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Canadian FAQs

There are two types of people who could provide immigration and citizenship assistance.

  1. Paid Representatives (Authorized)
  2.  Unpaid representatives.

Authorized representatives are those that have the legal right to charge you a fee for offering immigration assistance. This includes:

  • Lawyers and Para-legals
  • Notaries
  • Immigration consultants /Agents

Unauthorized/ Unpaid Representatives
This includes, third parties who can provide assistance, but cannot charge you a fee for doing so. Unpaid representatives could include:

  • Friends
  • Family members
  • Other third parties who offer assistance but do not charge a fee

Canada plans to extend and bring in roughly 565,000 immigrants through the Express Entry stream, with a target of 1,000,000 immigrants into the country by 2020.

The minimum points required to qualify for Canadian migration through the Express Entry Stream differs every year but remains on average around 420-450 points on the CRS point system.  In the latest express entry draw, the minimum required to qualify was 456 points on the comprehensive ranking system (CRS).

There are several factors that are used to measure these points, including:

The processing times for visas vary, depending on:

  • The type of visa that you are applying for
  • The volume of visas currently being processed
  • When the application was lodged
  • How many applications were in the queue before you

The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) is used to measure and test a person’s English language ability. The highest score a person can attain on this exam is a CLB 9.  The minimum requirement to qualify for migration is CLB 7, which is equivalent to the following scores for each belt on the IELTS exam (Reading: 6, Writing: 6, Speaking:6, Listening :7)

Toronto
Toronto is a world-class city, known for its high standards of living.  The average monthly expenses in Toronto per person would roughly be between $2500 - $3,500.
Housing/Rent: $1000-$2000
Groceries: $300
Transportation:  $150-$250
Phone/Internet: $100 - $150
Utility bills (Gas, Electricity, Water): $ 350- $400
Entertainment:  $350
Miscellaneous: $150 - $250

Quebec
The average expenses per month are $2000 -$2,800
Rent/Housing: $650-$1400
Groceries: $180
Transportation:  $160 - $200
Phone/Internet: $120
Utility bills (Gas, Electricity, Water): $ 200 -300
Entertainment:  $200
Miscellaneous: $100 - $150

British Columbia
The prices in British Columbia are relatively reasonable compared to other cities in Canada. An average monthly expense per person is $1500 - $2,500.
Rent/Housing: $600-C$1500
Groceries:  $150
Transportation:  $130 - $150 
Entertainment:  $150-$175
Phone/Internet:  $75 - $100
Utility bills (Gas, Electricity, Water): $ 150 -200
Miscellaneous: $100

Alberta
Alberta is popular among Asian migrants, as there are vast job opportunities available to immigrants through the Alberta Opportunity Stream. The most popular cities in Alberta are Calgary and Edmonton. The Average monthly expenses in Alberta are $1600 - $2500
Rent/Housing: $600-$1500
Groceries:  $155 - $200
Transportation: $120
Entertainment: C $165 - $200
Phone/Internet:  $75 - $100
Utility bills (Gas, Electricity, Water): $ 150 -200
Miscellaneous: $100

New Brunswick
The average monthly expenses in New Brunswick are $1800 - $2,500
Rent/Housing: $700-$1400
Groceries:  $165 - $200
Transportation:  $100
Entertainment:  $150
Phone/Internet:  $90 - $120
Utility bills (Gas, Electricity, Water): $ 100 - $150
Miscellaneous: $80

Nova Scotia
The average monthly expenses in Nova Scotia are $1500 - $3000.
Rent/Housing: $700-$1400
Groceries:  $165 $ 200
Transportation: $100
Entertainment: $150 -$200
Phone/Internet:  $100
Utility bills (Gas, Electricity, Water): $ 150
Miscellaneous: $100

Although Canada is regarded as a cold climate country, its landscape is quite diverse and Canadians experience four distinct seasons each year including, Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter. During summer, the temperatures can rise as high as 35 degrees Celsius and in winter temperatures are known to drop down to -30 degrees.

Spring

Canadians experience Spring from March to May. During this time, Cherry blossoms are in full bloom, tulips adorn the streets and turn Canada into a picturesque wonderland. The weather is also quite cool and pleasant across the country.

