Canada has been one of the places where Filipinos and expats tend to look for work. According to a conversation I had with a colleague, he and his family are using Dubai as a stepping stone while preparing documents and gathering experience. He said it’s much easier to apply to immigrate from Dubai to Canada compared to applying from our home country.
Canada has been voted as one of the most livable countries in the world as it offers plenty of benefits like better health care system, education, employment etc. But the process may be a bit challenging especially if you don’t have an idea where to start. There are those who have applied for Canadian immigration and have spent money on their application only to get stuck in the system – never getting Canadian Permanent Residency.
We spoke with Julie, Beeton, a Canadian immigration lawyer and Managing Director of Beeton & Co, Canadian Education and Immigration Services based in the UAE, to get her advice about applying for Canadian immigration.
Things You Should Know if You are Planning to Move to Canada
Tip 1: Know your CRS Score – The most important number for Canadian Immigration.
There are 2 Canadian immigration tests. Many people will pass Test #1 and they will enter the Canadian immigration system.
Test #2 is how the Canadian Government selects people for Permanent Residency. Test #2, otherwise known as your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, is a number set every 3 to 4 weeks by the Canadian Government. If your CRS score is higher than the number set by the Canadian Government, you are invited to apply for Permanent Residency. If your score is lower, you will stay in the Express Entry pool with all the other candidates.
Currently, the minimum CRS score is 434.
The Express Entry system is a points based system. The Canadian Government gives CRS points based on various factors such as age, education, language skills and work experience.
You can find out your CRS score by completing the Free Assessment on the Beeton & Co website www.beetonco.com.
Tip 2: What if my CRS score is too low?
People with a lower CRS score should consider the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). Most Canadian provinces have their own immigration programs in addition to the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The PNP programs all have their own eligibility requirements.
For example, the Ontario PNP program cut off is 400 points. The Saskatchewan PNP program gives you extra points if you have a relative in the province. Other programs are looking for people with specific work experience which has included:
“The PNP programs open and close at different times during the year so it is important to stay on top of the changes to these programs.” said Ms. Beeton. “We suggest that people find out which PNP programs they may be eligible for before submitting their Express Entry applications to avoid incurring the cost of submitting their application if they are not in fact eligible.”
Getting nominated by a province gives you an extra 600 CRS points, effectively fast-tracking you through the Canadian immigration system.
Tip 3: What Documents Do I Need to Start the Process?
Even if English or French is your first language, you must write either the IELTS English language exam or the TEF French language exam. You should consider taking a practice exam or a training session for the language tests. You want to get the highest score possible on this test as it will greatly affect your overall CRS score.
You will also need to get your degree or diploma accredited by an organization recognized by the Canadian Government. This usually involves sending an organization such as World Education Services Canada (WES), a copy of your degree and asking your university or college to send a transcript to such organization. WES will confirm that your studies are equivalent to the same studies in Canada.
Tip 4: Do I need a Job?
You do not need a job offer in Canada to apply for Permanent Residency through Express Entry or many of the PNP programs. That said, you should take the time while your immigration application is processing to start your job search so when you arrive in Canada you have an established network and job prospects.
We recommend people start their Canadian job search by going to the Canadian Job Bank website (www.jobbank.gc.ca/) which has over 100,000 Canadian job listings and extensive market information.
If you do get a valid Canadian job offer, you may get up to an extra 200 CRS points.
If you would like more information on Canadian immigration including a Free Assessment and downloadable e-books, visit www.BeetonCo.com.
Julie Beeton is a Canadian immigration lawyer and Managing Director of Beeton & Co, Canadian Education and Immigration Services. She has been based in the Middle East since 2008 and helps families and professionals around the world immigrate and study in Canada.