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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is permanent residence?

When people apply for immigration to Canada, they are in fact applying for a permanent residence visa. Permanent residence is a status that allows an immigrant to legally reside and earn a living anywhere in Canada while abiding by the country’s constitutional laws. In the U.S, Such status is granted with what is known informally as Green Card.

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 22 years. If they are 22 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 requirement. 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 are common-law spouse or same-sex partner does not qualify as an independent immigration, an immigrant Visa may still be issued on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Who must attend an interview?

Interviews for the principal applicant and his/her adult dependants are generally required; however, they can be occasionally waived. If the applicant either shows that they have sufficient units to pass, or insufficient units with no chance of accumulating more in an interview, they are not likely to be interviewed. The interview is used to verify the information provided in the application, to assess the applicants’ command of English/French languages, and to determine the personal suitability of applicants to successfully settle in Canada.

Is there any advantage to having relatives in Canada?

Yes, having relatives in Canada can improve your potential for meeting the minimum criteria for immigration. Only close families are acceptable. Your relative can be your or your spouse’s brother, sister, mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew. An established relative is seen to facilitate your adaptability into Canadian society.

Are there any other fees associated with the immigration process outside of your consultation fees?

Yes, as stated above, there is a filing fee in the amount of CAD$550.00 for the principal applicant and each dependent aged 22 and above, and CAD$150.00 for dependents under the age of 22.

Unlike your right of permanent residence fee, this (cost of recovery fee or processing fee as detailed above) is NOT refundable in the event that your application is not accepted as it goes to the Canadian Government.

There is also a Right of Landing fee in the amount of CAD$490.00 which applies to you and each dependent 22 years of age and above. This fee is refundable in the event that you are not able to land in Canada for any reason.

What is the Right of Landing Fee or Right of Permanent Residence Fee?

The right of landing fee (ROLF) or RPRF is paid for the right to obtain permanent resident status in Canada. The fee is partial compensation for the many benefits and privileges that permanent resident status confers.

Every person aged 22 and over who applies for permanent resident status, whether at a post abroad or in Canada, must pay the fee. Every person who applies to sponsor a family member aged 22 or over must also pay the right of landing fee on behalf of that dependent family member.

The Immigrant Loans Program allows persons in genuine need of assistance, who can demonstrate an ability to repay, to obtain a loan to pay the Right of Landing Fee.

The applicant normally pays the ROLF along with the application-processing fee at the time of application, but may have the option of deferring payment of the ROLF to any other time during the process.

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.

Will my dependents and I be required to undergo a medical examination?

Yes, you and any dependent will be required to undergo a medical examination by a physician designated by the Canadian Government.

Tell me more about the medical examination procedure please?

Sure, you must pass a medical examination before coming to Canada. Your dependants must also pass a medical examination even if they are not coming with you.

Applications for permanent residence will not be accepted if that person’s health:

  • is a danger to public health or safety; or
  • would cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada.
Medical Examination Instructions on how to take the medical examination will normally be sent to you after you submit your application to the Visa Office.

You can only use your examination results in your application for 12 months from when you had the examination. If you are not admitted to Canada as a permanent resident within this time, you will be required to undergo another examination.

Medical Report Procedures:

Medical reports and x-rays for the medical examination become the property of the Canadian Immigration Medical Authorities and cannot be returned to you. The doctor will not tell you the results of the medical examination. The doctor will let you know if you have a health-related problem. The DMP does not make the final decision. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will make the final decision on whether or not your medical examination has been passed for immigration purposes.

Do I have to submit a police clearance?

Yes. You must submit a police clearance for you and your dependants from every county where you have resided for more than six months in the last ten years.

What medical conditions require surveillance?

Applicants will be placed under medical surveillance if the results of their immigration medical examination for entry to Canada show that they have:
  • inactive tuberculosis (TB);or
  • evidence of a previous syphilis infection that has been treated prior to entering Canada.
There are specialized clinics in Canada for treating people who are HIV positive. All HIV positive migrants granted entry to Canada will receive a Health Follow-up Handout: “HIV Infection” to assist them in obtaining medical care in Canada.

Am I required to have a certain amount of assets?

