9 things you need before applying to come to Canada

Amy Smith / 9 min read
Canada is one of the most popular destinations for immigrants – and the reason is quite simple: besides having a great reputation of being diverse and economically stable, the country is also one of the most generous nations when it comes to accepting immigrants. But nothing comes for free. If you want to pursue the “Canadian dream,” you have to be prepared. And to do so, here are some things you need before starting your application:

Canada is one of the most popular destinations for immigrants – and the reason is quite simple: besides having a great reputation of being diverse and economically stable, the country is also one of the most generous nations when it comes to accepting immigrants. But nothing comes for free. If you want to pursue the “Canadian dream,” you have to be prepared. And to do so, here are some things you need before starting your application:


1. Language Tests

You must be able to communicate in either one of Canada’s official languages: English or French. Proficiency levels depend on which program you’re applying to. IELTS or CELPIP are the tests for English assessment. TEF is the one for French. 


2. Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Requirements vary according to the program you’re applying to. But, in order to have your qualification assessed, the steps are all the same. First, choose an institution to do so. There are plenty of recognized institutions that can assess your qualification. You can check them on Canada.ca Once chosen, download their forms, fill them out, and scan them so that you can email the completed forms to them.


 

Your forms will be checked, and soon you will receive an email about your payment method. Then, it’s time for you to send the original transcript of records and diploma from your school or university. It should be in a sealed envelope and you shouldn’t have opened the document. Once the process is concluded, the institution will assess your qualifications and send your ECA to you.


3. Medical Examination

Canada requires a medical examination to ensure that you won’t be a threat to the health of other people in the country or be a burden to their health system. Make sure you get your medical examination from an accredited physician.


4. Reference Letters

Reference letters are required to prove your work experience. Just a reminder: they need to be written in the official company letterhead. The required length of work experience depends on which program you’re applying to. For Express Entry, for instance, the requirement is at least 12 months of experience.


5. Police Clearance\

In order to make sure you won’t be a threat to the safety of the country, Canada requires you to present a valid police clearance certificate from all the countries you lived in for the last 10 years.


6. Family Member who has either Canadian Citizenship or Permanent Resident Status

If you want to be sponsored under the Family Sponsorship Program, having a spouse, a parent or a child who has either Canadian Citizenship or Permanent Resident Status is a must. Also, your family member has to be at least 18 years old and be able to financially provide for the person they are sponsoring.


7. Proof of Funds

You must show proof you have enough funding to survive the first few months after immigrating. The program you choose and the number of family members you’re bringing with you are factors that will determine the amount required. Bank deposits, bonds, stocks, and treasury bills are ways to prove your funds.


8. Job Offer

Having a job offer can be an advantage if you’re applying under the Express Entry Program, or it may be a requirement for other programs. Your job offer can be identified as such with LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment), a document the employer needs to have before they can hire a foreign worker.


9. Provincial Nomination or Endorsement

If you want to apply for permanent residency, there are two paths you can follow. The first one is qualifying under the Provincial Nomination Program. For this qualification, all you need is to get a job offer in Canada. 


The second path is by achieving the provincial endorsement, and applying under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. In this case, you should get a job offer from the Atlantic Provinces (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador, etc) and submit their respective settlement plan.


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