Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I know that a lot of people reading this blog may be interested in immigrating to Canada. I've gotten a few emails in the last couple of months asking me about this, so I thought I would write a short article.
The first thing to do is look on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada government page (CIC). That outlines the requirements to immigrate. There is an online quiz which will tell you if you have enough points to immigrate as a skilled worker. You get points for your education, language skills in English and French, work experience and things like that.
If you have close relatives in Canada they can also sponsor you.
You can't just move to Canada from the United States without a lot of preparation. Sometimes people seem to think it's like the 51st state or something. No. It's possible to get a temporary work permit in some cases, if you find a job first and your employer is able to prove to the government that there are no Canadians available for the job.
That is how my husband and I came to Toronto. He got a job, they got him the paperwork and he got a work permit. As his spouse, I was allowed to go with him. Temporary work permit holders and their families do get medical care coverage.
If your spouse is Canadian you are usually eligible for spousal immigration.
Whatever route you decide to take, immigration is hard. The paperwork is insane, and you can get different answers from different immigration employees.
It's a good idea to be in contact with other people going through immigration in terms of sorting out some of the confusion and for moral support. A good group is:
That's a LiveJournal group. You can read the groups posts without becoming a member. If you would like to participate, it's free to get a membership on LiveJournal.
A lot of social networking sites have similar groups, just do a search for Canadian Immigration on whatever site you are already on.
Keep in mind that any information you get from groups like this needs to be verified. Some people believe they are real experts on immigration and can steer you wrong.
You can also hire an immigration attorney or immigration consultant to do your application for you. This can be expensive but if the paperwork is that confusing for you or if you are really busy it can be helpful. Some people hire an attorney just to review their application before it is sent in to the government.
This is by no means a complete guide, but just a few things to get you started.