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The VACs in San Francisco and Seattle are now Open for Biometrics

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The good news for applicants applying for Canada immigration is that the VACs in San Francisco and Seattle are now open for biometrics. The U.S. residents can now submit their biometrics at any VACs to complete the Canada immigration process.

On 23rd November 2020, the VACs in San Francisco and Seattle, Washington opened up their services only for biometrics. Applicants can carry the rest VAC services in the centres located in New York and Los Angeles. Candidates can give biometrics at any of these four centres. They can likewise submit biometrics to the 131 Application Support Centers situated in the U.S., as long as they have their Biometrics Introduction Letter.

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The San Francisco and Seattle centres will be open for a time of one year. They are selected to make it more advantageous for those affected by Covid related service closures. Candidates for Canada immigration can submit biometrics for their new or currently progressing applications.

U.S visa holders get few exemptions, such as they don’t have to give biometrics. Different exclusions include kids under age 14, candidates over age 79 and not applying for asylum, heads of government, diplomats, individuals who previously gave biometrics, visa-exempt international nationals dropping by, and Canadians.

It is mandatory to submit biometrics or photo and fingerprints if you are applying for the mentioned Canada visas –

  • Canada Visitor visa
  • Canada student visa (Unless they are U.S. residents)
  • Canada Study visa (Unless they are U.S. residents)
  • Asylum or refugee
  • Extension for work or study permit, or
  • Extension on visitor records, legal status

Individuals in Canada applying for temporary resident at present are excluded from biometrics temporarily. This measure was set up because of the pandemic. It applies to individuals who are applying to expand their stay in Canada. It includes students, workers, or tourists, just as the individuals applying to re-establish their status. It additionally covers individuals who are applying for their visa or permit in Canada.

As a component of the temporary COVID-19 measure, candidates having Canada PR don’t have to give their biometrics again if they have submitted in the last ten years.


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Self-Employed Canada Immigration Program for Athletes and Creative Artists

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Scenario 1: Amit Shah is an Indian cricket player representing India at national and international levels. He plans to retire and immigrate to Canada for a better future for himself and his family. Being an international cricket player, Amit is eligible to immigrate to Canada under the self-employed persons Canada immigration program as he can contribute to Canadians’ athletic life and economically. Being from an athletics or sports background, Amit does not need to qualify for the regular skilled worker category used by doctors, engineers, lawyers, marketers, teachers or other professionals qualified to immigrate to Canada. The self-employed Canada Immigration program is devised explicitly for creative or athletic professions which do not fall into the regular nine to five occupations. It will help Amit secure his future by obtaining Canada PR. Canada would get a sportsperson of international repute who can help Canadians in sports and contribute to the economy along the way. In this case, Amit can apply for the self-employed persons Canada immigration program and make his dream come true.

Scenario 2: Melissa is a Chinese professional international singer and performs at various international events organized by companies. As Melissa’s has been performing at the international level for the last many years, she intends to change her career by opening a music academy in Canada. It’s a vast market as a large number of Chinese immigrants are settled in Canada. Melissa is wondering if there is any specific program for artists such as herself who don’t fit into the regular skilled worker category of Canada Immigration. Here, Melissa can apply for Canada immigration under the Self-Employed persons immigration program to fulfil her dreams. Melissa’s plan to open up her singing academy in Canada will allow her to make a significant contribution to Canadian society in the field of music. Additionally, her academy will also contribute to the economy through direct or indirect taxes and the generation of employment. It’s a win-win both for Melissa and Canada!

singer self employed canada pr

Canada is a multicultural society with immigrants from all over the world, calling it their new home. As immigration in different occupations and trades is essential to keep the Canadian businesses and economy thriving, the Government of Canada also understands that certain occupations do not fit into the regular skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled jobs. Still, they are vital for the overall fabric of Canadian society. Hence, the Canadian Government has devised this specific program to encourage creative artists and athletes to immigrate to Canada. You can reach out to our licensed Canada immigration consultants to see if your occupation is eligible under this program.

