How can an ordinary person immigrate to Canada?
There is a tip about how to eat an elephant – one bite at a time. I do not recommend eating an elephant; even the ordinary elephants are beautiful and amazing creatures. Immigration pathways to Canada are big animals too, and in this article, I will give you one tip that will benefit you at every step.
In the earlier replies to these questions, you have seen page after page of detailed options and requirements. In this article, I will tell you my observations that I hope will help you understand the other side of immigration; which is about the goals of Canadian immigration policy. An appreciation of Canadian objectives will help you understand how your situation might best fit.
Canadian immigration policy is based on just a few objectives:
- support the development of the Canadian economy,
- reunite families in Canada, and
- to get the maximum benefits from immigration: social, cultural and economic.
There are others, but these are the ones you should know.
You should also know that Canadian society considers paying money for immigration as inappropriate. Great care is taken to eliminate options that allow someone to simply pay for permanent residence. At the same time, a lack of savings is a barrier to immigration, because money is needed to accomplish each step. I do not know what is an ordinary person; perhaps the following paragraphs can help you answer if ordinary people have a chance at immigration to Canada.
Now, if you are reading this article, you are probably mature with education and possibly with positive work experiences; meaning your skills could support economic development in Canada. Exactly as the policy objective has stated. However, this is where cultural differences are most troublesome for those immigrating; the rules that define whether you can contribute to Canada are written from a Canadian perspective – you may have already noticed this as something strange and difficult to understand.
Skilled workers applying through Express Entry or Provincial Nomination are evaluated on:
- Language ability (English or French),
- Education, and
- Work experience.
Age - as someone who is older, I ask myself why age is a decisive factor; I believe that more experience should mean more skill and greater value. Nonetheless ages 19 to 30 score higher point in Express entry. Canada has universal health care at no direct cost to its citizens or permanent residents, and Canadians feel that too many older Canadians means higher health care expenses to the country.
Language ability is counted very highly in immigration programs, as the country tries to keep its bilingual English/French cultural identity. Simply said, score results from IELTS-G or CELPIP-G will determine whether you are eligibility or not (yet). Due to the enormous task of language learning, I refer you to my first tip – one bite at a time.
Education is a world-wide means of evaluation of a person’s ability; which is easily measured and compared. It is used by schools for admission, employers for hiring, and immigration programs. Canada is seeking skilled workers, with skills in jobs that require college or university education, so naturally persons with post-secondary education score higher.
I look at language improvement and additional education as opportunities to improve your chances of success in immigration. Sorry, your age cannot change, no matter how young you look.
Work experience is also a key factor, and unpredictable; it is the factor most subjected to cultural differences: differences in definitions, differences in job titles, difficult to validate, and difficult to measure. From a Canadian perspective, the authorities must evaluate on Canadian standards and Canadian professional regulations. Immigration is focused on a future in Canada, so business or career success in your home country may not be evaluated as favourably as you might expect.
For this reason, I prefer to suggest pathways that plan for completing additional study and new work experience in Canada. Almost all Provincial Nomination Programs favour applicants that have studied or worked in their province as proof that the person will stay work and live in their province.
As promised my one tip that will benefit you in all steps along the path to immigration is to be truthful. Fake information may be overlooked at the beginning, but then it is “on record” and it will always be a worrisome threat for rejection in the years to follow.
Robert Dykstra is an Immigration Consultant living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.