Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with David Cohen

CIC News
Published: January 31, 2012

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:

Can previous refusals for a UK Visitor Visa or for US immigration lead to a subsequent denial of a Canadian immigration visa?

In all Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) applications, you will be asked if you have been refused a visa from other countries. Details must be provided. Depending on the circumstances of the prior refusal(s), an applicant may be considered inadmissible to Canada.

I am completing my second year of a PhD program in BC. When can I apply for my permanent residency?

Because there are several options to apply for permanent residence as a current or recent PhD student in British Columbia, it depends on which option best suits you.

Under the British Columbia PNP, you may be eligible to apply for immigration by meeting one of two requirements:

    • The first requirement is having graduated from a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution, as well as having a job offer. So theoretically, if you did your Master’s in Canada and have a job offer, you can already apply, but for all intents and purposes having to secure a job offer will likely postpone your application until after you graduate from your current program; or
    • The second requirement is having obtained a Master’s or PhD in health, applied or natural sciences from a recognized BC institution within the last two years. No job offer is required. In this case, if you did your Master’s in BC, you can also apply right now, or otherwise will have to wait until you finish your PhD.

As well, introduced last year, those who have completed a PhD in Canada, or have completed two years of study in Canada towards a PhD, can apply under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program. So you can apply for immigration under the FSW program, if you so choose, after completing the current year of your program.

My first cousin is a Canadian citizen. Will I get any points for my cousin on the basis of the skilled immigration category?

No, having cousins in Canada will award you no points under the Federal Skilled Worker program.

Having cousins in Canada comes into play when applying for some provincial nomination programs like Manitoba’s PNP, where a first cousin can serve as a sponsor, and even more distant cousins can contribute to your points under its General Stream.

The other notable PNP that allows first cousins to sponsor applicants for immigration is Saskatchewan’s.

I have applied for immigration in October 2007 under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program and there is no clear information about these older cases submitted before the change in regulations in 2008. Could you let me know the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) policy for these older cases?

While CIC has indicated it hopes to work through the backlog of FSW cases submitted before February 28, 2008, by the year 2017, there is no guarantee of this. We therefore encourage you to consider applying again to take advantage of the priority placed on newer applications. If you qualify, you can do this since you can submit multiple applications for permanent residency.

In general, you can apply for multiple programs or even the same program more than once. Remember that provincially-based programs have as a requirement the intent to settle in the particular province you are applying to. Once a selection decision has been made on one of your applications, you will have the choice of which application to abandon.  Additionally, you can withdraw an application by contacting your regional Canadian visa office, and depending on what stage it is at in processing, you may be refunded your government application fee.

You can fill out’s free online eligibility assessment to see what programs you are now eligible for to immigrate to Canada, which importantly takes into account changes to all programs since you last applied.

Do I stand a chance of getting a student visa if I have a dependent child who I plan to bring with me to Canada?

As far as I am aware, there are no regulations which would prevent you from receiving a student visa (study permit) just because of your dependent child who will accompany you to Canada.

Is there any limit to the number of family dependents I can bring with me to Canada if I am awarded permanent residency? 

No there is no limit to the dependents you can bring into Canada. Dependents can include your spouse or common law or conjugal partner, and you and your spouse’s, or common law or conjugal partner’s, dependent children, as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

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.

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