After living for 5 years in Canada with three different employers and at least five work permit renewals, I finally got the permanent resident in Canada for me and my family. I will describe in this article how I did it and I will share a few tips.
Please remember I am going to write what to do, not how to do it. I will also describe my specific case, which will be useful for those who have a similar scenario. Please do not send me questions regarding how to do things or what if you have another profession different than mine, I will just ignore those comments.
I highly recommend the website of Katapulta Network, there you will find a lot of information regarding how to do some processes.
Background and Tips
My background is the following:
- NOC 2171 which it fits as a NAFTA profession. The profession is not regulated in Canada.
- two master's degrees, Mexican and French
- one bachelor's degree, Mexican
- married with kids
Applying under Canadian Experience Class.
The key to getting an Invitation to Apply is having a good score. For example:
- having nine in the four language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) and having at least one master's degree will give you extra points
- having a work with an LMIA exception gives you points, but having a work with an LMIA gives you more points
- if your spouse has a job for more than one year, it will give you points
- if your spouse has post-secondary education, it will give you points
Read, read read. All information is on the CIC website. You can always call the CIC call centre for any doubt.
Speed Up Your Process
When I did this, of course like anyone, it was my first permanent residence process. So, as I was not having any previous knowledge, I didn't do many things in parallel, which could save me some time.
Here is my Gantt diagram.
You can download the source as well.
I put some comments on each item. Numbers are not in order, they correspond to the task id from the Gantt chart.
- Doing the language exam is a MUST. Personally speaking, I tried first IETLS, but it is harder to get a good score there than CELPIP. Sadly, CELPIP abroad availability is not good.
- I got my score by mail. The physical paper in terms of Express Entry was not important, I just kept a note of the data it is there. CIC agents have an electronic way to verify it. This exam can help you with other things, it is not limited to migration matters.
- I went to the WES website and create an account.
- Once I had the WES account, I looked for the credential assessment.
- I paid for my Canadian assessment. After that, I got the directions on what to do.
- Scanned, Copied and Printed my title diplomas and sent them to the WES.
- Contacted each university of any title you are claiming, explained to them what I wanted to do and sent them the signed form from WES.
- Some universities would send the transcripts in English directly to the WES, others would send you the transcripts to me (with an official envelope) and I would need to send that to WES without any sign of manipulation. The key here was they see it has not been tainted. In my case, the ITAM and the FAR sent the transcripts directly, but the SudParis sent me a copy with an official envelope, I just put all inside that envelop and I put a bigger envelope and sent that to the WES.
- I got my assessment by regular mail. Again, the physical paper was not important for the CIC, it was the numbers there. CIC agents have a way to verify them electronically. This assessment is very handy if you want to do some studies later in Canada.
- Answered the many questions on the CIC Express Entry website and set up your profile.
- I got my Express Entry score and notification I was in the pool. The wait started.
- Eventually, I got a notification inviting me to apply. From this point, I was running against the clock. CIC gives you up to 60 days to finish your application. It was 90, but for a reason, they decided that 60 days was more than enough.
- The application form was half-completed with information from the Express Entry profile. But now, I needed to set up more information. I started remembering for the last ten years: my address history, my work history, any voyages I have done, etc.
- I started looking for any document I could use to back up any claim I did in the questionary and the forms I did fill. There was a place in the system to upload it. I needed to master any PDF generator program, as I remember, there was only one space for studies, so I needed to generate a big PDF with all data. The same for other backup documents. The system gave me any direct link to download all the PDF forms the CIC will need for your application.
- I wrote a Letter of Explanation to the evaluating agent. This letter was a good opportunity to transmit any feeling, pertinent data was not asked in the forms but it was more important I explained here if I was not able to get one supporting document. For example, say the case I did not meet your biological father or a company that refused to give me the referral letter.
- I uploaded your letter, again in PDF format.
- I paid on the website with my credit card.
- My application was submitted, I just waited for any communication from CIC.
- Eventually, I got some extra request, one of them was the police certificate from my home country. I read about how Canada has agreed with your country about that. Do not worry, all is on the CIC website.
- The golden email has arrived. This means I was approved, but not yet resident. These emails had some directions, I read them very carefully.
- I took more photos of myself and my family members. In short, these were passport photos.
- I took a copy of the biodata page of my passport. Mexicans do not require a visa, a copy is enough. Citizens from other countries may need to send the original password.
- I filled the attached form.
- I got a prepaid way to get my documentation back. The golden email had accurate directions about the valid mail services I could use.
- I got together all the documents
- I sent the package to the address specified in the golden email.
