Glossary

The glossary provides explanations for different words we have used across the website. These are not legal definitions. These explanations have been directly taken from Canada.ca  We do not claim ownership of these explanations/definitions. 

For a complete list of the Glossary, please click the button below and be redirected to the official website of the Government of Canada.

Academic program

A post-secondary program that awards an academic degree, diploma or professional certification. This program is often delivered at universities, colleges, seminaries and institutes of technology.

Adequate knowledge of language

In order to become a Canadian citizen, the Citizenship Act requires new citizens to have an "adequate knowledge" of English or French, Canada’s two official languages. In general, "adequate knowledge" means you can understand someone speaking English or French and they can understand you.

Affidavit

A document becomes an affidavit when a person signs the document, in the presence of an authorized person, after taking an oath that what the document says is true and accurate.

An affidavit is often used in order to verify that a translation of a document accurately reflects what is stated in the original language of the document.

Applicant

A person who submits an application under any of IRCC’s business lines.

Arranged employment

Arranged employment is when you have a job offer from a Canadian employer in a NOC 0, A, or B job for a continuous period of one year or more. In some cases, this job offer must be approved by Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada.

Valid job offer

A job offer, in writing, for Express Entry candidates. The offer must be

  • for continuous, paid, full-time work (at least 30 hours a week)

  • for work that is not seasonal and for at least one year

  • skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC).

  • supported by an LMIA (unless exempt).

Assessment

  1. The identification and measurement of learning, credentials, and other forms of qualifications required for entry into programs of study or occupations (assessment may include testing, examinations, or other prescribed activities).

  2. A process that measures knowledge, skills and aptitudes.

Visa

An official counterfoil document issued by a visa office abroad that is placed in a person’s passport to show that he or she has met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident (a visitor, student or worker). A counterfoil is a specially designed sticker on which missions abroad print visa information.

Canadian visas include:

  • temporary resident visas (sometimes called visitor visas) and

  • permanent resident visas.

At missions abroad, controlled documents are comprised of counterfoils and seals, which are issued together as a visa. Counterfoils are the documents on which missions print visa information. Seals are documents that are affixed over counterfoils when they are placed in an applicant’s passport to prevent tampering.

Authorized representative

There are two types of authorized representatives: Compensated and Uncompensated.

  • Individuals who receive some form of compensation for their services (either directly or indirectly): Compensated authorized representatives must be members in good standing with their accredited regulatory body.

  • Individuals who provide such services for free: Examples of these individuals include friends, family members, and volunteers or staff members at charitable or non-governmental organizations (NGOS).

Canadian citizen

A person described as a citizen under the Citizenship Act. This means a person who:

  • is Canadian by birth (either born in Canada or born outside Canada to a Canadian citizen who was themselves either born in Canada or granted citizenship) or

  • has applied for a grant of citizenship and has received Canadian citizenship (naturalization).

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian standard used to describe, measure and recognize English language ability of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants who plan to live and work in Canada, or apply for citizenship. The Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) is used to assess abilities in the French language.

Citizenship and Immigration consultant

A person who provides support, advice or help, for a fee or other consideration, to someone who wants to immigrate to Canada or obtain Canadian citizenship. Canada’s citizenship and immigration laws define representatives and the terms of their services. This person does not work for the Canadian government.

Client Identification Number

A Client Identification Number (Client ID), also referred to as a Unique Client Identifier Number (UCI), can be found on any official document issued by an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada office, Case Processing Centre or a Canadian visa office outside Canada.

A Client ID consists of four numbers, a hyphen (-) and four (4) more numbers (example: 0000-0000).

A person who has never dealt with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada before will not have a Client Identification Number.

Common-law partner

Related term:
Common-law spouse

A person who has been living with another person in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. The term refers to opposite-sex and same-sex relationships.

See the legal definition of common-law partner.

