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Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers for July 2013

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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:

Under what circumstances can a Temporary Work Permit application be expedited? 

There are no formal provisions for expedited processing of Temporary Work Permits. A request can be made to the Visa Office to expedite processing, and if the Visa Office finds that the reasons for the request are compelling then they have the ability to expedite the processing.

I read that for my immigration application, I must provide work reference letters for the past ten years. Does this mean I have to ask my current employer to provide a letter? I am nervous it would put me in an awkward situation professionally. 

Yes, the Government requires reference letters from every job during the past ten years to confirm that it was paid employment, and to determine which occupation the job can be classified as. When reference letters are not available or not provided, alternate documentation can be submitted (e.g. appointment letters, evaluation reports, pay slips, etc.). However, it is purely up to the discretion of the Visa Officer to accept such alternate types of documents. Any job for which acceptable documentation is not provided is usually ignored in the Visa Officer’s evaluation. This can sometimes result in a refusal of the application.

I want to retire in Canada. Is there a special program for retirees? 

There are no programs targeted specifically at individuals who want to retire in Canada. Canada offers three types of immigration streams, namely economic immigration, family sponsorship and humanitarian (refugee) programs. The only non-economic immigration option for individuals who want to retire in Canada is to be sponsored by an eligible family member who is a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident.

My spouse and I want to apply for immigration to Canada. Based on our assessments, we are both eligible to apply to our chosen program. How should we decide who will be the principle applicant? 

There are several factors that must be evaluated to choose who should be the principal applicant. Apart from choosing the strongest profile in terms of the program’s selection factors, one must also consider the availability and strength of the documentation relating to education and work experience. It is also possible to submit two applications to maximize the chances of success, however this would double the costs of applying for immigration.

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