- I got by mail my Confirmation of Permanent Resident. I have been approved but not yet a permanent resident. This document had my last directions, I read it very carefully.
- I called the CIC to get an appointment. They explained to me my options. Because I was already in Canada, there is an option without going out of the country.
- I got my complimentary documents, some of them were my original passport, proof of address (Canadian address), any CIC previous document I may still have.
- In my case, I took the call of going to the border. As I lived in Ottawa, I was told that CIC only accept CoRP signatures every second and fourth Tuesday of each month without an appointment, first arrived first served. Two days for a whole city would be insane. The key here when going to the border is getting the refuse paper from the US. The US agents know already what you want to do, I just needed to tell them you want to get back to the Canada Border Services Agency spot. I got that paper, Canadian agents would refuse to give me a service if I did not show that paper.
- The agent still needed to meet physically all the applicants regardless of their age. Myself and any family member older than 14 years would sign the CoRP.
- I was now a resident.
- I would need to look for an authorized medical centre for the health check. The price varies depending on the spot, so look for more than one option call all of them.
- I got an eMedical form from the medical centre. I needed that later.
- I looked for an authorized place for my fingerprints to be taken. Usually, the police station would be a good option.
- In the very specific case of Mexico, I needed to send my original fingerprints with a request letter directly to the Canadian Embassy in Mexico. They would request my police certificate on my behalf.
- I scanned my original studies transcript with my official translation.
- I got a certified translator for this. Only the official translator's work is valid for the government of Canada.
- Canada requires me to show I had funds when landing in Canada and that I did not have big debts as well. CIC would require me to show I had that money saved for a least six months, so I could not borrow from someone, printed the statement and returned the money. The quantity of how much I needed to have is based on the number of your family members. I had to show at least 26000 CAD for four family members.
- I went to the bank and asked them to print the bank statements. This paper must use a head letter and must have the bank seal.
- I got a certified translator.
- I scanned my original and translated birth and marriage certificates.
- I dug in my work history and asked my ex-employers for a reference letter. The reference letter only needed to say I really worked for them in the position I claimed. In my case, I had six employers in the last ten years. So, I contacted each one. As a tip, make this easy for them. I wrote the letter myself, sent it as a PDF to them, asked them to sign it and sent me back scanned by email. The letter must be using the company head letter and signed by someone with authority. It could be my immediate boss, not necessarily the owner of the company. If it happened I still had stubs or checks, I included them, they were valid. Any missing reference could be explained in the Letter of Explanation. I was lucky, I got the letters for my old jobs from Mexico, but I had read that some people were not that lucky; I had read some success stories of people showing reference letters from co-workers supporting the work claim.
- I created one PDF document per each work you are claiming.
Clues and Tips doing the Paperwork for the Permanent Residence Process
- The CIC will ask you for your home history for the last ten years or since you are eight-teen, whatever is the longest. CIC does not really ask for any evidence. However, it is a good idea to talk to them in case CIC calls. Please note you should NOT leave any blank space in your timeline.
- The CIC will ask you about your work history. For each claim you do, you must show evidence; some ways are a letter explaining in detail your past job, stubs are valid as well. Canadian jobs are easier to show, if you were laid off the RoE is a good proof of work (with stubs of course). T4 lips are not enough by themselves.
- The CIC will ask you for education records, although you already sent your ECA you must send a photocopy of your title and transcript (grades), both in the original language and translated by a certified translator. If you can ask directly your school to give you a transcript copy in English or French, you may save that money. The CIC accepts foreign papers in English or French. Professional or product certifications are not considered education, even if they are work-related.
- Do not deny your spouse! Sometimes applying you alone will give you about 5% more points. Try always to apply with her/him. Bringing later your spouse is possible, not impossible, but it is a slow process. You may bein a distant-relationship for about two years or more (and airplane tickets are not always cheap). If you are coming from a non-visa country, your spouse could visit you on a regular basis. This is harder if you have children. Don't be an idiot and don't deny your spouse! Claiming to be single automatically bans your spouse and children as CIC compares your family member declarations with past processes.
- The Letter of Explanation is your friend. This is the document you can use to explain the agent why you miss a paper, or why your application is missing a field. For example, if you do not know your father, and only know his name. This is a place to explain that you only know his name and why you kept empty the other fields. Another example is the missing employment record. Some employers are not as cool as you wish. Using this letter to explain why you have incomplete evidence is a good use of your time.
I want to thank all those who support me. Especially, I want to thank miss Jessica Thibault who has supported me and helped me without any personal gain.