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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

About the Application?

What fees must I pay?

Your sponsor must pay a processing fee to support your application. The processing fee is non-refundable, even if your application is refused. The Right of Landing Fee (ROLF) is required of every adult aged 22 or over in your family but, unlike the processing fee, is refundable if an immigrant visa is not issued or used, or if you withdraw your application. The ROLF can be paid at any time during the application process, but must be paid before an immigrant visa can be issued. You will also have to pay other fees such as those related to the medical examination and police clearance.

Who is included in my application?

If you are married your spouse should be included as a dependent. You must also include on your application all dependent children whether they are accompanying you to Canada or not. (See "Important Words to Know" for a definition of dependent children.) Your dependents must pass background checks and medical examinations. All family members 18 years of age or over must complete their own individual application form.

What about my dependents who will not accompany me to Canada?

All of your dependents, whether they will accompany you to Canada or not, must pass medical examinations and background checks. All of your dependents, whether they will accompany you to Canada or not, must be included Part A of your application form or, if they are 18 or over, must complete their own application forms.

Should I pay someone to complete my forms and advise me on my application?

In some cases (for example, if you have difficulty understanding the form) you may wish to pay someone to help you fill in the information or to give you advice. However, this does not mean that your application will get special attention or necessarily be approved.

I cannot fit all the information on the application form and am unsure who should be included in my application.

You should complete the form by printing or typing clearly and you must sign your application form. If you need more space to answer any questions, attach separate pages. When you have signed the form, it becomes a legal document and the information you have provided must be truthful, complete and correct. It is an offence under the Immigration Act to knowingly make a false or misleading statement. If any information changes before you arrive in Canada (even if your visa has already been issued), you must inform the visa office to which you applied in writing.

Do I need a passport or travel document?

You and your dependents must have passports or travel documents which are valid. If any documents are soon to expire, you should renew them. Diplomatic, official, service or public affairs passports cannot be used to immigrate to Canada. You must have a valid regular or private passport when you arrive. The validity of your visa may be affected by the validity of your passport.

Must I or others in my family attend an interview?

A visa officer will review your application and decide if an interview is necessary. If so, you will be informed of the time and place. Your spouse and dependent children aged 18 or over will be asked to come with you. The visa officer may ask about your job, work experience, education, reasons for migrating, plans and preparations. The officer may also ask about your family, spouse and/or dependents or your health, financial situation or past difficulties with the law. There may also be questions to determine your ability to settle successfully in Canada.

Do professionals need registration and licensing to work in Canada?

In Canada, approximately 20 percent of occupations are regulated to protect the health and safety of Canadians (e.g., nurses, engineers, teachers, electricians). People who want to work in regulated occupations need to obtain a license from a provincial regulatory body. Licensing requirements often include education from a recognized school, Canadian work experience and completion of a technical exam. Fees for exams can be costly and are the responsibility of the applicant. Final assessment by the provincial authority can only be done after you are in Canada with permanent resident status.

For how long is my immigrant visa valid?

Normally, immigrant visas are valid for 6-11 months from the date of issuance. The validity date is based upon the earlier of your or your dependents' passport validity date(s) or of the medical validity date. IMMIGRANT VISAS CANNOT BE EXTENDED ONCE ISSUED. IF APPLICANTS DO NOT USE THE VISAS WITHIN THEIR VALIDITY, THEY MUST REAPPLY FOR IMMIGRATION TO CANADA.

I intend to live in the Province of Quebec upon my arrival in Canada. Are there any special requirements for immigrating to this province?

Yes, if you wish to live in the Province of Quebec, your relative is required to obtain an undertaking with the Government of Quebec (referred to as an "engagement") assuming responsibility for you. Your sponsor will send you an original copy of this "engagement" which is to be attached to your application.

About the Medical Examination...

Will I receive a copy of the medical report and the result of the medical examination?

All medical reports and X-rays for the Immigration Medical Examination become the property of the Canadian Immigration Medical Authorities and cannot be returned to the applicant. The designated physician will not advise you of the results of the medical. The final decision on whether or not a medical is acceptable is determined by the visa office and not the designated physician. If your medical does not meet immigration requirements, the visa office will inform you by letter.

For how long is the medical examination valid?

The medical examination is valid for 12 months from the date of the first medical examination or test. If your visa is not processed in this time, you must take another complete examination.

Must everyone in my family have a medical examination?

Yes.

Can my own doctor do the medical examination?

No. The examination must be done by a doctor on Canada's list of Designated Medical Physicians.

My children are studying abroad and cannot return home for their immigration medical examination for another six months. I do not want to delay my application. What should I do?

