Archive for July 15th, 2011

Canada visa, Residence & Employment Regulations

A visa is required by all visitors except nationals of these countries. US Citizens have a right to enter and visit  Canada without undergoing many of the particular immigration formalities. But all other nationals are subject to strict rules of entry and registration as foreigners under the sponsorship of  Canadian or  Canada companies or as dependants of foreigners who already enjoy residence under Canadian sponsorship.

There are two basic types of visas, a visit visa and a residence visa.

Application for a Visit Visa
Visit visas and entry permits are valid for entry within 90 days of issue and then for a stay of one month after entry.      A visit visa costs $. Entry permits are free for US citizens.

A foreigner whose country has a visa abolition treaty with Canada, i.e. a treaty permitting Canada to enter their country without a visa, may be granted reciprocal rights in Canada. These persons however may require an entry permit. Entry permits are acquired in the same way and have the same procedures as visit visas.

A visitor to Canada must be sponsored by a Canadian individual or company, or a resident foreigner who is a relative of the visitor. However American citizens are sometimes given visit visas without having a Canadian sponsor. The visa application is made by the sponsor who is responsible for the visitor while he or she is in Canada.

To obtain a visit visa for a business visitor, a Canadian sponsor or company will require:
visa application and security form completed by the sponsor
copy of the visitor’s passport
copy of the sponsor’s signature as registered for business purposes
copy of the letter of invitation from the sponsor to the business visitor stating the purpose of the visit.

To obtain a visit visa for a relative, a resident foreigner will require:
visa application and security form completed by the sponsor
copy of the visitor’s passport
original and copy of the sponsor’s passport
original and copy of the sponsor’s civil ID
original and copy of the sponsor’s work permit (private sector employees)
recent salary certificate from the sponsor’s employer
authenticated proof of the family relationship.

Gathering forms and documents

You may be asking yourself: what happens next? Well, once your application is received, it will be evaluated. If the application is complete, then you will receive an Acknowledgment of Receipt. Once you receive this document, you don’t have anything to worry about!

Do you know why? Because if the Pass-Mark changes, your application would not be affected! After you receive this document, you will have several days (even a few months) to gather your supporting documentation. I strongly recommend following the steps on this section to prepare your supporting documents even before they are requested by the Visa Officer.

However, even if you finish gathering your documents, don’t send them to the Visa Office until the ask you to do so! Otherwise they will send the package back to you. Just have the documents ready so that it is much easier for you to send them right after you receive a formal request from the Government.

In my opinion, gathering the supporting documents is the longest part of the application process. However, if you organize everything properly, you can make this part of the application process very simple.

The main purpose of the supporting documents is to proof to the Canadian Government that you have all the characteristics required to meet the pass mark and be eligible to be a Canadian Permanent Resident.

The supporting documents may vary from one country to another; however I will provide a detailed explanation of the documents that are normally required to submit your application.

1. Personal and Financial Information
Identity and Civil Status Documents
Children’s information
Travel documents / passports
Proof of Relationship in Canada
Arranged Employment in Canada – if applicable
Non accompanying family members declaration if applicable
Proof of Settlement Funds
Police Certificates

2. Education and Language Ability
For principal applicant and spouse: Post-secondary education documents, College or university documents, Transcripts and Professional qualifications certificates.
Language test results or support written document

3. Work Experience
For principal applicant and spouse: notarized employment contract from present and past employer (w/ English / French translation), original and current letters of reference from previous and current employers, a business card of the person signing.

In the following sections I will explain in more detail the documents you need to gather in each category. If you decide to hire an Immigration Representative, you should review these documents with him/her. However, do not forget that the process is simple and you can apply by yourself if you gather the documents and submit your application properly.

Remember that you may be requested by the Government to send other documents (not included in this book). However, in the following sections you will find detailed information about the documents that the Government normally requests from applicants.

IMPORTANT: I recommend sending with your application NOTARIZED copies of all the documents that I will describe in the following sections, except for the following (which should be ORIGINAL):
Immigration Forms
Academic Transcripts
Police Certificates
Bank Statements
Letters of reference
Language test(s) results
Personal and Financial Information

This category of documents includes information related to personal information, financial and criminal records. As mentioned previously, the documents included in this category are the following:

a) Identity and Civil Status Documents
b) Children’s information
c) Travel documents / passports
d) Proof of Relationship in Canada
e) Arranged Employment in Canada – if applicable
f) Non accompanying family members declaration if applicable
g) Proof of Settlement Funds
h) Police Certificates
i) Photos

a) Identity and Civil Status Documents
Birth certificate
Final Divorce
Annulment or Separation
Death certificate for former spouse should – if applicable.
Citizenship certificate or permanent resident visa (copy) for any family members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada

b) Children’s Information
Children’s birth certificate (showing the name of their parents)
Adoption papers (if applicable)
Proof of custody (children under 18 years of age) and proof that the children may be removed from the jurisdiction of the court
Proof that the principal applicant has fulfilled any obligation stated in custody agreements (only if the children will not be accompanying the applicant to Canada)
Proof of full-time studies (only dependent children 22 years of age or more). You should include:

i. School transcripts (since 22 years of age)
ii. Letters from each school indicating numbers of days attended per week and number of hours per day
Proof of financial support by parents (since 22 years of age)

c) Travel Documents and Passports
Passports / travel documents for:
o Principal applicant
o Spouse or common-law partner
o Dependent children (Only pages showing passport number, date of issue, expiry date, photo, name, date and place of birth)
Copy of visa of the country where you currently live (only if you live in a country different from your country of nationality)

d) Proof of Relationship in Canada
Proof of relationship to a close relative in Canada, such as:
o Birth certificate
o Marriage certificate
o Adoption certificate
Proof of person’s status in Canada (copy of permanent residence card, visa, or Record of Landing)
Proof of Canadian citizenship (if applicable), such as:
o Copy of Canadian passport
o Canadian citizenship card

e) Arranged employment in Canada (if applicable)
Copy of work permit (If the principal applicant is currently working in Canada)
Confirmation Letter (Arranged Employment Opinion) from Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) if you have a permanent job offer in Canada.