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A

Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR)

An Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) is issued to an applicant (or their representative, if applicable) once their application for permanent residence has passed the completeness check. The letter is issued by the Centralized Intake Office. If the application was submitted electronically, this letter is sent to the applicant via their MyCIC account; otherwise, the letter is sent by mail. This letter may be used to support a bridging open work permit if all other requirements are met.

Read more: Invitation To Apply

Adaptability

A maximum of 10 points can be awarded for Adaptability under the Skilled Worker selection criteria. Points in this category are awarded based on an applicant's ability to adapt to life in Canada, and includes factors such as:

  • Work or educational experience in Canada
  • Arranged employment in Canada
  • Family relations in Canada

If the applicant has a spouse or common-law partner who is planning to immigrate with him or her to Canada, extra points can be earned for his or her:

  • Language level
  • Work or educational experience in Canada

Read more: Adaptability

Age

 A maximum of 12 points can be awarded for Age under the Skilled Worker selection criteria. The maximum 12 points will be awarded for those between 18-35 years of age, with a decrease of one point for each year of age over 35. No points will be awarded to those under 18 or over 46 years of age. Points will be given based on the applicant’s age at the time when the Centralized Intake Office receives the application.

Read more: Age

Annulment

Annulment, unlike divorce, effectively means that a marriage never existed. Annulment is justified in Canada on grounds of any of the following factors, including:

  • Bigamy
  • Prohibited degrees of family relationships
  • Incapacity
  • Non-compliance with statutory established procedures
  • Errors in identity
  • Duress

Read more: Family Class Immigration

Appeal

When a person makes an appeal, they are asking a higher court to determine whether a lower court or tribunal made mistakes in their application of the law when making an initial decision. The higher court may affirm, vary, or reverse the original decision.

Read more: Application Refusal

Approved Testing Organizations

To fulfil language requirements for Skilled Worker immigration, language tests are required from approved testing organizations.

The following are approved testing organizations:

For English language testing:

  1. The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP): While it consists of three different tests, immigration applications only require the “CELPIP-General 2014”. As of April 1, 2014, this test replaces the CELPIP-G, which will not be used anymore. It has two test components, listening and speaking, and a score is given from 0-12.
  2. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS): While it provides two options for the reading and writing tests, immigration applications require the “General Training” option opposed to the “Academic” option. See the definition for IELTS for more detailed information.

For French language testing:

  1. The Test d'Évaluation du Français (TEF): To prove French language proficiency, a person must submit results for compréhension de l’écrit, compréhension de l’orale, expression écrite, and expression orale.

Read more: Language Skills

Arranged Employment

A Skilled Worker applicant may be awarded up to 10 points towards his or her application if he or she has an arranged employment. To be awarded points under this category, the applicant must have a valid job offer that is for permanent full-time work and is listed as Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Read more: Arranged Employment

Arranged Marriage

Arranged marriages are marriages in which spouses may not have met before getting married; they are usually arranged through the spouses’ families. These kinds of marriages can still be valid for Family sponsorship purposes as long as they are genuine, continuing, and were not entered into for immigration purposes. When assessing whether an arranged marriage is valid, an immigration officer will consider, among other things, the relative ages of the partners, their prior history of sponsoring spouses, and the course of their relationship from how they met to the state of their current relationship.

Read more: Spousal Sponsorship

Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC)

An Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) is needed in certain situations after a person has been subject to a removal order, which requires the person to leave Canada.

There are three types of removal order. Depending on the individual's situation, an ARC may or may not be required in order to return to Canada after receiving a removal order. In the following situations, an ARC is required: 

  • Departure Order — if an individual received a departure order and he or she leaves the country more than 30 days after the Departure Order was issued, the Departure Order automatically becomes a Deportation Order. If the individual does not verify his or her departure upon exiting the country after receiving a Departure Order, the same applies. In either of these situations, the individual must apply for an ARC if he or she wishes to re-enter Canada.
  • Exclusion Order — if an individual received an Exclusion Order within the last 12 months, he or she will need to apply for an ARC if he or she wishes to enter Canada. If the individual received an Exclusion Order more than 12 months ago but does not have a Certificate of Departure to prove that the date he or she left Canada was more than 12 months ago, he or she will also need to apply for an ARC.
  • Deportation order — an ARC is required to re-enter Canada after receiving a deportation order.

A Canadian Immigration Officer must determine whether to issue an ARC, and there are multiple factors that go into the decision:

  • Why the person was issued a deportation order;
  • Whether the person is likely to respect the terms and conditions of his or her stay in Canada; and/or
  • The person’s employment situation, etc.

If the Canadian government spent money to remove the person from the country, he or she will have to repay those costs before being granted an ARC.

Read more: Legal Options

B

Background Check

A Canadian Immigration Officer will conduct a background check in order to verify an applicant's personal history, credentials, and education among other things. The goal is to confirm that the information in the application is true. It may take several weeks to several months to complete.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

The Bridging Open Work Permit provides applicants who have received positive eligibility decisions and whose work permits are approaching expiration, more flexibility in order to maintain status considering an imminent decision on their permanent residency application is upcoming.

Eligibility requires that the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • The foreign national is currently in Canada;
  • They have valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within four months;
  • They are the principal applicant on an application for permanent residency under the FSWP, the CEC, the FSTP, or the PNP;
  • They have received a positive eligibility assessment on their permanent residency application under one of the Economic Class programs above; and
  • They have applied for an open work permit.

Read more: Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

Business Class

Permanent residence is granted in this class based on the applicant’s ability to become economically established in Canada. Applicants can apply under one of three classes: entrepreneurs, investors, and those that are self-employed. Each class has certain criteria that must be met in order to qualify.

Read more: Business Immigration

Business Experience

A prospective immigrant applying for permanent residency through the Business Immigration Program can earn a maximum of 35 points for business experience. Points for business experience are awarded based on the amount of business experience accumulated in the five years preceding the date of the application.

C

Canadian Citizen

A Canadian citizen is either someone who was born in Canada, or who was granted citizenship by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Read more: Canadian Citizenship

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)

The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) is a Canadian standardized test that assesses proficiency in English for immigration and citizenship purposes. While it consists of two different tests, only the “CELPIP-General Test” is accepted as part of an immigration application. It has four test components, listening, reading, writing, and speaking, and a score of M (Minimal proficiency or insufficient information to assess) or of 3-12 is given. The CELPIP General Test is completed computer-delivered.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

This class is for temporary workers who have at least one year of experience in Canada or graduates from a Canadian post-secondary school who have at least one year of work experience in Canada, and who want to apply for permanent residency. Applicants applying in this class should also have good English or French skills and be used to Canadian society.