Comprehensive ranking system (CRS)

A points-based system used to assess and score a candidate’s Express Entry profile to rank them against other candidates in the pool. The CRS will assess the profile information candidates submit, including skills, work experience, language ability, education and other factors.

Conjugal partner

A person outside Canada who has had a binding relationship with a sponsor for at least one year but could not live with their partner. The term refers to both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships.

Credential assessment service

A provincially-mandated organization, such as a regulatory body or a post-secondary institution, that is responsible for assessing the portability of foreign credentials.

In Canada, provincial and territorial governments are responsible for assessing and recognizing credentials.

Criminal inadmissibility

When a person is not allowed to enter or stay in Canada because they have committed or been convicted of a crime for which they have not received a record suspension (formerly known as a pardon) or been rehabilitated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The crime could have been committed and/or the conviction rendered in or outside Canada.

Dependant

A spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of a permanent resident or principal applicant.

Deportation order

A removal order issued by either a CBSA officer or the IRB.

It requires the person to leave Canada due to serious offences or serious violations of Canada’s immigration law. A person deported from Canada may not return without written permission from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Designated Learning Institution

A school in Canada that a student must be accepted at before they can qualify for a study permit (as of June 1, 2014). Consult the designated learning institutions list (DLI) for schools at the post-secondary level.

All primary and secondary schools in Canada are automatically designated. They do not appear on the list. Applicants for primary and secondary schools do not need a DLI number on their application form.

Economic Class

A category of immigrants selected for their skills and ability to contribute to Canada’s economy. Economic Class immigrants include skilled workers, provincial and territorial nominees, business immigrants, Quebec skilled workers and Canadian Experience Class members, and their spouses and dependants.

Educational credential

A provincially-mandated organization, such as a regulatory body or a post-secondary institution, that is responsible for assessing the portability of foreign credentials.

In Canada, provincial and territorial governments are responsible for assessing and recognizing credentials.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

eTA is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. It will allow Canada to screen travellers before they arrive. The authorization is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

Eligible

To be eligible for something means to be qualified to participate or be chosen.

Employer-specific work permit

A type of work permit that indicates:

  • the name of the employer a person can work for,

  • how long a person can work, and

  • the location where a person can work (if applicable).

A person who holds this type of work permit can only work for the employer for the length of time specified, and if applicable, at the location shown on the permit.

Express Entry

An electronic system to manage applications for these immigration programs:

Federal skilled worker

An immigrant selected as a permanent resident based on their education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French, and other criteria that have been shown to help people succeed in the Canadian labour market. Spouses and children are included on the application.

Quebec selects its own skilled workers, under the Quebec skilled worker Class (QSW).

Financial support

Financial support means that your sponsor provides money to help you pay for food, living expenses, etc.

Foreign national

A person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.

See the legal definition of foreign national.

Foreign worker

A temporary resident who is legally allowed to work in Canada on a temporary basis.

Full-time equivalent studies

Education completed on a part-time or accelerated basis that is equivalent to a full-time program of study.

Full-time job equivalent

Defined as 1,560 hours of paid employment per year.

Full time study status

Full time study status is determined by your educational institution (school). It is usually based on the number of classroom hours per week.

Full-time work

At least 30 hours per week for which wages are paid and/or commission is earned.

Immigration document

An official document issued by an IRCC or Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) office, Case Processing Centre (CPC) or Canadian visa office outside Canada, such as one of the following:

  • Immigrant visa and record of landing (IMM 1000),

  • Confirmation of permanent residence (IMM 5292),

  • Permanent resident card,

  • visitor record,

  • work permit,

  • study permit or

  • temporary resident permit.

Immigration officer

An officer responsible for deciding who can enter and stay in Canada. They usually work at Ports of Entry (airports, land border crossings) or one of our offices in Canada. They may check documents and interview applicants to make sure applications are accurate.

Immigration status

A non-citizen’s position in a country—for example, permanent resident or visitor.

