Frequently Asked Questions
Migration in Canada
My support and/or tuition money for my study visa comes from a family member/friend. How can I document this?
This family member becomes your financial sponsor (whether they are providing all or part of the money). Your sponsor is required to make an affidavit: https: //www.immilandcanada.com/declaracion-jurada/declaracion-jurada-de-un-patrocinador-y-o-herencia
My study/work permit was issued for less time than the duration of my study program or job offer, why?
It is possible that your passport expired before the end of your study program or job offer. Canada cannot issue a permit beyond the validity of your passport.
What is an ICU?
It is the unique identification code that Canada issues to all persons who have applied in the past for immigration processing (whether temporary or permanent). If you have never applied to Canada then you do not have a UCI yet.
How long are biometrics valid?
For 10 years, if you don't know if your biometrics are still valid you can check here: https://onlineservices-servicesenligne.cic.gc.ca/extapp/bioStatusQuery
I am in Canada as a student / worker, can I leave Canada and re-enter?
Yes, as long as you have a valid visa or eTA. It is imperative that you have it as this is your travel document. In addition, you must travel with your valid work or study permit because you will be asked for it when you re-enter Canada. Your permit is your legal status in the country, while the visa or eTA is your travel document.
I am married and my partner is applying with me as a dependent, what do I need to consider regarding documenting the relationship?
If you are married, attach your marriage certificate or marriage registration, it is not advisable to apply for the visa if your marriage took place within the last 3 months. It is suggested to apply after 4 months (or more) after getting married so that the document gains seniority.
If your marriage certificate has been issued recently (less than 4 months, prior to this application), Immiland strongly recommends providing supporting documentation to reinforce the genuineness of your relationship and to avoid suspicion on the official when evaluating your marriage relationship due to the recent celebration of the marriage.
The elements that can be used as evidence to prove the genuineness of your marriage are any of the following:
- Shared ownership of a residential property
- Joint leases or leases in the name of both parties
- Bills for shared or individual utility bills (one old and one new) showing the same residence address, such as:
- Important documents for both showing the same address, such as:
- driving licenses
- insurance policies
- identification documents
If you are in a common-law marriage, it is IMPERATIVE to make an affidavit on the form recognized by Canada. Immiland Canada can provide the service of declaration of common-law marriage: https://www.immilandcanada.com/declaracion-jurada/declaracion-jurada-de-union-libre. Extrajudicial declarations made in your home country DO NOT REPLACE this document.
Additionally, we recommend accompanying the declaration of free union in the Canadian forms of proof of your union. Please refer to the examples mentioned above for fresh marriages.
If you are married or cohabiting, but traveling alone, you may optionally provide us with the marriage certificate or cohabitation certificate, the reason being that this would strengthen your social roots.
I am self-employed / freelancer, how can I document my work experience?
If you are independent or freelance, the following are examples and alternatives that you can present:
- Company registration or alternatively,
- Registration as independent or alternatively,
- Service contracts with customers or alternatively,
- Letters from customers 2 or 3 attesting that you have rendered services to them.
Any of the above documents will allow us to attest to your self-employed occupations. In a complementary, but not main way, you can optionally add any of the following, to strengthen the genuineness of your business:
- Self-employed business cards -this document alone does not carry much weight for the officer, ideally it should be accompanied by one of the documents mentioned above.
Web presence: website, facebook -this document alone does not carry much weight for the officer, ideally it should be accompanied by one of those mentioned above-.
I have traveled, but until when is travel considered fresh?
Fresh trips according to Canada's temporary residency forms are the last 5 years.
How many trips does Immiland recommend to make before applying for the visa?
There is no specific number of trips you should make, the recommended logic is that the more trips the better: having 1 trip is better than having 0 trips. The fresher your trips, the better. The more stable the economy of the country you visit, the better.
When is it important to have a travel history?
For applications of a temporary nature such as work, study or tourism permit applications, travel history is important because it shows a good prior immigration history. For permanent residency applications, travel history is less relevant.
Do my supporting document translations expire?
A translation cannot change over time and must be valid indefinitely unless the original document has changed or expired. If the signature of a certified translator or notary has expired, it does not invalidate the translation. As long as the translator's certification was valid at the time of signing, the translation remains valid.
The only time the translation will expire and a new translation will be required is if the original document has expired or has changed and the applicant submits a new document.
I want to apply for a visa, do I need to apostille my documents?
No, it only requires translations by a certified translator.
I want to apply for a visa, do I need certified translations?
Yes, documents that are not in English or French must be translated by a certified translator.
A certified translator is an accredited member whose certification can be confirmed by a stamp or seal showing the translator's membership number of a professional translation association in Canada or abroad (for visa processing).
Note: A translator who has not yet received certification or accreditation, but is in the process of receiving it, is not considered a certified translator for IRCC purposes.
I already have my letter of acceptance (LOA), I want to apply for my visa/study permit, how far in advance should I apply?
We highly recommend applying for the visa 5 to 6 months before the start of your classes. This is to avoid that due to embassy delays, your application is not processed on time and you miss the start of your classes. Please be aware that each embassy is different and they are usually very volatile with their processing times, in addition to having delays in their processes.
