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Skilled Worker/General

What does Canadian permanent resident status confer?
Pursuant to the provisions of Canada's constitutional laws, the holder of a Canadian permanent resident visa and his/her accompanying dependants are permitted to permanently reside in Canada and earn a livelihood in any one of the ten provinces and three territories within Canada. In addition, individuals with Canadian permanent residence may attend primary and secondary education institutions in the various provincially administered public school systems, tuition exempt. Permanent residents also qualify for provincially administered universal health care coverage.

How long does it take to obtain a permanent resident visa?
Depending upon the time of year, the immigration office in question and other factors, the processing time for an application for permanent residence filed under the economic class can vary from between 6 months to 40 months. This is the time generally needed to demonstrate compliance under one of the applicable categories; a clean bill of health for the applicant and accompanying dependants; sufficient assets to successfully establish the family in Canada; and a confirmation of no criminal inadmissibility for the applicant and the accompanying dependants. (The immigration offices in New Delhi, Islamabad, Singapore and Beijing currently attract the most applications and therefore have the longest processing times).

Who is included in the application for permanent residence?
The application for permanent residence generally includes the applicant, spouse or common-law partner or conjugal partner 16 years of age or older and any unmarried children under the age of 22 years. Children over the age of 22 may in prescribed circumstances, be included as accompanying family members.

What supporting documents must I submit?
Supporting documentation generally encompasses evidence of employment, education, assets, civil status, and an absence of criminal convictions. Each visa office has its own specific requirements for supporting documentation. It is advisable to seek expert guidance or get instructions from the particular visa office, which will process your application.

As a general rule, the submitted application must contain in prescribed format, the name, birth date, and address, nationality and immigration status of the applicant and of all family members of the applicant and the class of visa being requested. An application being submitted under the skilled worker class must also contain the four-digit codes from the National Occupational Classification that corresponds to each of the occupations engaged in by the applicant and that constitutes the skilled worker's work experience.

Business immigration applications must be supported by documentation, which corroborates an applicant's business/managerial, experience. Certain documents can be submitted during the process. These include statutory documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and certificates of non criminal conviction from each place of residence where an applicant has permanently resided for more than 6 months since age 16 years. Although it is preferred that applicants submit documentation supporting education, employment experience and language proficiencies at the file submission stage, such documentation may be forwarded to the visa office after file submission.

An application submitted without the minimum required supporting documentation will by law, entail its rejection. Yet applications that are properly prepared can be submitted with the minimum requisite documentation, while additional non essential documentation can be submitted during the process.

Applications are processed on a first come first served basis and the pass mark can be modified by the Minister without notification at any time during the process, which may prejudice an applicant's qualifications where an application has not undergone a selection.

Am I required to have a certain amount of assets?
Skilled Worker applicants will generally be required to prove that they have settlement funds sufficient for themselves and any accompanying dependents. They are expected to be able to support the landed family (the principal applicant and all accompanying dependents) until employment is obtained.

Will my application benefit if I have a close relative in Canada?
Skilled Worker applicants will be awarded bonus points if the close relative is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and over the age of 19 years. The applicant is then referred to as an "assisted relative". To qualify as a close relative, the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must be the applicant's uncle, aunt, brother, sister, parent, nephew or niece.

The principal applicant receives five points for adaptability if they or their accompanying spouse or common-law partner, have a close relative in Canada such as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, spouse, common-law partner, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is physically residing in Canada.

Is work experience a requirement?
Work experience is a critical requirement for a Skilled Worker immigrant. At least one year of experience within the past 10 years in one of the occupations listed in either Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification (the "NOC") is a necessary preliminary requisite to qualifying for permanent resident status.

To receive consideration for experience, the applicant must perform the actions described in the lead statement for the occupation as set out in the NOC and at least a substantial number of the main duties of the occupation including all of the essential duties. There is no obligation to meet the occupational employment requirements described in the NOC.

