Q & A: Immigration Questions and Answers “1″

CIC News
Published: January 1, 1997

This newsletter, edited by David Cohen, contains information pertinent to applicants for immigration to Canada in the various categories. The information contained herein is a compilation of recent postings on the misc.immigration.canada newsgroup, and appendices which will vary in content from issue to issue.

1.1 Work Experience/Intended Occupations

Q. Will work experience as an assistant professor in engineering or applied science count if the intended occupation in Canada is related?

Teaching is not on the open list. Therefore experience as an assistant professor cannot be accepted in general. However, if the area is engineering and the intended occupation is related (e. g. research engineer) then the work experience as assistant professor is not irrelevant and should probably be accepted.

Is this true?

Answer: Research experience gained during a position as an assistant professor is applicable, as long as the duties performed during such time are consistent with the designation of an occupation appearing on the General Occupations List, as defined by the Canadian Classification and Dictionary of Occupations.

Q. I have not stated "computer engineering" as an intended occupation. My intended occupation is "reasearch engineer". Nevertheless I have not been requested diplomas for CCPE assessment. I was requested to submit other documents such as police clearances, etc.; but not diplomas and certificates.

Why is that? Is it possible that I was not asked to submit these due to oversight and will be asked to submit them later, thus prolonging the processing stage.

Answer: CCPE assessment is not a mandatory aspect of submission of an application, even in the field of professional engeineering. The evaluation provided by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers is often heavily relied upon by visa officers as an indicator of the employability of an applicant as a professional engineer in the Canadian labour market. Additionally, depending on where an applicant's engineering education had been obtained, CCPE assessment may be waived by the visa officer. Without any other indicators of your qualifications, it is impossible to speculate further.

Q. According to the occupational demand list, the following three occupations are related to computer:

- systems analyst business, electronic data

-processing - systems analyst engineering-scientific, electronic data processing

- systems-software programmer

Can one just use systems analyst, or has to use a full name like systems analyst business, or systems analyst engineering-scientific? What's the meaning of this classification?

Answer: It is generally advisable to be as specific as possible in the selection of the intended occupation, and to use the terminology set forth in the General Occupations List and the Canadian Classification and Dictionary of Occupations. The above designations, along with the other computer professions indicated (i.e., other Systems Analysts...) specify the specific nature of a computer professional's work.

Q. I would like to know about the employment opportunities for a person who wants to immigrate to Canada, with the following background:

Age: 36
Qualification: Masters in Business Administration
Work Experience: Professor - 13 years of college teaching (under-graduate students)
Fluency: English & French

Answer: Unfortunately, (notwithstanding the availability of such positions throughout Canada - as this will obviously vary from region to region) teaching professions are not considered open for the purpose of immigration under the current Regulations. As such, arranged employment would be required in order to be eligible for immigration in the skilled worker category. If you have research experience gained as a professor, this may allow you to qualify.

Q. A friend of mine is a doctor from India ( General Medicine ) with a M.B.B.S degree. If she applies and gets PR in Canada, will she be able to work there as a doctor, or should she pass thru some exams etc ? Will any one provide me with details regarding this ?

Answer: There are currently no provisions which allow for the immigration of practicing physicians in the skilled worker category without arranged employment and possibly licensing and registration. This is primarily due to a perceived saturation of such professions in Canada.

Q. I would like to ask whether the Ph.D. research experience will be counted as work experience or not for immigration. I have recieved my M.Sc. degree in 1988 from Bangladesh and have started my Ph.D. research in Finland. I received my Philosophy of Licentiate and Ph.D. degree in December, 1996. During my Ph.D. research I was partially financed by the University during three years. Is this Ph.D. research experience will be counted for immigration purpose?

Answer: Work experience gained during positions of research during post-graduate research has been repeatedly been presented to immigration officers with success by our office. The work experience gained during such research most often fits the CCDO designations in question very well (more so than in most cases when the person has been employed elsewhere). The critical factor regarding whether or not our office would feel that post-graduate research experience is valid would be whether or not the level of education during which the research was conducted was in excess of that required to qualify for that position according to the CCDO (Canadian Classifications and Dictionary of Occupations) and the NOC (National Occupational Classification) manual.

Research conducted in a post-graduate setting should have been on an independent basis.

