Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with Attorney David Cohen

CIC News
Published: February 1, 2017

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. I was born in Ghana, but I am an Italian citizen now. Can I apply for the eTA and what are the necessary documents I should submit?

Canada’s new electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) pre-clearance system is for visa-exempt travelers traveling by air. Whether an individual is exempt from the requirement to obtain a visa to enter Canada is determined by his or her citizenship. Italian passport holders traveling to Canada on an Italian passport are visa-exempt. Therefore, they need to apply for an obtain an eTA before traveling to Canada.

Individuals requiring an eTA in order to visit Canada are asked to fill out some personal information and answer a few basic questions relating to criminality or medical issues.

To complete the online form, you need:

  • a valid passport from a visa-exempt country,
  • a credit card to pay the $7.00 CAD fee,
  • a valid email address, and
  • access to the internet and a few minutes of your time.

Typically, no additional documentation is required. However, if the government of Canada requires any documentation from the individual on a case basis, the government will let that individual know what documentation is required.

2. Does Canada have a Green Card, like in the U.S.? If so, how can I obtain one?

Canada Green Card is a term that is used figuratively to describe permanent residence in Canada.

In the U.S. a United States Permanent Resident Card is popularly known as a Green Card, due to the colour of the card originally being green. Instead of a Canada Green Card, permanent residents of Canada have the right to a Canada Permanent Resident Card as proof of their Canada immigration status. A Canada Permanent Resident Card grants an individual the right to enter and live in Canada.

To find out if you are eligible to obtain Canadian permanent residence through one of the currently available immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment form.

3. What is a “base” provincial nomination certificate?

Canada’s provinces and territories are able to make nominations under their regular, or “base”, Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams outside the Express Entry selection system. These PNP categories have eligibility criteria set by the provinces and territories.

Candidates who receive a base nomination have their applications processed outside of the Express Entry application management system. Candidates must first satisfy the criteria for a PNP stream, apply, and receive a nomination certificate. With this certificate in hand, candidates may apply to the federal government for permanent resident status. The federal government reviews the medical and security admissibility credentials of the applicant and his or her family, if applicable.

There are certain PNP streams that are “enhanced”. In contrast to the base streams, applications submitted through an enhanced PNP stream are processed within Express Entry.

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