to enter Canada through either a federal or provincial route. Each of these in turn has qualifications and specifications that must be adhered to. At the federal level, there are Skilled Worker and Entrepreneur programs while the Provincial Nomination Programs are designed to allow province’s the authority to promote immigration policies that are best.
2. Get advice
You don’t need an immigration lawyer to represent you if you want to immigrate to Canada, but many people feel it is a good idea to have someone to represent their interests. An immigration lawyer might be useful because they understand the Canadian immigration system and can provide advice if problems develop. If you choose to hire an immigration lawyer you should make sure that they are not only knowledgeable about Canadian immigration, but that they have a license to practice that is authorized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
If they do not, the immigration officials might refuse to deal with them. Always get references and some people to call to verify a lawyer’s credentials before you hire them. And ask for a written estimate and a contract to review and sign before proceeding. This contract should list the services they will provide and how much they will charge for their services.
3. Get specialized assistance
Some immigration lawyers specialize in parts of Canadian immigration law that might be of particular interest to you. If you need formal legal representation at a tribunal or a higher court to sort out your application, then they can be helpful at such a proceeding. Other immigration lawyers have a high reputation and standing in the community and within the immigration system and can provide expert advice and assistance if you are willing to pay. The best way to find a good immigration lawyer or immigration consultant is to search and scan online and within the government’s list of approved immigration consultants.
4. Get settled and get support
Once you arrive in Canada there are many different services available to newcomers that are offered by government, churches, social service agencies, and community groups. Most of these services are free. They range from a variety of initial settlement services like housing support to employment and language programs, and additional community supports. Settlement services can help newcomers find a place to stay, get health and medical care, and provide assistance to get any children into the local school system.
There are also a range of community services that will provide expert including career search, resume preparation, job search and placement services to help new immigrants get into the workforce as quickly as possible. Take advantage of these supports and services. They are there to help you integrate quickly into your new Canadian home.