What is the easiest way to immigrate to Canada?
Globalnews.ca has recently published a report of the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index (NBI) which has recorded that Canada is ranked third out of 50 countries when it comes to the “National Brand” for the second consecutive year. “National Brand” basically speaks to the popularity of a country and its desirability as a place to raise a family.
The popularity of Canada as a destination to live in has led to a surge of individuals wanting to move to Canada. Also, because of the health crisis, Canada missed its annual target of immigrants for 2020. As such, it is establishing ambitious plans to recruit immigrants for the next few years. In the immigration levels plan for 2021-2023 the government aims to accept 401,000 new immigrants in the year 2021, 411,000 new immigrants in the year 2022 and 421,000 in the year 2023. These plans have been labeled as unrealistic, at least in the short term. 
Canada’s growth plans raise the questions: how do you immigrate to Canada? What is the best stream of immigration to immigrate to Canada? If I am being persecuted in my home country; can I seek protection in Canada?
The answer lies in the three major immigration streams used to move to Canada. 1) the economic class 2) the family class, and 3) refugee protection.
Through its economic immigration categories, Canada recruits immigrants who are expected to contribute to the growth of the Canadian economy.
These categories usually involve granting of permanent residence based on an applicant’s personal characteristics such as age, level of education, language fluency and work experience. These factors are seen as good indicators that a person will be able to establish themselves in Canada.
The economic immigration program is divided into immigration categories which have been around for years: the skilled work and the business immigration categories. In addition, there are several newer, targeted programs aiming to meet specific needs, such as the Caregivers Program, the Agri-food Pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. Below are brief descriptions of the main programs.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
This is the main category in which Canada recruits most of its economic immigrants. It is divided into “skilled workers” and the Canadian Experience Class.
Skilled workers are assessed on a point system which assigns points to applicants based on qualities such as age, levels of education, language fluency, and work experience. Canadian Experience Class applicants are people who have at least one year of work experience in Canada. The applicant must have gained their work experience in managerial jobs (skill level 0), professional jobs (skill type A), technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B). The Job held must be full-time (30 hours/week) for a period of 12 months (1,560 hours), or part-time (15 hours/week) for a period of 24 months (1,560 hours).
Both skilled workers and applicants in the Canadian Experience Class are processed through the Express Entry system, which is an online intake processing system which helps Canada manage the numbers of people being processed for permanent residence.
The Federal Business Immigration Program
This program aims at inviting individuals to migrate to Canada as temporary and/or permanent residents to strengthen the Canadian economy. The main stream under this category is the self-employed category. The objective of the Self-employed class is to attract self-employed persons who have the intention and ability to create their own employment in Canada and who have worked in arts and culture, or athletics. The objective of the Investor class is to attract experienced businesspersons and capital to Canada.
Economic Pilot Programs
Economic Pilot programs are limited-time programs designed to address specific economic needs of the country or province or territory. Caregivers Program, Agri-food Pilot Program, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program are some of the types of these pilot programs. These programs have requirements in accordance with the goals of the program. Certain programs might require individuals that do not have educational qualifications but have the needed technical know-how, whereas certain other programs might require specific education to meet the program requirements.
Family Class immigration
The intent of the family class immigration program is to reunite Canadian citizens and permanent residents with close family members. By undertaking to support sponsored members of the family class, the Canadian or permanent resident sponsor promises that, for a specified duration, they will provide for the basic needs of their family members, so they do not have to rely on social assistance.
All family class applications for permanent residence are submitted at the same time as the sponsorship application to a Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Canada. CPCs are the primary offices responsible for processing family class sponsorship applications.
Sponsorship applications involving spouses, common-law or conjugal partners and dependent children are given priority. Family sponsorship applications are decided primarily upon the financial ability of the sponsor to support the members he/she seeks to sponsor as well as the establishment of a genuine family relationship between the applicant and sponsor.
Refugee protection program
Canada offers refugee protection to some people in Canada who fear persecution or who would be in danger if they had to leave. Some dangers they may face include torture, risk to their life, risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
Protection may be sought under two categories, convention refugee or a person in need of protection.
They are people outside their home country or the country they normally live in. They are not able to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality, being part of a social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation.
A person in need of protection
This is a person in Canada who cannot return to their home country safely. This is because, if they return, they may face danger of torture, risk to their life, risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
A person seeking protection can make a claim for refugee protection by speaking to an officer at any port of entry when you arrive in Canada, or at an inland office.
The officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will decide whether the applicant’s claim is eligible to be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). If the claim is eligible, it will be sent (“referred”) to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the IRB to start the claim for refugee protection process.
At a port of entry
If a claim for protection is made at a port of entry, the person seeking protection will be given a Confirmation of Referral and a Basis of Claim Form (BOC Form) to complete. The person must give his/her completed BOC Form to the RPD no later than 15 days after the date their claim was sent to the RPD. At a later date, the RPD will send the person a Notice to Appear for a Hearing that will tell him/her when and where their claim will be heard.
At an inland office
For claim at an inland office, the person seeking protection must give their completed BOC Form to the officer who decides whether his/her claim is eligible. That officer will give him/her a Confirmation of Referral. At a later date, the RPD will send him/her a Notice to Appear for a Hearing that will tell him/her when and where his/her claim will be heard.
At the hearing, an RPD decision-maker called a member will decide whether the claim should be allowed or not.
Note: Basis of Claim Form (BOC Form): The form in which you give information about yourself and about why you are claiming refugee protection in Canada.
Canada’s immediate plans to grow through immigration will involve an array of diverse programs designed to select and process people quickly, whether in the economic, family or refugee categories. Deciding the easiest route to Canada will depend on knowing immigration programs in development which match your specific background and needss.
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