If, for example, your classes start in September, then you should ALREADY be applying for the visa in April or May. That is, by April or May you should already have the LOA, the money needed for tuition and living expenses, plus other supporting documents necessary for your application.
Can I work as a tourist in Canada?
No, it is illegal to work in Canada without proper authorization (such as a work permit or permanent residency).
The immigration officer upon my entry to Canada made a mistake on my study or work permit. What should I do?
If there is an error in your permit, you may request an amendment to your permit. For more information: click here
What is the CO-OP work permit?
Some study programs include mandatory work experience as part of their curriculum.
Therefore, if your program of study includes co-op (mandatory/mandatory), then you need to apply to your co-op along with your study permit application (many schools issue a letter supporting the issuance of a co-op permit to submit with your application). You must then apply to the CBSA officer when you enter Canada for your co-op permit, which is different from your study permit and which must be issued upon entry into Canada.
Remember that the co-op work permit is not the same as the authorization to work 20 hours off campus as the study permit. The co-op work permit is a separate work permit, it is not related to the authorization to work part-time in Canada.
I am an international student, with what permission am I allowed to work the 20 hours per week while studying?
Your study permit is what authorizes you to work part-time. However, in order to do so, your study permit must stipulate a "Work off campus" condition. Please note that this work authorization is different from the CO-OP internship work permit.
My visa has been approved, until when can I enter Canada?
Check the validity of your letter of introduction letter to the port of entry, this letter should have been issued by IRCC upon approval of your application. There is a box titled "Letter of Introduction Validity" on your port of entry (POE) letter. You must enter Canada before this date. If the validity date has passed and you do not travel to Canada, you must submit a new application. You cannot extend the validity date on your Letter.
What happens if you do not meet the conditions of the study permit?
If Immigration Canada discovers that you have not complied with the conditions of your study permit, you may be asked to leave Canada and/or this element may create a negative immigration history that could have repercussions to your future processes. Please review your permit conditions and restrictions very carefully to avoid misunderstandings and contraventions.
As an international student, can you work in Canada without a work permit?
Yes, you must have a study permit and be enrolled full-time in an academic, professional or vocational training program at a DLI.
However, your study permit must clearly state that you have the ability to work off-campus. If so, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while:
-Your program is in session, and
-Full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar.
You may work for any employer in Canada that is not on the list of ineligible employers.
In addition, if your program has a mandatory work component for graduation you must have the appropriate work permit for your co-op.
Can I apply for a work permit without a job offer?
No, before you apply for a closed (employer-specific) work permit, your employer must give you:
-A copy of your employment contract or job offer
-1 of the following:
*A copy of a labor market impact assessment (LMIA)
*An offer of employment number (for LMIA-exempt workers)
How long can I stay in Canada as a visitor?
-If you are allowed to enter Canada, the border services officer may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months.
-If so, they will put the date you must leave in your passport. They may also give you a document.
-If you do not get a stamp in your passport, you can stay for 6 months from the day you entered Canada or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
-If you need a stamp, you can ask a border services officer for one. If you arrive at an airport that uses primary inspection kiosks, ask the border services officer after you finish at the kiosk.
-If you wish to overstay your authorized stay, you must request an extension at least 30 days before the authorized end of your stay. If you are coming from a visa-exempt country (you used eTA to enter), you are still required to extend your stay as a visitor if you need to overstay your original authorized length of stay.
Who can I sponsor?
You can sponsor your parents, grandparents, spouse, domestic partner, children. It is even possible to sponsor relatives such as a brother, sister, aunt or uncle in quite specific and very unusual situations (consult your immigration consultant).You can also sponsor a relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age, if you meet all of these conditions:
-You (the person who wants to sponsor your relative) do not have a living relative to sponsor in your place, such as:
*Domestic partnerspousal partner
*Son or daughter
*Orphaned brother or sister
*Orphaned niece or nephew
-You (the potential sponsor) have no relative (aunt or uncle or any of the above relatives), who is:
*Indian registered under the Indian Act.
When I extend my work or study permit within Canada, will I automatically be issued a new visa in my passport for the date of the extension?
No, a work permit or study permit is not a visa. You will not automatically be issued a visitor visa if you extend your work or study permit. If you need a new visitor visa, you will need to file a separate application. The visa is required if you want to travel and be able to return to Canada to continue your studies or work. Do not leave Canada with an expired visa (even if your study or work permit has already been extended), because you will not be able to return without a valid visa.
Who can apply for an open work permit to work for any employer?
You may be eligible for an open work permit if:
-You are an international student who graduated from a DLI and are eligible for the PGWP
-You are a student who can no longer meet the costs of your studies (indigent student - conditions apply)
-You have an employer specific work permit and are being abused or are at risk of being abused in connection with your work in Canada (conditions apply)
-You applied for permanent residence in Canada and are in the process.
-Is an immediate dependent relative of someone who applied for permanent residence
-Is the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student the spouse or common-law partner of an Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program applicant.
-Is a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or family member.
-Are under an unenforceable removal order
-Are a holder of a temporary residence permit
-Are a youth worker participating in special international mobility programs (famously known as a working holiday)
In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible.