1. Go in the "Back Door!"
Many foreign nationals have not yet secured a Master's degree, or a post-graduate diploma. Canada offers attractive student visas and even premium processing for prospective students from four countries (Philippines, India, China, Vietnam) through the Student Direct Stream. CKR Law has had clients successfully submit 'dual intent' study permits where the applicant (and their dependent family members, if applicable) also acknowledge their intent to apply for Permanent Residency following the completion of their study period. The Student Direct Stream (SDS) promises processing times of 45 days, which is under the 60 days needed for regular study permits.
2. Consider the Road Less Travelled
When a foreign national considers a move to Canada, they automatically think "Vancouver," "Montreal" or "Toronto." However, there are a number of attractive Provincial Nominee Programs, and even Regional programs, aimed at attracting talented candidates. For example, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program targets foreign skilled workers (high skilled & intermediate skilled streams) and international graduates to Atlantic Canada, namely to New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Permanent Residence through the Foreign Skilled Worker Program, also commonly known as "Express Entry," is notoriously competitive. Ontario and British Columbia are popular provinces for candidates to select. Some of our clients who were unable to meet the high CRS threshold for Express Entry found success with various Provincial Nominee Programs that may target a vocation based on current shortages a province is experiencing. Our Province of the Month series outlines provincial requirements for business and investor candidates to immigrate to Canada.
3. Ask for an Intra-Company Transfer
If the company you are currently working for is global, with offices in Canada, then the intra-company transfer (ICT) may be for you. A number of formalities must be met, such as working in a qualifying position and having worked continuously for that company for at least one year in the three preceding. Unlike in the U.S.A., you must also still be working for that company. The ICT model is also favourable for multi-nationals operating across North America as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) covers ICTs and facilitates the movement of qualified employees. We see large corporations, such as Microsoft, moving employees to Canada through ICTs while the employee's new US status is being approved. Talk to a CKR Law mobility lawyer to see if you qualify!
4. Visit Canada At Least Once
Unsure about whether you're ready to commit to moving to Canada yet? Are you hesitant about the cold, despite Canada being named the #1 Country for Quality of Life for the 4th year in a row? Then visit! The West coast boasts beautiful temperate rainforests and beaches, particularly on Vancouver Island, while the Canadian Rockies are world-renowned for both hiking and leisure. Toronto and Montreal, famous metropolitan hubs on the East Coast, are a mere 330 miles apart, while Canada's capital region, Ottawa, is a short detour on route. The further East Maritime Provinces are famous for their natural beauty, including Gros Morne National Park and the Bay of Fundy, while also catering to urbanites through mid-sized cities such as Halifax. Once you actually visit Canada, it may help show an IRCC Officer that you are actually "serious" about moving there.
5. Grow Your Business North
Canada has an attractive start-up visa program which helps key employees immigrate all while securing funding, incubation and growth through government endorsed incubators, angel investors and accelerators. The Waterloo-Toronto Tech corridor is attractive for tech-related startups, given the comparatively low prices for setting up shop, especially when compared to Silicon Valley, California. Blockchain is also big business, given start-up Ethereum's dominance in the Blockchain market.
Canada currently presents attractive investment and business opportunities for the cannabis industry since cannabis was officially legalized on October 17, 2018. The cannabis industry in Canada is projected to reach $5 billion USD by 2022 while amendments to the Cannabis Act expected to be rolled out in the next 1-2 years are allowing for collaborations between cannabis and the drinks sector.
Whether you own a start-up or already have an existing business and are looking to expand North, CKR Law's Global Mobility team can assist you in the cross-border movement of key employees and their families. We work with cross-border corporate lawyers, IP lawyers, and tax specialists. We also work with key players in the financial field to offer advice and introductions to investment opportunities in Canada, as well as to help you fine-tune your business plan for Canadian immigration purposes. We are ready to assist in all your needs.