Adaptability Factor for FWSP

Work ImmigrationPeople looking to immigrate to Canada for a job might be able to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Successful applicants of this program are granted Permanent Residency in Canada.

Permanent Residency is an immigration status, which allows immigrants the right to live and work in the country indefinitely. Permanent Residents can also travel outside of Canada, however they must be careful to follow the travel rules.

In order to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, one must be able to score 67 points out of 100 in the FSWP selection Factors.

One factor, called adaptability, can grant an applicant up to 10 points.

Adaptability is a measure of how well an immigrant may adjust to life in Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the governing body for the Federal Skilled Worker Program is primarily interested in the success of immigrants who come to Canada and adaptability certainly contributes to one’s success.

The following conditions can contribute to points in the adaptability factor for Federal Skilled Workers.

  • Partner’s Language Ability. A spouse with a language ability of CLB 4 or higher will grant five points toward one’s adaptability score.
  • Past Study. Immigrants who previously went to school in Canada may be able to receive five points in adaptability. Five additional points will be given if one’s spouse or partner studied in Canada.
  • Past work experience can also contribute points to adaptability. Up to ten points if the work experience meets the criteria. A spouse’s past work experience can contribute 5 points to this category.
  • Arranged Employment will automatically contribute 5 points to the adaptability category.
  • Immigrants with relatives already in Canada can receive five points in adaptability.

Federal Skilled Worker Credentialing Organizations

Language requirementImmigrants looking to become Federal Skilled Workers in Canada will need to demonstrate their suitability for the program before Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Two of the factors for suitability are for language and education. However, because there is no worldwide organization that standardizes all education, one’s knowledge must be assessed somehow.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada provides several different organizations that may help immigrants show that they are right for permanent residence in Canada.

Language Credentials

There are only certain organizations certified to examine a person’s language ability in English or French to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s satisfaction.

Immigrants, for this requirement, must be able to show that they can listen to, speak, read and write in either of the official languages of Canada, English or French.

Most of the assessment organizations describe several levels of competency, but each scale is different based on which organization it is.

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, awards points for FSWP if the applicant scores above a 7 CLB level.

CELPIP, the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, is an alternative to IELTS.

French language speakers can test with TEF, or Test d’evaluation de francais.

Education Credentials

If you obtained an education outside of Canada and it will be important for getting a Federal Skilled Worker position, you will have to have it assessed.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada list four different organizations that can assess a foreign education:

  • The Comparative Education Service, located at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • The International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • The World Education Services
  • The Medical Council of Canada (primarily for medical type educations)

The language requirement can contribute up to 28 points toward the FSWP points.

The Education requirement can contribute up to 25 points toward the FSWP points.

Federal Skilled Worker Language Points

Language requirementCitizenship and Immigration Canada offers a work visa program called the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

This program offers Permanent Residency to workers who are eligible meaning that they can live and work in Canada for as long as they please. This is of course provided that they follow the rules in maintaining a Permanent Resident Card.

One of the requirements for eligibility in the Federal Skilled Worker Program is that applicants must be somewhat skilled in either English or French, the two official languages of Canada.

A maximum of 28 points can be awarded to applicants for their skills in English or French. To be eligible for the FSW program, an immigrant must score at least 67 out of 100 points.

The total score one might achieve in the language category of the parameters is dependent on how well the applicant can listen, speak, read and write in English or French.

It is perfectly acceptable to study English or French before applying for this program to increase one’s score. However, studying after one comes to Canada will not impact one’s score in the application process.

The Canadian Language Board determines the metrics for suitability in the Federal Skilled Worker program.

People who score lower than a CLB level 7 are not allowed to apply for the program.

Applicants who apply with a CLB level of 7, 8 or 9 get a different number of points:

  • CLB level 7 receive 16 points
  • CLB level 8 reveive 20 points
  • CLB level 9 receive 24 points

An applicant can receive an additional four points for having a level of CLB 5 in a second language. So, one can score a CLB level 7 in French and a CLB 5 in English and they will score a total of 20 points (16+4).

Selection Factors for Federal Skilled Worker Program

Permanent ResidentThe Federal Skilled Worker Program is a Canadian immigration program that provides an opportunity for foreign residents to come into Canada to work.

Additionally, the program grants accepted immigrants Permanent Resident Cards, proof of an invaluable immigration status.

Permanent Residency allows immigrants the right to live and work in Canada and access to the country’s national benefits such as health care.

When people apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, their qualifications undergo an evaluation that determines their suitability for the program.