Applicants must specify in their application the four-digit code of the NOC that corresponds to each of the occupations engaged in by the applicant and that constitutes the skilled worker's work experience.

A number of graduate students and post doctoral candidates may not possess so called "full time" employment experience within the traditional sense other than faculty related internships, teaching positions, etc. In many cases, such experience may prove sufficient.

The number of units of assessment awarded under the experience factor will depend upon reasoned presentations on the part of the applicant demonstrating that the applicant meets the requirements of NOC and would ultimately be left to the discretion of the interviewing visa officer.

Must the experience have been accumulated on a full-time basis? Must it have been accumulated continuously?
Part-time work experience is acceptable. It is assessed in proportion to a standard full-time working week. For example, a two-year part-time position requiring approximately 20 hours of work each week, will be counted as one year of full-time experience. Non-consecutive work experience in positions involving the same duties may also be counted, if the total work experience meets the minimum experience requirements.

How is experience in a previous or current occupation evaluated when that occupation differs from the applicant's education?
Under the present selection criteria, such experience is fully counted towards the assessment of the applicant's work experience.

Is credit given for experience gained during post-secondary studies?
Yes, as long as the experience gained at that time is consistent with the definition of an occupation appearing on the General Occupations List; it can be counted in the assessment of work experience.

Must I have a Canadian offer of employment to qualify as a Skilled Worker?
The Canadian Citizenship & Immigration authorities do not require applicants to secure an approved offer of employment as a condition of selection. In essence, current Canadian immigration policy provides that if an applicant meets the skilled worker selection criteria, he/she is likely to become successfully established in Canada. However, "arranged employment", (approved by Human Resources Development Canada) will provide a prospective applicant with an additional 15 units of assessment and in most cases, is an important aspect of the selection process. The current selection rules therefore favour applicants with government approved job offers in Canada.

Can I apply if I do not yet have the required minimum work experience?
Applicants without one year of work experience in an "open" occupation (6 months for applicants destined to Quebec or Manitoba) are required to demonstrate arranged employment.

What are the applicable processing fees to process an application for permanent residence?
Applications for permanent residence must include the appropriate non-refundable processing fees for applicants and their accompanying dependants. For applicants applying under the skilled worker program the application fee is currently set at $550 CAD for each applicant as well as each family member of the principle applicant who is 22 years of age or older. A fee of $150 shall apply to each family member under the age of 22 years. As well, a Right Of Permanent Residence Fee of $490 CAD is levied, prior to visa issuance, for each person who is at least 22 years of age applying for permanent residence.

Processing fees must be filed with the application. Right Of Permanent Residence fees may be submitted upon request by the visa office, prior to visa issuance. Applicants are encouraged to verify with local missions for applicable immigration office specific payment procedures.

Who must attend the selection interview?
The applicant and spouse (where applicable), will generally be required to travel to the processing immigration office and attend a selection interview. In some cases, the requirement for a spouse to attend the selection interview can be waived.

As well, certain posts require that accompanying dependant children over the age of 22 years attend the immigration selection interview.

What about interview waivers?
Certain factors may justify the waiving of a selection interview. This is a highly discretionary aspect of the Regulations and is largely a function of the immigration office in question, the habitual residence of the applicant and the documentation in support of the applicant's qualifications.

What if the intended occupation requires registration/licensing?
There are a number of occupations in Canada requiring registration and/or licensing, a process that varies from province to province. However, occupational licensing is not a requirement to overcome as a condition of immigration approval.

Are assets/personal net worth determining factors in the selection process? Under the skilled worker class, personal net worth is not a selection criterion of assessment. However, assets can impact positively upon an applicant's assessment under the positive discretion provisions of the regulations.

Applicants generally must provide evidence of sufficient funds for the family to travel and settle in Canada as measured against the current annual Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) published by Statistics Canada.

A sum of approximately $20,000 would satisfy the requirements for a family comprising of the applicant, spouse and two children. Such evidence may be furnished immediately prior to visa issuance.

