Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Can My Spouse Work In Canada?

Dear Ms Powell,
I should say thank you very much for your encouragement about pursuing further studies in Canada as someone who is a little bit older than the average student. My new problem is that I do not want to separate from my husband during my study. Can he accompany me and work in Canada? If yes, that would be great for us since we could still be together and he could work and help offset our expenses. Also, does he need to first get an employer to help with the application? Can we apply for permanent residence at the end of my studies? Thanks again for your valuable guidance.
Dear MK,
Congratulations and thank you for keeping me updated. I am very happy and proud of you for having the courage to pursue studies in Canada. It is never too late to learn and to pursue further studies. Education is the key to success.
Under Canada immigration regulations, spouses or common-law partners of full-time international students are eligible for open work permits, provided they are able to satisfy the requirements. If you had consulted with an immigration lawyer to submit the application on your behalf, I'm sure you would have been advised that both applications could have been processed at the same time.
Open Work Permit
Nevertheless, all is not lost as you may still submit an application for an open work permit, which is a permit that is not job-specific. Since the work permit is not job-specific, you do not need a job offer in order to apply. Spouses or common-law partners of certain international students are allowed to accept employment in the general labour market without need of a job letter from an employer. That being said, if your husband has a job offer, you should submit it with your application as this will further strengthen his application.
In order to be eligible for a work permit, an applicant must provide evidence of the direct relationship to the spouse or common-law partner who is already in receipt of a valid study permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The study permit must be granted to a spouse who is/intends to be a full-time student at one of the following:
1. A public post-secondary institution such as a college or university or college d'enseignement general et professionnel (CEGEP) in Quebec; or
2. A Canadian private institution authorised by provincial statute to confer degrees.
The work permit is usually issued for a period that coincides with the period that the spouse is permitted to work or study in Canada, as the case may be. So, for example, if you are going to attend a school for two years, on a full-time basis, then your husband would most likely be issued an open work permit that expires around the same time that yours does. It will most likely not be for more than two years.
On the completion of your studies, you may apply for a postgraduate work permit and also apply for extension of your husband's work permit. Once you have the required work experience in Canada, you may both apply for permanent residence. Currently, those applications fall under the Express Entry System
However, the Canadian government may change its laws, procedures, and regulations without notice, so I strongly suggest that you consult with an immigration lawyer privately to ensure that your application is submitted at the correct time, with the required supporting documents and taking into consideration your long-term plans.
Published in the Jamaica Gleanerhttp://www.jamaicagleaner.com/article/news/20150224/can-my-spouse-work-canada
Deidre S. Powell, is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public, who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada, bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal injury, family, commercial, and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to Email:info@deidrepowell.com, Tel: 613.695.8777 or 876.922.8899 Facebook: jamaicanlawyer Twitter: deidrespowell