Below are the categories by which applicants are examined:

  • Language skills—Federal Skilled Workers should be competent in either English or French for this program. The most points one can get from this category is 28.
  • Education—applicants should have an appropriate education for the position they will do in Canada. Between 0 and 25 points are awarded for this category.
  • Experience—an applicant’s experience in the field also contributes to their suitability for this visa type. A maximum of 15 point are awarded for this category.
  • Age—younger applicants are preferred over older applicants and a total of 12 points will be awarded for this category.
  • Established employment—if an applicant already has a job arranged in Canada that can help in getting their visa. A maximum of 10 points are awarded for this category.
  • Adaptability—this category is a somewhat subjective measure of how well the potential immigrant will be able to get along in Canada and only 10 points are assigned to this category.

For an applicant to be eligible for a FSWP visa, they must be able to receive at least 67 points from the above categories. As one can see, one could score rather low on a few of the categories and still be eligible if they score higher on the higher value categories.

Biometrics FAQ

immigration faqDuring immigration to Canada, immigration officers may take biometric measurements of applicants during their meetings. Whether it is for Permanent Residency, a work permit or student permits, the process is quick, but still very necessary.

Below are some facts about Biometrics:

  • The word biometrics means the resulting profile of a person based on certain measurements of their person (bio meaning life; metric meaning measurement).
  • Biometrics is collected to prevent fraud and forgery during the immigration process. Effectively protecting immigrants from identity theft.
  • Biometrics could be fingerprints, DNA or physical attributes such as height, weight hair color, et cetera. Typically, in immigration cases, only fingerprints are taken with some other descriptive features.
  • They are useful for linking a person to the immigration databases to make it easier to identify them in future applications.
  • Every time a person applies for immigration benefits they must go in to an interview and give their biometrics to prove that they are who they claim they are.
  • Biometrics adds no delay to the estimated processing times because the interview is included in the estimation.
  • The taking of biometrics also facilitates in the background checks that Citizenship and Immigration Canada perform on all applicants. The fingerprints are securely sent to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who will check whether or not the applicant is a criminal and therefore barred from immigrating to Canada. They will also examine the fingerprints to see if they already belong to someone already registered with CIC, preventing fraud.
  • Immigrants who are currently within Canada do not need to submit biometrics.
  • However, immigrants who currently reside in any other country will need to submit biometrics as part of their application.

Common-Law Partners and Immigration

same-sex partnersCitizenship and Immigration Canada allows Permanent Residents and citizens within the country to sponsor their spouses to become Permanent Residents.

This family is generally called family based immigration and includes children as well.

A question commonly asked is whether or not common-law partners or same-sex couples can immigrate in this category as well.

Canada generally accepts these categories of relations for immigration provided they are able to meet some requirements set out by the CIC.

Common-Law Partners

Canada considers a relationship to be a common-law relationship if two people, regardless of their genders or sexes, have lived for 12 months in a marriage-like relationship.

This requirement has to be fulfilled over a whole year with each month consecutive. Living together sporadically over the period of several years with a grand total of 12 month worth of living together does not count.

Common-law relationships are only valid if the two people do not take any long periods of time away for work or family and there must be some sort of shared quality about their lives. Shared finances or the joint care of a child could go a long way to supporting the relationship in immigration proceedings.

Common-law relationships do not end in divorce even though they may dissolve. There is no reason to list any non-current common-law relationships in immigration paperwork.

Proving the relationship will be an important step in the immigration process and involves including supporting documentation. Below are some examples of supporting documentation:

  • A Statutory Declaration of a common-law union (a type of legal document)
  • Shared utility bills
  • Shared bank accounts or credit card accounts
  • A mortgage belonging to both partners
  • Mail addressed to both partners to a single address
  • Identification documents showing the two partners have the same address
  • Or any other document. Many more items can be used to show a common-law union.

Immigration and Police Certificates

police certificatesThe Visa Application Process

When applying for Permanent Residency in Canada there are a number of documents that must be obtained by immigrants for their application.

These documents show that the immigrant is eligible to immigrate to Canada and can show:

  • Identity
  • Relationship to Canadian Permanent Residents or Citizens
  • Employment
  • Financial stability
  • Police records
  • Translations

The immigrant officer in charge of a particular case will examine the relevant documents, the application and interview the applicant and then decide whether or not to grant a visa

When Are Police Certificates Necessary?

Police Certificates are documents that come from local law enforcement that list out the record of a particular person. This may include citations, arrests or records of imprisonment for a particular area.

