Credential Assessments for Canada

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An immigrant who wants to come to Canada may need to have their credentials assessed. Immigrating as a skilled worker, to work in certain trades, or to study in certain fields means needing to evaluate how work or study measure up to Canadian standards.

Credentials such as education, work experience, and professional certifications need to be assessed to see if they meet the standards in Canada. For instance, a lawyer or nurse in one country might be required to take courses or work for a certain period of time to be able to practice their profession. But, that same lawyer or nurse, in order to practice in Canada, might be required to take different courses or meet other professional requirements not required by an immigrant in their country. The same applies to an educational assessment. Courses that are required and length of study could be quite different for an immigrant in their country from what Canada requires to graduate from a particular course of study.

There are benefits to having credentials assessed, such as:

  • proving to an educational institution or prospective employer what an immigrant is qualified to do or has learned through study

  • understanding jobs in Canada that an immigrant might be qualified to do

  • evaluating credentials against standards in Canada

  • finding out if an immigrant needs more or different training or work experience

An immigrant will need to gather their documents and consult a Canadian government-approved agency to have their credentials assessed. The process will likely take some time and money, so it’s a good idea to check what is needed and start the process early.

Language Skills and Immigration to Canada

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There are two official languages in Canada—English and French. English is the main language in most of the country. French is the main language in Quebec. Which language one communicates in has a lot to do with where one resides in Canada. Official documents and services are offered in both languages in Canada.

An immigrant will need to be able to communicate in one or both of these languages in order to get a job, study, access services, talk to people in communities, or/and become a Canadian citizen. Regulated jobs and trades may require more language skills than immigration. Fluency in English or French, including phrases and expressions unique to Canada, is important to functioning in Canadian society.

An immigrant may want to take a language class to improve their language skills. English as a second language is an example of one such class. Governments across Canada fund language classes, or an immigrant can pay for their own private classes. There are also language tests available so an immigrant can prove their language ability for a job, school, or immigration purposes. Tests are available to evaluate English and French language skills.

It is a good idea to strengthen language skills to be able to communicate in jobs, schools, and communities in Canada.

Language Test and Documentation for Canadian Permanent Residence Application

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On May 6, 2021, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada will begin accepting applications from workers and students in several categories for Canadian Permanent Residence.

Documentation needs to be gathered for the application. One of the requirements for the application, and most paths to Permanent Residence in Canada, is language proficiency. The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) are the national standards and include 12 levels of ability in the English language. Skills are evaluated in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

A test to prove these skills must be taken to submit with the rest of the documentation for the application. For essential workers, a Canadian Language Benchmark of 4 is required. For international graduates from a Canadian school, a benchmark of 5 is required.

A language test must be taken from an agency approved by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. The test cannot be more than 2 years old when the application is received. Pricing varies for a language test.

It is important to schedule and take the language test and get all other documentation required for the application for Permanent Residence in Canada.

Permanent Residence in Canada

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A Permanent Resident in Canada is someone who has immigrated and been given this status by the Government of Canada. A Permanent Resident is not a citizen of Canada. A person who is in Canada on a temporary basis such as a student or temporary worker is not a Permanent Resident.

Once a person becomes a Permanent Resident of Canada, they carry a PR card. This card will be needed to prove their status in Canada. If travelling outside Canada, the PR card and a passport will be needed to return to Canada.

Permanent Residents have certain rights within Canada. These include access to most social benefits including health coverage, protection under Canadian law, and the freedom to live, work, or study anywhere in the country. Permanent Residents cannot vote in Canada. A Permanent Resident has responsibilities too like paying taxes and following Canadian laws.

Once a person has Permanent Resident status in Canada, they can apply to become a Canadian citizen.

How Immigrants are Selected for Canada

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Immigrants are selected for immigration to Canada based on a number of factors:

  • the contribution they can bring to the Canadian economy

  • humanitarian basis

  • bringing families together

  • benefiting communities across the country

Recently, more immigrants who can add to Canada’s economy are being allowed to immigrate to Canada. Provinces and territories are also selecting more immigrants for economic reasons. The selection process includes skilled immigrants. Businesses and provinces/territories give their input before decisions are made on how many immigrants to allow into Canada each year.

A points system helps determine if a skilled immigrant is selected for Canadian immigration. The points system considers:

  • education

  • work experience

  • valid job offer in Canada

  • provincial or territorial nomination

  • language skills in English or French

The highest scoring applicants for immigration would be selected.

Immigrants are screened thoroughly before being allowed to immigrate to Canada. This includes:

  • possessing a valid passport

  • a photo and fingerprints

  • a medical exam to determine good health

  • a police check

  • no violation of human rights

Canada funds settlement services for immigrants which help them add to society. These services can help connect immigrants to others, learn about life in their community and in Canada, and more.