Read more: Canadian Experience Class Immigration Program

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)

Canada has its own system for describing language proficiency according to Canadian standards. Language proficiency is ranked according to Canadian Language Benchmarks or CLBs. There are 12 CLBs that cover the range from the most basic ability (CLB 1) to complete fluency (CLB 12). Candidates for Canadian immigration through a federal economic immigration program are required to demonstrate their proficiency in either English or French by way of a standardized test recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Results of tests have a corresponding CLB for each of the four language components that are assessed: Speaking, Reading, Writing, Listening.

Read more: Canada Immigration Language Converter

Certified True Copy

It is a copy or photocopy of an original document that has been officially certified as legitimate by the document issuer or the authority of the country or territory that issued the document. The verifier must provide its seal and original signature in order for the certified true copy of a document to be valid.

Citizenship

Unlike nationality, citizenship is a legal status that is recognized by a state. It is generally accompanied by duties, rights, and privileges such as the right to vote or own land.

Read more: Canadian Citizenship

Citizenship Ceremony

The citizenship ceremony is the final step in becoming a Canadian citizen. During this ceremony, candidates for citizenship aged 14 and over take the oath of citizenship, after which all new citizens receive their citizenship certificate.

Read more: Canadian Citizenship Ceremony

Citizenship Officer

A citizenship officer examines citizenship applications, conducts interviews, holds citizenship ceremonies, and grants or refuses citizenship to applicants. 

Read more: Canadian Citizenship

Citizenship Revocation

The Canadian Government has the power to revoke a person’s Canadian citizenship. Someone can have his or her citizenship revoked if he or she has obtained citizenship through fraud, false representation, or knowingly concealing material circumstances. The latter can include knowingly concealing information that could have affected eligibility for citizenship or permanent residency.

Read more: Canadian Citizenship

Committing an "Act"

Criminal inadmissibility applies to individuals who have committed a criminal act outside of Canada. Committing a criminal act is distinguished from being convicted for a criminal act, and applies to individuals who are suspected of criminal activity outside of Canada but have not yet been tried in a court of law.

However, those who have not been convicted as a result of a court finding them not guilty of committing a criminal act are still admissible to Canada.

Read more: Criminality and Rehabilitation

Common-Law Partner

Common-law partners are those who are in a conjugal relationship and have been living with a partner of the same or opposite sex for one continuous year. A conjugal relationship means more than a physical relationship where the partners depend on each other, it is essentially permanent, and there is a level of commitment similar to a marriage (See the Conjugal Partner definition below for more detail). Short absences from the one-year period are allowed, but only for business or family reasons. Finally, an applicant will need proof that he or she has combined his or her affairs with his or her partner and that they have set up a household together.

Read more: Spousal And Common-law Partner Sponsorship

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

The CRS is used in order to determine a candidate’s position within the Express Entry pool among other applicants. The pool rank for prospective skilled applicants is determined by weighing factors such as work experience, language ability, level of education, age, and other factors that contribute to the candidate's potential to become established in Canada.applicant’s successful establishment in Canada.

Read more: Comprehensive Ranking System

Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System (CAIPS)

Citizenship & Immigration Canada uses this computer system to process visa applications outside of Canada. While this system is being succeeded by the newer GCMS system, both CAIPS and GCMS files are requested to ensure that all the necessary files in an application are received. Through the system, a person can obtain a copy of his or her immigration file to find out what has and will happen with the application and give an indication as to when there may be developments in its processing.

Conjugal Partner

A sponsored person is defined as conjugal partner if:

  • Exceptional circumstances beyond their control have prevented them from qualifying as common-law partners or spouses, such as immigration barriers or legal restrictions limiting divorce or same-sex relationships; and
  • They have had a mutually dependent relationship for at least one year with the same level of commitment as a marriage or a common-law union. This can require a demonstration of:
    • Emotional ties and intimacy
    • Financial closeness, such as joint ownership of assets or mutual financial support
    • Efforts to spend time together and reunite

Conjugal partners can be of either opposite-sex or same-sex.

Read more: Spousal And Common-law Partner Sponsorship

Convention Refugee

Convention refugee is a person who is outside of their home country or country where they normally live and the person fears returning back to that country. The fear of persecution must be derived from reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Read more: Refugee Status

Co-Signer

Under the Family sponsorship category, a sponsor is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada who is over 18 and is financially qualified to sponsor another. However, if the sponsor’s income is insufficient, a co-signer can jointly sign the sponsorship application. A co-signer must be at least 18 years old, be the sponsor’s spouse or common-law partner, be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, continue to live in Canada, and meet any other requirements a sponsor has.

Read more: Financial Ability

Cost-Recovery Fee

Also known as: Government Processing Fees

Each person applying for a Canada Immigration Visa must pay this processing fee, including:

  • The principal applicant
  • An accompanying spouse, common-law or conjugal partner; and
  • Dependent children.

Once the Canadian Immigration Visa Office has begun screening an application, the fee becomes non-refundable, although it remains refundable anytime before that point.

Read more: Canadian Government Fees and Application Costs FAQ

Country of Nationality

A person’s country of nationality is the country in which he or she was born. If a person is born in Canada, he or she will be a Canadian citizen, but citizenship is not the same as nationality. A person can be a citizen of Canada without having been born there. Country of nationality must also be distinguished from country of residence since where one is born is not necessarily where that person currently lives.

Country of Residence

A person’s country of residence is the country in which he or she has legal permission to live. The person must have also legally entered the country and currently reside there.

Criminality

Criminality, like “serious criminality,” can result in criminal inadmissibility and serve as the basis for being denied entry to Canada. However, unlike serious criminality, criminality is grounds for inadmissibility to Canada when a foreign national has been convicted inside Canada of an indictable offence punishable by a sentence of less than 10 years, or has committed an equivalent offence outside Canada that would be punishable by 10 years or more if the act had been committed in Canada.

Read more: Criminality

Criminal Equivalency

In determining whether an individual is criminally inadmissible, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) will assess the individual's criminal record in respect of the criminal code of Canada. A criminal act committed outside Canada will first be compared to an equivalent act in the Canadian criminal code. The act committed outside Canada will then be considered to have received the punishment that would have been received had it been committed in Canada, regardless of the actual punishment issued in the country where the act occurred.

