Frequently Asked Questions

Before contacting us, please browse our FAQ.

How long does it take to process my case?

It depends on the type of application being submitted, and the processing times at a particular Embassy, High Commission Office, or Case Processing Centre. Student visa, Visitor Visas can sometimes take up to 4 months. Applications for Permanent Residency can sometimes take up to 1 to 2 years.

The following is the published Service Standards that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has provided. It should give you some idea of processing times. Complex cases take longer to process

Student applications: 80% processed within 4 weeks

Routine family class applications by spouses: 6 months

Approval in principle for applications for landing in Canada sent to Vegreville: 90 days

Granting of landing through Vegreville: 12 to 18 months

Visitor extensions: 25 days

Citizenship applications: 8 to 12 months

What is the fast track process of application?

Applicants under the skilled category can now file the application for immigration under the fast track process in Canada. Preliminary clearance for the application is given in 3 months time and later cleared by the embassy in another 4 to 6 months time.

How can I speed up the processing of my case?

By ensuring that delays do not occur in the processing of your application by:

  • insufficient postage;
  • incomplete or unsigned application forms;
  • incorrect or missing fees;
  • incorrect, incomplete address or failure to notify the visa office of a change of address;
  • missing documents;
  • unclear photocopies of documents;
  • documents not accompanied by a certified English or French translation;
  • verification of information and documents provided;
  • a medical condition that may require additional tests or consultations;
  • a criminal or security problem;
  • family situations such as impending divorce, or custody or maintenance issues;
  • completion of legal adoption;
  • consultation is required with other offices in Canada and abroad;
  • inquiring about the status of your application before the standard processing time has elapsed; or
  • you are not a permanent resident of the country in which you currently reside.
What is the quickest way of obtaining permanent residency?

The “Fast track system”, where you have all of your documents ready for processing.

Once I obtain my Immigrant Visa, how long is it valid?

Your Immigrant Visa will state how long it will be valid for. Usually, it is valid for one year from the date of the medical examine or date of acceptance. Immigrant visas cannot be extended once issued. If applicants do not use the visas within their validity, they must reapply for immigration to Canada.

Is there a medical requirement for immigrating to Canada?

Yes. You and your dependents, whether accompanying you or not, must undergo and pass a medical examination. To pass the medical examination you or your dependents must not have a condition that is a danger to public health or safety or would cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada.

What does excessive demand on Canada's health or social services mean?

Individuals may be denied admittance to Canada due to the high costs of their care. The factors considered during the medical assessment include whether or not hospitalization or medical, social or institutional care are required and whether potential employability or productivity could be affected. For example, a person with a serious disease or psychiatric disorder requiring ongoing care or hospitalization may be inadmissible because their requirements would place “excessive demand” on the Canadian health-care system. However, should your family undertake to the Province of intended residence that they will be financially responsible for medical needs then you may be admitted for permanent residency.

Must everyone in my family have a medical examination?

Yes. All of your dependents who are not already permanent residents or Canadian citizens, whether they will accompany you to Canada or not, must undergo a medical examination.

I heard that the Right of Landing Fee has been eliminated, is this correct?

As of February 28, 2000 the Right of Landing Fee has been eliminated for refugees only. The new right of permanent residence for other category has been reduced from $975 to $490.

Can I have dual citizenship?

According to Canada’s Citizenship Act, Canadian citizens are allowed to hold dual citizenship. This means that they will not lose their Canadian citizenship if they become a citizen of another country.

Can foreign nationals who have been convicted of a crime or who have committed a criminal offence ever be allowed into Canada?

Such people may be allowed to enter Canada in the following situations.

  • They are able to satisfy an immigration officer that they meet the legal requirement to be deemed rehabilitated; or
  • They have applied for rehabilitation and their application has been approved; or
  • They have obtained a temporary resident permit; or
  • They have obtained a pardon from the National Parole Board of Canada if the criminal offence was committed in Canada, or they have obtained a foreign pardon recognized in Canada.
  • Any activity that is considered a criminal offence in Canada, such as driving while under the influence of a substance such as alcohol, may prevent you from entering into Canada, even if the activity was not considered criminal in the country where it was committed
What is rehabilitation?

For the purposes of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, rehabilitation means that the person who has offended in the past is unlikely to be involved in any further criminal activity. Rehabilitation therefore removes the grounds of criminal inadmissibility.

Who is deemed rehabilitated?

Foreign nationals who have been convicted of a single indictable offence or who have committed a single indictable offence outside Canada will be deemed rehabilitated under the following conditions:

  • Ten years have passed since the completion of their sentence or since the offence was committed; and
  • The offence which they committed would be punishable in Canada by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than 10 years; and
  • They have not been convicted of, or committed, any additional offences at the time of their examination.
  • Foreign nationals who have been convicted of two or more summary offences either in or outside Canada will be deemed rehabilitated if five years have passed since the sentences were served or were to be served; and
  • they have not been convicted of any other offences at the time of their examination
Who can apply for rehabilitation?

Foreign nationals who have been convicted of a single indictable offence or who have committed a single indictable offence outside Canada will be deemed rehabilitated under the following conditions:

  • They committed a criminal act or an omission outside Canada and five years have passed since the act or omission.
  • They were convicted outside Canada and five years have passed since the end of the sentence.
  • The application for rehabilitation can be made through Canadian visa offices abroad. In some circumstances, applications can be made at a Canadian border point, although people are advised to inquire about it before seeking entry as they may be refused entry at the border. If an application for rehabilitation is approved, notification is provided. The notification will give the details of the rehabilitation, thereby assisting entry into Canada.
Who can apply for a temporary resident permit?

If justified by compelling circumstances, foreign nationals who are inadmissible to Canada-including people who have a criminal conviction — may be issued a temporary resident permit allowing them to enter or remain in Canada.

Can foreign nationals enter Canada if they have been pardoned?

Foreign nationals who have been convicted of a single indictable offence in Canada, but who have obtained a pardon from the National Parole Board of Canada may no longer be inadmissible on criminal grounds and may be allowed to enter Canada. Foreign nationals who have received a foreign pardon recognized in Canada may also be admissible to Canada.

I am an engineer/engineering technician/technologist/physician, do I have to get accreditation before immigration?

There are some professions that are regulated in Canada, ie., you need to be licensed to practice by provincial authorities to practice. Engineers, engineering technicians and technologists and physicians are among these. You have to get your qualifications assessed for immigration purposes by the relevant accreditation body before your immigration request could be processed.

What is the address of the relevant professional organization for assessment of professional qualifications (CCPE/CCTT/CMA)?

They are as follows:

The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers
Informal Assesment Program
Suite 401, 116 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 5G3
Tel: +1 (613) 232-2474 Fax: +1 (613) 230-5759

The Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists
285 McLeod Street
2nd Floor
Ottawa ON K2P 1A1
Tel: +1 (613) 238-8123 Fax: +1 (613) 238-8822

Medical Council of Canada
Box 8234
Ottawa, ON KlG 3H7
Tel: +1 (613) 521-6012 Fax: +1 (613) 521-9417