Not all visa categories require that a police certificate be included in the application package, but many do and it is wise to examine the application instructions closely to determine whether or not certificates are necessary.

How to Get a Police Certificate

One gets a police certificate by applying for one with a local police department.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will likely request a police certificate from each place one has lived. There are some circumstances where an immigrant does not need to provide a police certificate from their time in Canada, such as if they are applying for:

  • Live-in caregiver status,
  • Temporary resident status
  • Family based visas provided the immigrant is a spouse or partner
  • Refugees or protected peoples

Translation Policy

As with all documents, if the official form is in a language other than English or French it must be translated.

Not only the original of the document and the translation be included, but an affidavit of accuracy should be filed as well, signed by the translator.

Travel and Permanent Resident Cards

permanent residentThe Canadian Permanent Resident Card is a necessary document for immigrants who wish to travel abroad from Canada.

Canadian residents are of course allowed to travel abroad. However, it is important to follow certain rules in order to make the process of returning to Canada easier.

Permanent Resident Card

Immigrants are encouraged to maintain their Permanent Resident Cards at all times and to renew or replace them when it is appropriate to ensure that they can get all of the benefits they need from Canada.

All Permanent Resident Cards must be renewed after ten years. They must be replaced if they are lost, stolen or damaged.

It is much easier to schedule a renewal or replacement for a Permanent Resident Card before one leaves the country, so be sure to check the expiration date of one’s PR Card before one leaves the country.

Immigrants who are trying to replace a PR Card before leaving Canada can file for urgent processing with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Emergency Processing

If, for some reason, a Canadian Permanent Resident is without their PR Card when abroad, but must return to the country there are alternate ways to re-enter Canada.

Immigrants who are using commercial transportation to return to Canada will have to apply for a travel document at one of Canada’s many visa offices abroad.

Canadian Permanent Residents who are returning to Canada in a private vehicle, such as a car over the U.S./Canada border, can use another document in place of the Permanent Resident Card.

They can present Form IMM 1000, Record of Landing, or Form IMM5292 (IMM 5688), Confirmation of Permanent Residence to the immigration officer at the border. After a few questions to confirm the immigrant’s status, they will be allowed back into Canada.

Temporary Resident Processing Times

processing timesProcessing times affect all immigration benefit applications in Canada whether or not one applies for them online.

However, online applications are processed much faster than paper applications as a matter of fact.

A processing time is the amount of time one has to wait from the time that the application is filed to when a decision is made by an immigration officer.

These estimates are heavily affected by a number of factors such as the number of people applying for an application, the number of people available to process the application, whether or not it is available online and so on.

It should also be understood that these dates are largely estimated. If, say, a visitor visa has a processing time of 107 days, 80% of applications are processed within 107 days. Therefore, a visitor visa application could be granted well before 107 days and it could also be granted (but slightly less likely) after the 107 days.

As of August 7, 2013, the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers is striking and this may negatively affect the processing times of all categories. This means that the processing times listed below may well become longer in the coming weeks or months.

Domestic Applications

Applications that have been filed within the Canadian border are considered domestic. The online application processing times are:

  • 56 days for a visitor visa
  • 28 days for a student visa
  • 21 days for a work permit for a student who wishes to work off campus
  • 30 days for a new work permit
  • 30 days for a work permit renewal
  • 26 days for a temporary resident visa


New Federal Skilled Trades Program Begins

FSTPThe first of the new batch of immigrants coming into Canada on the Federal Skilled Trades Program have just begun to arrive in the country as of August, 16 of this year.

Chris Alexander, the new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was at the border to welcome some of the new immigrants in Ontario.

Jason Kenney, the former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, still keeps an eye on immigration issues welcomed a Federal Skilled Trades Program immigrant in Calgary, Alberta as the new Employment and Social Development Minister.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program allows foreign residents with specific skills to apply for permanent residency in Canada working in their field.

Permanent Residency is the right to live and work in Canada indefinitely.

The program was created when it was identified that Canada had a skills gap for many trades.

There were simply not enough people in Canada who could do certain jobs. The idea was that the government could find people to do these jobs in other countries and them attract them to immigrate to Canada.

Many people are very interested in becoming permanent residents of Canada and this program is largely viewed as bound to be successful.

Not only does the program provide a convenient pathway into Canada for people who want to come to the country, but it also helps in the overall economy of the country and the provinces in which the workers will be primarily based.

After about three years of living in Canada full time, Permanent Residents can apply for citizenship provided they are competent in either English or French and are savvy of Canada’s history and government.