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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Canadian Immigrant Visa?
 

An Immigrant Visa is a document which allows a person to live and work anywhere in Canada, and confers upon that person permanent resident status. It comes with certain responsibilities and can be revoked if the holder is out of the country for too long, or is guilty of some criminal activity. A person who is a Canadian permanent resident may apply for Canadian Citizenship after 3 years.
 

How is an Employment Authorization different from an Immigrant Visa?
 

An Employment Authorization permits an eligible visitor to reside and work in Canada for a limited period of time, and restrictions are usually placed on the type of employment which can be pursued. It will not, by itself, lead to Canadian permanent resident status. By contrast, a Canadian Immigrant Visa entitles its holder to live and work anywhere in Canada, enjoy many of the privileges of Canadian Citizenship, apply for Canadian Citizenship after 3 years and sponsor family members for Canadian permanent resident status.

Can I apply for permanent resident status and temporary status at the same time?
 

You can apply for permanent resident status and temporary status at the same time (dual intent). Doing so will not harm your application for permanent resident status. However, your application for temporary status may be affected because an impression will have been created that you do not intend to leave Canada upon the expiration of your temporary status. Therefore it is better to apply for temporary status before you apply for your permanent resident status.

Is my legal status in the country from which I am applying relevant?
 

Canadian policy has been to ignore an applicant's foreign immigration status. However, there have been some refusals on the grounds of criminal inadmissibility where the applicant admitted to having knowingly violated the immigration laws of a foreign jurisdiction.

How do I retain Optus to represent me?
 

As a first step, we ask that you complete an assessment form so that we may determine your eligibility. You may do so as a skilled worker applicant, a business class applicant or a family class applicant.

Who qualifies for an Immigrant Visa?
 

Immigrant Visas are given to qualified skilled workers, business persons and to close family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Who can I include in my application for an Immigrant Visa?
 

Your spouse and any dependent children may be included in the application. Children must be under the age of 19 years. If they are 19 and older, they must not have had an interruption of more than 12 months in their schooling. Your accompanying dependents will be subject to medical and security clearance requirements. Other family members, such as your parents, generally cannot be included in the application but you may be able to sponsor them as part of the family class after you land in Canada.

Common-law spouses and same-sex partners are not considered spouses for immigration purposes. They will be assessed independently. Where the common-law spouse or same-sex partner does not qualify as an independent immigrant, an Immigrant Visa may still be issued on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Are there any special procedures for different provinces in Canada?
 

Certain provinces have been given the authority to select or nominate candidates for immigration destined to their respective provinces.

Quebec has exclusive authority to select candidates who intend to reside in that province. These applicants are subject to Quebec's selection criteria, in addition to Federal medical and security clearance requirements. They must also pay an additional fee for processing by a Quebec Delegation. Applicants who qualify under the Federal selection requirements may not necessarily satisfy Quebec's selection requirements, and vice versa.

To a lesser degree certain provinces presently each have the authority to nominate immigration candidates for selection by Federal immigration authorities. Even without such nomination you may reside in those provinces by meeting Federal selection criteria.
 

How do I find out if I qualify for immigration to Canada?
 

We recommend that you complete and submit an on-line assessment of your eligibility for immigration which we will evaluate at no charge. You may do so as a skilled worker applicant, a business applicant, or a family class applicant.

For further details on the selection requirements for each of the above categories, please consult the following pages: skilled workers, business immigrant program, or family class sponsorship.

How much will be total expense?
 
Federal Category CAD $
Skilled Worker/Family Class Principal applicant 550 
 Entrepreneur, Self-Employed and Investor Principal applicant 1050
 Each accompanying dependent 19 and over, Accompanying Spouse 550
 Each accompanying dependent under 19 years old 150
* Right of Landing Fee 495

 

Quebec (in addition to Federal Fees) CAD $
Skilled Worker Principal applicant 300
Family Class Principal applicant 250

Entrepreneur and Self-Employed Principal Applicant

700
Investor Principal Applicant 3850
Each accompanying dependent 19 and over, Accompanying Spouse 100
Each accompanying dependent under 19 years old 100

* The Right of Landing Fee is payable at any time prior to issuance of landing documents.

