Q: I read that if a person is a university graduate and has several years of work experience they are eligible to qualify as a permanent resident in Canada. I also read that an applicant does not need to have a sponsor to petition them and a person can apply on their own. Is that true? If so, how long does it take to process such an application. My old classmate is living in UAE and she told me that she has applied in 2007 and is still waiting. Does it really take that long and why?
A: There are two main issues to your question: eligibility and processing time. You are correct, under current rules an applicant can apply on their own merit without anyone’s assistance and qualify if they are under 50 years old, educated, fluent in English and with work experience. However, the processing time will likely be long for such “regular” applications as there are so many of them. It can certainly take several years to process depending on the embassy that is processing the application. It should be noted that an embassy can only accept to process a person’s application if the applicant is a national of that country or if the applicant has resided in that country for at least one year.
While some applicants at times prefer a long processing time (i.e. children to finish school, completing a work contract) there are other avenues available to expedite an application to about one year. Firstly, the most direct way to expedite a permanent resident application is to file the application via a close family’s sponsorship. In essence, the close relative in Canada will assist the applicant upon arrival and as such these types of application are given provincial priority. It should be noted that the close family member must reside in a particular province for a certain period of time to qualify as a sponsor. There are several programs with separate rules. Examples are:
a) An applicant with a close family member living in Alberta for at least two years will be eligible to file under that province’s family stream
b) An applicant with a close family member living in Manitoba or Saskatchewan for at least one year will be eligible to file under that province’s family stream. A first degree cousin is considered a close family member in Manitoba.
The second most direct route to expedite an application is by having a job offer from a Canadian employer. Once the job offer is approved by the local human resources office in Canada, it serves as a ticket to expedite the permanent resident application.
Atty. Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto. The article above is general advice only is not intended as legal document. Send your Canada permanent residency inquiries to his office phone 416-733-3193