Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with Attorney David Cohen

CIC News
Published: December 7, 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. Hello, I recently secured admission to study MBA at a private university in British Columbia. However, I would like to confirm if my spouse can apply for an open work permit after I might have secured my study permit considering the fact I am attending a private university. What are my chances?

Spouses of certain international students in Canada may obtain an open work permit. An open work permit allows its bearer to work anywhere in Canada for any employer.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states that a spouse accompanying an international student in Canada may be eligible for an open work permit if the international student has a valid study permit, and is studying full-time at:

  • a public post-secondary institution, such as a college or university or collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) in Quebec; OR
  • a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution, and receives at least 50 percent of its financing for its overall operations from government grants (currently, only private college-level educational institutions in Quebec qualify); OR
  • a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees.

The work permit will usually be issued for the same period of time as the study permit.

2. I have read that under the revamped Comprehensive Ranking System for Express Entry, candidates with qualifying job offers are awarded either 50 or 200 points, depending on the position, where previously it was 600 points. Why is there a difference between certain positions, and which positions are worth 200 points?

IRCC has stated over recent weeks that it wishes to invite more candidates to apply based on their human capital, skills and experience. As such, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) was revised and improvements implemented as of November 19, 2016.

A qualifying job offer is worth 50 points if the qualifying offer of arranged employment is for skilled position (National Occupational Classification 0, A or B), except for occupations contained in Major Group 00 of the National Occupational Classification (senior managerial level positions), which are worth 200 points.

IRCC representatives stated that candidates who have experience in a senior managerial level position did not typically receive many CRS points for the age factor under the old system. The difference between the points awarded for these job offers and other job offers in skilled positions under the new system reflects IRCC’s desire to reward these skilled and experienced candidates under the new system. These senior managerial level positions are:

  • 0011 Legislators
  • 0012 Senior government managers and officials
  • 0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services
  • 0014 Senior managers – health, education, social and community services and membership organizations
  • 0015 Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services not elsewhere classified.
  • 0016 Senior managers – construction, transportation, production and utilities.

Note that although a job offer will no longer guarantee an ITA, it significantly increases the chances of being invited to apply.

3. Is it necessary to stay in a particular province of Canada, if one has entered to province through a Provincial Nominee Program? If yes, then what is the minimum period to stay in that particular province?

Canadian provinces and territories may select a pre-determined number of new immigrants to their provinces and territories through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Each PNP is tailored to the province's or territory's specific needs to select nominees who will be able to settle into life and work in the region and to effectively contribute to the community.

As part of the process of applying to a PNP, the applicant is required to submit a settlement plan and affirm that he or she intends to reside in that province or territory. Individuals immigrating to one of Canada's provinces as a provincial nominee should have a genuine intention of settling in that province. Indeed, certain PNP categories, including some business categories, require successful applicants to live and work in the province on a temporary work permit. In these cases, if the applicant fulfils certain criteria, he or she may then transition to permanent resident status.

Once an individual has obtained permanent resident status, he or she may live and work in any of Canada's provinces or territories.

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