Summer

Summer falls from June to August each year. If you are in Quebec or in southern Ontario you may feel some humidity during this period. West Coast states like British Columbia, experience moderate conditions, with little humidity and cool evenings.

Autumn (fall)

From September to November, Canadian’s experience the crisp, cooler temperatures of Autumn, whilst being mesmerized by the spectacular transformation of trees, as their leaves turn golden red, orange and yellow.  The fall foliage can best be experienced in Quebec, Ontario, or the Maritime provinces.

Winter

Winter in Canada is experienced during the months of December, January and February.

Winters are generally cold with periods of snow, although in Alberta, residents sometimes experience something called a “Chinook”, which is an occasional dry wind that blows over from the Rocky Mountains and melts the snow. Around Vancouver and Victoria (southwest British Columbia), Winters are milder and wet, with frequent rain and periods of snowfall.

If it is your first Canadian winter, be prepared to brave the cold with the appropriate gear so that you can keep warm during this period.  (It is recommended that you adorn yourselves with a beanie/cap, scarf, gloves, boots, thermal underwear and a dense overcoat)

Canada is the second-largest country in the world by area, with the 10th-largest economy. It is highly developed and takes pride in being one of the most stable economies in the world. The sustained economic competitiveness of the country can be attributed to strong rule of law and a rock solid open-market system.

The GDP of Canada is $1.7 trillion, based on ‘Purchasing Power Parity’, with a highly impressive growth rate of 1.7%.  The country has a prestigious place among global economies and is a member of important world groupings like NAFTA, APEC, G7, G20, WTO and OECD.

Top 15 Attributes of Canadian Economy

  • Being a developed nation with high living standards, Canada resembles the USA in its market-oriented economic system
  • Canada is home to bright business prospects as about three-quarters of Canadian exports go to the USA
  • Automotive, petroleum, transportation, telecom equipment, paper, food products, forest & agricultural products, metal & minerals, and petroleum are some of Canada’s top industries.
  • Ontario and Quebec are the manufacturing hubs for aircraft and automobile products
  • Canada has the world’s longest coastline and home to the world’s 8th largest fishing and seafood industry
  • One of the world leaders in the entertainment software industry; a booming tourism & hospitality sector
  • A robust employment generator as the country's economy is dominated by the service industry
  • The weekly average gross salary of a Canadian worker is $985 (Approximately 51,000 INR)
  • Low unemployment rates (As low as 5.8%) thanks to a stable economy and thriving industries; new jobs help keep the national unemployment rate low
  • About three-quarters of Canadians, including Indian expatriates, are employed in the service industry
  • Canada is an ‘energy superpower’ with abundant natural resources which provides great opportunities for those seeking work in the automotive or oil industry.
  • The country possesses the 4th highest natural resources in the world
  • Canada owns the world's 3rd largest proven oil reserves; 4th largest petroleum product exporter; a world leader in crude petroleum sector
  • A global leader in precious metal production including, uranium, gold, diamond, nickel and lead

In Canada, Permanent residents and citizens can apply for health insurance from their territory or province. It is publicly funded as the costs are covered through taxation.

Depending on the province, new PR holders can claim health insurance coverage as soon as they get their PR status confirmed. However, in some provinces there is a waiting period of up to three months before they can claim the insurance. During this period, private health insurance is an to cover their needs. Depending on the work that you are engaged in, your employer may be able to provide health insurance coverage which could include dental, optical, physiotherapy, as well as cost of prescription drugs.

  • Ontario

    In Ontario, the health insurance scheme/plan is known as Ontario Health Insurance plan (OHIP) and covers dental surgery, optometry, ambulance services, abortions, doctor visits, podiatry and hospital stays. It could take up to three months for the OHIP to cover the health insurance costs.

  • British Columbia

    In British Columbia, the health insurance scheme is referred to as Medical Services Plan (MSP). You will have to wait up to three months after your arrival date in British Columbia for the coverage to begin. The MSP plan covers dental and oral surgery, eye exams, x rays, and services provided by physicians and mid wives.  It does not cover prescription drugs, regular eye exams, and certain dental services, which you may either need to pay for additionally or find a different coverage plan.

