Canadian Immigration FAQs

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Canada is becoming an increasingly desirable immigration destination. Canada and many of its cities are often ranked in the top 10 best places to live and work in the world. But just because a country is considered a great place to live doesn’t always mean it is easy to immigrate there.

Canada, however, depends on immigration to keep the economy stable, and to maintain its population. Canada also has many excellent immigration programs and welcomes immigrants from all over the world. Canada is a mosaic that celebrates diversity of culture and language.

If you are interested in making Canada your new home for a while or forever we are here to help. Read below to find out the answers to some common questions we get from people who are working on their immigration journey.

1. What is the best way to come to Canada?

This answer really depends upon your personal situation. No two people are alike, therefore each situation must be assessed individually. There are so many ways to come here. You could find a job from a Canadian company and come here on a temporary (2 year) work permit. You could enter yourself into the federal Express Entry pool and hope you get invited to apply for your permanent residence. You could try to apply for one of the provincial nominee programs for permanent residence. You could get your Canadian relatives to sponsor you. You could buy into a Canadian company. 

So how do you know which is the right path for you? We always tell people who are unsure and just beginning their immigration journey that you should speak with a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant or an immigration lawyer. They can help give you specialized advice, show you all your viable options, and help you make a plan so you know what to do. A good consultant or lawyer will show you your options and let you decide how to proceed regardless of your desire to hire them for application preparation. Sometimes all you need is help making a plan so you can do it on your own. Consultants and lawyers can help you with this for a much lower cost than application preparation.

2. What is an LMIA and how can I get one?

Many foreigners are told by agencies in their home countries that they need an LMIA in order to come to Canada. An LMIA refers to a labour market impact assessment. Basically it is a document issued by the Government of Canada to a Canadian employer that will determine if the company can hire foreign workers. A positive LMIA from Service Canada means the company has a need for a foreign workers to fill vacant positions. A negative LMIA means the company can not currently hire any foreign workers. Typically before a Canadian company can hire anyone from outside of Canada they need to get approval from Service Canada. There are exemptions to this rule.

How do you get one then? If you are a foreign national looking to work in Canada you can’t apply for one. Only Canadian employers are allowed to apply for labour market impact assessments. The Government of Canada only allows employers to make this request because they are ultimately the ones hiring the worker. So the company must make the request. As an international job seeker you have to try and find a company who either has a positive LMIA that needs workers or find an employer who is willing to get one on your behalf. For most foreigners this can be very difficult.

3. How much does it cost to come to Canada?

Again this is not an easy question to answer because the amount of money required by you will depend upon the immigration program. For example the amount of money required to come to Canada for a two week holiday with a visitor visa, coming to Canada to study with a study permit, coming to Canada on a work permit, or even buying into a Canadian owned business. All required funds are very different, as each federal or provincial immigration program has its own set of requirements. All of the specific requirements are available in the immigration guide requirements. You can find the guides on the Immigration Refugee, and Citizenship Canada website.

Typically the answer most people want is how much is the immigration application going to cost. This will vary from one consulting agency to another or from one lawyer to another. It is very important to know that there are no industry standards regarding how much a company can charge it’s clients for immigration services. If you are being charged more than 5 thousand CAD for a single application like a work permit, study permit, express entry, provincial nominee application or for citizenship then you might be getting taken advantage of.

The Government of Canada does try to do its best to make sure fraud and scams do not hurt foreigners. Agencies are not allowed to charge a fee to both a company and a worker for the same service. Foreign workers should not pay for an LMIA application. These should be paid by the company. Immigrants should not be charged for a job offer from a Canadian company. Legally you can’t buy a job in Canada. 

Make sure you know what you are paying for. All companies should give you a contract/retainer  agreement that outlines the services you get and the exact costs. If you don’t get one, then don’t pay it could be a scam.

4. How long does the process take?

Again there are no easy answers here as it will depend on your immigration program. Due to COVID-19 Immigration and Citizenship Canada can not give any accurate processing times for most applications. Permanent residency can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months. If you applied from inside Canada then it is likely to be quicker than if you applied from your home country. Work permits vary from 2 weeks to 60 weeks. Work permits times depend on the country of application. If you are in Mexico your work permit should take about 2 weeks but if you are in Brazil it could take 38 weeks. Each country has its own processing times.

If you have hired a company to help you with your immigration they should be able to give you an estimate. If they don’t know then this could be a red flag and maybe you should try and find help elsewhere. Generally someone with experience in immigration will be able to provide you with a relative timeline for your program.

5. Why should I get help?

Hiring a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant will give you the best chance for success. In Canada there is no guarantee that your application will be successful, also some immigration processing officers interpret the Canadian immigration guidelines a little differently than others. The job of a consultant is to guide you through the process, help you make the best decisions for you and your family, and give you an amazing experience at the same time. Using an experienced legitimate consultant will make your process quicker, easier, and less stressful. 

Remember you are the client and you should always be in control. You can hire an immigration consultant for a wide variety of services to suit your needs and your budget.

Immigrate lets you decide how much or how little help you want. Our process starts with a simple 30 minute consultation. This way we can make you a customized immigration plan, and let you know what you need to do to accomplish it. Our goal is to help you. In a consultation we can show you what you need to do to do everything on our own, we can review any applications that you have prepared before you submit or we can prepare and submit everything for you.

We have over 15 years of experience and have helped thousands of people make Canada their home. Let us help you too.