Exempt from this financial requirement would be applicants who have received an approved job offer in Canada.

Must an individual reside in Canada in order to maintain permanent resident status?
Current legislation provides that permanent resident status is maintained if a person is physically resident in Canada for at least 730 days (2 years) within any period of 5 years, or if other circumstances are met.

If not physically present in Canada, permanent resident status can be maintained while abroad where the Canadian resident is abroad with a Canadian citizen spouse or parent; with a Canadian employer, or with a Canadian permanent resident who works for a Canadian employer.

It is sufficient for a permanent resident to demonstrate at examination, if they have been a permanent resident for less than five years, that they can potentially meet the 730-day residency obligation in respect of the five-year period immediately after their arrival in Canada. An officer is not permitted to exclude the possibility that an applicant who has resided abroad for three years, may still be able to comply with the residency obligation during the remaining two years of the five-year period.

Canadian residency rules are among the most flexible. In effect one who is recently admitted as a permanent resident can theoretically leave Canada for up to three years after activating their resident visa to pursue their existing obligations while preserving Canadian permanent residence throughout this initial period.

Can foreign nationals who have applied for Canadian permanent residence under the skilled worker class obtain a temporary non-immigrant (visitor's) visa to Canada?
Traditionally, visa officers have viewed concurrent applications for permanent residence and temporary entry as being incompatible with each other.

Current law attempts to clarify the issue and provides that immigration officer's must assess the present intention of the applicant when a person applies to visit Canada and verify the question of whether the applicant has the ability and the intention to enter Canada for a temporary purpose and thereafter leave Canada at the expiry of the visitor status, regardless if the long-term goal is to secure permanent residence in Canada. Visitor's (work, study or visit) with pending immigrant applications may be subject to the issue of Dual Intent if they cannot demonstrate that they will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay.

Under current immigration policy, applicants are encouraged to become familiar with Canada's landscape, which will augment the applicant's likelihood of successfully integrating into Canadian society. Applicants are discouraged however from "waiting" inside Canada during the permanent residence application process. Applicants who wish to procure temporary entry into Canada and who have a pending application for permanent residence will be required to demonstrate sufficient ties to their current country of residence prior to the issuing of a temporary visitor's visa by the Canadian visa office.

Can foreign nationals who have applied for Canadian permanent residence under the Skilled Worker Class concurrently apply for a temporary non-immigrant work permit?
The issues raised above should be reiterated here as well. In addition, applicants who wish to procure a temporary work permit must generally initiate the process with the assistance of the prospective employer who must file an application with the Canada Employment authorities inside Canada. It is only after the employment authorities have confirmed that the hiring in question will have a neutral affect on the local labour market that the application would be approved and forwarded to the appropriate visa office outside Canada for immigration assessment and processing. This is known as obtaining a positive "labour market opinion". As the average processing time for permanent residence applications currently exceeds 12 months at most immigration offices, it may be advantageous in many cases, for the applicant to apply for a temporary work permit either prior to or during the processing of an application for permanent residence.

Is it more advantageous to apply before or after an applicant has researched the Canadian labour market?
The Canadian immigration authorities are continuously revising its programs and policies to reflect Canada's changing labour market requirements. The current Regulations provide the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with authority to set and amend the pass mark at any time during the process with no lock-in protection for an application under assessment. Qualified applicants who manifest a serious interest in obtaining permanent residence would be encouraged to proceed with the filing of the application(s) and the non refundable government filing fees in a timely fashion so as to initiate and conclude the processing at the earliest possible time.

As well, since the processing of a permanent resident visa application generally takes many months to complete, Canadian employers are often willing to consider sponsoring the candidacy of qualified foreign applicants under a temporary work visa. Applicants may therefore consider canvassing the Canadian labour market while simultaneously processing an application for permanent residence.