Read more: Criminality

Criminal Inadmissibility

Individuals wishing to enter Canada either permanently or temporarily as visitors, may not be allowed into Canada if they have committed or been convicted of a crime.

A person may be considered criminally inadmissible on grounds of either criminality or serious criminality, both of which are defined in this glossary. Theft, dangerous driving, assault, manslaughter, and murder are examples of crimes that might make one criminally inadmissible.

Read more: Criminality and Rehabilitation

Criminal Rehabilitation

Individuals with a criminal record rendering them criminally inadmissible may still enter Canada depending on what crime was committed, how long ago it was committed, and how the individual has behaved since. The immigration officer must also be convinced that the individual is deemed rehabilitated, was approved for individual rehabilitation, was granted a record suspension, or has a temporary resident permit. See the definitions for deemed rehabilitation and individual rehabilitation below for more information.

Read more: Criminality and Rehabilitation

D

Danger to Public Health or Safety

Individuals wishing to enter Canada either permanently or temporarily as visitors may not be allowed into Canada if they have a medical condition that could endanger public health or safety. A medical officer who is assessing the foreign national's health condition should consider whether the foreign national carries a contagious disease and the impact it may have on others living in Canada. With regards to public safety, an officer must assess the risk that a foreign national will behave violently or unpredictably and that these behaviours might create a danger to the health or safety of those living in Canada.

Read more: Medical Inadmissibility

Deemed Rehabilitation

Persons who are inadmissible to Canada on grounds of criminality may still be permitted to enter Canada if they qualify for deemed rehabilitation.

An individual can be deemed rehabilitated depending on the nature of the crime, whether or not enough time has passed since finishing the sentence for the crime, and whether or not the individual committed more than one crime. For indictable offences, ten years must have elapsed after the completion of a sentence; for two or more summary offences, five years must have elapsed. In no case may an individual be deemed rehabilitated if the crime committed outside of Canada can theoretically be punished by at least 10 years if it were committed in Canada.

Read more: Deemed Rehabilitation

Departure Order

A departure order requires the person to leave Canada within 30 days and verify his or her departure with an immigration officer. If a person issued a departure order does not verify his or her departure with an immigration officer or leaves more than 30 days after receiving the order, the order becomes a deportation order and he or she would need to apply for an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC).

Read more: Legal Options

Dependent Child

A dependent child, in relation to a parent who is applying for residency in Canada, is either the biological or adopted child of the parent, who is under 22 years of age and is neither married nor in a common-law relationship. Children who are 22 years and older but who are unable to support themselves because they suffer from a mental or physical condition are also considered dependents.

Read more: Dependent Child Sponsorship

Deportation Order

Anyone who is not a Canadian citizen can be deported; this includes permanent residents. If a person has been issued a deportation order, he or she will be sent back to his or her home country and will require an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC).

Read more: Legal Options

Designated Medical Practitioner 

Now: Panel Physicians

Panel Physicians, formerly known as Designated Medical Practitioners, perform medical examinations to determine whether prospective immigrants pose a health risk to Canadians. All prospective immigrants must have a medical exam before coming to Canada.

Read more: Medical Examinations FAQ

Draw

Candidates are selected from the pool of potential candidates for immigration to Canada through a process called a “draw.” The selection of candidates from the pool is based on the attributed score from the Comprehensive Ranking System. The candidates with the highest CRS are then invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada. There are two types of draws, as potential applicants can be drawn from the general pool of candidates or from a specific program. The draw contains pertinent information (instructions) such as the date/time of the draw, number of candidates to receive an ITA, and, if applicable, it will contain information on the specific program of the particular draw.

Read more: Invitations To Apply Issued

Dual Intent

Dual intent is present when a foreign national, who has applied for permanent residency in Canada, also applies to enter Canada for a temporary period as a visitor, worker, or student. Dual intent on the part of the applicant is therefore not prima facie grounds for refusal of temporary resident status.

Read more: Dual Intent

E

Education

A maximum of 25 points can be awarded for education under the Federal Skilled Worker selection criteria. Points in this category are awarded based on the type of degree attained and the length of time spent studying. Canadian diplomas and certificates or foreign education deemed equivalent could earn points in this category.

Read more: Education

Educational Credential

An educational credential is any degree, diploma, apprenticeship, or trade credential issued on the completion of a program at an educational or training institution. In order to immigrate as a Federal Skilled Worker, to work in certain jobs in Canada or a trade, and to study in Canada, foreign nationals must get their credentials assessed. An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is designed to verify the validity of foreign degrees, diplomas, certificates, or other proof of credentials and whether they are equal to a completed credential in Canada.

Read more: Education

Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

An Educational Credential Assessment, or ECA, is a report issued by an organization designated by the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship that verifies the authenticity of a foreign diploma, certificate or credential, and assesses its equivalence to a Canadian educational credential.

Read more: Education

Eligible Relative

In order to sponsor a relative, the sponsor must be at least 18 years old, a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, meet income guidelines and agree in writing to support the relative for up to 10 years.

The sponsored relative must be the sponsor’s:

  • Spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner; or
  • Parent or grandparent; or
  • Dependent child; or
  • Brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild who is orphaned, under 18, and unmarried or in a common-law relationship; or
  • Other relative if the sponsor has no relative who could be sponsored as a member of the family class

Read more: Family Class Immigration

Essential Needs

Essential needs are defined as:

  • Food, clothing, shelter, and other basic requirements of everyday living
  • Dental and eye care and other health needs not covered by public health services available to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents

Read more: Requirements for the Sponsor

Excessive Demand

An immigration officer may deny an individual entry into Canada if it is believed that the individual would place excessive demand on health or social services. An excessive demand is one for which the treatment costs are projected to exceed the average health and social service costs per person in Canada. The cost threshold, which is updated every year, is calculated by multiplying the per capita cost of Canadian health and social services by the anticipated length of stay of the individual applicant.

Read more: Medical Inadmissibility

Exclusion Order

An exclusion order requires a person to leave Canada within a year and obtain a Certificate of Departure that shows the date of departure. However, a person must apply for an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) in order to return to Canada within the year or if he or she does not have a Certificate of Departure.

