For over 27 years, Lewis & Associates has been serving international clients offering a wide range of immigration services and strategically advising on the best possible solutions for successful immigration to Canada. With our team of lawyers, immigration consultants, translators and third-party experts, we have an extraordinary level of experience and expertise; our firm puts client satisfaction and success at the forefront of the work we do.
Canadian Experience Class
Permanent Residency Based on Canadian Experience
If you have been living in Canada on a student or work visa, it is easier to become a permanent resident because of the prior experience and knowledge of Canada’s culture and language you have gained while living here. This makes you more employable and you will be considered a stronger candidate who will contribute to Canada’s positive growth. The main criteria for acceptance is you either have more than two years experience as a fulltime worker or have earned a minimum of a post-secondary diploma and one year of work experience; you need to be living in Canada at the time you make your application.
There is more than meets the eye to a successful immigration application. The experienced lawyers at Lewis & Associates are leaders in Canadian Immigration Law and procedures who work together for you. You can make your application with the greatest confidence when you work with the Lewis team of Associates.
Work Permits Canada
If you are looking to either gain Canadian work experience or start a career in Canada, you will need a work permit – an official document certifying that you have approval by the Canadian government to work here in Canada as a foreign national. A work permit may even open doors to becoming a permanent resident and lead to Canadian citizenship.
International Experience Canada
Study permits or Student Visas are similar to a Work Permit, except they allow you to study in Canada. A Study Permit offers several additional benefits, including the ability to work on-campus during the school term and off-campus during the summer without needing to obtain a Work Permit. A Study Permit may lead to a Post-Graduation Permit or Co-op Work Permit, and eventually to Permanent Residence status through the Canadian Experience Class Program.
Are you looking to invest in Canada, a land of many fantastic opportunities? Working with an experienced law firm who is well versed in the Canada Business and investment Immigration Program (IVC), is a wise decision. Lewis & Associates has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in assisting investors through the various components of the application process. The Self-Employed Program and Start-Up Visa Program are two more streams under Canada’s Business Immigration policy. We can help you decide which program fits your individual circumstances.
Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IVC) Program
In order to immigrate as an IVC investor, you must have a personal net worth of $10 million, gained legally (personal net worth gained by inheritance or the value of your primary residence will not count towards the personal net worth requirement), and meet certain educational and language requirements. You must also be willing to invest an at-risk amount of $2 million into the program. Educational requirements may be waived for investors with a legal net worth of $50 million.
The intention of the program is to bring people to Canada who will become self-employed and be able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada. The program also has a farm management stream.
To qualify as a self-employed person under the program, you will need to have at least 2 years of relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and will be assessed on selection criteria that also includes your education, age, language abilities, and adaptability. You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family once you arrive in Canada and that you can contribute to Canada’s economy in one of the required areas.
Start-Up Visa Program (Entrepreneurs)
The intention of this program is to target immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that are innovative, can create jobs for Canadians and can compete on a global scale.
Canada is one of the world’s best places to build your business due to our strong economy, low taxes, low business costs, excellence in research and innovation and high quality of life.
If you have an innovative business idea and can get support for your idea from one of the designated organizations, you may be able to immigrate to Canada. Up to 5 people can apply under the Start-Up Visa Program as owners of a single business as long as they meet certain requirements. Other requirements include language abilities and proof that you can support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada; the Government of Canada does not offer financial support to new Start-up Visa immigrants.
These business programs can create a strong pathway for our clients who wish to stay in Canada permanently.
Family Sponsorship Canada
If you are a Permanent Resident and wish to sponsor a family member to join you here in Canada, you will need to do a Family-Member Sponsorship Application. Eligible family members are your spouse, common-law partner, children, parents, and grandparents. Additionally, under certain circumstances, you can sponsor an orphaned close relative such as an aunt or uncle, nephew or niece. As a sponsor, you will need to prove that you can take full financial responsibility for your family members because they will not be eligible for any financial aid from the Government of Canada. There are several other requirements that are specific to this program and for the greatest chance at a successful outcome, it is wise to have a recognized and experienced law firm — Lewis & Associates— lead you through this process.