Comment: The presentation of such qualifications is of critical importance. Although the general view towards such experience has experienced a significant shift over the past two years, not all visa offices share the same opinion regarding such, and failure to present such experience in a proper manner can result in refusal, even at such offices which have historically accepted such experience.


1.2 Background/Security/Police Clearance

Q. Although the question is of purely academic interest to me now, I still would like to know: what exactly is the background security check? What and how do they check? I mean, in my case it took about half a year, if not more - do they do it for everybody?

Answer: The security clearance is conducted in all cases of applicants between the ages of 18 and 65. A background (security) clearance is conducted to ensure that aplicants who "are, or have been, involved in espionage, subversion, or terrorism."

Q. I am Pakistani national, and am doing my masters at a school in US. Do I use police report from US or from Pakistan (I have been in US for 5-1/2 years) and If I cannot get a police report from Pakistan since I am in US what document can I use.

Answer: Assuming that you intend to submit your application within the USA, police clearance must be provided for any applicant aged 18 years or older, for any country in which you presently live, or in which you have lived for over 6 months within the past 10 years.

Comment: Although the wording use above makes the assumption that the application in question was to be submitted to the Buffalo IAPC in the USA, the requirements for police clearance are generally the same for all visa offices, with possible minor interpretational differences.

Q. Am I required to divulge information regarding a previous conviction, which occurred several years ago, and for which the statutory limitations have expired?

Answer: The IMM-0008 form requires that an applicant truthfully reveal such information, regardless of statutory limitations on such. Failure to truthfully reveal such could have catastrophic applications on an application for Canadian PR. As security clearance is an integral part of the application process, an applicant cannot voluntarily withhold information, again regardless of statutory limitations.


1.3 Accompanying Dependents

Q. I am currently engaged and am getting married soon. I will be detailing my marriage plans and also providing them the marriage certificate at a later time. For the application of my to-be-spouse

a. Can I sign for her on the application since she is currently not with me.
b. Do I have to provide her current address details ???
c. Do I have to take care of any other details for her???

Answer: A fiance(e) is not considered within the definition of an "accompanying dependent." Having said that, however, it may be possible to include such an individual, depending on the expected date of the marriage. If such a date will fall within the expected duration of the application process, as is implied, then it should not be difficult to do so. In such a case, an IMM-008 application form should be completed, fees paid, and necessary documentation completed.

In the event that the marriage will not fall within the duration of the process, and the officer does allow for your fiance(e)'s inclusion, you may expect that the landing documents for such will carry a condition that the marriage take place within 90 days of landing.


1.4 Returning Resident Permit/183 Day Rule

Q. I have my Canadian PR but I am still a student in US. I may not be able to land before my visa expires..

CAN some expert tell me about the Returning Resident Permit? I have asked the application from the buffalo consulate for RRP? Is that the right place to ask for a RRP application?

Answer: Returning resident permits are issued in such cases as the individual has not, or will not abandon their residence according to subsection 24(1) of the ACT (i.e., person leaves or remains outside Canada with the intention of abandoning Canada as the place of permanent residence; or a deportation order has been issued and is valid against the person). Valid reasons for obtaining a RRP, as is outlined in S.26(2) of the REGULATIONS include:

- (i) for the purpose of carrying out his duties as a representative or employee of a corporation or business organization established in Canada or of a province or a municipality of Canada;
- (ii) for the purpose of upgrading his professional, academic, or vocational qualifications;
- (iii) for the purpose of accompanying a member of his/her family who is a Canadian citizen or who has been issued a RRP; or
- (iv) in any circumstance not referred to above, but that the immigration officer deems appropriate.

RRPs are typically issued for one year periods, and can be renewed. In circumstances where it is deemed appropriate, the permit can be issued for longer with special permission. The application may be submitted either within or outside of Canada.

Q. How long does it take to get a RRP? What documents I have to show prove that I cannot land before my visa expires.

Answer: The duration will range from 2-6 weeks in general, for applications submitted by mail. You may not apply for the RRP prior to landing in Canada. Failure to land within the validity of your landing documents will most likely result in the necessity of a new application for PR.

Q. My question is whether I have to live permanently in Canada until I become a citizen? Is there an official way to get permission from Canadian Immigration to be able to work in the USA for a couple of years and then move to Canada?

