What do I think about Canada?
Country of Maple trees, Annie of Green Gables, and Road to Avonlea are the first elements come to my mind when I am thinking of Canada. The gorgeous, picturesque and cool mountains, rivers and villages while beautiful kids are happily playing around with their parents and breath in the fresh air. Are these thoughts are for real? 😊
"Road to Avonlea" is a Canadian television series
Covering most of the northern part of the North American continent and with an area larger than that of the United States, Canada has an extremely varied topography. In the east, the mountainous maritime provinces have an irregular coastline on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic. The St. Lawrence plain, covering most of southern Quebec and Ontario, and the interior continental plain, covering southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan and most of Alberta, are the principal cultivable areas. They are separated by a forested plateau rising from Lakes Superior and Huron.
The polar bear gets top billing in Canada’s show of wildlife wonders, with Churchill in Manitoba considered the capital of polar bear watching in the world. Just south of the Arctic Circle, on the western shore of Hudson Bay, if you head here in October and November, you will get to see the bears gather en route to the Bay as it starts to freeze. The Far North is also superb for seeing musk-oxen herds and also migratory waterfowl. British Columbia and the Rocky Mountains are the places to see grizzly and black bears. With the help of expert guides, head to the Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, Bella Coola or British Columbia’s snow-capped Coast Range mountains, which are also home to the Great Bear Rain Forest. No prizes for guessing who eats the porridge in those woods. Whales are the maritime top billers, however, with orcas, humpbacks and more all playing centre stage off both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Seeing orcas from a kayak off Vancouver Island is like something out of this world.
Westward toward the Pacific, most of British Columbia, the Yukon, and part of western Alberta are covered by parallel mountain ranges, including the Rockies. The Pacific border of the coast range is ragged with fjords and channels. The highest point in Canada is Mount Logan (19,850 ft; 6,050 m), which is in the Yukon. The two principal river systems are the Mackenzie and the St. Lawrence. The St. Lawrence, with its tributaries, is navigable for over 1,900 mi (3,058 km). It's hard to know where to start walking in Canada, as you could hike forever here. From Vancouver hike the national parks of Jasper, Banff, Glacier and Yoho all within a 13-day walking holiday. Or head with a packhorse and guide into the even more remote Tweedsmuir Park of British Columbia, following ancient Indian trading routes. And for littoral loveliness, the islands of Nova Scotia and Fundy National Park are Atlantic adventures extraordinaires.
Oh so cold! Its winter ⛄️
The Canadians get winter. They even have a national winter sport – ice hockey, of course. And, just like the game, Canadians embrace winter with gusto, determination and cheer. If you want to witness wilderness in winter, Canada has a massive support network for you to do so. The activities on offer, in the plethora of national parks such as Jasper, Banff and Yoho, include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and, of course, dog sledding. Also known as ‘mushing’, life doesn’t get more exhilarating than this. Traditionally, all mushers share one passion: to go in search of solitude in an unforgiving environment and thereby experiencing a true life of man (and dog) versus nature. Or, as Jack London famously named it in his novel, to follow “The Call of the Wild”. And Canada is certainly calling.
It is most definitely a glorious natural spectacle. However, the trashy commercialism of the park is depressing to say the least, and worthy of one big bulldozer. Think Las Vegas in the mist. However, the good side is that the Niagara region itself is a Canadian cornucopia of artisan food producers, vineyards, orchards and exemplary responsible tourism.
Living in Canada
Living in Canada can be a life changing experience. It is a nation that boasts beautiful countryside that is interspersed by modern cities. It is a popular living location with people who are looking to bask in natural beauty whilst enjoying all the modern conveniences that are found in the Western world. Canada is also frequently ranked number one in the United Nations annual Human Development Index, which considers factors such as job opportunties, quality of schooling, life expectancy and cost of living. It has one of the strongest economies in the world and is a member of the G8, the world's most prosperous nations.
What does it mean to be a Canadian Permanent Resident?
Once you are issued a Canada Immigration Visa for permanent residency, you have most of the same rights and obligations as Canadian citizens. As the name suggests, you may hold this status indefinitely, so long as you accumulate 2 years of residency days in each 5 year period. After 3 years of Canadian residency, you may apply for Canadian citizenship. Canada recognizes dual citizenships, so you do not have to give up your current passport. There are a few differences in practice between permanent residency and citizenship in Canada. The first is that as a permanent resident you may not vote in elections. The second is that while citizenship is a right that may not be taken away, as a permanent resident you may be deported if you commit a serious crime. There are 6 main categories of Canadian Immigration. The categories are Federal Skilled Worker, Quebec Skilled Worker, Provincial Nominee Program, Family Sponsorship, Business Immigrant and Canadian Experience Class. Each category caters to a slightly different group of immigrants, and comes with its own set of requirements. You can also come to Canada under the Asylum category or the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Read below to find out about which category applies to you.
Federal Skilled Worker
The requirements of the skilled worker category are intended to assess applicants, who are likely to become economically established in Canada after arrival.
