Can my aunt file for me?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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Today, we start a new weekly column that will answer vital immigration questions relating to Canada.

Dear Mr Brown,

I am a 24-year-old university student in Kingston who would like to migrate to Canada. My aunt, who is a permanent resident of Canada residing in Toronto, has offered to sponsor me. What is the best way for her to achieve this goal?


Dear CA,

Toronto is regarded as one of the best cities in the world in terms of the standard of living. It is a multicultural and inclusive city that offers many opportunities. Although all of the relevant information was not provided in your stated question, such as your credentials and additional information about your aunt to determine whether she is eligible to sponsor you, I may still respond to the general nature of your query with very practical suggestions.

Family Class

Under the Family Class, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor the following individuals to become permanent residents:

1. Spouses, common law partners (individuals who are cohabiting in a conjugal relationship with another person for a period of at least one year) and conjugal partners (foreign nationals residing outside Canada who are in a conjugal relationship with sponsors in Canada for a period of at least one year.)

2. Dependent children, under the age of 22, or if at the age of 22 or older when the visa is issued, they may still be included as part of the parent's application as an accompanying dependent if they are still not married or not in a common law relationship, or if they are financially dependent due to full-time studies, or due to a physical or mental condition;

3. Children intended for adoption;

4. Parents, grandparents, and their dependent children;

5. Brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren if they are orphaned, without a spouse or common-law partner and under 18; and

6. Any relative if the sponsor is alone in Canada and has none of the above family members to sponsor.

Accordingly, if you fall under any of these relationships and your aunt is an eligible sponsor, then it may be possible for her to sponsor you. However, assuming that she has at least one relative in Canada, a different route should be pursued, while still utilising her support. There are many paths to achieving Canadian permanent resident status and citizenship. However, I suggest that a suitable option would be for you to study in Canada under the Post-Graduation Stream of the Canadian Experience Class.

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class deals with becoming a permanent resident on the basis of Canadian experience and the intent to reside in a Canadian province or territory other than Quebec. It was developed for temporary foreign workers or graduates with Canadian work experience, who are familiar with Canadian society and have additional abilities that assist them in making a successful transition from temporary to permanent residence in Canada.

Post-Graduation Stream

Under this stream the applicant must have:

1. Completed a required programme of study in Canada and obtained a Canadian educational credential (eg, degree, diploma, or certificate) from a recognised, accredited and participating institution;

2. Have been enrolled full-time in this programme of study or training for at least two years at a Canadian institution and physically present in Canada;

3. Acquired, in Canada, at least 12 months of full time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time work experience within the 24 months before the date the application is made in a management occupation, professional occupation, or experience as a technician or technologist; and

4. Demonstrated that they have met the minimum language requirements for their abilities to speak, listen, read, and write.

Please note that there are specific exceptions and exclusions that may apply. In addition, other immigration streams that are based on studies in Canada also exist. However, in this instance I am referring specifically to the Canadian Experience Class.

Entry to an institution

There are excellent colleges and a university in Toronto. The qualifications necessary to be admitted to most post-graduate programmes include a college diploma and/or university degree and corresponding transcripts demonstrating a sufficient grade point average. The qualifications necessary to be admitted to a post-secondary programme are different, in that, there are opportunities for prospective students of all backgrounds, including those with CXC subjects (CSEC and/or CAPE) and even for those who do not possess any CXC subjects.

In general, all programmes require CSEC English, while most programmes require CSEC Mathematics. However, additional testing and assessment would be required for those without these CXC subjects. Educational counselling should be sought to determine eligibility to a specific programme as some programmes have additional prerequisite subjects.

Please note that the SAT is not required for studies in Canada. Canadian programmes are recognised around the world. There are hundreds of different programmes available in schools in Toronto. International students may work part-time during their classes at participating institutions. Scholarships may be applied for once you receive an acceptance letter from a school.

For further information visit

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel, education agent and managing director of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM
—a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to




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