When do I pay government fees?
 

All government processing fees must be submitted concurrently with the submission of the application for permanent residence. By contrast, the Right of Landing fee may be submitted at any time prior to the issuance of landing documents and is refundable if, for any reason, the applicant does not land in Canada.

In what currency must I pay these government fees?
 

Canadian visa offices will accept the payment of fees in Canadian dollars or in the equivalent local currency. It is recommended to pay fees in Canadian dollars, if it is feasible, because of currency fluctuations. Canadian visa offices set and change exchange rates from time to time and if you have not submitted the exact foreign currency your application will be returned to you causing a delay. At the very least you should consult with an expert in these matters, or seek instructions from the particular Canadian visa office as to the specific amount payable, the name of the payee and the bank upon which the payment may be drawn.

What is the Right of Landing Fee?
 

All adults immigrating to Canada must pay this fee and can do so any time before landing documents are issued. The Right of Landing fee is fully refundable if for any reason the applicant or accompanying dependents do not land in Canada as permanent residents.

If I am already in Canada, do I still have to pay the Right of Landing Fee?
 

Yes, all adult immigrants must pay the Right of Landing Fee.

Are there any other fees or costs?
 

The application process may include other costs such as those related to medical examinations and police clearances; translating documents into French or English; and business and real estate valuations in certain cases.

In Who's favour, the Visa Processing Draft should be ?
 

If you are making draft in Canadian Dollars then it should be for Cdn$ 550 for each adult payable to The Receiver General of Canada, and if your bank make draft only in US dollars then it should be for US$ 480 payable to Canadian Consulate General. However; while making US$ draft you can also check currecny exchange value with Cdn dollar for exact value.

Where do I submit my application for a Canadian Immigrant Visa?
 

You submit your application for a Canadian Immigrant Visa to a Canadian visa office. Every geographic region in the world has a Canadian visa office to which your application forms and supporting documents, along with all applicable fees, can be submitted. Each visa office specializes in the examination of documents from its region.

Even if there is no Canadian visa office located in your country of residence, nonetheless your area is the responsibility of a particular Canadian visa office. For example, the Canadian visa office in London, England, is not only responsible for applications from the United Kingdom, but is also responsible for applications from other countries such as Finland and Saudi Arabia.

Applicants under the Business Immigration Program must submit their applications to one of nine designated Visa Offices, which specialize in the evaluation of these files.

If your destination is the Province of Quebec, you must submit an application for a Canadian Immigrant Visa and an application for a Quebec Certificate of Selection to a Quebec Delegation in your region. This procedure is required because Quebec has exclusive jurisdiction to select immigrants who intend to reside in that Province

Can I apply to a Canadian visa office which is not responsible for the area in which I reside?
 

As of May 1 2003, applicants are required to submit applications to the visa office responsible for the jurisdiction of their permanent residence, or the region to which they had been legally admitted for a period of at least 1 year.

What documents should be submitted in support of my application for permanent residence?
 

Supporting documents usually include evidence of employment, education, assets, civil status, and an absence of criminal convictions. Each visa office has specific requirements regarding the submission of supporting documentation. It is advisable to seek expert guidance or instructions from your visa office regarding the submission of supporting documentation.

In what language must my supporting documentation be submitted?
 

All supporting documentation in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation, as translated by a certified translator.

Can I transfer my application to a different visa office after it has been submitted?
 

Immigration officials are required to transfer applications only in those cases in which doing so would enhance Program integrity. Visa offices can refuse to transfer a case otherwise.

How long does the immigration process take?
 

The average processing time of all world-wide visa offices is approximately 12-18 months for applications where a selection interview is required. Depending on the circumstances of the case, and the office at which the application is submitted, processing time may be as short as 6 months or as long as 42 months

Will I be interviewed by an immigration officer?
 