  • Alberta

    In Alberta, the healthcare insurance is known as the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). The healthcare coverage is available to PR holders from the day they arrive in the province, as long as all the necessary requirements are met.

  • Quebec

    In Quebec, residents need to register for health insurance with the Health Insurance Board of Quebec, known as the RAMQ. The waiting period is three months after arrival and registration for the health insurance coverage to come into effect. Temporary workers who are able to provide evidence of at least 6 months’ work are eligible to claim coverage. Residents are encouraged to apply for coverage as soon as they arrive in Quebec by registering in person; visiting the registration office and submitting a form along with relevant documentation.  

Canada has a well-funded public education system which is managed provincially.  The education is administered and run by the Federal Government of Canada, which ensures that the education is consistent throughout each of the Canadian States and provinces.

Both private and public education systems exist in Canada, with the government spending as much as 6% of its GDP on education subsidization, by funding a child’s education from Kindergarten up to post-secondary level of education.

The education system is broken down into three levels:

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Post – Secondary

Except in Ontario and Quebec, where children begin studies at the age of four years, in all other states and provinces, education is available to children once they turn five. Attending Kindergarten is optional in some provinces and each province has their own requirements for how long children are required to be enrolled in school.

LMIA for Employers

Before employers can hire temporary foreign workers they first need to apply for and obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The job offer being advertised to the temporary foreign worker must be related to goods and services being provided by the business.

  1. Provide required documentation to show your business is genuine.

    Required Documentation

    • Business license;
    • Business registration
    • Canada Revenue Agency documents;
    • Commercial lease agreement;
    • Workplace safety and insurance clearance letter/certificate;
    • Other documents – if any
  2. Recruiting and Advertising

    Before advertising a job vacancy to a temporary foreign worker, the employer must first be able to prove that they made various attempts to hire Canadian PR holders or Citizens and failed. Thereby, being able to open the job advertisement to foreign workers.

  3. Interviewing the eligible applicants

    From the large number of resumes received for the job vacancy, it is important that the employer keep notes and records of who they interviewed, why they are eligible or not eligible for the job, why an application was rejected etc, as this information would need to be submitted along with the LMIA application, including how many applications were received, and how many were interviewed.

  4. Job offer to Foreign Worker

    If an employer is unable to find a PR holder or Citizen of Canada to fill the job vacancy, then then they can open the job offer to a foreign worker. This job offer would include a contract that is signed by both the employer and the foreign worker. The contract needs to include details such as, job position, salary, job responsibilities, number of working hours per week and the duration of employment.

  5. Submitting the LMIA application

    Once employers have gathered all the required documentation, they would be able to submit their LMIA application. The application processing fee for filling each job position is $1,000.
    The processing times for applications may vary, however some applications could be processed within 10 days if it falls under any of the following:

    • Highest-demand occupations on the skill list
    • Highest-paid occupations
    • The employment term is less than 120 days

A valid job offer is:

  • Offered for a minimum of one year
  • Full time work, not part time
  • Is a relevant, skilled job as listed in the Canadian National Occupational Classification List (NOC) skill type 0, A or B.

A job offer must be given in writing, and needs to list out details of the offer, including:

  • Salary/Wages
  • Duties of the job
  • Hours of work
  • Any other conditions relevant to the job

A valid job offer needs to be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The employer would need to apply for one before they can extend a job offer to you. Once they receive the LMIA, they would be required to provide you with a copy, together with the written job offer. *There are some instances where an employer is exempt from needing an LMIA to support the job offer.

Under the express entry system, if you are extended a valid job offer from an employer, you can score an additional 50 – 200 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System, depending on the skill level of the job you have applied for.

A job offer may not be considered valid if your employer is on the ineligible list of employers or from an Embassy, high commission or consulate.

