Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with Attorney David Cohen

CIC News
Published: February 4, 2016

Every month, Attorney David Cohen will answer a few general Canadian immigration questions submitted by our readers. These questions cover immigration programs, eligibility, processing, language requirements, investing in Canada, landing, admissibility, studying in Canada, working in Canada, and much more.

Here are this month's questions and answers.

1. My spouse is a permanent resident of Canada, but currently resides in India. Can he sponsor me for permanent residence without being employed and while staying with me in India?

The Family Class category of Canadian immigration allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner. However, if the sponsor is not a Canadian citizen (i.e. if he or she is a Canadian permanent resident), he or she must be ordinarily residing in Canada. A permanent resident living outside Canada who wishes to sponsor a spouse or common-law partner may have the option of either returning to Canada to live or obtaining Canadian citizenship, if eligible, before submitting an application under the Family Class.

2. Greetings, it's a pleasure to write to you. I wish to ask if Canada has a Green Card lottery, similar to the United States.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also known as the Green Card lottery, is a lottery program for receiving a U.S. Permanent Resident Card. Canada has no such program. Indeed, there is no such thing as a Green Card for the purposes of Canadian permanent residence. Permanent residents of Canada have the right to a Canada Permanent Resident Card as proof of their status in Canada.

Though Canada has no lottery for permanent resident status, the government of Canada operates a selection system known as Express Entry. The main similarity between Express Entry and the Green Card lottery is that candidates make an Expression of Interest in immigrating, and then enter a pool along with other candidates. With Express Entry, however, candidates are ranked according to human capital, skills transferability, and economic factors. Candidates may then be selected from the pool on a priority basis, rather than at random, at regular draws from the pool. In addition, Express Entry is open to eligible citizens from all countries. Applicants to the Green Card lottery, on the other hand, are at the whim of a program that only allows candidates from certain countries to enter, and that’s before the randomness of the draw itself is taken into account.

3. Dear Sir, I wish to immigrate to Canada. However, for my Educational Credential Assessment, my university is not providing transcripts, nor do they respond to emails and phone calls. How can I proceed further?

Candidates for immigration to Canada who wish to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), either for eligibility reasons or for the purposes of being awarded points under a ranking system, are required to get their educational institution, such as a university, to cooperate. World Education Services (WES), for example, asks for direct submission of transcripts and/or diplomas, degrees, and certificates from the institution, not from the applicant. Individuals who, for whatever reason, are finding that their institution is not cooperating with their requests, are encouraged to contact a qualified ECA supplier (such as WES) for further instructions.

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