This is the system the Canadian Government uses to choose skilled immigrants as Permanent Residents based on their ability to settle in Canada and take part in our economy. The three programs managed by the Express Entry system are the: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. A fourth program is specific to the labour market needs of a particular province: The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
Federal Skilled Worker Program
The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is in place for people wanting to live in Canada, outside Quebec, who are chosen by the government based on their skills and experience and six other selection factors based on age, language ability, work experience, education, adaptability and an offer of employment. Your eligibility is determined by a points system called a comprehensive ranking system.
Federal Skilled Trades Program
The Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program is for people who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade.
You must live outside of Quebec and meet certain language requirements and have at least two years of full-time work experience (or an equivalent amount of part-time experience) in the specific trade you are applying with. You must meet the job requirements of the National Occupational Classification, (NOC), for your type of skill and have an offer of full-time employment for at least one year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.
The employer offering the job must most likely have a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, which is a document they need before hiring a foreign worker. Only after the employer has a positive LMIA can the worker apply for a work permit with a job offer letter, a contract, a copy of the LMIA and the LMIA number.
Canadian Employers Responsibility: Labor Market Impact Analysis
A Labor Market Impact Analysis (LMIA) is an approval process required of Canadian employers to allow them to hire foreign nationals in positions that will contribute to a strong Canadian labour market. They must prove that Canadian workers are not available to fill the positions. Once approved the employer can offer a specific job to a specific worker and that worker has the strongest chance to obtain a work permit for either 3 or 5 years. Family members are invited to join the sponsored employee and live in Canada (spouses and children) and the spouse is eligible for an open work permit. More often than not this pathway leads to successful permanent residency for the family.
Each province and territory in Canada has its own immigration stream and many have their own Express Entry Program; eligibility requirements can change without notice. The PNP program is meant to fill the labour needs of a particular province. The candidate must have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of that province and must want to live there. To be eligible you must meet the province’s requirements and the minimum requirements of the Express Entry Program and at least one of the immigration programs it covers: The Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program or the Canadian Experience Class. Most applications will be processed within 6 months if you apply through the Express Entry system.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a partnership between the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The program helps Atlantic employers hire qualified candidates, (who are either overseas or living in Canada temporarily), for jobs they haven’t been able to fill locally.
After being designated by the Atlantic province where the candidate will be working, the employer can select from the following programs to hire someone: Atlantic High-skilled Program, Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program and Atlantic International Graduate Program.
There are several steps the employer and candidate will go through together that upon successful completion lead to Permanent Resident status in Canada.
If you are a Caregiver there are now three was to apply for Permanent Resident status in Canada: Caring for Children Program, Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program and Live-In Caregiver Program.
Caring for Children Program
You can apply for Permanent Resident status if you have provided full-time child care in a home in Canada for at least two years.
Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program
You can apply through this program if you have been working in Canada for at least two years as a:
- Registered or licensed practical nurse
- Nurse aid or orderly
- Home support worker
Live-In Caregiver Program
You are eligible to apply if you have at least two years of work experience in the Live-in Caregiver Program in Canada
Foreign Academics Program
This program allows Canadian degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions to meet their staffing and teaching needs while attracting new knowledge and expertise to Canadian campuses.
Special hiring criteria has been designed to take into account the career development and employment of Canadian academics. An academic is an individual with at least one post-graduate degree (following a Bachelor’s degree) who earns the majority of theier income from teaching or conducting research as employees at universities and university colleges in Canada.
If the majority of the job duties of the Foreign Academic are other than teaching or research, the regular process for hiring foreign workers applies, as it also applies to community colloeges unless they are affiliated with a university and their students can obtain degrees, and to the Colleges d’enseignement general et professionnel (Cegap) in Quebec.
Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP)
You are eligible to apply if you are a citizen of a country that takes part in our SAWP and your government recruited you and you’ll be working for a SAWP employer in Canada.
Your government will make sure that you have all of the documents you’ll need; there will be fees to be paid any you may need to pay for biometrics.
When in Canada you may be asked to work on more than one farm; you don’t need a new work permit for each employer unless you are in the class of Other Agricultural Workers where you work permit may be employer-specific.
Other Agricultural Workers
If you are in this class your employer must give you a copy of a positive Labour Market Impact Analysis (LMIA) and a job letter of contract.