Frequently Asked Questions
Disclaimer - I am NOT a lawyer, immigration consultant or in anyway connected to the government. Everything I share on this site is my views, opinions and experience. It’s up to you to take the right call. I am not responsible for your decisions.
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I am working in tech on an H1B should I apply for a Canadian PR?
Yes, I would say you should. Firstly because Canada is an amazing country with a great brand. And it is in need of the best tech talent and is happy to provide permanent residency and citizenship. The process to get those is easy, transparent and with a reasonable time frame.
As a H1B the wait time for getting a Greencard is getting longer and for some like those born in India it’s closing in on 20 plus years. Think about that, you will spend your entire productive life time on a highly restrictive visa. Yes, some of you will say the high salaries are worth it. But remember there is an opportunity cost and you will pay it. Also the slightest slip up or downturn can put you and your family on a plane back home. This sounded pretty unreasonable to me and not something I could get myself to accept for the long term. All the while your friends that choose other parts of the world are enjoying their citizenship’s, launching startups, bringing over their parents, traveling the world and enjoying their life while maybe not making as much as you.
Let me say this I love California and miss my life and friends there. But I also love Toronto and have a ton of new friends and a fun life here. I’m excited to be a part of a young but fast growing tech ecosystem. If the Toronto tech ecosystem was a startup I would say get in early since its heating up fast.
I love the freedoms I have here. As a PR you have all the rights of a citizen except the right to vote and hold political office. In a couple more years I can apply for citizenship of this amazing country.
Does applying for or getting a Canadian PR affect my H1B or anything else?
As far as I know it does not. It is unrelated.
As an software / tech person can I apply for a Canadian PR?
Yes, Canada needs skilled tech talent. While they are working on growing their own. The experience that people working in Silicon Valley bring is invaluable and will accelerate the tech ecosystem in cities like Toronto.
Do I need a lawyer to file for the Canadian PR?
No you don’t need a lawyer or a consultant. The whole process is easy and transparent. When we applied we did the whole process on our own and had our PR in about 6 months. The biggest part of the process is collecting the required documents and no one else can help you with that.
How long does the entire PR process take?
The entire process from collecting the documents to creating the express entry profile will take about 2 months. Once you receive the invite to apply you will have to submit the medical and police clearance after which it can be as quick as 80 to 120 days to receive your confirmation of PR. This information is based on feedback I have received from recent applicants.
If I get PR how long can I delay claiming it?
You have up to a year from your medial check to land in Canada and claim your PR. Only after this step would your PR cards be sent to you. With PR cards in hand you can fly in and out of Canada as you wish. To maintain PR you have to have lived in Canada 2 years out of 5.
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What does getting a PR give me?
- Get social benefits equal to Canadian citizens
- Government paid health care
- Live, work or study anywhere in Canada
- Freedom to launch your own startup or business
- Freedom to remote work for companies anywhere
- Worry free entry and exit to and from Canada
- Visa free holiday travel to few countries like Costa Rica, Bahamas, etc
- Can apply for Canadian Citizenship (After 4⁄6 years, changing to 3⁄5)
- You cannot vote or run for political office
- Get super-visa’s for parents and grandparents (Stay up to 2 years)
- Sponsor partners, parents and grandparents for PR
Can my spouse or other dependants work on PR?
Its very likely that you will have included your spouse and other dependants on your PR application. So they all will have gotten their own PR. And therefore yes they can work and avail of all the rights that PRs have in Canada.
Does my whole family have to file for PR or just me?
The application needs a principal application that can be the wife or husband. Whoever can get a higher CRS score should be the principal applicant. All other family members are included as dependants. Be sure to include any newborns and infants on the application you cannot get them PR later and will cause all kinds of complications. Any children born in Canada are considered Canadian citizens.
I have a CRS score of X will I be invited ?
If you are working in tech on an H1B its very likely that you will have a high enough CRS score to apply. I would think the acceptable score is relative to others applicants. The process is very transparent and data on scores that received invites is available though the link below.
What do I need to do for the Educational Credential Evaluation (ECA)
ECA is a certification to show that your completed foreign credential (degree, diploma or certificate) is equal to a completed Canadian secondary school (high school) or post-secondary credential. There are various independent companies that do the assessment for you. We used WES Canada.
Will I get a job in tech?
Getting a job is just as hard or easy in Canada as anywhere else. Tech companies in Toronto are looking for experienced talent so with a little networking it shouldn’t be hard to get a job. As a PR you can negotiate on equal ground and not have visa transfer’s and other formalities to worry about. There are so many other options, you can work remote for US companies (GitHub, Automattic, Zapier, etc) So many Silicon Valley startups are fully distributed. Finally for some of you the best option might be to start your own business.
Are tech salaries lower in Toronto
CAD is a little lower then USD right now so that is a salary cut right there. Toronto is not California or NYC so salaries will be a little lower just like if you had moved to a second tier city in the US. Keep in mind that the cost of living and taxes here are lower that in US tech centers. All this while you still get to enjoy a major city with lots to do, and a pretty amazing country too. You also get much more back in services for your tax dollars. In the end you have to define your own priorities.
How is the tech scene in Toronto?
I have written about the Toronto Tech Scene, go read that.
How can I contact you or ask you a question not answered here?
The best way to get your questions answered is join our community forums. If forum are private and you can pick any username. Best part is your not limited in anyway ask as many questions as you want.
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