What are the current prospects for employment in Canada?
Employers in the Canadian High Technology, Engineering, Financial Services sectors, Construction and Skilled Trades, Machining and Heavy Equipment Operators, Automotive, Agriculture and Healthcare are now recruiting qualified individuals who are lawfully permitted to take up employment in Canada on a temporary or permanent basis. Many of these firms are currently advertising available positions in Canada's leading newspapers, trade journals and or through the Internet.

What are the general tax implications of acquiring Canadian permanent residence?
The Canadian Government imposes income tax on the basis of residency rather than citizenship. It is therefore possible to become a Canadian citizen and a non-resident for tax purposes. After becoming a permanent resident and prior to attaining citizenship, an individual would be required to pay Canadian taxes on worldwide income. However, the tax legislation allows for newly arriving permanent residents to establish an offshore trust into which may flow all of the non-Canadian sourced income, except employment income. The trust avails for a maximum period of five years and it is therefore possible to become a Canadian citizen and a non-resident within the life span of the trust. The assets of a newly arriving immigrant are not taxed under Canadian law.

What if a prospective applicant is destined to the Province of Quebec?
Pursuant to the provisions of the Quebec/Canada Accord, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Quebec Act Respecting the Selection of Foreign Nationals, the Quebec Government is currently the only provincial government in Canada to have concluded a comprehensive agreement for the purpose of facilitating the formulation, coordination and implementation of immigration policies and programs with respect to the admission of foreign nationals to the province.

However, the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration authorities maintain exclusive jurisdiction in the areas of visa issuance, and medical and criminal inadmissibility.

Applicants, who are intent on settling in Quebec after acquiring Canadian permanent residence, are encouraged to file their applications for a Quebec Certificate of Selection with the appropriate Quebec Delegation outside Canada. Once this undertaking is completed and approved, the appropriate Canadian visa office would review the appropriate applications for Canadian permanent residence.

Applicants destined to Quebec or who attempt landing in Quebec without prior approval from the Quebec authorities will likely experience difficulties at a Port Of Entry. This is a sensitive issue and must be addressed by experienced counsel.

What if a prospective applicant is destined to a Province that administers a provincial nominee immigration program?
A number of provinces have concluded agreements with the Canadian government under the Provincial Nominee program, which provide for the selection of a very limited number of foreign nationals destined to one of those provinces each year. Most provincial programs require employer sponsorship to support a nomination. Owing to the general requirement of employer sponsorship as well as the high volume of applications that are currently awaiting processing under most provincial program outside Quebec, applicants applying under a Provincial Nominee program are strongly encouraged to secure approved job offers, regardless of the point total received following a self-assessment, in order to increase their chances for approval under a provincial nominee program.

How does permanent resident status assist the visa holder in temporarily entering the United States?
Citizens from the list of countries referenced in the Country List "A", the following writing (Removal of U.S. Entry Visa Requirements for Certain Permanent Residents of Canada) are required to file an application with a U.S. consulate along with a non-refundable $100 filing fee. First time applicants with the exception of children under 16, adults over 60 and persons with diplomatic status, will likely be required to attend a personal interview. The visa once issued, will be valid for a period of five to ten years.

Landed immigrants in Canada holding passports from Country List "B" of the writing do not require visas to travel to the United States, because their countries of origin have reciprocal visa-waiver agreements with the U.S.

How does Canadian citizenship assist the visa holder in temporarily entering the United States?
Canadian permanent residence does not confer any particular US immigration benefits. Canadian citizens may travel to the US without a visa, and may seek employment in one year increments under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA provides a list of eligible classes of employment most of which are executive, managerial, professional or scientific in nature. The US does not offer Canadians a fast tract to permanent residence or employment out side of the NAFTA list.

Generally, one may apply for Canadian citizenship if one has maintained permanent residence in Canada three of the four years preceding the application.

How have the events of September 11, 2001 in the United States affected Canadian immigration policy?
Canadian and authorities in the United States have concluded a number of efforts to further expand upon cooperative strategies in the areas of shared intelligence gathering, administration of customs and revenue policies and joint procedures on security with government agencies in the United States in order to better secure our North American perimeters. Such initiatives also include information and electronic database sharing with law enforcement agencies between G8 member countries, including Canada.