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Job Hunting in Canada

Dear Ms. Powell,
I have interviewed for a position as an IT specialist at a company in Canada. This will be a one year contract and I strongly believe I will get the job. I have a wife and a four-year-old child. I am not a permanent resident, however, I currently have a temporary resident visa. If I am successful, what will be my next step to get to Canada? Will my wife and child be able to come with me? Will my wife be able to work and my child able to go to school?
- BS
Congratulations on being able to secure a job interview. That is a strong testament as to your educational credentials, experience and skills. This means that several doors could now be opened to you to become a permanent resident in Canada, or depending on the time constraints you could simply apply for a work permit.
Express Entry Route
If you have a valid job offer, you can apply under the Express Entry System to become a permanent resident within six months. Under this system you are more flexible and you could be on your way to becoming a citizen of Canada in a few years.
To qualify under this system you will need the following:
1. The full name and address of your prospective employer;
2. Labour Market Impact Assessment Report ( LMIA) from your employer;
3. Valid job offer with start date clearly outlined;
4. IELTS examination results;
5. Educational Credential Report;
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will assess your application and you could receive and invitation to apply for permanent residence. This application would include your spouse and your children under the age of 18.
Work Permit Route
You may also choose to simply apply for a work permit, which is a temporary authorisation to work in Canada for a specific period of time. You will be required to submit a complete application to CIC along with all the necessary supporting documents. Specifically, you will be required to submit proof that you have the experience and qualifications to do the job in accordance with Canadian standard. You will need to submit a copy of the job offer and LMIA from your employer, along with the relevant fees.
After you have submitted your application
After the visa office receives your application it will be reviewed to ensure it is completed accurately and all the relevant supporting documents enclosed. If you submit an incomplete application it will be returned to you unprocessed.
If your application is complete, the following may be requested:
* Medical examination
A visa officer will determine whether a medical examination is required. If a medical examination is required, you will be sent a personalised form and instructions.
* Police certificate
You may be asked to provide a police certificate for yourself and family members. You will be advised by the visa office.
* Interview
If a visa officer decides that an interview is necessary, you will be informed and given instructions. Most decisions are taken without an interview. All relevant information should therefore be included in writing with your initial application.
If your application is approved, you will receive a letter from the visa office confirming your authorisation to work in Canada. This letter is not your work permit. You will be required to take the letter with you to present it to the immigration officials when you arrive in Canada, then you will get your work permit.
If your application is refused, the visa office will send you a letter explaining the reason for the denial.
Your wife may secure an open work permit.
Your wife should submit her application for an open work permit at the same time when you are submitting your application, since she plans to accompany you. You will need to submit your marriage certificate with your application.
With an open work permit, your wife may find and accept any job when you both get to Canada. She will not need a job offer or a positive LMIA to apply for her work permit. If she is granted an open work permit she will be authorised to accept employment in any sector except in health services or child care without first passing an approved medical exam. If she plans to seek employment in health services or child care, she should indicate this clearly on her application, so that medical exam instructions can be issued to you from the outset.
In most cases, minor children do not need a study permit to study in Canada, if they are included in your application. Since your child is a minor and would be at the stage of attending pre-school or kindergarten, she would fall within this category and therefore would not require a study permit to attend school.
I hope that you find this helpful. Should you and your employer require additional information, it may be useful to consult an immigration attorney to assist you based on the finer details of your case.
 Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, commercial, personal injury, family and administration of estates. She is on the roster of Mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: info@deidrepowell.com subjectline: immigration, Call 613.695.8777/ 876.922.8899.
Published in the Jamaican Gleaner:Tuesday | February 17, 2015
N.B. Ms. Powell will be in Jamaica March 6-9, 2015.
Register online for the  seminar in Kingston/ Montego Bay at www.expressimmigrationcanada.com 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Immigration - I want to invest in Canada

Dear Ms Powell,

Can you tell me how I can qualify for immigration as a businessman? I heard about some venture capital programme, and I have some money that I would like to use to invest in Canada so that I can get permanent residence. What are the requirements? How do I apply?
- KO

Dear KO,

Your question is very relevant at this time as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has recently announced the launch of the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Programme. CIC will be accepting a limited number of applications and will take the time to evaluate the effectiveness of this plan to determine whether it should be continued. This is welcoming news since on June 19, 2014, the Federal Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur Programme was terminated.


The first fundamental requirement is that you need to provide evidence that you have a net worth of CAD$10 million. Your funds must be acquired through lawful private business or investment activities. You cannot use inheritance or your private personal residence as part of this proof.

Another critical requirement is that you will need to submit an educational credential report if your studies were done outside of Canada. You will also need to present your English examination results and the required fees. Further, the usual health and security checks will be necessary.

If your application is selected, you will be required to present a due diligence report at your own expense. This report must be obtained from one of the designated service providers listed on CIC's website. This report will be an independent evaluation of your personal net worth, your past business or investment experience, and the source of your funding. This report will assess your source of funding to ensure that it is legal and legitimate. This report will be sent directly to CIC and will be used to determine whether you will be finally selected.

Non-guaranteed Investment

Once you are selected under the pilot programme, you will be required to enter into an agreement with CIC whereby you commit the sum of CA$2 million to the IIVC Fund for approximately 15 years.

The disadvantage of this programme is that there is no guarantee of returns on the investment. Your returns will be directly related to the performance of the investment of the fund. The fund will be used to invest in Canadian start-ups with high growth potential and will be managed by the investment arm of the Business Development Bank of Canada. Your returns will be directly linked to the success or failure of the start-up programmes.

If your application is approved, you will be asked to submit your passport to receive your approved permanent residence visa. It is anticipated that this application would be processed within six months after CIC receives and approves your application.

