4 Short Answers to 4 Immigration Questions: Can I change my name, how long the process takes and more!

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Here are four more short answers to immigration-related questions readers submitted in the past few weeks.

How long the immigration process is and where to start

Hi, I am from Afghanistan. I am planning to migrate to Canada. I am married with four kids. What are the possibilities for me through which I can immigrate? I am about to complete my master degree in business administration from UK.

How long will the process take? And what are the cost implications?

To learn more about immigrating to Canada, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This is the official government website, it has all the info you need.

To learn more about processing time, you can check current queue here: or read this article, How Long Does the Immigration Process Take.
For the cost of the immigration process, check out How Much Does Immigrating to Canada Cost.

Good luck!

Changing my name

Perhaps you can answer this question for me. When you land in Canada, will they only use the name on the birth certificate and other documents or can you change your name during landing? For example, if my name is Theodore Stephanopolous, can I put Theodore Stephan on the landing documents?

This is an interesting question. My understanding is that it’s a bit more complicated than that, based on the info here. I doubt you can ask to change your name, but you should contact CIC for more info.

Advice for partners not yet married

This website has been a huge help.  What advice do you have for those who are not married yet?  I am a Christian so neither of us believe in living together before marriage.  If he does decide to move here, he would like to work as much as possible up until close to the wedding.  I have the funds to support my boyfriend until he finds work that suits.

I guess I am wondering if there are restrictions to how often he can come in and out of Canada after engagement?  What can we do leading up to this that will help us through this process with as little pain as possible?

From what I understand, your fiancé is American, right? Canada doesn’t have a fiancé visa. Either you are married, common-law partners (and you have to prove you’ve been living together for a year) or conjugal partners (and you have to prove that you haven’t been able to live together).

In theory, he can come and visit you, as an American citizen he won’t need a tourist visa. But he won’t be able to work and he can only stay in Canada for as long as the border officer let him (up to six months, I believe). Be careful though, if he states he is visiting his fiancée, border officers may have reasons to believe he will overstay his visa and may deny him entry to Canada.

You could sponsor him from outside Canada but you will have to make a strong case to prove the relationship is genuine. You can also sponsor him from within Canada, after he enters as a tourist. He will eventually be eligible for a work permit but it may take months.

Will people understand me?

If I speak French from France in Québec, will I be understood and will the residents be able to communicate with me?

In short, yes. Based on your name, I am going to assume you are a native English speaker. Well, the difference between “Parisian” French and Quebec French is a bit like British English versus American English.

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French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

6 Comments

  1. I was concerned that Luke and I would have to go down the conjugal partner sponsorship route if I didn’t get my IEC visa. It is so difficult to live with someone for a year if you can’t get a visa to do so!

  2. Martin Penwald on

    Quebecer will understand french of France, but you won’t be able to understand them. Hu, hu hu …

    Just kidding, note that the accent from Montréal is different from the one of Lac-St-Jean which is different from the Gaspésie’s one. From french-only speaker, québecois speaking can be a little bit weird in a sense that they use a lot of english words in their sentences, and sometimes don’t even know the french word for an item.
    Moreover, outside Montréal Island, it can happen that you’ll be unwelcome if you don’t speak french, but french of France is OK. Just don’t lecture a Québécois on his curious way of speaking (like I said, lot of english words and english grammatical structures).

    • This is very true. I am so used to “franco-ontariens” that I barely register the accent. But I’d be lost in Saguenay!

  3. I’d say the difference between both french is wider than between both english (where thé syntax doesn’t change much in comparaison!) 😀 But he’ll be fine. Sometimes clueless but fine 😀

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