Any person applying for permanent residency in Canada through the Express Entry Stream need to make the following payments together with their application lodgment.
Processing fee: $550
Right of Permanent Residence Fee: $490
Including Spouse/partner in the application: $1,040
Dependent Child (per child):  $150

Relevant/ Skilled work experience needed to apply for permanent residency includes:

  • A job which has been classified under one of the following skill types – Skill type O, A or B, as specified by the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) list.
  • Overseas work experience- minimum of at least one year full time work (or equivalent in part time work) in the past three years.
  • Canadian skilled work experience with a Canadian Employer (Self-employment is not included)
  • All work experience needs to have been acquired legally (under a valid work permit)
  • Work experience gained while on a student permit does not count as relevant work experience.

When submitting documentation for immigration or visa purposes, a requirement may be to provide ‘certified copies” of documents. Certified copy refers to the copy of an original document which has been signed or stamped by an authorized person.

Authorized persons who are legally allowed to certify documents include:

  • Doctors
  • Lawyers
  • Dentists
  • Ministers
  • Police officers
  • Postmasters
  • Teachers

A certifier does not need to be personally known to you; however it cannot be a family member.

The certified document needs to include the following information from the certifier:

  • Full name of certifier
  • Certifier’s designation
  • Certifier’s business name
  • Date of certification
  • Signature of certifier
  • Include the words “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document” on the certified copy
  • Certifier’s official seal/stamp

You are allowed to bring your family members with you to Canada if you have included them in your permanent residence visa as your “Dependents”. Family members who can be included are:

  • Spouse/Partner
  • Dependent Child
  • Spouse/Partner’s child
  • A dependent child of a dependent child (grandchild)

The following family members cannot accompany you to Canada:

  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Brother/sister
  • Uncle or Aunt
  • Nephew or niece
  • Other

Dependents included on your application cannot arrive in Canada before you. They should arrive either WITH you, or AFTER you arrive in Canada.

*You could be eligible to sponsor relatives after you have migrated to Canada if you meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • A Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or a Person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian act
  • You must be living in Canada, unless you are a citizen who resides overseas and plans to return to Canada when the sponsored relative is migrating, or are sponsoring your spouse/partner, or dependent children.
  • If you reside in Quebec, you would additionally need to sign an “Undertaking” with the province to bind your sponsorship contract.
  • As a sponsor you would need to adhere to certain responsibilities, including:

    -Meeting set income guidelines
    -Provide evidence of your ability to financially sponsor the migrating relatives (From the day they become a permanent resident for up to 20 years) Unless the person whom you are sponsoring signs an agreement saying that they have the means to support themselves and any other dependents included with them.

You will not be eligible to sponsor relatives for Canadian Permanent Residence if:

  • You are in prison
  • Have failed to make child support or alimony payments
  • Declared bankruptcy
  • Received social assistance for reasons other than disability
  • Failed to pay immigration loans or have made late payments
  • If previously sponsored a relative and did not adhere to the terms of the sponsorship agreement
  • Convicted of a crime or criminal offense

In Canada, the National Occupational Classification (NOC) list is used to classify jobs based on:

  • Type of work
  • Job duties and responsibilities 

The jobs can be classified under the following skill types:

Skill Type 0 – Management Jobs

  • Restaurant Managers
  • Mine Manager
  • Shore Captains (Fishing)

Skill Level A: Professional jobs (generally requires a Degree/Master’s qualification)

  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Architects

Skill Level B: Technical jobs, which require a diploma, degree or trade qualification

  • Chefs
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians

Skill Level C: Intermediate jobs that require a high school degree or job-specific training

  • Industrial Butchers
  • Long haul truck drivers
  • Food and Beverage servers

Skill Level D: Labor jobs which provide on-the-job training:

  • Fruit pickers
  • Cleaning staff
  • Oil field workers

For purposes of immigration, the NOC is used to decide if the person has the relevant eligibility criteria to qualify for migration.

Skilled jobs are those that have a NOC skill type 0, A or B. The eligibility is measured against the 2016 NOC code.

For Permanent Residence under Express Entry migration, the job needs to be listed under skill type A, B or 0, if you want to qualify under the following programs:

  • Federal skilled worker
  • Federal skills Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

For the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, a person could qualify under Skill type A, B, C or 0.