Immigrants are selected for multiple reasons and add to life in Canada.

Benefits of Immigrants for Canada

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Bringing immigrants to Canada benefits the country, its current citizens, and immigrants themselves who stay temporarily or permanently.

When you look at the number of people working and paying taxes in Canada, you get a picture, at least in part, of the health of Canada’s economy. The taxes provided pay for public services and programs, including pensions and health care, which help Canadians. Canadians often live longer, retire earlier, and have fewer children, so immigrants help fill the jobs and provide taxes for these services.

Immigrants also contribute to the economy when they spend their money in Canada. They buy goods, services, housing, and transportation.

Immigrants add to the number of people working and available to work, and help employers find skilled labour when needed. The top five occupations for the Canadian federal immigration program are:

  • software engineers and designers

  • information systems analysts

  • computer programmers

  • accountants and financial auditors

  • marketing and public relations personnel

The knowledge immigrants bring to Canada is important. Education and job experience must meet Canadian standards.

Immigrants fill temporary and seasonal jobs that Canadians are not available or interested in doing. This can be in agriculture, health care, technology, or other industries. They play a vital role for Canada.

Many immigrants settle in smaller or more remote communities, helping to build these communities. Culture can be shared among residents in Canada, wherever they may be. Immigrants also volunteer and share in social settings in communities of all sizes.

As immigrants become part of Canadian society, they add to Canada in many ways, bringing benefits to Canadians and themselves.

Essential Temporary Workers and International Students in Canada in 2021

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The Government of Canada, in keeping with its goal of many thousands of new immigrants in 2021, has announced several new paths to Permanent Residency.

As of May 6, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada will accept applications from workers and students under the following categories:

  • Temporary workers in health care – 20,000 new applications

  • Temporary workers in other essential jobs like food production/distribution, caregivers – 30,000 new applications

  • International students who graduated from college or university in Canada – 40,000 new applications

Eligibility for the new programs includes:

  • Minimum of one year of work experience in Canada in a health care or other essential field of work

  • International graduates from a college or university in Canada who have completed their studies within the last four years (since Jan. 2017)

  • Proficiency in English or French

  • Legal and authorized to work in Canada and working at the time of application

  • Residence in any province except Quebec

  • Meet all other general eligibility requirements

Applications may be made until November or until the total of new applicants has been reached.

Temporary immigrant workers or international students who contribute much to services and the economy in Canada, especially at this time in history, may be rewarded with a path to Permanent Residency in Canada.

Immigrants and the Food and Beverage Industry in Canada

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The food and beverage industry in Canada relies on immigrants to function and grow. Greater than one in four food and beverage jobs in Canada is filled by immigrants.

More than half of business owners in this industry in Canada are immigrants who employ others in their business. The top provinces for business owners in the food and beverage industry are the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta.

Canada continues to be a place to thrive for immigrant owners and workers in the food and beverage industry. This can be a pathway to Permanent Residence in Canada.

International Students and Canada’s Prosperity

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International students contribute much to Canada. They are a significant part of the Canadian economy. They also enrich Canada’s culture and help with issues related to demographics. Canada provides a place for a graduate to start a company and hire Canadians. When graduates choose to stay after their studies are completed, they fill needs in our job market. Industries like technology, health care, and others benefit greatly from students that chose to immigrate to Canada after graduation.

International students who choose to stay are especially important as Canada’s population ages. It will take more working people to support seniors in Canada. Immigrants play an important role in this endeavour.

During the pandemic, the Government of Canada has taken action, therefore, to assist international students. Students who have a study permit may complete their courses online from abroad and still be eligible for a post graduate work permit (PGWP) in Canada. This applies to international students who are enrolled in a PGWP-eligible course of study, as long as they meet all other necessary criteria.

An international student who has graduated and previously held or currently holds a PGWP is being offered an open work permit by the Government of Canada.

Canada wants to bring skilled immigrants to the country, and international students and graduates are part of this plan. This can be a path to Permanent Residence that is beneficial for immigrants and Canada, and can lead to prosperity for all.

Visitors to Canada Allowed to Apply for Work Permits

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In August 2020 the Government of Canada instituted a temporary policy that allows a visitor to Canada to apply for a work permit. This policy is being extended to August 2021.

As part of this policy, a visitor does not have to leave Canada but can apply within its borders for the work permit once in the country. The work permit will include the following information:

  • type of work allowed

  • where work is allowed

  • how long work is allowed

  • the employer for whom work is allowed

A visitor who wants to apply under this policy needs to:

  • have valid and legal visitor status in Canada

  • remain in Canada with valid and legal visitor status

  • secure a job offer

  • apply for the work permit for that employer, including a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or exemption

  • meet all other criteria to be allowed in the country

This will apply to visitors irrespective of when they entered the country.

This policy could help visitors provide while in Canada.