The Self-Employed Persons Canada immigration program allows eligible candidates to immigrate to Canada and obtain Canada PR. These individuals should have relevant experience in athletics or cultural activities by which they can make a significant contribution to Canada’s cultural life or sports.

There are three essential components to this self-employed persons program:

  1. Attaining at least 35 points out of 100 to be eligible to apply for this program.
  2. Validating your experience in the given occupation or field is national/international through a comprehensive portfolio.
  3. Demonstrating through a proper settlement and business plan, how would you sustain yourself in Canada as a self-employed person.

Through the above components, one has to convince the visa officer that you will contribute to Canada’s economy by your cultural activity. The contribution depends on your occupation and the province you select.

Self-employed persons program is usually perceived as a business immigration program meant for individuals who run their own small-medium business, which is not valid. This program neither requires huge net worth nor any investment into a Canadian company.  Self-employed doesn’t mean that you have to establish your business in Canada and show massive capital for Canada immigration. That’s the misconception. Instead, self-employed here means the candidate can cover their expenses by their self-employed activity. Here, “their” means the candidate himself/herself, their partner and dependent children. This program is intended for writers, authors, photographers, directors, artists, musicians, athletes and so on who can immigrate to Canada and engage in any self-employment activity to sustain and grow with their family for a better life.

In both the above scenarios, the individuals have created a platform for themselves in their cultural/athletic field. For such individuals, applying under the self-employed persons Canada immigration pathway is the best way to immigrate to the country to utilize their skills and safeguard their future.

If your occupation is eligible under the self-employed program, you should contact a regulated Canadian immigration consultant to know more. Your profession may also belong to the list, yet you do not qualify for a self-employed program. Don’t forget to check the eligibility and selection criteria for the self-employed Canada immigration program.

The self-employed persons program is a federal immigration method, which means the candidate intends to settle in any Canadian province, except Quebec. The self-employed Canada immigration program is one of the most challenging Canadian immigration pathways. Hence, it would help if you have an expert regulated Canadian immigration consultant who will adequately present your case to the immigration officers in the right legal way. Contact Elaar immigration today to start your Canada immigration process.

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What are the Steps for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

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The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is one of the major pathways for Canada immigration. Provincial Nominee Program results from an agreement between the federal government of Canada and respective provincial governments. Since each province and territory understand their labour needs better than anybody else, the federal government allows them to select and nominate candidates as per their requirements. It is important to note here that provinces can only nominate candidates; only Canada’s federal government can grant permanent residency. Depending on each province’s size and industry requirements, provinces are allocated an annual quota for nomination and accordingly, provincial governments create and manage their respective provincial nominee programs.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) points out those skilled workers, independently employed individuals and business owners who can help develop that province’s job market. In Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), each region helps Canada to grow the economy, which profits the Canadians and, in return, offers social security benefits to the immigrants.

The main interest of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is to invite the skilled workforce having required credentials such as education, age, work experience, and language proficiency in at least one of the official languages, i.e. English or French. If one satisfies the program’s eligibility criteria, you may receive the nomination from the respective Canadian province, except Quebec.

What after being invited by the Canadian province?

You earn extra 600 points once you are acknowledged by the PNP or issued the nomination certificate. Now, your CRS score will be among the highest in the pool of candidates waiting for the invite from IRCC. Consequently, in the next draw of Express Entry, you’ll be invited to apply for a Canada PR visa. Once you successfully receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you have 90 days to submit your documents and other requirements such as proof of fund, medical certificate, etc. You must finish the document verification and submission in 90 days. In case a delay is caused, you might lose the opportunity of applying for your Canada PR.

