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 work experience in my profession, but my school degree has no relevance to my work experience. Do I need to have work experience that is relevant to my degree to apply for Canadian immigration?
In general, your work experience does not have to be related to your education in order to apply for Canadian immigration. Both the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Quebec Skilled Worker Program will award points for your work experience regardless of whether it is related to your area of study/training or not.
Please note, however, that the Quebec Skilled Worker Program also awards points for Education or Training that is related to in-demand occupations in Quebec. If your degree or certificate is more than five years old, these Area of Training points will only be awarded if you have at least one year of related work experience during the previous five years.
I have done the Academic IELTS. Can I use these to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program?
Unfortunately, Academic IELTS will not be accepted for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. All applicants are required to provide results of the General IELTS, regardless whether English is their native language or not. It is important to note that your IELTS results must be included in your application when you submit to the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia or your application will be returned.
If you have not taken the IELTS yet or need to improve your scores, Canadavisa.com offers free IELTS practice tests to improve your English reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.
How long does it take to receive a letter from the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney to know if my application has been approved or rejected?
These days, it is taking approximately four months to receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) from CIO, however processing times may vary in the future. This AOR from CIO indicates that your application has been accepted for processing and is being transferred to a visa office for further processing and a final decision. If your application is not accepted for processing by the CIO, it is usually returned with a letter indicating the reason why it was not accepted.
Under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, will my points be calculated on the total number of years for my work experience or only for the years of work I did for the occupation (NOC) I am applying under?
Under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you will be awarded points for any work experience regardless of the occupation as long as:
• the work experience did not occur more than 10 years before the date you submitted your application;
• the work experience can be classified as Managerial, Skill Level A, or Skill Level B under the NOC system; and
• you were paid for the work
You can only get a maximum of 21 points for work experience.
For the Federal Skilled Worker Program, are first-degree cousins considered as relatives and can be awarded points?
No points are awarded for cousins in the Adaptability Factor in the Federal Skilled Worker Program. To get points for having a relative living in Canada, the relative must be related to either the principal applicant or the spouse/common law partner. Only the following family members who are Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents living in Canada will give you points: mother or father, daughter or son, sister or brother, niece or nephew, grandmother or grandfather, granddaughter or grandson, biological aunt or uncle (brother or sister of a parent), or spouse/common-law partner.
It is important to note that you may only claim points for one relative, not for multiple relatives.
I was deported from Canada in June 2003 after over staying two months. I was detained for two weeks in an immigration detention centre. Is it considered a criminal offense? Will I be allowed back into Canada?
The fact that a person overstayed on a visitor visa in of itself is not a criminal offence in the Canadian criminal code. However, having been detained and officially deported means you were found to be in violation of a federal statute (IRPA) and therefore this may make you inadmissible to Canada. Furthermore, you may require an authorization to return to Canada, and potentially an application for criminal rehabilitation depending upon the specific circumstances of your removal from Canada.
If you would like your general immigration question to be featured in our newsletter, please email your question to QNA@CICNEWS.COM
If you would like to be assessed for Canadian immigration, please complete Canadavisa’s free Canadian immigration assessment form.