Frequently Asked Questions

Zenith Immigration Incorporated in a forum held in Toronto, Canada got a feedback of its clients and one of the questions posed to them was ”Why did you migrate to Canada? We summarized their answers below.

  • Proper opportunities for qualifications, experience and hard work.
  • No political interference or favouritism.
  • Start a new life, break the monotony, change the lifestyle.
  • Change the way you see the world.
  • Fed up with doing the same job and want to make a career change.
  • Want to get away from sameness.
  • Fed up with bureaucracy.
  •  Like to live with more discipline on the road, in buses and offices etc.
  • Looking for challenges and adventure.
  • Want to go further in my career.
  • Like to experience the technological advancements in work place.
  • No mosquito menace.
  • No fear of Dengue like life threatening diseases.
  • Better living standards (560 out of 1000 people own cars – one of the highest per capita car ownership in the world)
  • Quality bus and train services.
  • Owning and maintaining a car is like buying and maintaining a motor bike in Sri Lanka.
  • Canadian weather cures or lessens asthma.
  • Even with the lowest paying jobs, a family can afford to buy a home with facilities such as air conditioning and even buying even vehicles.

Determining whether you are eligible to migrate to Canada is the first step in the migration process. Therefore, we take great care in assessing your eligibility and it is only done by a qualified and experienced Canadian Regulated Immigration Consultant and could take a few days. Please note that we do not provide over the phone assessments or give clients tools for self assessments as such casual approaches leave room for error. Such errors could make you not count eligible migration points or add non-eligible points. This could result in ineligible clients getting a positive assessment while eligible clients getting ‘No’ assessment resulting in permanent damage to your future.

Being a professionally qualified immigration firm and a pioneer in Canada Migration consultants in Sri Lanka, we do not desert our clients after our duty of obtaining the visa has been completed. If requested, we will link you with NewcomerCare, a non-profit program for newcomers and make sure you will settle down in Canada with ease. It is our pleasure to see Sri Lankans succeed and prosper while making mother Lanka proud in the world arena. We also give the opportunity to our clients to attend a FREE SEMINAR conducted by Zenith Immigration Inc. in which valuable and practical information on settling in Canada are given. Our clients therefore will have settled down in Canada with ease and this in fact is the difference of Zenith Immigration and the value it adds to the immigration profession.

Calculations based on a family of four (2 adults + 2 children)

  • THRIFTY METHOD (Cheap) – CAD$3000 (Rs. 390,000 rupees) – Details given below
  • MEDIUM METHOD – CAD$ 6000 (Rs. 660,000 ) – Details given below
  •  LUXURY METHOD (Expensive) – CAD$ 10,000 (Rs. 1,100,000)

Live in a two bedroom basement apartment, –with facilities such as TV, DVD, internet, computer, fridge, electric/gas cookers, oven, hot & cold water, heating, air conditioning, washing machine, clothes dryer and buy used furniture and goods (reconditioned/second hand goods) bought from thrifty stores such as Salvation Army Thrifty Store or Garage Sales (however, beds, mattresses and bed linens [bed sheets etc] are brand new)
Rent for two months is included in the total cost below – Approx. CAD$ 1600 (monthly rent is around 800 a month) Total Cost – CAD$ 3000 ( Rs. 390,000/-)
(Zenith Immigration has assisted many Sri Lankan immigrants settle down with this method and we give these information based on our own experience and are ready to provide living proof for these figures and information.)

Staying in a fully furnished house/apartment – With facilities such as TV,DVD, internet, computer, fridge, electric cookers, oven, hot & cold water, heating, air conditioning, washing machine, clothes dryer, phone rent for two months is included in the total cost below.
Approx. CAD$ 2800 (monthly rent is around 1400) Cost – CAD$ 6000 (Rs. 660,000/-)

Fully furnished luxury apartment or house, TV, DVD, computer, internet, fridge, electric/gas cookers, electric/gas oven, hot & cold water, heating, air conditioning, phone, washing machine, clothes dryer rent for two months is included in the total cost below.
Approx. CAD$ 3600 (monthly rent is around 1800) Total Cost – CAD$ 10,000 (Rs. 1,100,000/-) If required, Newcomercare, a Non Profit program will help you settle down in four major cities (or suburbs), Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg.