Step by step guide to apply for PNP

STEP 1: Knowing your Eligibility

Before applying for PNP, it is pertinent to understand if you are qualified for the same. Suppose you plan to apply for the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) or PNP of any other province or territory. In that case, you must check the eligibility criteria for each and determine which one applies to you. Also, remember that Quebec has its policies and eligibility criteria. Once you have selected the most appropriate PNP program for yourself, start collecting all the documents required for the application process. Do keep yourself updated on any changes as the prerequisites change without prior notice, and hence it’s essential to maintain a continuous check while applying.

STEP 2: Starting your Application Process

There are two kinds of provincial nominee programs, i.e., those linked to the Express Entry system and others those are stand-alone provincial programs. The ones related to the Express Entry system primarily target experienced skilled workers who are eligible for any federal immigration programs such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program or the Canadian Experience Class. The other provincial nominee programs are targeted towards applicants required by the provinces such as business owners, semi-skilled and unskilled workers, etc.

The provinces invite the applicants through the Express Entry stream as well as non-Express Entry streams. Depending on your unique situation, your profile might be picked up from the Express Entry pool. You may get an invitation to apply by a particular province such as Ontario or Alberta. In such a case, you first have to apply for the respective PNP, followed by a PR application to the federal government through the Express Entry system. There might be another scenario wherein you are already in the Express Entry pool, and you apply at the PNP portal of provinces such as Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. In the third scenario, you already work in a particular province or territory, and you can apply to the relevant provincial program in that province only. This program might be linked to the Express Entry system or a stand-alone provincial program. Once a province nominates you in all the above cases, you need to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a Canada PR visa. It is mandatory to submit your medical reports to prove that you are fit and healthy during the application process.

STEP 3: Knowing the Application Processing Time for Different Provinces

The IRCC sets different processing times for various Canada immigration programs. Hence, it is valid to know how much time your application will require to process. Before 2015, the processing times were not exact, as there was no online system.  But now, you’ll get to check the processing time of your application on the online platform.

The application processing time is less for Express Entry linked PNP as compared to the non-Express Entry PNP. The application processing time is different for each province. One can check the application start time, closing time, and processing time on the province’s official site.

STEP 4: After Presenting your Application

Once you submit your Provincial Nominee Program application, you have to follow specific guidelines. Firstly, you’ll receive an acknowledgment of your application. You will also receive a letter saying, “the administration is evaluating your application.” If you submit your application, which lacks a few qualification criteria, your application will not pass.

If you have applied through a regulated Canada immigration consultant, such as Elaar Immigration, your profile will be up to the mark. If you qualify for the PNP, you will receive an invite from the respective province. Once you receive the approval, you need to apply with IRCC for your Canada PR application.

The Canada immigration authority might request you to submit further documents required to issue you an invite. Make sure you submit the documents before the end date. Once you get the province’s nomination, you’ll score extra 600 points if you have applied via the Express Entry linked stream.

STEP 5: Arranging your Travel to Canada

If you apply for your PR application from outside of Canada, now is the time to live your desired life in Canada. Before travelling to Canada, you might contact a few companies/non-profit organizations that help new immigrants settle in Canada. These organizations help you after landing in Canada. For the same, you can contact Elaar Immigration to know more about post landing services in Canada.

Once you land in Canada, your Canada PR card would be mailed to your home address in a couple of months. The Canada PR card will be your entity in the country and hence keep it safe and close to you.

A keynote here is that you must land and settle in the province which nominated you. Although the Canadian Charter of Rights provides the Right to Mobility to every individual, it is your moral duty to reside in the province that nominated you unless there is a compelling reason to move to another part of Canada.

The provinces that participate in PNP are Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan,  New Brunswick, Manitoba,  Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories and Yukon. Each of these provinces has its PNP criteria, and hence it is recommended that before applying to any province, visit the province’s official website.

Getting in touch with Elaar Immigration

To apply for Canada immigration via the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), get in touch with our licensed Canada immigration consultants at Elaar Immigration. They will assess your profile and recommend the best-suited PNP program out of more than 60 different programs and help you throughout the application process. Book your slot today with Elaar immigration to know more about Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and other Canada immigration programs.