Permanent residency. PR. If you have moved to Canada prepare to hear this term regularly whether you plan to do it or not. It is the mandatory step of all immigrants to become Canadian citizens. I think I can safely say that the majority of French arriving in Canada come in WHV (if you want to know more about this visa is here), if you want to stay after the 2 years of this visa you will surely look at the permanent residency option. It’s not the only way to extend your visa, but it’s the one that opens more doors for you and gives you access to citizenship. In the few past years, Canada has simplified procedures and reduced processing times. An application for permanent residency could take more than a year to complete while today with the Entry Express system in less than 6 months you can have your little magic piece of paper! Express Entry is for skilled workers, skilled trades and people with Canadian skilled worker experience.
This article will be updated as and when I am in the process, I do not have my permanent residence yet. Find the budget and timeline at the end of the post.
Attention this article only deals with permanent residency in Ontario. Each province on its own terms.
How does permanent residence work?
It’s no secret that Canada needs immigrants. The country has chosen immigration policy, which means that you have to meet a number of criteria to qualify for permanent residency. You can ask for it by being in France (or other countries) or already like me in Canada. Criteria such as your age, your professional experience, your qualifications, your level in the official languages of the country (English and French), your current professional situation are among the elements that immigration will study. Depending on the results you will be directed to the process that suits you. In my case having worked more than a year in a qualified job in Canada I qualify for Express Entry.
First question: Am I eligible for permanent residency (Express Entry)?
This is indeed the first question to ask yourself. You can take a quick eligibility test here to find out. Another useful tool but little known: the points simulator. It will give you an idea of where you are. Be careful however the simulator announced me 596 points while in the end I had 482. Info useful but to take with care.
What do you need to be able to apply?
- Pass the language test of your choice (English or French). English is cheaper but earns less points. Speaking French is an asset when applying for permanent residency in Ontario, the province needs French speakers. I have passed my TEF (Evaluation Test of French) in the ILSC school, the waiting time is about 3 weeks to have an exam date. Allow 2-3 weeks to get the results.
- How is the TEF going? You have 4 stages: oral / written comprehension and oral / written expression. What I thought: it’s very simple if French is your first language. I found it a bit ridiculous to pay $ 420 to prove that I spoke French fluently when I got a French degree.
- Request the evaluation of your diplomas. Your dipomas coming from another country Canada needs to know the equivalence to give you the corresponding number of points. I used WES services. For me it was the longest and most painful part, not because of WES but because of the school in France.
- How is the evaluation of diplomas carried out? You create a profile on the WES website, you fill in your information, you pay the $ 200 fee. WES will give you a reference number and give you a list of documents to provide. All your correspondences with WES will have to indicate your reference number. WES receives the documents, processes them and gives you a diploma equivalence within 3 weeks.
- What documents to provide for WES? A copy of your highest degree as well as your transcript. If you can send the copy of your degree yourself, the transcript must come from the national education to be certified.
- My experience: for me it was hell, I passed my BTS in high school in 2009, they no longer had my notes, I had the past by the rectorate who did not follow the instructions that I I communicated, we chained the exchanges from late January to July … I could not see the end. My advice: get ahead!
- Options to have your evaluation:
- Sending from the school to WES: make the request to your school / rectorate by communicating the information clearly: they must directly send to WES your transcript accompanied by the document provided by WES duly filled in a sealed envelope. It was the sealed envelope that was a problem in my case. Feel free to add screenshots of the steps to follow, to send emails with very clear points, to call to be certain that they have understood everything and especially to make your interlocutor understand the importance of this document in your visa application. Depending on the school you will have to pay the international shipping costs.
- Sending from the school to a third party to WES: after 2 trials of the first option I had to find an alternative. So I asked the school to send the sealed envelope in an envelope to my mother who sent me a picture of the sealed envelope for “I approve”, put it back in a new envelope and sent it to WES. In the case of a shipment to France the rectorate did not ask me to pay the shipping costs.
- Certification by the Consulate: If you still have the original of your transcript you can have it certified by the French Consulate in Toronto and send it to WES.
- Prepare your history for the last 10 years:
- Prepare your jobs, addresses and trips over the last 10 years, the information will be asked later, you will save time if everything is ready.
How to get into the pool?
Once you have gathered all the documents above you’re ready to go! You can go to the immigration website and apply! Enter all the information, take your time and do not stress, you can always modify your profile afterwards. Even when you’re in the pool. Your points will fit accordingly. Allow about 2 hours to fill everything. You can keep up to date on the latest draw rounds on the immigration website. Just wait now!
How is the draw?
Immigration services are leaving applicants every 2 Wednesdays. I do not know how, but they choose a minimum number of points and send an invitation to all people with a higher level of points. The invitation allows you to proceed to the next step. Then you have 60 days to submit your documents.
- My experience: I applied on the evening of Tuesday 21st and received the invitation on Wednesday 22nd in the day. I had 482 points and the minimum was 440 for this draw. It was fast!
- January 22: creation of my profile on WES.
- July 30: WES receives my documents and begins to process them.
- August 14: WES approves my documents.
- August 21: entry into the basin.
- August 22: leaving the basin.
- TEF (French test): $ 420.
- WES (diploma evaluation): $ 200.
- Sending diplomas: 3 x 5 euros = 25 $.
- Total August 22, 2018: $ 645.
Here for the moment I am, I will update the article as and when.