Foreign Students

FAQs in Immigrating to Canada - Part I

Our lawyers at Long Mangalji LLP are often approached and asked about the process of immigrating to Canada. Below, we've collected some of the most frequently asked general questions regarding the Economic Class programs for your perusal.

  1. What are the best ways for me to immigrate to Canada based on my skills and experience?

Canada has a robust immigration system tailored to experienced skilled workers. The two most common techniques for immigrating are using Express Entry (EE) and the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). Express Entry is a points-based assessment that allocates a score based on your background; evaluating factors include work experience (from both inside and outside of Canada), education, age, and proficiency in the official languages, among other factors. Requirements for PNPs differ across the various provinces but generally require intent to reside in the province along with ties to the province. There are a myriad of streams in the provincial programs. Before starting an application, it's beneficial to contact a professional who is able to evaluate your background and advise you of your options. 

2. Will my family be able to come with me?

Yes! When applying for permanent residence in Canada, your spouse and dependent children under the age of 22 will be able to accompany you in your immigration application and move to Canada with you. 

3. Will a job offer mean that I can immigrate?

There are many streams that are available only to those with a high-skilled job offer in Canada. However, they generally require more than just a written offer of employment letter. For example, some provincial streams for individuals with a job offer require that you have the employer's support in your application and require the employer to not only meet certain criteria but also provide you with specific documents to support your application. In Express Entry, meeting the definition of "Arranged Employment" requires either that the employer obtains a Labour Market Impact Assessment or that you have a particular employer-specific work permit for an employer that you've worked with for over a year.

4. If I go to school in Canada, will I be able to immigrate?

Many international students study in Canada with the hopes of eventually applying for permanent residence. Studying in Canada is a great first step. Once you've completed your program, you may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit, which will allow you to work in Canada and subsequently qualify to apply for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class program. You will receive additional points in Express Entry for having completed post-secondary education in Canada. 

There are a few other programs that can be used by individuals who may not qualify under the above-mentioned options. Stay tuned for Part Two where we will review FAQs pertaining to alternative programs for permanent residence.

If you would like to learn more about applying for permanent residence or what program would best fit your background, contact us at (416) 548-9101, or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com.

Immigration Landmines for Students

While studying in Canada is an excellent path to permanent residence, there are many landmines an international student will want to avoid along the way.

Here are some pieces of advice we have for students:

  • Post-graduation work permits (PGWP): Each international student is only allowed ONE post-graduation work permit, so use it wisely! There are no renewals and no second permits, even if you return to study in another full-time program.

  • Ineligible post-secondary institutions: Not all post-secondary schools or programs qualify under the post-graduation work permit program. It's important to make sure that both your school and program qualify before investing the time and money into studying.

  • Working illegally: While your study permit allows you to work in Canada, there are limitations and restrictions that you need to be familiar with. Any period of unauthorized work (even if it happens by accident) can cause serious problems for your future immigration applications - make sure you know your conditions of work before taking on any new job.

  • Dropping out (and losing status): Thinking of taking a break from school? Your status in Canada will expire 90 days from the date on which you stop studying - even if the expiry date on your study permit comes later. If you are planning to leave your academic program, you may need to first apply for a work permit or visitor record to avoid being without status in Canada.

To speak with one of our lawyers to discuss your case, please contact us at (416) 548-9101, or by by email at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com

Ontario PNP Quotas Filled for 2016

The Ontario government has just announced that its quotas for accepting most applications under its provincial nominee program (OINP) are full.  The following applications will no longer be accepted for at least the next 6 months and will be returned:     

  • Masters and PhD Graduate program applications submitted after May 9, 2016.

  • Invitations for the Express Entry stream for those in the Human Capital Priority Stream (Express Entry applicants with over 400 CRS points) will no longer be issued during this period.  Invitations for those in the French-speaking stream are still being issued.

  • Employer Pre-screen applications for Foreign Workers and International Graduates submitted after May 9, 2016.  Those applications with Employer Pre-screens approved are still able to submit their applications within the 60 day deadline period.

If you are affected by these changes, contact us at (416) 548-9101, or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com.  

To sign up for our newsletter to ensure that you will receive future emails on immigration changes, click here.

 

Sincerely,

Long Mangalji LLP

Upcoming Student Seminars

Together with student groups at universities and colleges throughout Ontario, Long Mangalji will be offering free immigration seminars to international students this fall. 

Come and join us if you are a member of one of the following groups: 

 

McMaster University, International Graduate Students Association

Date: October 8 

Time: 4:00-6:00 pm

Place: Council Chambers room, Gilmour Hall, Room 111 

 

Windsor University, Graduate Students Society

Date: October 22

Time: 2:30-3:50 pm

Place: CEI 1100
 

University of Toronto, Graduate Students Union

Date: October 27

Time: 5:00-7:00 pm

Place: Ramsay Wright Laboratories; RW117

 

York University, Graduate Students Association

TBD
 

George Brown College, Students Association

TBD


If your organization would like us to provide you with a seminar free of charge, let us know and we'll be happy to come. Contact Elizabeth Long at (416) 548-9089, or at elong@lmlawgroup.com.

Recent Changes Affecting International Students

This summer has been heating up with new rules for international students.  In one of our previous posts we had told you about the new rules regarding study permits and off-campus work permits that came into place on June 1, 2014.  Recently, the government cancelled the post-graduate LMO recruiting exemption for international students who are looking to extend their work permits after their post-graduate work permits expire. 

These and upcoming changes to the permanent residence system such as Express Entry (expected to be in place in January 1, 2015), mean that international students and recent graduates may need to revisit their immigration plans.  Consider the following:

  • Students must continue to study in the program in order to maintain their status.  Those who drop out will invalidate their study permit.  

  • Students with study permits will no longer need to apply for off-campus work permits in order to work off-campus during their studies.  However, when they graduate they must apply for the post-grad work permit before they can work. 

  • Graduates with post-graduate work permits that are about to expire will no longer be able to apply to extend their work permits without having their employers go through the normal recruiting process.   

  • Next year, under the new Express Entry program, everyone who apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class, Skilled Worker, or Provincial Nominee Programs will be cast first into a pool of applicants.  Only a limited number of applicants will be selected to go further.  If you are not selected within a year, your application will be returned.