Whenever possible, all family members must be examined by the same designated physician. If this is impossible, arrange your medical with the designated physician and advise him/her that your dependents are abroad and will arrange to have their medical exams done by a designated physician closer to them. Then forward a copy of the Medical Report Form to each dependent with the addresses of their nearest designated physicians. This list of physicians may be obtained from the Visa Office. Ensure that the box titled "Name of Head of Family" in the Medical Report Form contains your name. Your dependents should then arrange to have their examinations. They should tell the designated physician to forward the completed medical report to the same Canadian medical office that received your report. Your dependant's medical will be matched with your file as the Medical Report Form will have your name written in the box titled "Name of Head of Family". NOTE: Medical instructions will normally be sent to you after you submit your application to the Visa Office.

I do not understand "excessive demand" or whether my ailment would place an excessive demand on Canada's health or social services. Can you tell me more?

The factors considered during the medical assessment include whether or not hospitalization or medical, social or institutional care are required and whether potential employability or productivity could be affected. For example, a person with a serious disease or psychiatric disorder requiring ongoing care or hospitalization may be inadmissible because their requirements would place "excessive demand" on the health-care system. Individuals with developmental delay or congenital disorders who require special education or training to lead an independent life may also be inadmissible. Other conditions which could place a significant financial burden on Canada's health or social services would also render an applicant medically inadmissible.

Can the doctor advise me regarding my application?

No. The doctor is only responsible for conducting a medical examination in accordance with Canada's immigration requirements. The designated physician cannot provide any advice on the immigration selection system.

What happens if my application is refused?

If your application is refused, the visa office will inform you and your sponsor in writing. Your sponsor may appeal the decision to the Immigration and Refugee Board. It is important, therefore, that we always have your sponsor's latest address.

Upon Arrival ...

What happens when I arrive in Canada?

When you arrive, you must present your immigrant visa to a customs/immigration officer. The officer will check your visa and travel document and ask you questions similar to those on the immigration application form to verify that you are of good character and in good health. If there are no difficulties, the officer will authorize your admission to Canada as a permanent resident.

What settlement services are available?

Canada's settlement services are limited. You can learn about them from Canada Immigration Centres, Human Resources Development Centres and private organizations. Your sponsor and your sponsor's co-signer (if applicable) will have signed an undertaking with the Government of Canada to provide for your essential needs and those of your dependents for 10 years after you arrive in Canada to ensure that you do not become dependent on welfare. They must also sign a sponsorship agreement with you making the same commitment. In this agreement you, as the family class relative, agree to make every reasonable effort to provide for your own essential needs and those of your dependents.

Can you help me find a job?

Unfortunately we do not have the resources to provide this type of assistance.

After landing in Canada, what if I need to return to my country to settle my affairs?

Following landing in Canada, immigrants may leave and re--enter Canada if they spend less than six months in any 12-month period outside Canada. If immigrants are out of Canada for more than six months in any 12-month period, they will require a Returning Resident Permit to re--enter Canada. While such permits can be applied for either in Canada or overseas, they can only be applied for after the individual has been landed.

Your Rights and Obligations as a Permanent Resident of Canada

You and your dependents have the right to live, study and work for as long as you remain permanent residents in Canada, and are entitled to most social benefits accorded to Canadian citizens. When you have met citizenship requirements, you may apply for Canadian citizenship and a Canadian passport.

There are a few limitations on permanent residents:

-- You cannot vote in certain elections.

-- You may be ineligible for certain jobs requiring high-level security clearances.

-- As a permanent resident, you also have the same legal obligations as Canadians, such as paying taxes and respecting other laws.

-- If you or your dependents commit serious crimes, you or your dependents risk being deported from Canada.

Your sponsor and your sponsor's co-signer (if applicable) are responsible for providing for your essential needs and those of your dependents for 10 years after you arrive in Canada and for ensuring that you do not become dependent on welfare. Under the agreement you have signed with your sponsor and your sponsor's co-signer (if applicable), you are committed to making every reasonable effort to provide for your own essential needs and those of your dependents.

You remain a permanent resident until you become a Canadian citizen or abandon Canada as your place of residence. You may be considered to have abandoned Canada if you have frequent and/or lengthy absences from the country. If you travel to Canada to present your visas for landing and then return to live in your home country indefinitely, you will lose your permanent resident status.

IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS

Immigration Law:

Immmigration Canada - Call Centre: 416-973-4444, 1-888-242-2100

Immigration & Refugee Board: 416-954-1000

USA Consulate: 416-595-1700

USA Entry Waivers (if previously denied): 416-929-6011

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