Read more: Legal Options

Express Entry

Express Entry is the new electronic management application system for immigration to Canada. It is not a new immigration program. Rather, it facilitates the selection and processing of Canada’s economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class, the Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs. Applicants make an "expression of interest" (EOI) in immigrating to Canada and, if they are eligible for at least one of the aforementioned programs, they then enter the Express Entry pool. The federal government and provincial governments, as well as Canadian employers, are then able to select candidates from this pool who will then receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for immigration to Canada under one of the programs.Express Entry aims to fast track the processing of skilled immigrants deemed most likely to succeed in Canada.

Read more: Express Entry

Express Entry Pool

The Express Entry pool includes candidates who are eligible for at least one of Canada’s economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and select Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Placement in the Express Entry Pool is based on the eligibility derived from the Express Entry Profile.

Read more: Express Entry Pool

Express Entry Profile

Potential candidates make an expression of interest in coming to Canada by creating an Express Entry profile and providing information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education and other personal information. This profile is self-declared; that is to say that the material provided by the potential candidate is based on his or her own assessment of his or her personal information.

Read more: Express Entry Profile

F

Family Class

Under the Family Class, citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are at least 18 years old can sponsor a spouse, conjugal or common-law partner, dependent child, or other eligible relative to come to Canada. Of course, to sponsor a relative, the sponsor must meet the sponsorship requirements.

Read more: Family Class Immigration

Family Members

For immigration purposes, a person's family member means a:

  • Spouse or common-law partner;
  • Dependent child;
  • Spouse's or common law partner's dependent child; and
  • Dependent child of a dependent child

Read more: Eligibility and Qualifications FAQ

Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)

Formerly: Federal Skilled Trades Program

This category allows immigrants to be chosen based on their potential to become economically established in Canada. The FSTC allows individuals with job offers or appropriate certification to work in certain occupations to obtain Canadian permanent residence in any Canadian province or territory other than Quebec. Eligible candidates must make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada through the Express Entry selection system.

Read more: Federal Skilled Trades

Federal Skilled Worker Class

This category allows immigrants to be chosen as permanent residents based on their ability to participate in the Canadian labour market. They are chosen based on their education, work experience, English and/or French skills, and other factors that show they will thrive in Canada. Points are awarded to applicants based on such factors; 67 points out of 100 are required to pass.

Read more: Federal Skilled Worker

Felony

See Indictable offence

Field Operations Support System (FOSS)

Like CAIPS, the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) is a computer system that tracks all immigration-related information. It keeps a record of every Canadian immigration and visa application that is made within Canada at the port of entry. Also like CAIPS, it is being replaced by GCMS.

Financial Ability

Sponsors must demonstrate that they have the financial ability to provide for the essential needs of the sponsored person and their dependents. To meet the financial ability requirements, the sponsor must satisfy minimum income requirements.

Read more: Financial Ability

Foreign National

A foreign national is someone who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. Foreign nationals also include stateless persons. Before entering Canada, a foreign national must apply to a Canadian Immigration Officer for a visa or any other document the regulations require. If the officer is satisfied that the foreign national meets the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and is not inadmissible, the officer may issue the visa or document.

Full-Time Student

To be considered a Full-time student for the purposes of being a dependent child under the Family Sponsorship category, the student may need to demonstrate that:

  • They are enrolled at a valid post-secondary institution; and
  • Attending this institution is the dominant activity in the life of the student

Read more: Education

Full-Time Study

A study schedule with a minimum of 15 hours of instruction per week during the academic year, including any period of training in the workplace that is part of the student’s studies. Full-time requirements can also vary depending on the institution; therefore, students should contact their school regarding any additional full-time requirements.

Read more: Education

Full-Time Equivalent

Part-time or accelerated studies will be considered equivalent to full-time studies if they are equal to the total amount of time required to complete those studies on a full-time basis.

Read more: Education

Full-Time Work

“Full-time work” means working at least 30 hours over a period of one week, where work refers to an activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned.

For applications in the Federal Skilled Worker Class, working the equivalent amount of time through part-time paid work experience will satisfy the work experience requirement as long as more than one part-time job is held simultaneously or one or more part-time jobs are held over the equivalent of at least one year of full-time work. The part-time job or jobs have to be held over a continuous period.

Read more: Work

G

General Draw

Each draw will contain a set of instructions. In the event that the draw does not pertain to a specific program, stated in the instructions, the draw will apply to all candidates meeting the specified rank according to the CRS.

Read more: Invitations To Apply Issued

Global Case Management System (GCMS)

The Global Case Management System (GCMS) is a computer system that has integrated the FOSS and CAIPS notes systems together. CAIPS notes keep track of application information for Canadian immigration applicants from outside of Canada, while FOSS notes are taken for Canadian immigration applicants at the port of entry in Canada. GCMS is used to process applications for citizenship and immigration services and stores personal information for this purpose. For example, it collects information related to client identification, contact information and history, and educational and employment information.

Government Processing Fees

See Cost-Recovery Fee

H

Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds is an option of last resort for applicants who would not otherwise be eligible for permanent residence in Canada (and it can only be requested if the individual is applying for permanent resident status). It can only be argued in exceptional circumstances and each case is reviewed on an individual basis. Factors that are taken into account, among others, are the best interests of children involved, family in Canada, and how settled the person is in Canada.

Read more: Legal Options

Hybrid Offence

A hybrid offence is an offence that may be prosecuted in Canada either by way of indictment or summary conviction. The prosecution decides how the offence will be prosecuted.

A conviction for an act outside Canada that is equivalent to a hybrid offence in Canada will be considered an indictable offence for immigration purposes. Even if the conviction was a summary conviction in the location where it occurred, it will still be considered an indictable offence by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as long as the offence is equivalent to a hybrid offence in Canada.

Read more: Inadmissibility Criminality

I

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

It is an administrative tribunal that consists of the Immigration Division, Immigration Appeals Division, Refugee Protection Division, and the Refugee Appeals Division. It makes important decisions on immigration and refugee matters ranging from sponsorships to removal orders.

Immigration Medical Examination

In order to satisfy the medical requirements for permanent residency, applicants and their dependents must undergo medical examinations from a designated medical practitioner. The medical examinations must be medically valid at the time permanent residency is granted.

Read more: Medical Examination FAQ

Immigration Officer

A Canadian immigration officer examines immigration documents and conducts interviews in order to ensure that immigration applications are accurate. Immigration officers are in charge of deciding who can and cannot enter and remain in the country.

