Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with David Cohen

CIC News
Published: September 28, 2011

Every month, Attorney David Cohen will answer a few general Canadian immigration questions submitted by our readers. Here are this month’s questions and answers:

I have applied for Canadian permanent residency in 2006 through the Federal Skilled Worker Program and more than 5 years have passed since it is in process. How many more months will it take before I get my visa?

Unfortunately for you, applications under the Federal Skilled Worker category submitted for processing prior to February 2008 have been pushed to the back of the line in favour of applications that were submitted more recently. Nobody can argue that this is fair but for now it is what it is. Processing times vary depending upon which visa office is handling your file. A complete list of current processing times at each visa office can be found on the Canadavisa's website.

If you qualify for Canadian permanent residency under the current Federal Skilled Worker category or under one of the other Canadian immigration programs you may want to consider submitting a fresh application as a way to speed up your entry to Canada. New Federal Skilled Worker applications are being processed in less than 12 months at some visa offices. To determine if you qualify for a Canadian permanent resident visa under all of the immigration programs, please complete Canadavisa’s free Canadian immigration assessment.

I am a married man and have applied for immigration through the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Do I need to submit documents for my wife, who is not accompanying me now?

Your spouse will be required to submit certain documents according to the Federal Skilled Worker Document Checklist. For example, identity documents and police clearances are some of the documents included in the list that she will need to provide now. In addition, she will also need to complete medical examinations at the same time as you even if she will not be accompanying you at this time. Keep in mind that you cannot claim points for your wife’s education or relatives in Canada if she is not accompanying you.

I am a Canadian citizen and would like to bring my young brother to Saskatoon. Where do I start?

The Saskatchewan Immigration Nominee Program (SINP) has a Family Members category for immigrants who have a relative who has been living in Saskatchewan for at least one year. You may be eligible to sponsor your brother if he meets the minimum requirements of the program, such as age, language, and financial requirements. The list of requirements for the SINP program can be found on Canadavisa’s website.

If my job is not one on the “eligible occupations” list, is there any way to apply to the Federal Skilled Worker program?

Yes. If you do not have one year of paid work experience in one of the 29 qualifying occupations, you may still qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program through Arranged Employment. To qualify for Arranged Employment, you must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. In addition, you will still need to meet the minimum 67 points to qualify.

My occupation, Registered Nurse, has just been capped under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Do I have to wait until July 2012 to apply?

If you want to apply through the Federal Skilled Worker Program as a Registered Nurse, you will have to wait until the caps restart in July 2012 unless you have a valid job offer from a Canadian Employer. However, you may still qualify for Canadian Permanent Residency through other immigration programs, such as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program and the various Provincial Nominee Programs. As Citizenship and Immigration Canada has not released the list of qualifying occupations for July 2012, potential applicants are encouraged to apply through another Canadian immigration program now if they qualify as their occupation may not be listed for the Federal Skilled Worker Program next year.

I was arrested and charged with a DUI in the California. I received 18 months probation and was ordered to pay a $1000 USD fine. I completed the probation over ten years ago, am I inadmissible to Canada?

There are two possibilities in this scenario, depending when the fine was paid. In order to be deemed rehabilitated ten years must have passed from the completion of the sentence, which also includes fines. If the fine was paid promptly and over ten years ago, then you are likely to be considered deemed rehabilitated and admissible to Canada. However, if ten years have not passed from the date of the payment of the fine, then it is likely that you will require an application for Criminal Rehabilitation in order to overcome your inadmissibility to Canada.

I was arrested and charged with Assault. The final outcome of the case was a conditional discharge and I was ordered to attend anger-management classes and perform 100 hours of community service. I successfully completed those conditions over a year ago. Am I still inadmissible to Canada?

If you receive a conditional discharge and successfully complete all the conditions imposed upon you, then you are likely to be admissible to Canada. A Conditional Discharge in the United States may be equivalent to Section 730 of the Canada Criminal Code, “Conditional Discharge” and does not result in a conviction. Therefore, it does not make an applicant inadmissible to Canada. If you are unsure if the conditional discharge is equivalent to a Canadian conditional discharge, we encourage you to contact our Criminality Specialists.


We would like to remind our readers that general questions pertaining to Canadian immigration can be sent to

If you would like to be assessed for Canadian immigration, please complete Canadavisa’s free Canadian immigration assessment form.



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