Frequently asked questions IMMIGRATION & PAPERWOK

Can my spouse and children accompany me to Canada if I have a Job Offer?

It depends on what type of work permit you currently have or are applying for. Typically, applicants nominated by the province (e.g. SINP) under the job offer category can bring their spouse and dependent children to Canada right after obtaining nomination letter. Usually they can apply for their closed work permit and open work permit for the spouse, study permit or long-term visitor visa for their children at the same time. Foreign workers who have LMIA-based work permit for a skilled position (NOC 0, A, B) may also bring their immediate family members to Canada for the duration of their work permit. However, work permits in lower-skilled occupations (NOC C & D) do not qualify for spousal open work permit. If your spouse and children do not qualify for work and study permits, you may still apply for visitor visas, however the refusal rate on such visitor applications is rather high.

Can I work for two or three employers?

Most foreign workers in Canada have a closed type of work permit that does not allow them to work for any employer other than the one listed on their work permit. Such work permits are issued on the basis of the job offer and LMIA or PNP nomination. Some categories of applicants may obtain an open work permit meaning there is no job offer and no employer listed on the permit.

How can I prove my work experience?

To prove your work experience for immigration purposes, you need to submit letters of references or confirmation of employment letters from previous employers where you worked in the past. The letter should be printed on the company’s letterhead and should include

  • date the letter was issued;
  • your job title;
  • type of employment (full - time, part-time or seasonal);
  • dates of employment from start to finish (make sure you include the complete date such as day, month and the year, not only a year);
  • your main duties and responsibilities at the job;
  • the number of hours you worked each week or each month, if the position was not full-time;
  • first name, last name and contact information of your supervisor or manager including phone number and e-mail address;
  • signature and first and last name of the individual who issued the letter, if not your manager or supervisor.
Such letters are required only to prove experience you are using to claim your points for immigration program such as SINP or to prove your experience for your LMIA-based work permit application, if required.

You may also be asked to provide additional proofs of your employment experience in the occupation you’re applying, which can be:

  • a copy of your employment contract;

  • proof of salary, including at least 3 pay slips for every year of employment supplemented by bank statements showing deposits of these earnings (if applicable);

  • a copy of your work-book (for the applicants from Ukraine);

  • your past tax records showing your income tax and social insurance contributions.

If you were self-employed or business owner you can provide:

  • articles of incorporation or other evidence of business ownership;

  • evidence of self‐employment income;

  • business and personal taxation forms;

  • letters of reference from clients;

  • verification of purchases and or sources of stock, feed, farm supplies.

Self‐declared main duties or affidavits cannot be considered as acceptable proof of self‐employed work experience.

In order to avoid delays with the processing of your application, we recommend submitting at least one more proof of your employment experience in addition to the employment or reference letter from your employer.

What is LMIA?

LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) is an approval to hire foreign workers issued by the federal government of Canada to employers who exhausted their labour market options within Canada and are willing to offer the job to a foreign worker. As a part of the LMIA application process, the employer has to prove that they advertised the job across Canada for at least 2-4 weeks, they have a viable business operation and they are willing to take on certain obligations regarding covering some costs and providing settlement support. In most cases the Employer also has to pay $1000.00 to the government per job opening, however, on-farm primary positions are exempt from this fee. In some provinces such as Saskathcewan, employers must register with provincial immigration office before they can apply for LMIA. It takes about 2 to 4 months for the employer to receive LMIA approval for agricultural positions and only after the foreign worker can submit his/her application for a work permit and entry visa to Canada.

What is SINP?

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) is the provincial immigration program that offers alternative and quicker document processing to prospective immigrants who are willing to settle in the province of Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan-based business to hire foreign workers in certain occupations. In fact, currently SINP is one of the leading PNP programs in Canada with the shortest processing times in job offer application category. Program’s selection criteria and point system are based on education, age, English or French language level, previous work experience, job offer and connection to Saskatchewan factors. Though SINP is just the first step of the permanent residency (PR) process, having nomination letter allows many applicants to come and start working in Saskatchewan while their PR application is being processed on the federal level.

What is IELTS and what level do I need to have?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) assesses the language proficiency of people who want to study or work in those countries where English is used as a language of communication. It uses a nine-band scale to identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9). ELTS is available in two test versions: Academic - for people applying for higher education or professional registration, and General Training for immigration and work-related purposes. The test assesses four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. The IELTS Certificate is valid for 2 years. Minimal band score requirements for immigration purposes vary depending on the type of the program you are applying. Minimal score for applicants applying under Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program ( SINP) are the following:

  • Listening - 4.5;
  • Reading - 3.5;
  • Writing – 4;
  • Speaking – 4;
in General Training Module. If you are planning to come under provincial program or to apply for Permanent Residency in future, we recommend to take the IELTS test as soon as possible, as very often there are limited number of seats to take the exam and depending on the time of the year or your country, you may need to register 1 to 2 months in advance, and it also takes 14 days to get the results of your test. Therefore, having your IELTS exam taken in advance will allow you to start your paperwork process sooner once you have a job offer from the employer. The test is available in more than 140 countries and in over 1,000 locations. The cost to take the test ranges between 250 USD to 350 USD depending on the country. If you would like to learn more about the test, locations and dates please visit the link

Who needs a police certificate? When should I apply for one?

