Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be fluent in English or French?

Under the Express Entry system English or French is mandatory. The Government places emphasis on the applicant’s fluency in English and French, and a person fluent in both languages will receive the maximum number of language points. An individual with no fluency in either language will receive no points. Varying points for a lack of fluency in either speaking, writing, or reading will decrease the total number of points. Language testing is mandatory.

Do I have to secure a job before coming to Canada?

Under the Express Entry system having a job arranged maximizes your opportunity. Without secured employment, you will jeopardize your chances.

How much money do I need to have before immigrating?

Although there is no said amount established by the Canadian government with respect to money required for the interim period after landing, it is recommended that individuals have a minimum of CDN$20,000 to manage maintenance for themselves and their dependents during the interim period prior to finding and locating a job. In many cases individuals who immigrate will have much more than that. However, it is best to have clear records both by way of bank statements and by valuations of real property to show net worth in order to convince the immigration officer that you will not be required to seek public assistance once having landed in Canada.

What if I only want to work in Canada and not live there permanently?

The Immigration Act and Regulation allows the entry of temporary workers into Canada. Currently there are certain occupations within Canada that are in extremely high demand. The particular channels under which you can apply for entry into Canada are many and can only be decided upon after a full review of your own skills and the opportunities which are available in Canada.

Do I have to go to a certain region within Canada to settle?

No. Canada does not have a policy of insisting that you move to a certain region within Canada to seek opportunities for which you have qualified.

What if I can't get answers from the government?

If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has not responded to your letters and you find it impossible to make contact by telephone, our firm will assist you immediately by obtaining a full copy of your file together with all computer notes which are pertinent to your file.

Often, such a full disclosure of the file will reveal the status of your application with IRCC, why delays are taking place and the points of concern. We have established methods by which we can obtain all such information from IRCC within 30 to 45 days. Please contact us immediately in order to determine why your file is not being processed or the reason for the delay. We can provide an immediate telephone consultation.

Will buying a house or a business help my immigration to Canada?

Buying a house does not increase chances of entry, but nor does it hurt. The purchase of a home certainly shows a connection to Canada and the home is ultimately treated as a part of the overall net worth of the individual, but simply owning a house and living here as a visitor will not affect the selection process.

Buying a business, however, could result in a faster entry into Canada based on a temporary work permit. CAUTION! Buying a business must be part of a comprehensive immigration strategy. The purchase must be strategized with other qualifying factors, such as overall asset base, the projected performance of the business and previous business experience. These important aspects are examined and must be approved by the provincial government and/or the federal immigration department before any business is purchased. It is best to call us before buying a home or business.

If you wish to learn more, please see the following business investment page and foreign ownership.

As a foreigner can I get a mortgage?

The answer is yes. The requirements for obtaining a mortgage to finance a purchase, whether a home or a business, will depend on the institution with which you will do business. Generally speaking, there is no problem in securing mortgages with more-established financial institutions. These institutions will usually require a letter of introduction from the previous banking facility with which you have done business in your home country. Previous income in the home country will also be verified. Also, institutions may require a greater percentage of the purchase price as a down payment.

How long can I stay in Canada? (Can't I just go out for a day and come back?)

Generally, a person is allowed a six month entry as a visitor. If a second home is purchased, one can bring in a reasonable amount of furniture as a “seasonal resident” without paying any duty. There is no corresponding regulation in the Immigration Act that says you have to leave for six months before returning, so multiple entries can be allowed. CAUTION! You cannot “flagpole” continuously. Flagpoling means leaving Canada for a few days and then returning to Canada. Although such re-entry may be allowed on one or two occasions, you do run a risk of being refused entry into Canada because you are living in Canada as a resident under the guise of being a visitor. You must maintain substantial roots with your home country. For more about this, see this article.

If I rent out my home, what are the tax implications?

Occasionally, foreign nationals will purchase a home, reside in it for a few months of the year and rent it out for the balance. NOTE: Special tax rules do apply to such situations and Canadian tax returns must be filed by the foreigner. In fact, if the taxation payments are not set up properly, the foreign landlord will be required to pay 25% of the rental income per month to the tax department as a holdback until the tax returns are filed. However, such a drastic reduction of rent can be avoided if you appoint a Canadian resident to make the filings on your behalf at the end of the year. CAUTION! When selling a residence, you must file a clearance certificate well in advance of the sale or there can be up to a 25% holdback of the full selling price until the clearance certificate is obtained from the tax department.

What does "sponsorship" mean?

Please read our article on sponsorship.

An Associate of

Crease Harman LLP