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Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with Attorney David Cohen

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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: 

Can a foreigner on a visitor visa apply to change to a temporary work or study visa while remaining in Canada ?

No. The first temporary work permit or study permit can only be issued when a foreign national is entering Canada at a port-of-entry. However, extensions to existing work permits or study permits can be processed while remaining in Canada.

With respect to spousal sponsorship, what is the difference between conditional and full permanent residency?

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced new regulations for the sponsorship of spouses and common-law partners on October 25, 2012. These new regulations impose a condition that the sponsor and sponsored spouse, or common-law partner, maintain their relationship and live together for a period of two years after the sponsored spouse, or common-law partner, becomes a permanent resident. This condition is only applicable to permanent residents whose sponsorship application was submitted after October 25, 2012. This condition is not applicable if the sponsor and sponsored spouse, or common-law partner, were in a relationship for more than two years prior to submitting the sponsorship application, or if the couple have children together. This condition is also not applicable to sponsored spouses, or common-law partners, if they have been subjected to abuse or neglect, or if the sponsor dies within the two year period.

I hold a public office in my home country. I am planning to travel to Canada on vacation. Do I need to make any special considerations, given my political role back at home?

There are no restrictions on the holders of political office from visiting Canada for vacation. However, if you are from a country that requires a Visitor Visa, then you will need to apply for and obtain a Visitor Visa prior to travelling to Canada.

I have conducted the entirety of my schooling (grade school through university)in English. Do I still need to provide IELTS?

Yes. CIC now requires that the level of language proficiency be proved through results obtained in an acceptable language test. For the English language, there are only two approved tests, namely IELTS and CELPIP.

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