When you apply to become a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen, you and your family members of 18 years of age or older must include a police certificate from any country where you lived 6 months and longer.

When you apply for a temporary visa or work permit you might asked for a police certificate as well depending of the country where you submit your application. In our experience police certificate is generally not required for a work permit and visa application in Ukraine, however it is required in South Africa.

Taking into consideration the amount of time it takes to get a police certificate from another country (from 14 days to 4 months sometime) and that a lot of our clients have previously worked overseas (e.g. employment in the USA under H2A visas) we always recommend our applicants to apply for a police certificate in advance. If it happens that you are requested to provide a police certificate after your work permit and visa application is submitted and you do not have one, your arrival might be delayed for 2 to 3 months, which can be an issue for farm positions especially if your arrival is expected by the beginning of seeding or harvest and employer may decide to withdraw your job offer.

How to get FBI Certificate from the United States?

Police clearance certificate from the United States is called Identity History Summary and issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

You can request an Identity History Summary from the FBI online or submit a request by mail. We always recommend applying online as on-line as it takes 5 business days for an electronic check and 14 to 16 weeks to process a mail-in request for a police certificate plus mailing time.

To apply on line visit

NOTE: ****This web-site is currently experiencing issues with Google Chrome and Safari browsers. We recommend that Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox be used to submit requests to obtain your Identity History Summary information.****

Here is what you have to do:

  1. Complete the online form
  2. Receive a confirmation email
  3. Get your fingerprints taken on an official fingerprint form (FD-258 fingerprint card can be uploaded from the Departmental Order website).
  4. Mail your fingerprints and a copy of your confirmation email to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division.
  5. Pay your fees
  6. Receive your results.

It takes 3 to 5 business days for an electronic check upon receipt of the fingerprint card. Allow additional time for mail delivery if this option was selected during the request process.

The FBI can send the results to you by:

  • email through a secure link and personal identification number or
  • First Class mail via the U.S. Postal Service

We recommend selecting both options for the delivery of your results. If you are already our client, you can indicate our business address to receive the results by mail.

Will I need to get my educational credentials recognized? What is ECA report?

ECA report is Educational Credential Assessment report by independent company designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that evaluates your foreign education and tells you what your education is equal to in Canada. You need this assessment for certain provincial and federal immigration programs.

If you come to Canada apply to Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) as a skilled worker such as farm manager (NOC 0821), farm supervisor (NOC 8252) or herdsman (NOC 8252), you will not be required to provide your educational credential assessment.

If you come to Canada in low-skilled occupation as general farm worker (NOC 8431) and after 6 months of employment with the same employer you plan to submit your application to SINP under the Semi-skilled Agriculture Worker with Existing Work Permit Category, you must have completed the equivalent of a Canadian secondary school education (high school) or above and will be required to provide a valid Educational Credential Assessment.

The details about how to do the assessment and get the list of designated organizations can be obtained from the government web-site by the following link.

What is WES? How to get one?

World Education Services (WES) is an organization designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to provide Educational Credential Assessments for degrees and diplomas earned outside of Canada. In our experience, we recommend our clients to get their credentials recognized through WES as their process seems to be straightforward and worked well for our clients in the past.

A Document-by-Document evaluation costs $100.00. If you require additional services, such as rush service or express delivery, extra charges apply.

Please note that you only need to evaluate your highest level of education, for example if you have a bachelor diploma and master diploma, you only need to evaluate your master diploma.

WES has official processing times of around 20 days. This is after they receive the transcripts for evaluation, though you need to add extra time to get the paperwork that you need to do before you submit your application such as getting the transcripts from your educational institution, translating the documents and mailing time.

Canada Immigration accepts ECA reports for five years from the date they are issued, so long as they were issued on or after April 17, 2013.

To get more information, you can visit WES web site:

Here is a link that can be useful for our Ukrainian clients to the company that was mandated by the Ukrainian Ministry of Education to carry out the verification of documents on education for WES Canada:

If you plan to come to Saskatchewan as a seasonal worker or temporary worker for 2 years but your long term goal is to apply for permanent residency in Canada through SINP, we recommend you to start the process with WES in advance as it will save you time and eliminate extra stress while you are here.