Read more: Personal Interview

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Formerly: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)

IRCC develops and implements policies, programs, and services that facilitate the arrival of people and their integration into Canada, protects refugees and people in need of protection, and promotes the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. It also grants citizenship, issues travel documents (such as passports), promotes multiculturalism, and advances migration policies in a way that supports Canada’s immigration and humanitarian objectives, among other things.

Read more: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Immigration Representative

An immigration representative is an individual who has the permission of a potential Canadian immigrant or citizen to conduct business with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on their behalf. When an individual appoints a representative, he or she may also authorize IRCC to share information from his or her case file with the representative. Using the services of an immigration representative can help to make the complex immigration process more seamless and pain-free. The credibility, knowledge and experience of the representative is of critical importance. Applicants should not assume that individuals who make claims of expertise are qualified, or even permitted, under Canadian legislation, to handle the crucial matters associated with Canadian Immigration applications.

Read more: Professional Credentials

Implied Status

If a visitor, student, or foreign worker applies to extend their status, before that status expires, they can legally remain in Canada until a decision is made on the application. In this situation, the person has implied status.

Read more: Implied Status

Inadmissibility

Being inadmissible to Canada means that an individual is not allowed to enter the country. However, if the individual has a valid reason to come to Canada, he or she may be granted a temporary resident permit (TRP). Reasons for being inadmissible include being deemed a security risk, having a serious health or financial problem, lying in an application or in an interview, and being convicted of a crime among others.

Read more: Inadmissibility

Indictable Offence

Also known as: Felony

Indictable offences, in comparison to summary offences, are more serious criminal offences and are similar to a felony in the United States. They include theft over $5,000, breaking and entering, aggravated sexual assault, and murder among others. Maximum penalties tend to be higher for indictable offences and include life in prison.

Read more: Criminality and Rehabilitation

Individual Rehabilitation

Persons who are inadmissible to Canada on grounds of serious criminality and anyone else who does not qualify for deemed rehabilitation may still enter Canada if they qualify for individual rehabilitation.

A person must apply for individual rehabilitation to the Minister of Immigration, who has the authority to grant it or not. In order to apply, a person must meet the criteria, be rehabilitated, and be likely to not commit future crimes. Further, at least five years must have passed since either the end of the criminal sentence (including probation), or the day on which the act was committed.

Read more: Individual Rehabilitation

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an international standardized test that assesses proficiency in English for non-native English speakers. The test can be used to prove English ability for immigration and citizenship purposes. There are two versions of the test, however only the "General Training" option is considered acceptable for immigration applications. IELTS tests four language components: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Candidates receive a score of 1-9 for each component and the average of these four scores will provide the overall band score. 

Read more: Proving English Language Ability - IELTS

Invitation to Apply (ITA)

The Invitation to Apply (ITA) is granted to Express Entry applicants who possess the highest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores at the time of the draw. The ITA has a duration of 60 days meaning that the candidate must submit a complete application to IRCC within 60 days of receiving it.

Read more: Invitation To Apply For Permanent Residence

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Job Bank

The job bank is an electronic database of job postings by employers across Canada. Registration with the job bank is required for those candidates who do not have a job offer in order to submit their Express Entry profile. The registered candidates’ skills, knowledge, and expertise can be linked to corresponding potential Canadian employers.

Read more: Find Work In Canada

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Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Formerly: Labour Market Opinion (LMO)

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a process in which Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) verifies and evaluates a job offer to make sure a foreign worker’s employment will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labor market. It is the employer’s job to describe the position for which they are looking to hire a foreign worker. ESDC will take into account a number of factors when deciding to issue an LMIA including whether the foreign worker’s salary will be consistent with the average for that occupation and whether hiring the foreign worker will help create jobs for Canadians or allow Canadians to keep the jobs they currently have.

Read more: Labour Market Impact Assessment

Read more: Labour Market Impact Assessment for Express Entry

Language Skills

A maximum of 28 points can be awarded for Language Skills under the Federal Skilled Worker selection criteria. Points in this category are awarded based on writing, speaking, reading, and listening proficiency in either English or French. To get points, the applicant must provide his or her results from a language test approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for each language (see Approved Testing Organizations), and both languages must be submitted at the same time if the applicant would like to get points for both.

Read more: Language Skills

Lock-In Age

The "lock-in age" refers to the point when the age of dependent children included in the application are locked in for the purpose of age requirements. The dependent child's age is locked-in the moment the sponsorship application and fees have been received by the Canadian Immigration Visa Office. The dependent child must be under 19 years of age on the day the completed application and fees are received.

Read more: Dependent Child Sponsorship

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Medical Inadmissibility

Individuals wishing to enter Canada, either permanently or temporarily as visitors, foreign workers, and international students, may be denied entry if they or their dependents are deemed medically inadmissible.

A person may be considered inadmissible if he or she:

  • Is a danger to public health or safety; or
  • Would cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada

Read more: Medical Inadmissibility

Medical Validity

Medical examinations used for satisfying medical admissibility requirements may only be used for 12 months from the date when the examination occurred. If an applicant for permanent residence is not admitted to Canada as a permanent resident within this time, they will be required to have another medical examination.

Read more: Medical Examinations FAQ

Minimum Income Requirement

To determine if a sponsor's total income is sufficient for financial ability requirements, there is a table found here that shows the basic income requirements a sponsor must have to meet the needs of his or her family. The income required increases with each additional family member and is calculated over a 12-month period. There are separate requirements for Quebec and the rest of Canada.

Read more: Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for Family Sponsorship

Minimum Work Experience Requirements

To be eligible to apply as a Skilled Worker, a person must have at least one year of continuous, full-time (1560 hours) paid work experience in the same occupation within the last 10 years or the equivalent in continuous part-time work. The work must be in a skilled occupation listed in Skill Type 0, A, or B of Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC), having performed all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.

Read more: Work Experience

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is responsible for the administration of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and for overseeing the federal government department, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which is responsible for citizenship, refugee, and immigration issues.

Read more: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Minor Criminal Inadmissibility

If a person has committed a minor criminal offence, that person may be eligible to receive a permit authorizing re-entry into Canada. A criminal offence is minor if:

  • It did not involve damage to property;
  • It did not involve drugs (except for simple possession of marijuana/hashish);
  • It did not involve physical harm/violence;
  • It resulted in a suspended sentence or probation (unless it was the result of plea bargaining);
  • On probation, the person has been fulfilling his conditions; and
  • There are no more than two convictions.