If a job falls into Skill Level C or D, an applicant could come to Canada under the following programs:

  • Provincial nominee (Skill types: A, B, C, D, 0)
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (Skill types: A, B, C, 0)

OR

An applicant could come to Canada and work for a period of 2 years, if their skill level falls into skill level C or D and qualify under Temporary Residence status. They may be able to change their migration status to “Permanent” at a later stage, providing that they meet the eligibility criteria.

FULL National Occupational Classification LIST (NOC) can be found at: http://noc.esdc.gc.ca/English/NOC/QuickSearch.aspx?ver=16&val65=*

The minimum eligibility requirements to qualify for skilled migration to Canada include:

  • A minimum of 12 months FULL TIME “skilled” work experience in Canada, in the three years immediately prior to applying, or the equivalent in part time work. (skilled work refers to jobs listed under skill types 0, A or B in the NOC list)
  • The work experience needs to be obtained legally
  • Met the minimum language requirements of the visa. The language test could be taken in either French or English. The minimum scores required for Skill Type O is CLB 7, and CLB 5 for skill type B.
  • Self-employment and work experience gained as a student does not count
  • If you are the primary applicant, and you have a partner or spouse that also meets all the eligibility criteria, then either you or your partner or BOTH of you can apply for permanent residency through the Express Entry System.

To qualify for Canadian Citizenship, you would be required to meet certain eligibility criteria, including:

  • Proof that you can speak and listen in English or French, this includes:
  • Taking part in short, everyday conversations
  • Understand simple instructions/ directions
  • Understanding of basic grammar
  • Show that you know enough common words and phrases to answer questions and be able to express yourself

*If you are between 18-54 years, then you would need to show proof demonstrating your ability to speak these languages – this could include a diploma, certificate or transcript

  • Be a permanent resident (PR) holder in Canada
  • Lived in Canada as a PR holder for at-least 3 out of the 5 years immediately before you apply
  • Have filed all your taxes for at-least 3 of the last 5 years, including paying off any income tax owed.
  • You would be required to sit for a citizenship exam, where your ability to communicate in English or French would be analyzed and a citizenship officer would make the final decision on the outcome of your application. * Children below 18, and persons over 54 would not be required to sit for the exam.
  • You might be asked to do a biometric test and provide fingerprints when you apply

*If you have recently been/are in prison, on parole, probation and have been charged or convicted of a crime, or under a deportation order, then you would not be applicable for citizenship.

If you have worked for the Canadian armed forces, then the citizenship process can be fast-tracked.

If you are a spouse of a Canadian citizen, you would not automatically get citizenship, you would be required to meet the same eligibility requirements as everyone else.

Character assessment – Police certificate

When applying for permanent residency in Canada, the immigration department would ask you to submit a police certificate to determine if you have a criminal record or pose a security risk to the country.

Medical examination

You would additionally need to take a medical examination if you are applying for permanent residency. All family members would also need to take a medical exam, regardless of whether they are accompanying you to Canada.

You would need to set an appointment with a list of approved panel physicians as listed by the Canadian department of immigration.

You would be required to do a full medical examination which would include chest x-rays and laboratory tests. Once the exam is complete, the results would be mailed directly to the immigration department by the physician.

If there are any problems with the medical exam, the department will contact you in writing.

* Once you have submitted your PR application, the immigration department will contact you with instructions. Once received, you must complete the medical exam within 30 days of receiving the instructions. You should wait to be contacted by the department, before you arrange a medical examination.

When you go for your appointment you should take the following items with you:

  • Proof of identification – At least one document that has your photograph and signature, like a passport, driver’s licence or a national identity card.
  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses (if you wear them)
  • Any previous medical reports or test results with any existing or prior medical conditions

*The medical test is valid for 12 months. If you do not enter Canada as a permanent resident during this time, then you may be asked to do another exam.

IELTS & PTE Coaching with SIEC


IELTS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized English language proficiency exam that has been designed to test the English Proficiency of International students and migrants who wish to study, live and work in an English-speaking country/ environment. IELTS in managed by reputed International Organizations including the British Council, IDP, IELTS Australia and University of Cambridge ESQL Examination.

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PTE

The PTE exam is a computer based English language test which helps migrants and international students in non-native English speaking countries to gain the required English proficiency required to study or work overseas. It tests individuals on four components, including Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

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