However, Canadian immigration policies currently reflect a more strict approach to the selection and admission of foreign nationals for reasons that relate to the volume of applicants worldwide, who are interested in relocating to Canada and therefore which do not necessarily relate to the events of September 11, 2001.

What are the numbers of immigrants who were admitted to Canada in 2002, 2003, 2004?
There were 229,040 immigrants admitted to Canada under all categories in 2002, including approximately 138,000 Economic Class (Skilled Workers and Business Immigrants) comprising of applicants and their accompanying family dependants. In 2003, 221,355 immigrants were admitted to Canada including 121,050 Economic Class. In 2004 there were 235,824 admissions including 133,746 economic immigrants.

Business Class

What documents must Business Immigration Program applicants submit?
In addition to government application forms, education-related and statutory documents (passports, birth certificates, etc.), Business Immigration Program must submit documents evidencing business and/or managerial experience, as well as documents evidencing net worth.

As a Business Immigration Program Applicant, am I required to live in the province, which I originally indicated as my intended destination?
When you become a permanent resident, you may live, work and engage in business activities in any Canadian province or territory.

How can I qualify as an Immigrant Investor?
As an Immigrant Investor planning to reside anywhere in Canada, except Quebec, you must:

Have a net worth of at least CAD$800,000 gained through your own endeavours;

Invest CAD$400,000 for five years with Citizenship and Immigration Canada which acts as agent on behalf of provincial and territorial investment funds; and

Have successfully operated, controlled or directed a business or managed a minimum of 5 employees for a period of 2 years.

How can I, as an Immigrant Investor, prove that I earned my minimum net worth "by legitimate endeavours"?
Immigrant Investor applicants must demonstrate the origin and accumulation of their wealth through reliable, third party documentary evidence: tax returns, pay stubs, deeds of purchase/sale, statements from stockbrokers, business/real estate valuations, etc. An applicant must be able to demonstrate that assets were gained through means, which are considered legal, including gifts or inheritances.

As an Immigrant Investor, will I be obliged to work and/or engage in business activities in Canada?
While an Immigrant Investor is entitled to engage in work and business activities upon arrival in Canada, there is absolutely no obligation to do so.

When do I, as an Immigrant Investor, commit my investment amount?
You must commit your CAD$400,000 investment amount before final approval from Federal or Quebec Immigration officials, as the case maybe.

What happens to my investment amount if my Immigrant Investor application is refused?
If your intended destination in Canada is outside Quebec, your investment will be promptly refunded. If you intend to reside in Quebec and you have deposited your investment in a government approved immigrant investment program you must make sure that your investment is not locked-in until you land in Canada. Your investment cannot be refunded for five years once it has been locked in.

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program

What does a Manitoba Nomination Certificate entail?
A Manitoba Nomination Certificate (MNC) serves as the instrument which when received by the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration authorities, initiates the process of acquiring Canadian permanent residence under the immigration category of Provincial Nominee. The MNC when issued is evidence that admission of the applicant is of significant benefit to the industrial and economic development of Manitoba and that the nominee will have a strong likelihood of successfully establishing in Manitoba The holder of a MNC will be able to subscribe to the various settlement and social services that are available to newcomers to Manitoba.

Who qualifies for a Manitoba Nomination Certificate?
Under the current rules, prospective applicants are pre screened and assessed under an evaluation grid comprised of eight major factors with each factor being assigned a numerical value. These factors include: age, education, occupational demand, guaranteed employment, experience, language, adaptability and suitability of spouse. As well, up to ten additional points may be awarded for other factors that in the opinion of a program officer, may contribute to the applicant's successful establishment in Manitoba. Applicants, who obtain 55 points, will be considered among other applicants for a Manitoba Nomination Certificate. Successful applicants will generally include those who would otherwise not qualify on their own under the federal independent program and who have an intended occupation on the High Demand Occupation List or with a qualified offer of employment.