Answer: Permanent residents of Canada are expected to physically reside within Canada in order to be eligible for citizenship, and possibly in order to maintain such status.There are provisions by which a PR may work abroad for a number of years without jeopardizing such status. With possible exception, however, such time abroad will not be counted towards a citizenship application.

Q. My wife intends to go out of Canada. The duration is not known yet but seems to be more than 183 days (6 - 8 months) while I will be staying here in Canada. She came as a sponsored immigrant. My question is that since I am here and her ties are with me, does even in this case, she has to prove that she has not in fact abandoned Canada? Does she need RRP?

Answer: Given the circumstances, it is most likely that she will not have difficulty in demonstrating that no intention had existed to abandon Canada as her place of permanent residence.

In regards to the need to apply for the RRP, that is a question of your own preferences. There is no absolute requirement that the RRP obtain such. Failure to obtain such does not, in itself, jeopardize her status; and obtaining such does not, in itself, preserve her status. The RRP simply demonstrates that, at the time of issuance, an immigration official was satisfied that the intention to abandon Canada as the place of permanent residence existed. Obtaining such prior to the absence, or prior to the absence exceeding 183 days may result in a certain peace of mind for your wife. Again, however, possession of the RRP, in itself, does not guarantee the status of a permanent resident.

Q. Because some J-1 visiting scholars in US need anohter 8 months, or J-1 student in US need another 2.5 years to finish their current programs, can they "immediately" and conveniently come back to US after landing with their current valid US J-1 visa(IAP-66 form)? Do they need apply return permit during the period of staying in US?

Answer: A permanent resident who is absent from Canada for over 183 days in any given 12 month period runs the risk of being deemed to have abandoned Canada as the place of permanent residence upon return at a port of entry by an immigration officer, at which time status in Canada could be jeopardized. A formal decision to this effect, however, can only be made by an adjudicator.

As long as a permanent resident is able to able to demonstrate that a lack of intention existed to abandon Canada, a PR is unlikely to lose such status. There is no specific requirement that the RRP be obtained, and obtaining such does not guarantee status in Canada.

Comment: The issue of the returning resident permit, its necessity, its value, and its application is somewhat complicated, and widely misunderstood. Our office has prepared a fairly extensive discussion of this topic which could not reasonably be reproduced for each inquiry on this topic appearing on this newsgroup.


1.5 Sponsorship

Q. My girlfriend wishes to sponsor me, but I told her to wait with that and that I would first see how far I get on my own. Sponsorship does not give you any extra points? At least I could not find it. Without bonus I came up to 78 points, this will do it wouldn't it?

Answer: It appears that you are referring to two mutually exclusive categories of application, a Family Class sponsorship under which the Selection Criteria does not apply, and a skilled worker application, for which such Selection Criteria are critical.

Firstly, you should note that unless engaged to be married, a girlfirend is not an eligible sponsor in the Family Class. She will not even entitle you to the "bonus points" associated with being an assisted relative.

Assuming that you do have the 78 points mentioned (of which I am not certain, as sufficient information has not been provided), you would exceed the minimum requirements of the current Regulations, and would most likely, therefore, be admitted as a permanent resident.


1.6 Application Submission

Q. How do I get the application forms from LA office. Are the application forms the same all over the world. Can I get application forms in India but submit them to LA office?

Answer: Application forms within the USA should be obtained from the Buffalo IAPC.

Although application forms obtained from one visa office are generally valid at any other visa office, the instructions which accompany such application kits will not generally be the same. The difference in instruction can result in delays, return, or possibly even refusal of an application.

As of April 1, 1997, it is expected that a global one-step procedure will be implemented at all visa offices. At such time, if this is the case, application kits obtained at one post would carry the same instructions as those of another.


1.7 Amendment of Family Status

Q. I got married about 2 weeks ago. My wife, living in her native country, will be able to join me in about 6 months! Do I have to inform Canadian Embassy as soon as possible about it? Does she have to apply only as my dependent or could she apply later separately as main applicant? Her score (89) would be much higher than my score (70)? Could Officer exchange the main applicant with the dependent in such a case?