The other issue is that you do not have a lot of time to submit an application as this pilot programme will end on February 11, 2015. Therefore, if you think you qualify, then I strongly recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer immediately to ensure that you meet the critical deadline.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in Immigration, real estate, personal injury, family and administration of estates. Email info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration or telephone 613.695.8777

Monday, 2 February 2015

Immigration - Nurse wants Express Entry to BC - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | February 3, 2015

Immigration - Nurse wants Express Entry to BC - News - Jamaica Gleaner - Tuesday | February 3, 2015

Dear Ms Powell,
I am a nurse and I am interested in living in British Columbia. I have a sister who recently got married and moved there. She said she heard about an express entry programme to BC for medical practitioners. I would like to know how I, too, can move there with my husband and two children.
Dear J.G.
British Columbia is becoming one of the favourite places to live by immigrants. That is because professional, and in particular, health-care workers are in demand in British Columbia. Recently, the government launched a special express entry stream to the Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP), thereby encouraging nurses, physicians, psychiatric nurses and allied health professionals to submit an application for permanent residence to the province.
Who can apply?
You must currently have a full-time job as one of the following:
  • Physicians
  • Specialist medical doctors
  • Registered Nurses
  • Registered psychiatric nurses
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Mid-wife
  • Allied health professional such as a:

                    o  Diagnostic medical sonographer
                    o Clinical pharmacist
                    o Medical laboratory technologist
                    o Medical radiation technologist
                    o Occupational therapist
                    o Physiotherapist
How do you qualify?
Some of the key requirements are:
You must intend to live in BC.
You must provide evidence that you can support yourself and your family to become established in BC. This means that you will need to have a minimum of C$22,000 in savings since you have a family of four.
You must provide proof that you pass the minimum language examination in English or French.
If you studied outside of Canada, you will need to have your post-secondary education assessed against the Canadian standards. That is, you will need an educational credential assessment report from one of the CIC approved bodies.
How to apply?
1. You must have an Express Entry profile.
2. Accurately complete the required application forms.
3. Submit all the required supporting documents.
4. Submit the processing fee of C$550.
If you have additional questions and are seriously considering the exciting new option under the British Columbia Express Entry for medical professionals, I suggest that you consult privately with an immigration lawyer to explore the various options open to you and to maximize your chances of making British Columbia your new home.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public, who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal injury, family and administration of estates. Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration or Tel: 613-695-8777.

I need a work permit

Dear Ms Powell,

I am an international student in Ontario and my study permit expires this year. I am interested in a work permit so that I can stay in Canada. How can I get a work permit and ultimately remain in Canada indefinitely?

Dear B.T,

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has a programme called the Post Graduate Work Permit Programme (PGWPP) which is to help international students gain valuable Canadian work experience after graduating from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution.

Under this programme, the length of time that will be granted for work permits will be based on the length of the programme from which you graduated. For example, if you graduate from a four-year degree programme, you could be eligible for a three-year work permit, if you meet the requirements. If you graduated from an eight-month certificate programme, you would be eligible for a work permit that is valid for no more than eight months. If your programme is under eight months, you will not be eligible for a PGWP.

What are the key requirements?
1. Studied on a full-time basis.
2. Successfully completed a programme of study that lasted at least eight months from a participating college or university.
3. Your study permit must be valid at the time of application.
4. Application must be submitted within 90 days of completing your studies.
5. Submit a letter from your school as proof of the duration of your study.
Note that you will be considered ineligible if:
1. You came to Canada on a scholarship which bonds you to return to your home country.
2. Your study was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), or Organizations of American States (OAS) Fellowship Programme and other similar organisations.
3. Have been previously issued a PGWP following another programme of study.
4. The of programme of study is less than eight months long.

How to get permanent residence?

Once you have worked for a minimum of one year, you should take the next step to become a permanent resident. If you have gained skilled Canadian work experience as a result of working under the PGWPP, you may apply for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

The main requirement is a minimum of one year work experience in the last three years in Canada. You will also be required to provide proof that you meet the minimum language requirements according to your occupational skill level. You will, therefore, need to sit either an English or French language examination to demonstrate your abilities in speaking, reading, listening, and writing. You will be considered a better candidate if you are able to demonstrate proficiency in both languages.

Other key factors to bear in mind when submitting an application under the CEC are:
1. You must plan to live outside of the province of Quebec.
2. Demonstrate at least 12 months of continuous full-time or equivalent part-time skilled work experience.
3. Submit your application under the Express Entry system.
4. If you qualify, you could get an invitation to apply for permanent residence and even get a job offer under this new system.
5. Pass medical and security checks.
6. You will be required to pay a processing fee.

You may also be eligible for permanent residence if you qualify under one of the Provincial Nominee Programmes.

If you are seriously considering the PGWP and applying for permanent residence, I suggest that you consult privately with an immigration lawyer to explore the various options open to you and to maximise your chances of success under the new system.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in Immigration, Real Estate, Commercial, Personal Injury, Family and Administration of Estates. Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Telephone 613-695-8777.

Published in the Jamaican Gleaner, January 27, 2015