Once you’ve decided you want to move to Canada, your first step should be to find out if you’re eligible for any Canadian immigration programs.
There are no specific immigration programs for single parents immigrating to Canada. Instead, you should find a program that best suits your work experience, language proficiency, and education.
The best place for a single parent to start is Canada’s Express Entry system; Express Entry is Canada’s fastest and most popular immigration program. Being eligible to submit a profile does not guarantee that you will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency. The Canadian government holds regular Express Entry draws, in which they invite only the highest-ranking candidates.
If you don’t score high enough to receive an invitation in a federal draw, you may still options in the Express Entry pool. Provinces regularly use the Express Entry pool to search for and invite candidates that fill their labour and demographic gaps. If your profile is of interest to a province, it may invite you to apply for a permanent residence nomination.
Once you qualify to apply for permanent residence, you will need to begin collecting the documents required for your application.
In addition to the standard required documents, there are additional documents single parents must submit. These documents verify to the Canadian government that you have any necessary consent to immigrate with their child.
If your child’s other biological parent is still alive, they will need to fill out an immigration form IMM 5604. By completing this form, the other parent declares that they understand they may be permanently separated from their child.
In addition to the form, you will also need to provide a custody plan. The custody plan should clearly indicate that you are allowed to remove the child from their country of origin to immigrate to Canada. The issue of custody can be challenging as family law can vary in each country. For this reason, the Canadian government will typically assess on a case-by-case basis.
Regardless of the family law of your country, the onus is on you as the applicant to provide sufficient evidence that the non-travelling parent has consented and has no objection to the removal of the child from the country of origin. If they cannot be reached, you should prove that you have made every reasonable effort to contact them and obtain their written consent.
In the case that the parents share custody of the child, IRCC requires written confirmation from the other parent that they have no objection to the child immigrating to Canada. If the shared custody agreement does not permit the child to travel to Canada permanently, the original agreement must be amended or replaced with one that does.
Finally, the child will need a valid passport, which may also require the other parent’s cooperation.
Once you arrive in Canada, there are a few things you should do to prepare for your new life in Canada. While the process of settling in a new country can be overwhelming, the Canadian government offers various services to help.
If you are a woman settling in Canada as a single parent, the government also offers various services aimed at newcomer women. The government has also recently launched a Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot. The pilot aims to help racialized women overcome any barriers to finding and keeping good jobs in Canada. It provides these women with settlement services and support to improve their employment outcomes and career advancement.
To help ease the financial burden of settling in a new country, the Canadian government offers various tax benefits and credits for single parents in Canada.
There are many benefits to settling in Canada as as single parent. Upon landing in Canada, your child can also go to school for free up until the age of 18. As a permanent resident, you and your child would also have access to free, universal healthcare.
Interested in learning more about your options for immigrating to Canada as a single parent? Complete our free online assessment form for a full evaluation of your options today!
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