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Frequently asked questions for IT professionals who wish to live and work in Canada.

Q-1. I am a software programmer with more than one year of work experience. Do I qualify for Permanent Immigration (PR)to Canada?

A. - Under the Quebec regulation if you are ready to learn conversation level of French language you can Qualify for immigration to Canada.

Q-2. How long does it take to obtain P.R of Canada?

A. - Every Canadian High Commission around the world is independent for processing the permanent immigration application. Every office has its own processing time depending on the number of applications received by that office. At present the processing time is 8-12 months in USA. In India the processing time is 24-30 months. This time is calculated from the date of filing the application.

Q-3. Can I work in the US after obtaining P.R of Canada?

A. - You cannot work while in the US while you are a permanent resident of Canada unless you have H-1 visa for USA. The citizens of Commonwealth countries can not freely visit the US when they are permanent residents of Canada. They need to apply for visitor visa.It is possible to work in the US after you become a Canadian citizen. Citizenship is obtained after being a permanent resident for a minimum of 3 years. Once you become a Canadian citizen, you can work anywhere in North America legally under the NAFTA agreement.

Q-4. When can I apply for Canadian citizenship?

A. - If you have remained a permanent resident of Canada for 3 years in the last 4 years, you may apply for Canadian citizenship.

Q-5. I am an Indian passport holder. Can I apply for Canadian P.R outside India?

A. - Irrespective of nationality & citizenship any professional and businessman can apply for Canadian P.R at any Canadian High commission around the world where they can present themselves for an interview when they are called for provided under regulation tehy have worked for one year in that country.

Q-6. Once I get my P.R of Canada, what is the time limit to come to Canada?

A. - The P.R visa has a validity of 6-12 months from the date of medical examination taken. You must enter Canada during this prescribed period of time. Under no circumstances can this time period be extended.

Q-7. For how long is the permanent residency of Canada valid?

A. - The P.R of Canada is valid for a period life time. However to maintain your PR you must stay physically in Canada for two years in 5 years period to maintain your PR. (Either at a time or at separate time)

Q-8. I have no legal status/ visa to stay in the US. Can I apply for P.R of Canada?

A. - You can NOT apply for Canadian permanent residency if you have no legal status in the US. However if you have some social security number and paid tax for all years you may apply for PR of Canada.

Q-9. Does Canada have work permit visa (H-1 visa) like the US?

A. - Yes, Canada has a work permit visa for IT professionals. This regulation came into existence on 5th May 1997 and is known as Software Pilot Project. Under this regulation there are seven types of IT professionals who can apply for Canadian work permit provided you have a job offer from a Canadian company. There is no requirement to obtain a Job Validation ( labor certification) from the Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), the labor department of Canada. The processing time is as little as 1-2 weeks.

Q-10. What are the job prospects for IT professionals in Canada?

A. - As per one survey, there are more than 40,000 IT professionals required in Canadian IT industry in the next two years. However, the Canadian IT employer is more interested in hiring a candidate who is a permanent resident/ citizen of Canada rather than hiring a professional on a work permit.

Q-11. Can I sponsor my family members after I become a permanent resident of Canada?

A. - Yes you can sponsor your immediate family members such as your parents, brothers and sisters under the age of 22, uncle, aunty, nephew, niece and grandparents. If you are married, your spouse and children will automatically become permanent residents once your are approved to become a permanent resident and have applied for them as your dependents.

Q-12. Can I change a job or profession or start a business in Canada once I become a permanent resident?

A. - Yes, you can change your job, your profession on the basis of which you have received your P.R or start a business in Canada as and when you please once you become a P.R of Canada.

Q-13. How is the standard of living in Canada?

A. - The United Nations has voted Canada as one of the best places in the world to live. Canada has one of the highest standard of living in the world. The crime rate in Canadian cities is much lower than the American cities.

Q-14. Is there any quota for granting P.R of Canada?

A. - The government of Canada has decided to admit over one million immigrants over the next four years. There is no quota based on either nationality or occupation.

Q-15. What are the benefits of becoming a P.R of Canada?

A.- The benefits are as follows:-

1. You and your family members are entitled to free medical and educational facilities.
2. You can avail of government welfare benefits.
3. You can go in & out of Canada as and when you like.
4. Compared to the US, the processing of P.R application is quicker and more straight forward.
5. You can obtain citizenship within 3 years whereas it takes 5 years to obtain American citizenship for a Green card holder.
6. Canadian citizenship is a passport to visit any place in the world.

Mr. Ajmera's views were quoted on the " Software Pilot Project" in the June/July 1999 issue of "HR Professionals" the magazine for Canadian Human Resources Professionals,published from Toronto,Ontario,Canada.



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