Read more: Criminal Inadmissibility Problems

Misrepresentation

Making false statements, submitting false information or false/altered documents, or withholding information relevant to an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is known as misrepresentation and will result in penalties, depending on the nature and severity of the false claim. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application is truthful and that the supporting documents are genuine, and he or she may be found to have misrepresented him or herself whether or not that misrepresentation was intentional. A potential candidate who has been found to have provided false information going into the Express Entry pool can be banned from re-entering the pool for five years.

Lying on an application or in an interview with an IRCC officer is also considered an offence under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act. The act of misrepresentation bars a person from being granted Canadian citizenship for five years and if the misrepresentation is found to have occurred after someone becomes a citizen, their citizenship can be revoked and they must wait ten years before being granted citizenship again.

Read more: Invitation To Apply For Permanent Residence

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National Occupational Classification (NOC)

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is the official Canadian government classification system of occupations. The NOC groups occupations in the Canadian economy by skill type and level based on the necessary tasks, duties, and responsibilities and each occupation is given an NOC code in the form of a four digit number. Since May 4, 2013, applications received in the Federal Skilled Worker Class are assessed using the 2011 edition of the NOC.

Read more: Occupation Skill Level Classifier

Non-Accompanying Family Members

Canadian immigration requirements apply to applicants and their dependents regardless of whether those dependent family members are accompanying them or not. Non-accompanying family members must still:

  • Pass examinations to show they are medically admissible to Canada; and
  • Not be criminally inadmissible to Canada; and
  • Have a sponsor who has the financial ability to provide for both accompanying and non-accompanying family members

Read more: Eligibility Qualifications FAQ

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Open Work Permit

An Open Work Permit is a permit that is not dependent on a job and no job offer is required for the permit to be granted. A Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is not required since the Open Work Permit does not require a job offer. Open Work Permits may be applied for by the spouses/common-law partners of foreign temporary workers or foreign students and by international students who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution.

Read more: Open Work Permit

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Panel Physician

Formerly: Designated Medical Practitioner

Panel Physicians, formerly known as Designated Medical Practitioners, perform medical examinations to determine whether prospective immigrants pose a health risk to Canadians. All prospective immigrants must have a medical exam before coming to Canada.

Read more: Medical Examinations FAQ

Pass Mark

To qualify as a Skilled Worker, an applicant must receive a pass mark of 67 points based on the six selection factors (education, language skills, work experience, age, arranged employment, and adaptability). While it is generally difficult to qualify as a Skilled Worker with a score under 67, Canadian Immigration Visa Officers are authorized to use substituted evaluations if they believe that a score is not indicative of the applicant's ability to become economically established in Canada.

Read more: Skilled Worker

Permanent Resident

A permanent resident is someone who has acquired permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada. This is not the same as being a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents have the right to live, work, and study in Canada, receive most social benefits like health care, be protected under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and apply for Canadian citizenship. However, a permanent resident cannot vote, run for political office, or hold a job that requires a high-level security clearance. Permanent residency status can be taken away if a permanent resident does not live in Canada for two out of five years, is convicted of a serious crime and is instructed to leave Canada, or becomes a Canadian citizen.

Read more: Canadian Permanent Residency

Physical Residency

Physical residency within Canada is required of all sponsors under the Family Sponsorship category.

The only exception to this requirement is for Canadian citizens sponsoring a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent child if they do not have dependent children of their own and have not been convicted of an offence causing bodily harm.

Under no circumstance can a permanent resident that lives abroad sponsor a family member from outside Canada.

Read more: Sponsorship Requirements

Police Clearance Certificate

Also called: Certificate of Non-Criminal Activity

Applicants for permanent residency are required to provide police certificates from their country of current residence and from each country in which the applicant has resided for more than six months since his or her 18th birthday. These certificates can generally be obtained from law enforcement agencies and are used to provide Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with the applicant's criminal history.

Read more: Security Clearances

Polygamous Marriage

Polygamous marriages occur when either of the spouses already has a spouse, and has gone through a further marriage ceremony without divorcing. For Canadian immigration purposes, the first marriage is the only one that will be recognized.

Read more: Spousal And Common-law Partner Sponsorship

Post-Graduation Work Permit

The post-graduation work permit is a work permit that can be granted to a student for the length of the student’s post-graduate study program up to a maximum of three years. The program must also be a minimum of eight months. The student must have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to qualify. Graduates can use the work experience they have gained through the post-graduation work permit program (PGWPP) to qualify for permanent residency in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Read more: Post-Graduation Work Permit

Processing Priorities

Certain categories of applications for Family Sponsorship are processed faster than others. While processing times vary considerably, applications for adopted children tend to be processed more quickly than for spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children, which in turn are processed more quickly than applications for parents and grandparents.

Read more: Family Class Immigration

Processing Times

Processing times refers to the expected time it may take to process an application to immigrate to, work in, study in, or visit Canada.

Read more: Canada Immigration Processing Times tool

Program Integrity

In order to ensure program integrity, a Canadian Immigration Visa Office may transfer a file to another Canadian Immigration Visa Office. It will do so, for example, if it believes that another Visa Office is better suited to effectively evaluate documents. Knowledge of local security and criminality environments or familiarity with business practices and procedures are some reasons why one Visa Office might be better suited than another to evaluate documents.

Program-Specific Draw

Each draw will contain a set of instructions. A Program-Specific draw applies only to candidates holding the specified rank, as well as those qualifying based on the eligibility requirements of the specified program.

Read more: Invitations To Apply Issued

Provincial Nomination

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows provinces to nominate immigrants they believe will contribute to the economic vitality of their province. Many provinces have PNP streams aligned with the federal Express Entry selection system. The selection criteria for the specific PNP streams are determined by individual provinces, but in many cases they are similar to the selection criteria for Federal Skilled Workers. To be eligible for one of the Express Entry PNP streams, candidates must create an Express Entry profile online and must enter the federal Express Entry pool. By receiving a Provincial Nomination, a candidate is awarded an extra 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which significantly improves his or her chance of being invited to apply for permanent residence. 

Read more: Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Provincial Nomination Certificate

The Provincial Nomination Certificate is a document issued by Provincial authorities indicating that the person designated on the certificate has been selected to reside within the territory of that province. The certificate is not a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa and cannot be utilized for entry into Canada.