What is the application procedure?
Applications are submitted to the Immigration Promotion and Recruitment Branch - Citizenship and Multiculturalism Division of the Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Citizenship Ministry. Following an initial assessment, applicants may be scheduled for an interview. Successful applicants will be issued a Manitoba Nomination Certificate, valid for 180 days, in respect of each person being considered by Canada as a provincial nominee. The applicant and overage dependants would thereafter submit to the appropriate Canadian visa office abroad, applications for Canadian permanent residence. The effective selection of the visa office abroad can greatly reduce the overall processing time which varies from post to post.

How long does it take to obtain a MNC and a permanent resident visa?
Depending upon the time of year, the Manitoba Government's developing processing procedures under this new program and the Canadian visa office in question as well as other factors, the processing time for an application for a MNC and permanent residence filed under the Manitoba selection rules can vary from between 8 months and 24 months This is the time generally needed to complete the process of a Manitoba assessment and nomination, receive a MNC, complete the federal statutory health requirements and obtain a clean bill of health for the applicant and accompanying dependants; obtain a confirmation of no criminal inadmissibility's for the applicant and the overage accompanying dependants and demonstrate sufficient assets to successfully establish the family in Manitoba.

Who is included in the application for a MNC?
The application for a MNC includes the applicant, spouse and unmarried children under age 19 years. Unmarried children over age 19 years can be included as accompanying dependants where they have maintained enrolment in an approved education institution, since attaining the age of 19 years.

Where are applications submitted?
Applications for a MNC must be filed with the Immigration Promotion and Recruitment Branch - Citizenship and Multiculturalism Division of the Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Citizenship Ministry in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

What are the prescribed government fees?
There are no prescribed fees under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. Applications for Canadian permanent residence must include the appropriate non refundable processing fees. Approved applicants will also be required to pay a Right of Landing fee for the applicant and each overage age accompanying dependant.

Must the applicant travel to Manitoba as part of the immigration process? (Not applicable for persons studying or working in Manitoba)
Unless an interview is required in a particular application, the applicant need not visit Manitoba as part of the immigration process. However under the Factor - Adaptability, points are awarded for extended temporary visits (a maximum of seven points for a work or study related stay; a maximum of five points for qualified visits). The reality is that familiarity with the Manitoba landscape, including the English or French language, customs and particularly knowledge of the area of intended destination in Manitoba, can impact positively on the overall assessment.

What documents are submitted along with the application?
Applications filed under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program generally include documents pertaining to the applicant's civil status, education, employment experience and where applicable, an (approved) offer of employment. In addition, documentation proving prior visit(s) to Manitoba can provide additional points under the Factor - Adaptability and therefore positively affect the assessment.

Is full-time employment experience a necessary requirement for skilled worker applicants?
At least six months of full-time employment experience related to the applicant's intended occupation in Manitoba, is a necessary preliminary requisite to qualifying for a MNC and Canadian permanent resident status.

What about the interview process?
Certain applicants may be encouraged to participate in an assessment interview. An interview may take place in person or by telephone, depending on the circumstances as determined by a program officer. Generally, an interview would be scheduled to determine inter alia, whether an applicant will demonstrate factors that may contribute to the applicant's successful settlement in Manitoba. The interview may likewise be conducted to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in the documentation submitted or to verify an applicant's language abilities.

Are assets/personal net worth determining factors in the selection process?
All applicants must have access to sufficient financial resources to cover the first six months of living expenses. Generally, a sum of $10,000 CDN would be deemed sufficient for the main applicant. An amount of $2000 would be added for each additional accompanying dependent. Evidence of settlement funding must be furnished prior to visa issuance. As well overall personal net worth may contribute to the applicant's successful settlement in Manitoba and such factor may be taken into consideration by a Manitoba program officer.

Does it help to have a relative in Manitoba?
Having a close relative in Manitoba can result in a maximum of ten points being awarded to the applicant.