Implied status

This is a legal extension of status that allows temporary residents to stay in Canada while we process their application. To be eligible, the temporary resident must apply to extend their status before it expires. This used to be known as “implied status.” Find out what you’re allowed to do while you wait for your application to be processed if you

  • extend or change the conditions of your work permit

  • extend or change the conditions of your study permit

  • extend your stay as a visitor

In process

When an application that has been sent to IRCC has been opened, checked for completeness, and an employee has begun to process it (enter into the computer system, etc.).

Inadmissibility

Related term:
Inadmissible person

When a person is not allowed to enter or stay in Canada. Reasons can include security concerns, criminal offences, human rights violations, health or financial reasons, and failure to comply with Canada’s immigration laws.

Invitation to apply

When a candidate’s profile is pulled from International Experience Canada or Express Entry pool. They then have a limited time to fill out and submit an online application.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada must usually get before hiring a foreign worker.

A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker can do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a Confirmation letter.

If you need an LMIA, your employer must send an application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Language requirement

Related terms:
Adequate Language

Some types of applications require you to have a certain level of skill in either English or French. The level of language ability required is different, depending on the type of application being submitted.

Level of education

A selection factor under the Federal Skilled Worker Program for which points are awarded. It is based on the certificate, diploma or degree obtained, and the number of years of schooling.

Low-income cut-off (LICO)

Related term:
Minimum necessary income

Income levels set out by the Government of Canada where a family spends a higher percentage on necessities than other families. A family must be above the cut-off in order to

  • sponsor a family member to immigrate to Canada, or

  • host parents or grandparents for an extended stay.

Misrepresentation

When a person makes false statements, submits false information, submits false or altered documents, or withholds information relevant to their application to IRCC. This is a crime. Documents can include:

  • Passports and travel documents;

  • Visas;

  • Diplomas, degrees, and apprenticeship or trade papers;

  • Birth, marriage, final divorce, annulment, separation or death certificates;

  • Police certificates.

Lying on an application or in an interview with an IRCC officer is also an offence under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act.

Misrepresentation bars a person from being granted Canadian citizenship for a period of 5 years.

If misrepresentation is found to have occurred after someone becomes a citizen, this can result in the revocation of their citizenship and this individual must wait ten years before they can be granted citizenship again.

National Occupational Classification (NOC)

The National Occupation Classification (NOC) is a list of all the occupations in the Canadian labor market. It describes each job according to skill type and skill level. The NOC is used to collect and organize job statistics and to provide labour market information. It is also used as a basis for certain immigration requirements.

Open work permit

A type of work permit that allows a person to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer:

  • who is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with conditions, or

  • who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.

Relationship of convenience

Related term:
Marriages of convenience

A marriage, common-law relationship, conjugal partnership or adoption that is not genuine, or was entered into for status or privilege in Canada. People in these relationships are not members of the family class.

Relevant experience

When applying to immigrate as a self-employed person, relevant experience means:

  • at least two one-year periods of experience in the period from five years before the application date to the day a decision is made on the application.

Experience must be in one of these areas:

  • self-employment in cultural activities or athletics or,

  • participating in cultural activities or athletics at the world-class level

Restoration of status (as a visitor, student or worker)

A visitor, worker or student who loses status can apply to restore it within 90 days. To be eligible, you must:

  • submit the application within 90 days of losing status

  • explain the facts and circumstances that prevented you from complying with the conditions of the permit, and

  • meet all the remaining conditions on the permit.

There is a fee to restore status.

Settlement funds

This term can refer to one of two things.

  1. Sufficient and available funds that economic immigrants must prove they have to settle in Canada. The funds must be:

    • available,

    • transferable and

    • not committed to debts or other obligations.

    These funds will cover fees, relocation costs and costs to settle.

  2. Funds allocated by the Government of Canada to pay for measures to develop welcoming and inclusive communities, or to help newcomers settle into their new communities.

Panel physician

A medical doctor appointed by IRCC to perform immigration medical examinations.