Read more: Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

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Qualifying Business

Entrepreneur and investor applicants have to meet certain business experience requirements, one of which is to manage and have equity in a qualifying business. A qualifying business is one in which the percentage of the business controlled by the applicant meets at least two of the following thresholds in one year:

  • The percentage of equity multiplied by the number of full-time job equivalents is equal to or greater than two full-time job equivalents per year;
  • The percentage of equity multiplied by the total annual sales is equal to or greater than $500,000;
  • The percentage of equity multiplied by the net income in the year is equal to or greater than $50,000; and
  • The percentage of equity multiplied by the net assets at the end of the year is equal to or greater than $125,000.

Read more: Canadian Business Immigration

Qualifying Canadian Business

A business operated in Canada by an entrepreneur (other than a business operated primarily for the purpose of deriving investment income, such as interest, dividends, or capital gains) for which there is in any year, within the period of three years after the day the entrepreneur becomes a permanent resident, documentary evidence of any two of the following:

  • The percentage of equity multiplied by the number of full-time job equivalents is equal to or greater than two full-time job equivalents per year;
  • The percentage of equity multiplied by the total annual sales is equal to or greater than $250,000;
  • The percentage of equity multiplied by the net income in the year is equal to or greater than $25,000; and
  • The percentage of equity multiplied by the net assets at the end of the year is equal to or greater than $125,000.

Read more: Canadian Business Immigration

Qualifying Offer of Arranged Employment

A qualifying offer of arranged employment, within the Express Entry immigration selection system, means that the candidate holds a job offer supported by a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from a Canadian employer.

Read more: Arranged Employment

Quebec Minimum Income Requirement

For sponsors residing in Quebec, the sponsor must prove a steady income that has consistently exceeded the low-income cut-off over the last 12 months in order to meet the financial ability criteria. Sponsors may also have a co-signer wherein both the sponsor and co-signer’s incomes will be taken into account when judging whether there is sufficient income to meet the basic needs of the sponsor’s family unit.

Read more: Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for Family Sponsorship

Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)

The Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) is a document issued by Quebec Immigration authorities (Immigration et Communautés culturelles) indicating that the person designated on the certificate has been selected to reside within the territory of the Province of Quebec. The CSQ is not a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa and cannot be utilized for entry into Canada.

Read more: Quebec Selection Certificate

Quebec Skilled Worker

Those immigrating to Quebec as Skilled Workers must apply directly to Quebec. Quebec Skilled Workers are assessed on a selection grid slightly different than that used for Federal Skilled Workers; they must settle and intend to find employment in Quebec, hold at least one diploma that is equivalent to a Secondary School Diploma or a Diploma of Vocational Studies in Quebec, and have employable skills to facilitate integration into the job market. French language skills are also very important.

Read more: Quebec Skilled Worker Program

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Rehabilitation Factors

Rehabilitation factors are the characteristics looked at to decide whether someone qualifies for individual rehabilitation from criminal activity. A person can apply for rehabilitation when five years have passed since the criminal act was committed and all criminal sentences have been completed. An individual must be judged to no longer present a risk of criminality. Factors taken into account include:

  • A stable lifestyle
  • Community ties
  • Social and vocational skills
  • That the criminal offence was an isolated event

Read more: Individual Rehabilitation

Relationships of Convenience

A relationship of convenience may be any marriage, common-law relationship, or conjugal relationship that Canadian Immigration Officers believe was undertaken solely for the purpose of immigrating to Canada. Officers have the discretion to deny permanent residency to any Family Sponsorship application if they believe that the application was based on such a relationship. In all sponsorship applications, genuineness of the relationship in question must be demonstrated to the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer.

Read more: Spousal And Common-law Partner Sponsorship

Removal Order

When a Canadian Immigration officer orders a person to leave Canada, the person is issued a removal order. There are three types of removal orders of increasing severity:

  • Departure order
  • Exclusion order
  • Deportation order

Read more: Legal Options

Restricted Occupations

Restricted occupations cannot be used to satisfy the minimum requirements for Skilled Workers, nor can points be awarded for work experience in a restricted occupation. Restricted occupations are defined by the government and differ over time.

Read more: Work Experience

Right of Permanent Residency Fee

In addition to the cost-recovery fee necessary to have a permanent residency application processed, successful permanent residency applicants must also pay a Right of Permanent Residency Fee (RPRF). This fee applies to:

  • The principal applicant; and
  • Any accompanying spouse, common-law or conjugal partner

The RPRF can be paid at any time during the application process, but it must be paid before the Canada Immigration Visa is issued. Persons who have already paid the RPRF may be refunded if they:

  • Are not granted a Canada Immigration Visa; or
  • Cancel their permanent residency application; or
  • Are granted a Canada Immigration Visa but decide not to come to Canada.

Read more: Government Fees and Application Costs FAQ

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Selection Criteria

An applicant to the Federal Skilled Worker Class must be capable of becoming economically established in Canada. In order to demonstrate that this is the case, a Canadian Immigration Officer will assess applicants based on six selection criteria once their applications have met all the minimum requirements:

  1. Education
  2. Language Skills
  3. Work Experience
  4. Age
  5. Arranged Employment
  6. Adaptability

Read more: Selection Factors

Serious Criminality

Serious criminality, like “criminality,” can result in criminal inadmissibility and serve as the basis for being denied entry to Canada. However, unlike criminality, serious criminality is grounds for inadmissibility when a permanent resident or foreign national has been convicted inside Canada of an indictable offence punishable by a maximum sentence of at least 10 years, or has committed an indictable or hybrid offence outside Canada that would be punishable by 10 years or more if the act had been an equivalent offence committed in Canada.

Read more: Serious Criminality

Service Provider Organization (SPO)

SPOs provide useful services for newcomers to Canada in order to ease the transition to life and work in Canada. These programs have been made available in order to facilitate the adoption of day-to-day tasks such as finding an apartment, using public transportation, or booking medical appointments. Service Provider Organizations are also available to offer services such as interpretation and translation.

Read more: Settlement In Canada

Settlement Funds

Prospective immigrants applying for permanent residency must prove that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependents for at least six months upon arrival in Canada. The funds must be available and transferrable. However, if the applicant has arranged employment in Canada, then he or she does not need to prove sufficient settlement funds.

Read more: Settlement Funds

Sponsor

A sponsor is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is willing to sponsor an eligible relative to become a Canadian permanent resident. The sponsor must also meet the sponsorship requirements.