Skilled Worker applicants for permanent resident status may be required to attend a selection interview with an immigration officer. Such interviews are held to ensure the information in the application is accurate, to verify documentation, to test language ability, and to help applicants relocate to Canada.

Visa offices may grant certain Skilled Worker and Family Class candidates an interview waiver, depending on the qualifications of the applicant, the quality of the supporting documentation, and the overall credibility of the applicant. The likelihood of an interview waiver varies from one visa office to another.

Almost all applicants under the Business Immigration Program will be required to attend a selection interview

When is the selection interview held?
 

Depending on how many applications are before yours at the visa office and which visa office has your file, it might take as little as four months to get an interview, or it might take as long as 30 months. Usually, though, the selection interview takes place about two-thirds of the way into the application process.

How Can I Get an Interview Waiver ?
 

Applications which are complete in every detail increase the chances of an interview waiver. However, interview waivers are granted at the discretion of the immigration officials. It is not possible to apply specifically for a waiver. Even if an interview is waived, you may still be called to an interview, generally for quality assurance purposes.

Will I have to take a medical exam?
 

All prospective immigrants to Canada are required to undergo medical examinations. These examinations are intended to detect any conditions which may affect the health of the Canadian public, or which may result in excessive demands being placed upon the Canadian health care system.

The medical examination includes a standard physical examination, blood tests, urine tests, and X-Rays.

Can my dependents undergo the medical examination in another country?
 

The examination is given around the world by designated medical practitioners. Regardless of the visa office to which the application was submitted, the services of any such practitioner may be used.

Will my non-accompanying dependents be required to complete medical examinations?
 

Non-accompanying dependents are required to undergo medical examinations, as are accompanying dependents. If a non-accompanying dependent is unwilling to undergo a medical examination, it may be possible to have the individual exempted. However, such non-accompanying dependents will not be eligible for subsequent sponsorship as members of the Family Class.

I am in USA, Do I need to provide a police certificate when applying for permanent residence?
 

Yes. Applicants should provide a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) certificate with fingerprints. Applicants may also be requested to provide State certificates.

I am in USA, How or where do I obtain Police Clearance?
 

i)First, have your full set of fingerprints taken by a recognized finger print agency. Fingerprints for US record checks should be taken on the FBI fingerprint form, but you should NOT CONTACT ANY FBI OFFICE FOR FINGERPRINTING. You may request a blank fingerprint form by writing to the FBI at the address below.

In the USA, fingerprints can usually be obtained from a local police department. You may also be fingerprinted at a recognized office of the Department of Motor vehicles or from a private organization engaged in the fingerprinting business. (Consult your local directory for such an establishment). Always specify that you require fingerprints for Canadian immigration purposes. When you appear for fingerprinting you will need photo identification, such as a passport, and a letter from the Canadian Consulate. Be prepared to provide fingerprinting agents with details of your full name ( including maiden name) and any aliases, date of birth, sex, race, social security number, proof of your identity, and the reasons for requesting such a record, i.e. Canadian Visa purposes. Fees for fingerprinting differ depending on location.

ii) Fingerprints should be sent, along with a certified cheque or money order for US$ 18 made payable to the U.S Treasury, to:


FBI
Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS Division)
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306
USA

The processing of these requests normally takes between six (6) and eight (8) weeks.

iii) The FBI will send you the results of their check by returning your fingerprint card to you. That will be your police certificate.

You should send the card and any attached documents to us.

 
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Why Canada?
The United Nations has rated Canada as the best country in the world to live in, for sev en consecutive years....
What is a Canadian Immigrant Visa?
Who qualifies for an Immigrant Visa?
How much will be total expense?
When do I pay government fees?
Where do I submit my application for a Canadian Immigrant Visa?
What documents should be submitted in support of my application for permanent residence?
How long does the immigration process take?
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