Before embarking on the immigration process to Canada as a single parent, it's essential to be aware of some key considerations.
Determining Eligibility for Immigration as a Single Parent
Once the decision to relocate to Canada is made, the initial step involves ascertaining eligibility for various Canadian immigration programs.
There aren't specific immigration pathways tailored for single parents intending to move to Canada. Instead, it is advisable to identify a program aligning with one's work experience, language proficiency, and educational background.
A strategic starting point for single parents is the Express Entry system in Canada – recognized for its speed and popularity in immigration. However, meeting the criteria to submit a profile does not guarantee an invitation to apply for permanent residency. The Canadian government conducts regular Express Entry draws, exclusively inviting candidates with the highest rankings.
In cases where the score falls below the threshold for an invitation in a federal draw, there are still potential avenues within the Express Entry pool. Provinces routinely tap into this pool to identify candidates addressing their specific labor and demographic needs. Should your profile align with a province's requirements, you may receive an invitation to apply for a permanent residence nomination.
Which documents are necessary when a single parent is immigrating to Canada?
Once you meet the criteria to apply for permanent residence, the next step involves gathering the essential documents for your application.
Apart from the standard documents needed, single parents are required to submit additional paperwork. These documents serve to confirm to the Canadian government that the single parent has the necessary consent to immigrate with their child.
If the other biological parent of your child is alive, they must complete immigration form IMM 5604. This form serves as a declaration, acknowledging their understanding that there might be a permanent separation from the child.
Alongside the completed form, you must also furnish a custody plan. This plan should explicitly state that you have the legal authority to relocate the child from their country of origin to Canada. Resolving custody matters can be complex due to variations in family law across countries. Consequently, the Canadian government typically evaluates these situations on a case-by-case basis.
Irrespective of the family laws in your country, it is your responsibility as the applicant to furnish substantial evidence demonstrating that the non-travelling parent has given consent and does not object to the child being taken out of the country of origin. If attempts to reach them prove unsuccessful, you must provide proof of making every reasonable effort to contact them and secure their written consent.
In situations where parents share custody, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) necessitates written confirmation from the non-travelling parent, explicitly stating their lack of objection to the child's immigration to Canada. If the existing custody arrangement doesn't permit the child's permanent move to Canada, amendments or replacements to the original agreement are required.
Additionally, the child must possess a valid passport, a process that might involve the cooperation of the other parent.
Adapting to Life in Canada
Upon your arrival in Canada, it's crucial to undertake certain preparations for your transition to the new chapter of life in the country. While the prospect of settling in a different nation can be daunting, the Canadian government provides an array of services to assist newcomers.
For women arriving in Canada as single parents, there are specialized services tailored to their needs. A recent initiative, the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot, has been introduced to specifically aid racialized women in overcoming potential barriers to securing and maintaining employment in Canada. This program offers settlement services and support to enhance their employment prospects and career progression.
To alleviate the financial challenges associated with settling in a new country, the Canadian government extends various tax benefits and credits to single parents in Canada.
Settling in Canada as a single parent also comes with notable advantages. Upon arrival, your child can attend school at no cost until the age of 18. Additionally, as a permanent resident, both you and your child gain access to free, universal healthcare in Canada.
If you want to live in Canada and take your child with you, we can help! Contact our team and book an appointment with our immigration consultants. Take advantage of our free online assessment today!