Answer: You should immediately inform the visa office of any amendment or other change in your family status. Application forms and statutory documentation for her should be provided to the visa office, along with the applicable fees if you intend to include her in your application at this time. It is not advisable that she submit an application on her own at this time, although you may specify that wish to have her qualifications reviewed as a substitute to your own.

Q. If the Custom of landing airport know that family member changed (baby birth after pr be issued), would the Custom refuse our report for landing? If so, I will have no time to prepare baby's documents before pr expiration. Is it necessary to inform immigration officer when family member change? Does our PRs must be sent back to for applying of new member?

Answer: You will not be considered officially landed until any amendments to your family status are recognized and processed by the visa office handling your case. You may not necessarily be refused entry into Canada, but additional processing would be required to make the necessary amendment.

It is of critical importance that any such amendments be brought to the attention of the visa office immediately. Landing documents must typically be returned pending the inclusion of a new dependent.


1.8 Discretion/Admissibility/Appeal

Q. 1) Does getting a total of 70 points guarantee immigration ? Assuming that the medical and police verification are OK and the person got at least one point for the occupation factor? Or are there some other subjective reasons that a person's application can be rejected like too many people from his country have already got in this year, etc.

Answer: No, there are issues which can bar success, even in the case that an applicant meets the minimum requirements of the Selection Criteria. These include medical or security inadmissability, or a discretionary judgement by the visa office that the applicant is unlikely to successfully establish him/herself in Canada despite scoring 70 or more points.

Information on criminal inadmissibility will shortly be made available.

Comment: The appendices of this newsletter contain a summary of the Act as it pertains to criminal inadmissbility.

Q. 2) When is an interview required ? Is it true that an interview is required when the person scores between 60 and 70 points? or is it true that if the person gets less than 70 points the person is automatically rejected?

Answer: An applicant is eligible for a selection interview (at which a maximum score of 10 points is available) if the applicant scores 60 points prior to a selection interview (in the skilled worker category; 55 points for an assisted relative). Additional information on the selection interview may be obtained at the coordinates indicated above.

Some visa offices will waive a selection interview in such cases as it appears evident that the applicant will succeed regardless of the score obtained at the selection interview (this assumes a Federal application). Although the point total discounting personal suitability is obviously important, other factors affect such a determination.

Similar to a discretionary refusal, as indicated previously, a visa office can accept an applicant in the event that an applicant is deemed likely to be able to successfully establish him/herself despite failing to score the requisite point total. Such discretionary decisions require approval of the program director, and may generally be viewed as the exception, rather than the rule.

Q. 3) Let's Say two brothers A and B apply at approximately the same time. Let's say A gets the landing papers and B gets rejected. If B moves to Canada immediately, can

A appeal the decision saying that his position has changed (he now gets 5 points for close relatives in Canada) or does he have to apply all over again ? A. An appeal would not likely be successful. He may, however, reapply; claiming the "bonus points" for being an assisted relative this time.

Q. (4) If a person gets rejected and he was close to 70 points, can he appeal the points given to him for personal suitability independent of whether his brother got in or not?

I've and cannot be quantified directly. As such, it is not generally possible to prove in a court of law that the points attributed are incorrect. It may, however, be possible to request a reversal of the decision, if information can be presented which would reasonably suggest that the applicant is entitled to more points that were granted.


1.9 Fees

Although no mention was made on the newsgroup of this issue in the past weeks, readers are reminded that the Business Class processing fee for the principal applicant will be raised as of January 01, 1997.

Applications received at visa offices prior to January 02, 1997 will be subject to the current fee structure.

As a note, it is likely that the government fees set local currency of visa offices may be restructured to reflect current exchange rates at such time as this new fee structure is implemented. We have been advised that such fees at the Buffalo IAPC may be changed, and are awaiting the figures, at which time they will be distributed.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Top Stories
Budget 2024: How will it impact Canadian immigration?
10 frequently asked questions by visitors to Canada
Comparing rental costs across Canada
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Canada
Budget 2024: How will it impact Canadian immigration?
Canada has released Budget 2024.
Comparing rental costs across Canada
A for rent sign infront of a small house
What can newcomers expect from Budget 2024?
Budget 2024 will contain several new initiatives to help with housing affordability in Canada.
I am a Canadian permanent resident, how long do I actually need to stay in Canada?
Calgary skyline
Link copied to clipboard