Read more: Requirements for the Sponsor

Sponsorship Agreement

Under the Family Sponsorship category, the Canadian sponsor must enter into a sponsorship agreement with:

  • The Government of Canada or Quebec, whereby he or she agrees to provide the sponsored person(s) with their essential needs for a prescribed period of time; and
  • The sponsored relative whereby the sponsor promises to support the sponsored person(s) for a prescribed period of time, and the sponsored person(s) promises to make every effort to become self-supporting.

The sponsor must also agree to repay the government for any social assistance payments it made to the sponsored person. When the sponsored person or persons is a dependent child who is 22 or older, a spouse, a common-law partner, or a conjugal partner, this financial obligation to the government commences when the person or persons being sponsored become permanent residents and continues for three years. If the dependent child is under 22, the obligation begins when the child becomes a permanent resident of Canada and continues for 10 years or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first. When sponsoring parents and grandparents, the sponsorship obligation lasts 20 years from the date on which the parent or grandparent becomes a permanent resident. For all other family members, the obligation lasts for 10 years.

The sponsor’s obligations must be met regardless of whether relationships have changed between the sponsor and sponsored person(s) including divorce.

Read more: Family Class Immigration

Sponsored Person

A sponsored person is a prospective immigrant who has applied for permanent residency under the Family Sponsorship category, meets the requirements of the category, and has an eligible Canadian sponsor.

Read more: Family Class Immigration

Sponsorship Requirements

In addition to being a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, a sponsor must:

  • Demonstrate a financial ability to meet the essential needs of the sponsored person and their dependents; and
  • Enter into a sponsorship agreement with the sponsored person and the government of Canada
  • Have physical residency in Canada

In addition, the sponsor must be: at least 18 years old; not in prison; not bankrupt; not under a removal order if a permanent resident; and not charged with a serious offence.

Read more: Sponsorship Requirements

Spouse

A sponsored person is defined as a spouse if they are married to their sponsor and their marriage is legally valid. In addition:

For those married in Canada:

The marriage is valid if a Certificate of Marriage was issued by the province or territory where the marriage took place. Citizens or permanent residents of Canada who were married in Canada and received a Certificate of Marriage by a Canadian province or territory (after certain dates that vary by the province or territory) can sponsor their same-sex partner as a spouse.

For those married outside Canada:

The marriage must be valid under the law of the country where it took place as well as under Canadian law. If the marriage was performed in an embassy or consulate, it must follow the law of the country where it took place opposed to the country the embassy or consulate represents. One can sponsor his or her same-sex partner as a spouse as long as the marriage is legally valid under the law of the place where the marriage took place and under Canadian law.

Read more: Spousal And Common-law Partner Sponsorship

Substituted Evaluation

Substituted evaluations may be used by Canadian Immigration Visa Officers when the applicant meets the minimum requirements and they believe that an applicant's selection criteria score is not a good indicator of the applicant's ability to become economically established in Canada. This allows the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer to set aside the applicant's score and determine, based on their own judgment, the likelihood of the ability of the skilled worker to become economically established in Canada. A second Canadian Immigration Visa Officer must agree with the original Officer’s substituted evaluation.

Read more: Substituted Evaluation

Summary Offence

Summary offences, in comparison to indictable offences, are minor offences in the Criminal Code such as causing a disturbance. They are similar to misdemeanors in the United States. Unless otherwise stated, summary offences are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, six months in jail, or both.

Read more: Criminality

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Temporary Entry

Prospective immigrants can overcome inadmissibility and be permitted to enter Canada for a limited period of time. In order to decide whether to grant temporary entry, a Canadian immigration officer will weigh the need to enter Canada, considering things such as family ties and the purpose of the person’s presence in Canada, and the risk of entering, including health risks, risks of criminal activity, and the risk that the foreign national will not leave at the end of the approved stay.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) allows foreign workers to come to Canada and work for employers who cannot find qualified Canadian workers. Foreign workers can only work for a limited period of time in Canada through this program. The program’s goal is to fill labour needs in the country while making sure that Canadians are not displaced as a result, so employers must prove that Canadian workers cannot fill their job openings prior to hiring foreign workers.

Read more: Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) may be granted to a foreign national who is otherwise inadmissible, but has a reason to travel to Canada that is justified in the circumstances. It allows a foreign national to come to Canada for a limited period of time. To be eligible for a TRP, the applicant’s need to enter or stay in Canada must outweigh the health or safety risks to Canadian society, as determined by an immigration or a border services officer. A TRP is only valid for the length of the visit to Canada so the foreign national must leave Canada by the expiry date of the permit, or get a new permit before the first one expires.

Read more: Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

Unless they are citizens of a visa-exempt country, individuals who wish to enter Canada for a temporary purpose, such as tourists, temporary foreign workers, and international students must apply for and be granted a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). The TRV is a document issued by a Canadian Immigration Visa Office outside Canada, showing that the holder has satisfied the requirements for admission to Canada as a visitor. TRVs may be for single entry or multiple entry. As a general rule, tourists are admitted for a period of six months. Temporary foreign workers and international students are admitted for varying periods of time, as determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Read more: Temporary Resident Visas

Test d'Évaluation du Français (TEF)

The Test d'Évaluation du Français (TEF) is a standardized test that assesses French language proficiency. The test can be used to prove French ability for immigration and citizenship purposes and is the only French language examination accepted for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. There are four language components on the test: compréhension de l’écrit, compréhension de l’orale, expression écrite, and expression orale. 

Read more: Proving French Language Ability - TEF/TEFaQ

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Work Experience

A maximum of 15 points can be awarded for Work Experience under the Skilled Worker selection criteria. Points are awarded for the number of years the applicant has spent in full-time paid work, which is at least 30 hours per week, or an equal amount of part-time work. To be valid, work experience:

  • Must be at least one year of full-time or part-time work in the same occupation that amounts to 1,560 hours
  • Must be paid;
  • Has to have occurred in the past 10 years;
  • Has to be classified at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Finally, the duties performed must match those described in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC. This included all the essential duties and most of the main duties that are listed.

Read more: Work Experience

Work Permits

A foreign national in Canada on a temporary resident permit (TRP) can apply for a work permit if they want to work during their stay. A Canadian immigration officer should issue a work permit to a permit holder who is in financial need if the TRP is valid for at least six months. Work permits can also be issued for other reasons such as if a person is already working in Canada and has been approved for permanent residency under certain classes, or has a spouse who is a foreign student or skilled worker in an occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A, or B.

Read more: Temporary Work Permit

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