Must an individual reside in Manitoba in order to maintain permanent resident status?
At the present time, a Canadian permanent resident residing in Manitoba is, pursuant to Canadian Constitutional laws, permitted to relocate to any one of the ten provinces and two territories in Canada. This is a predominantly Federal issue. Under current Federal legislation, a Canadian permanent resident should not remain outside of Canada for more than six months in any twelve month period. In some cases, a Returning Resident Permit may be obtained from the Canadian authorities, which would allow for continuous absences of up to two years while permanent resident status is preserved. For example, individuals who wish to complete their studies or honour the terms and conditions of an existing employment contract may qualify for such a permit. This is a highly discretionary area of the regulations.

Can Canadian permanent resident status lead to Canadian Citizenship?
As a general rule, individuals with three years of permanent resident status during the preceding four years can qualify for Canadian citizenship. Generally, actual physical residence is required. However in a number of instances, non physical residence has been acceptable. The issue of physical and non physical residence has given rise to substantial litigation and accordingly merits further consideration by prospective applicants.

Can foreign nationals who have applied for a Manitoba Nomination Certificate and Canadian permanent residence category obtain a temporary non immigrant visitor's visa to Manitoba?
Traditionally, concurrent applications for permanent residence and temporary entry to Canada have been viewed by visa officers as being incompatible with each other. Under current Manitoba immigration policy, applicants are encouraged to become familiar with Manitoba's landscape which assumedly will augment the applicant's likelihood of successfully integrating into Manitoba society. Indeed, applicants are awarded additional points for temporary visits. However, applicants are discouraged however from "waiting" inside Manitoba during the permanent residence application process. Accordingly, applicants who wish to procure temporary entry into Canada (Manitoba) and who have pending, an application for a MNC and Canadian permanent residence, will be required to demonstrate sufficient ties to their current country of residence prior to the issuing of a temporary visitor's visa by the Canadian visa office abroad.

Is it more advantageous to apply before or after an applicant has researched the Manitoba labour market?
The various occupations which are open to prospective immigrants to Manitoba are continuously being revised by the Manitoba immigration authorities to reflect Manitoba's changing labour market requirements. As well, since the processing of either a permanent resident, MNC or an employment authorization visa takes months to complete, Manitoba employers generally prefer to consider the candidacy of applicants who possess the appropriate legal status to become permanently employed in Manitoba. This increases the marketability of a potential applicant for the prospective Manitoba employer.

What are the current prospects for employment in Manitoba?
Applicants who are interested in establishing residence in Manitoba are advised to undertake a preliminary visit/research in order to establish contact(s) with prospective employers. Applicants are likewise encouraged to avail the various services offered by the Manitoba Government to prospective immigrants, who may elect to meet with a program officer within the Ministry.

What are the benefits of engaging the services of an attorney who specializes in Canadian immigration matters?
Manitoba and Canadian Immigration laws and regulations are highly procedural and provide for the extensive use of discretionary authority by immigration officers. Such discretion must be exercised in precise and well defined limits.

As well, Manitoba immigration rules are rather new in relation to the Federal model. The joint involvement between the Manitoba and Federal governments in the immigration process often entails a series of complex procedural undertakings which require the participation of knowledgeable and experienced counsel, who is familiar with both jurisdictions.

A skilled attorney specializing in this field, will be able to effectively navigate through the required procedures, recognize the presence of irregularities in the use of discretionary authority, the misapplication of immigration directives and guidelines, the misapplication of regulatory definitions and the committing of fundamental breaches in the duty to act fairly during the assessment process. An experienced attorney will ensure that such irregularities are raised within the proper legal delays, and that the issues in question can be properly addressed before a competent tribunal or court of law.

In practical terms, a reputable attorney will effectively prepare submissions which satisfactorily address the issues where discretion is a factor. A reputable attorney will effectively present to the visa office instances of irregularities in the assessment process which most often will be corrected, thus avoiding the need to avail the use of the judicial system.

Question & Answers