To be eligible, applicants must either:
In addition to that, there are three other characteristics an individual must possess in order to be eligible to immigrate under the skilled worker category. The first is a minimum level of work experience. A skilled worker must have at least one year of continuous full-time employment (or the equivalent in part-time). This work experience must be of a skilled nature, satisfying either Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B in Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. This work experience must have come within the 10 year period prior to applying. The second element of the skilled worker category is one of financial resources. This is a straightforward requirement – an applicant must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves and their dependents for 6 months after arrival in Canada. If you have an approved job offer, this requirement is waived. The third element of the skilled worker category is a points-based assessment. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) uses a points-based system to measure an applicant’s potential for establishing themselves in Canada. Applicants are awarded points based on six different selection factors. An individual must reach 67 points on this assessment to qualify for immigration to Canada. A satisfactory score on this evaluation does not however guarantee approval, as Canadian Immigration Visa Officers may use their discretion to approve or refuse an application based on a substituted evaluation.The selection factors that make up the assessment are:
Altogether these three elements, along with other requirements such as security clearances and medical examinations, make up the bulk of the requirements to come to Canada under the Skilled Worker category. If you are applying to live or work in Montreal, or elsewhere in Quebec however, you must meet the selection criteria of the Province of Quebec, outlined below.
Quebec Skilled Worker
According to an agreement between the Province of Quebec and the Government of Canada, the Province of Quebec has its own selection process for the skilled worker category of immigration. If you intend to live in Quebec upon arrival in Canada you will be assessed based on the Quebec Selection criteria and not the evaluation used by CIC. The application process for immigration to Quebec uses a similar points-based system but with slightly different criteria. Like the federal system, Quebec uses a points-based system to assess potential immigrants. To qualify for a Quebec Selection Certificate, single applicants must score at least 60 points from the ten selection criteria, while an applicant with a spouse or common-law partner must score a minimum of 68 points. The selection factors for immigration to Quebec as a skilled worker are:
Provincial Nomination Program
One way to speed up the process of immigration to Canada is through the Provincial Nomination Program (PNP). The PNP consists of partnerships between the Government of Canada and provincial governments to select individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and settle in that particular province. Most provinces in Canada have agreements in place to participate in this program. Under the terms of these agreements, provinces may nominate applicants who are in occupations in high demand, or who will otherwise make important contributions to the province. To immigrate to Canada under the PNP, an individual must first apply for a Provincial Nomination Certificate to the provincial government where they would like to reside. Each province has different requirements based on their particular needs. To learn more about each province’s requirements, click here. After receiving the Provincial Nomination Certificate, an individual then must apply for a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa. Provincial nominees receive priority processing for their permanent residency applications.
The following provinces currently participate in the Provincial Nomination Program:
Provincial nominees are not assessed on the six selection criteria of the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
Family Class Sponsorship
The Family Class Sponsorship program allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are at least 18 years of age to sponsor close family members, who wish to immigrate to Canada. To sponsor a relative for Family Class immigration to Canada, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must sign a contract promising to support the family member who wishes to immigrate for a period of three to ten years after their arrival. The length of the agreement depends on the age of the family member being sponsored, and the nature of the relationship. To apply for Family Class immigration, the sponsored relative must also sign a contract promising to make every effort to be self-sufficient. To be eligible to sponsor a relative, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must demonstrate financial ability to provide for the essential needs of the sponsored relative, should that be necessary. As a general rule, the sponsor must also be physically residing in Canada in order to sponsor. An exception is made for Canadian citizens, who wish to sponsor a spouse, common-law partner or children if the sponsor can demonstrate an intention to reside in Canada by the time the sponsored relative lands in Canada.
Family members eligible for sponsorship are:
The Province of Quebec, according to its agreement with the Government of Canada on immigration, has a role in determining the eligibility of sponsorship applicants for residents of Quebec. This role however takes effect only after CIC has completed its initial assessment of the sponsorship application.
The Business Immigration Program is designed to seek out individuals who are in a position to contribute to Canada’s economic development through their investment and managerial skills. Individuals who apply under this category have financial resources that will strengthen the Canadian economy and help create more jobs. Individuals with business experience and relatively high net worth may apply under one of three categories of the Business Immigration Program. Each of these categories targets a different contribution to the Canadian economy, and has its own requirements.
Canadian Experience Class
The Canadian Experience Class caters specifically to Temporary foreign workers and international students who wish to become Canadian Permanent Residents. Having obtained a Canadian education and/or Canadian work experience, these individuals have already settled into Canadian society and have established important networks in their communities and their careers. The Canadian Experience Class requirements are based on a pass or fail model. There are separate minimum requirements for the two types of applicants:
International Graduates with Canadian Work Experience
Applicants must have:
Temporary Foreign Workers
Applicants must have:
An applicant who has met the minimum requirements and is still in Canada on either a Post-Graduate Work Permit or a Temporary Work Permit may apply from within Canada. For individuals no longer in Canada, the applications must be submitted within one year of leaving their job in Canada.
As a world leader and champion of human rights issues, Canada also recognizes a responsibility to grant asylum to refugees who face danger, persecution and violations of their human rights in their country of nationality or habitual residence. Canada’s refugee system offers protection to thousands of such individuals each year. Refugees may be government-assisted or may be privately sponsored by individuals or organizations in Canada. There are two main components to this program:
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
For individuals who wish to come work in Canada, they may apply for a temporary work permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. As a general rule these work permits require a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, though there are exceptions. In most cases it is possible to extend work permits from within Canada, but some work permits have a maximum duration. In many cases work permits require that the employer obtain Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada which confirms that the employment will not adversely affect Canadian workers. There are a number of exemptions to this rule. Spouses and common-law partners of individuals who hold a Canadian work permit may accompany the work permit holder to Canada. In many cases spouses are eligible to apply for an open work permit, which allows the holder to work for any employer in Canada.