Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I’m working in the USA on a valid H2 work visa. I have several years of work experience as a Chef. I have been trying to locate an employment agency in Canada to help me work under the low skilled program which guarantees me a job for two years. I’ve been unsuccessful and was wondering if this program still exists. What other options are available to me in order to enter Canada in the fastest possible time?

A. The occupation of Chef is actually a high skilled position – not a low skill occupation. You are correct that there is a low skilled program which permits applicants to work for two years in a low skill position. However, in most cases, the applicant must return back to their home country after the two years. As well, no credit is given for low skilled work if one is applying for permanent residence. Thirdly, an applicant first must have a Canadian employer sponsor them in order to apply for the low skill program. All in all, it is not a preferred program for applicants who are qualified under other categories. That being said, you appear to have a strong case in applying for permanent residence directly – and with no prerequisite in having a job offer. In other words, your occupation of Chef is in demand in Canada and applicants with work experience in an occupation in demand are able to obtain permanent residence on a priority basis – about one year and no job offer is required.

Q. I am applying for permanent residence in Canada. I lived in Dubai for three years and in New York for two years. My work and education were all conducted in the English language. Do I still need to take the IELTS English exam?

A. As you may know, Canada’s immigration system works on a point grid. The highest score you can obtain for English is sixteen. That does not mean you necessarily must score the maximum of sixteen because your required score depends on other factors. As such, if you need only a few points you probably do not need to take the IELTS. As well, in some cases, a written submission may be accepted in lieu of the IELTS. However, my advice to all clients is as follows: If you have the time, take the IELTS because the score will be regarded by Canada Immigration as conclusive evidence of language ability and if the score is accepted it will usually lead to waiver of the interview.

Q. I applied for permanent residence at the Canadian Embassy in 2007. I’m a nurse with over 20 years of work experience. I know that the new laws will give priority to nurses but my application was filed under the old laws. I just received a letter from the Canadian Embassy asking me to withdraw my old file, get a refund and then apply under the new laws. They seem to suggest in their letter that it will be faster if I do that? What do you think?

A. I am familiar with this standard letter and you must be very careful. Yes, it sounds like it will be faster and maybe it will. However, you need to look at all the factors before you cancel a three year old file. Remember, you will not be transferring one file to another. You are cancelling one and then starting a new one. Be also careful regarding your age and that of dependants. The age is locked in for the first application but if you start today, the age is locked in as of today’s date. While it is promising that applicants can expedite their cases under the new laws, it is not for everyone and must be looked at on a case by case basis.

Q. I entered Canada as a live in caregiver one year ago. I am living with my fiancé who is a Canadian Citizen. We were told that if we marry I still must wait to complete my 24 months as a caregiver before he can sponsor me. Is that correct? Why can’t we marry and then I forget about my caregiving program?

A. You absolutely can. You do not need to complete the caregiving program is you marry a Canadian and he sponsors you. My advice actually is always to have both going on at the same time just in case something happens with your relationship.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Moyal by phone 416 733 3193 or email