Immigrating to Canada: Where to start?

Posted on 21/08/2015

Dreaming of immigrating to Canada? Confused about when and where to start? What about the minimum requirements? Who should be the principal applicant? These may be some of the few questions going through the minds of Canadian aspirants. Even though Canada wholeheartedly welcomes people from all walks of life, it’s no cake walk. There is a fair bit to know when planning to immigrate to Canada. Many potential immigrants are not aware of national requirements and are often ill prepared. The following is a basic guide to the initial steps and requirements for attaining immigration approval for Canada.

Under the new Express Entry System, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) placed more emphasis than ever on the following skill sets on applicants who want to immigrate to Canada. This means that if you are planning to one day call Canada your permanent home, you should start to work on the following skills:

  • Language
  • Education
  • Work experience

There are minimum language requirements that need to be met when applying for immigration. These are English or French language levels depending on the program you apply. A language test approved by CIC (IELTS, CELPIP or TEF) will need to be taken to determine your level of proficiency. You should try to achieve as high of a test score as possible as this will award you more points.

The Educational requirement for application is to have a Canadian or Canadian equivalent secondary (high school) or post secondary certificate, diploma or degree. Your foreign credentials will need to be assessed by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an agency approved by CIC. You should get your credentials assessed as soon as possible. The following is a list of current agencies, where assessment can be done.

  • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • World Education Services
  • Medical Council of Canada (professional body for Doctors)
  • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (professional body for Pharmacists)
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service
  • International Credential Evaluation Service

The final skill requirement is work experience. The necessary amount of prior work experience is a minimum of 12 months of full-time, or an equal amount in part time, skilled work experience. This must be within the past 10 years for Federal Skilled Worker category, 5 years for Federal Skilled Trade category, or 3 years for Canadian Experience Class. The skilled work experience refers to the experience gained under managerial jobs, professional jobs or technical jobs and skilled trades.

After having met the above mentioned skills, you are headed in the right direction and are one step closer to immigration to Canada. Of course there is a lot more to learn and research but being aware of the minimum requirements prior to application will allow you time to attain the skills you need for approval for a new life in Canada. An experienced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, such as Mary Zhang, or an immigration lawyer can point you in the right direction and can assist you with your unique needs and circumstances. Their vast knowledge of the Canadian immigration system can help you prepare and get immigration faster.

For assistance, contact Mary Zhang at MaxCan Immigration in Markham, Canada.

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