Q and A: International Student Seeking Permanent Residency Options

Question: After being in Quebec as a PhD student for three and a half years, I am wondering if I am able to apply for permanent residency prior to the time that my education is complete. Are there certain special conditions or some advantages that can be used for PhD students?

Answer: You may be able to complete Canadian immigration through QSWP, which is the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. The other option is the Quebec Experience Class. With the QSWP, it is unfortunately not open at this time to most international candidates. However, you may be cap exempt if you happen to have a certificat d’acception du Quebec or CAQ. It is presumable that you already hold such a study permit for your studies in Quebec and that you have already lawfully admitted for a period of time that totals at least one calendar year. As far as the PEQ, if you are working on a course of study at an educational institution in Quebec, you can submit a request within six months prior to the time that your course of study is to end. The processing of your application will be complete once the confirmation is received along with final transcripts. You must also be able to demonstrate exemplary knowledge of French orally (advanced intermediate).

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Q and A: Applying For Visitor Visa While Sponsorship Is Pending

Question: I have a son who is a citizen of Canada and he is married to a girl from India. He has worked to submit a spousal sponsorship application and the normal time for processing a PR for a spouse from India is roughly 18 months. As the application is processing, is she able to apply for a temporary visitor visa?

Answer: Yes, she is allowed to apply for a visiting/tourist visa during the time that the spousal sponsorship application is being processed. This dual intent actually refers to the simultaneous processing of the application for her permanent residence along with the application to be used for temporary status. This actually demonstrates the intention that she wants to reside in Canada on a permanent basis and on a temporary basis at the same time. This situation is completely acceptable just as long as the person intends to leave Canada once the end of their visit is complete. IRPA, the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, precludes the denial of any application to be used for temporary status on the basis that there is some sort of application for permanent residence under the Family Class program, which will include a spousal sponsorship.

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Updates In Canada Immigration Business Categories: Quebec And Saskatchewan

Earlier this month, Quebec and Saskatchewan announced some updates in the business streams of their respective immigration programs. These updates pertain to intake dates and changes to some of the streams and categories.

Updates in Quebec’s Business Stream

Quebec made some changes in its investor program, its business category, and its self-employed immigration stream. These changes are outlined below:

Quebec Investor Program (QIP)

The updates on the QIP pertain to the program’s new intake period, which will be from August 31, 2015 to January 29, 2016.  Quebec will process only up to 1,750 applications under this category, with a maximum of 1,200 applications from any single country.

However, those with an “advanced intermediate” proficiency level in the French language will not be covered by this limit and will instead be given priority processing in their application.

Quebec Entrepreneur Program (QEP)

The QEP is open to all business owners who want to obtain permanent residency in Canada. The program allows them to apply for immigration, with the main requirement being that they can obtain or create a business in Quebec (agricultural, commercial, or industrial).

The intake period for those who are interested in the program is April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, with a maximum of 150 applications to be processed. However, those with advanced intermediate level of proficiency in the French language will not be included in this limit. Applicants who meet this criterion can apply anytime and will be given priority processing.

Quebec Self-Employed Program

This program is open to all individuals who want to become permanent Canadian residents and possess the capability to successfully establish themselves in Canada via their profession or trade. The requirements include a net worth of at least CAD$100,000 and at least two years of experience in the profession or trade that they intend to practice once they are settled in Quebec.

Updates in Saskatchewan’s Entrepreneur and Farm Category

The SINP (Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program) Entrepreneur and Farm Category is open to individuals who wish to own and operate a business or farming operation in the province of Saskatchewan. Qualified individuals can come to Saskatchewan with their family—all they need to do to begin with is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via the new online Express Entry system.

There are two basic phases in the application for the SINP Entrepreneur and Farm Category. The initial phase involves the interested individuals meeting these three basic requirements to be eligible for the program:

● A net worth of at least $500,000 Canadian Dollars (CAD), which should be verifiable

● Proof that net worth was accumulated via legal means, which should be verifiable

● At least three years of entrepreneurial or business management experience

Those who meet the following eligibility requirements and are approved can proceed to the second phase of the application, with the following criteria:

● They must invest at least $300,000 (CAD) in Regina and Saskatoon or at least $200,000 (CAD) in all other Saskatchewan communities

● They must set up a business that meets the points assigned in the Entrepreneur Category Points Grid, if applicable (for investment amount and sector)

● They must own at least one third (33 1/3%) of the equity of a business in Saskatchewan (exemption: if the total investment is $1 million CAD or higher)

● They must be active and must have on-going participation in the daily management and direction of the business

● If they are establishing a new business in Regina or Saskatoon, they must create two employment opportunities for Canadians or permanent residents in Saskatchewan (non-relatives)

Those who are interested in applying for any of the programs under Quebec’s and Saskatchewan’s Business Category can look into the application process. It is important to note the intake period to ensure that all requirements will be ready by then and guarantee a spot in the processing.

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