The Government of Canada does not provide financial support to new skilled worker immigrants. You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependant’s after you arrive in Canada. You cannot borrow this money from another person. You must be able to use this money to support your family. You will need to provide proof of your funds when you submit your application for immigration. The amount of money that you need to have to support your family is determined by the size of your family. While these are the lowest possible sums of money required to qualify, we suggest you should have much more than the required minimum mentioned here.

Number of Family MembersFunds Required (In Canadian dollars)
1$10,601
2$13,198
3$16,225
4$19,700
5$22,343
6$25,199
7 or more$28,055

You do not have to show that you have these funds if you have arranged employment in Canada.

How Much Money Should I bring into Canada when I land?

Find out how much it costs to live where you are planning to settle in Canada.
  • Bring as much money as possible to make moving and finding a home in Canada easier.
  • You will not be taxed if you bring your money when you come in right away.
  • Talk to a good Tax Consultant who will guide you accordingly.
Disclosure of funds: If you are carrying more than CDN$10,000, tell a Canadian official when you arrive in Canada.If you do not tell an official you may be fined or put in prison. These funds could be in the form of:
  • cash;
  • securities in bearer from (for example: stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills);or
  • negotiable instruments in bearer from (for example: bankers’ drafts, travelers’ cheques, money orders.)
Can I apply to a Canadian visa office, which is not responsible for the area in which I reside?

No you cannot do so anymore. 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 period of at least 1 year.

When must I submit the supporting documentation?

Each visa office has specific timing requirements, but usually, supporting documents are submitted at the same time as your completed application forms and processing fees.

Some Visa offices insist that the entire file be submitted at once, and may even return incomplete files without acknowledging receipt.

In what Language must my supporting documentation be submitted?

All supporting documentation in 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?

No you can no longer fill up form and pay a fee or request to have your file transferred. In the past many applicants used this as a ploy to delay the processing and finalization of their cases.

Immigration officials are now required to transfer applications only in those cases which in doing so would enhance program integrity.

Visa offices can always refuse to transfer a case.

How long does the immigration process take?

The average processing time of all worldwide visa offices is approximately 12-18 months or more for applications where a selection interview is required. Since each case is unique and based on the circumstances of the case, and the office at which the application is submitted. Processing time may be as short as 7 months or as long as 40 months or more. Can you say a few words about the Elementary and Secondary School Education for Newcomers or would be immigrants?

Public Education for children is run by the provincial governments and is paid for through taxes. Public education is free and available to every child in Canada.

By law, children must attend school until the age of 15 or 16. In some provinces there are separate public school boards reflecting different religious and languages preferences.

Generally, the language of instruction is either English or French. If a student has difficulty with the language, he or she is usually given extra language training.

Boys and girls share classrooms and are taught together in almost all public schools. Teachers in all provinces are qualified and licensed.

What factors can slow down processing?

Here is a list of common factors that can slow the processing of your application:
  • Incomplete or unsigned application forms.
  • Incorrect, incomplete address or failure to notify the Canadian embassy/high commission, of a change of address.
  • Missing documents.
  • Unclear photocopies of documents.
  • Documents not accompanied by a certified English or French translation.
  • Investigation of sponsors by CIC.
  • Verification of information and documents provided (e.g., there may be lengthy procedures for background checks in the countries where the application or his or her family members have lived or need for a second interview for additional background screening).
  • A medical condition that may require additional tests or consultations.
  • A criminal or security problem (e.g., failure to declare family members or criminal charges pending).
  • Family situations such as impending divorce, custody or maintenance issues.
  • Completion of legal adoption.
  • Consultation is required with other offices in Canada and abroad.
  • Inquiring about the status of your application before the standard processing time has elapsed.
  • The applicant is not a permanent resident of the country in which he/she currently resides.
  • The application or his or her family members require an interview and reside in an area not regularly visited by immigration officials.
If your case is not routine, CIC may not be able to process your application within the regular service standards for routine cases. Consult us for additional information on processing times.

Do you know of any such organizations that help newly arrived immigrants in Ontario?

Yes, we can provide you with names and telephone numbers of organizations that actively help newly arrived immigrants.

Addional Frequently Asked Questions By Type of Case:

Canada Skilled Worker/Business Class Immigration Visa Policy
Canada Citizenship
Temporary Visa
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