There are a lots of intimidating steps involved when coming to a new country. Aside from concerns of confronting a new culture, language, and finding new work and a new community, it is first important that all the legal matters are taken care of. Although it can be a long and arduous process though, with patience and the right support, it is not impossible.
1. The steps involved
In order to gain Canadian citizenship, you need to go through several different stages and decide whether or not to seek it through the federal or a provincial program. There are different programs for skilled workers, start-up initiatives, caregivers, family sponsorship and even investors. Determining what means of application is best suited to your situation and skillset is crucial to the success of your application.
2. How to decide
Depending on where you want to live, you have different options available. If you already know exactly where in Canada you want to live, you should check if there is a specific provincial program related to your abilities.
For example, the current skilled worked initiative in Quebec can mean that your application will be processed much more quickly. Alternatively, if you’re open to considering moving to different parts of the country, it can be easier to try and find a province that currently has a program targeting a demographic you fit.
3. Can you do it on your own?
Although it is not required that you have legal representation in order to submit your package of application, it is advisable to consider whether or not have a trained professional help guide you through the process could be worth it in the long run.
The system remains fluid and with policies and regulations changing regularly, it can be a very difficult topic to stay on top of. Immigration lawyers are the professional specialists whose job it is to stay on top of every new development and to help their clients address the right concerns, ask the right questions, and be prepared for meetings or interviews with officials.
4. Finding the right path
If you do decide to seek the assistance of a professional, you should think of this person as a resource through all stages of the process. If you decide to go the federal route for your application, for example, you could already have access to aids and lawyers through the program you apply for.
In order to find the right lawyer for you, it is advisable to check out the Canadian Immigration portal. This site will walk you through the steps and make sure you’re looking for the right type of lawyer and better understand the types of services they offer.
It is worth noting that generally speaking there are fewer resources allocated to provincial programs, so that shifts more responsibly on the person arriving to seek out additional help or representation on their own. There are also less people employed in the provincial immigration structures, so wait times can be longer and include unexpected delays.
5. After arrival
Depending on where you end up, it is important to take the time to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and protocol. Immigration is an important part of the Canadian government’s mandate, so they offer lots of services to ensure the process can be done properly.
There are a variety of government, church, social, and community services that can help ease the transition and provide extra help. Most of these services are free and include things like employment assistance and event language classes. In addition, settlement services help recent arrivals to Canada find medical care and appropriate insurance, and assist with getting children enrolled in the local school system.