If you get a job in your own trade or profession, you can have a great income. For example, a nurse earns more than Rs. 35,000 in one day working 8 hours a day as a Canadian Registered Nurse (basic monthly salary of a Registered Nurse in Sri Lanka is approximately Rs. 20,000 [C$ 160]). While we do not recommend, the newcomers are required to do basic jobs in Canada. Following calculations are given for a minimum income jobs such as factory production or packaging line to give a good idea about the earning and saving potential in Canada. There are many examples of new Sri Lankan immigrants who have saved over Rs. 4.5 million (C$ 35,000) within less than one year of arrival by doing even basic jobs such as factory line work, packaging , assembling or other such basic jobs. Some newcomers do basic jobs (although, not all do this) as a temporary measure until they reach their career goals in Canada- for which you may have to follow a course of study or face exams depending on your occupation category. Student loans are also available for studies with living expenses paid for eligible applicants and vast majority of newcomers study with such assistance at the beginning. Also, newcomer career programs, bridging programs and work placement programs are also funded by the Federal as well as Provincial Governments.


  • Scenario 1 – Only one adult working 6 days a week X 10 hours a day = 240 hrs a month = $ 14.25 (minimum salary per hour in Ontario) – 240 x $14 = $ 3360.
  • Scenario 2 both adults working – One adult working 6 days a week X 10 hours a day = 240 hrs a month and the other adult working – 5 days a week , 8 hours a day – 160 hours a month – Total 400 hours a week x 14 (minimum hourly salary) = $ 5600 (Tax deducted are refunded at the end of the year for low income families with minimum wage rates) Child Payments by govt- 2 children (if children were born after 2003, amount paid is higher [around $500 per child]) – 2 x $ 400 = 800 Total Monthly Income – If both work as mentioned above $ 4900
  • For a newcomer family living in a basic apartment or a basement using public transport, the monthly cost of living is less than $1600 with thrifty living:
    $4900 (earnings) – 1600 (expenses) = savings $3300 ( Rs. 430,000 a month)

** Even if one person works as mentioned above, the savings are $1600 = Rs. 208,000 a month (Calculations are made according to Ontario Province standards)

Family of Four ( 2 adults + 2 children)
 Thrifty Method- $ 1500
 Medium Method – CAD$ 2550
 Luxury Method – CAD$ 3800

Thrifty Living
Two bed room basement apartment – CAD$ 800 rent (Include Cable TV, internet, fridge, oven, cooker, hot water, air conditioning, washing machine, clothes dryer) phone bills – $60 + Food – $350 (without eating out in restaurants) + transport $150 (if only one adult working)- $ 275 (if both adults working) + Other – $ 150 = Total – Approx 1500

Medium Living
High-rise apartment or house – $ 1500 (cable TV, fridge, oven, cooker, hot water, air conditioning, washing machine, clothes dryer include), phone calls – $ 80 + internet – $ 50 + food – $ 450 + transport – $ 200 + other (including entertainment, leisure activities) – $ 250 = 2550

Luxury Living
Luxury apartment or house – $ 1800 (cable TV, fridge, oven, cooker, hot water, air conditioning, washing machine, clothes dryer include), phone bills (including overseas calls) – $ 100 unlimited high speed internet – 60. Food (home cooking and takeout) – $650, transport + car maintenance insurance etc – $ 450 + Petrol $ 200 = 650 , other (entertainment, leisure activities etc) – $ 450 Total – $ 3800
*Thrifty method is recommended if you are ready to build up a life with a long term plan but do not expect to enjoy normal comfortable living conditions in Canada.
** Earning over the levels mentioned above is possible, if number of hours you work is increased and also if you obtain somewhat higher paying .
***Above calculations are made according to Ontario provincial standards such as Lowest Minimum Wage Rate – $ 10.25 an hour , petrol price- $1.20 a litre ( Rs. 160)

New immigrants including professionals from many countries including India and Sri Lanka who have followed the above thrifty method have become successful in Canada. Within few months, they have bought their own cars and some have purchased homes within two to four years in Canada (with mortgage loans) You may take a calculator and deduct the living expenses from the monthly income earning potential, the amount you can save can be easily calculated. For example, we give the bare minimum earning potential scenario for a couple with two children below.

Earning potential as given above – C$4900
Monthly expenses as given above – C$1600

Saving – C$ 3300 ( Rs. 430,000 a month = Rs. 5 million [Rs. 50 lakhs] a year). The above calculations are based on the ‘bare minimum’ salary paid to unskilled workers. You migrate as skilled workers and based on your occupation, experience and circumstances within few weeks or months (cooks and trades people such as plumbers or electricians) or even few years (a doctor to become qualified in Canada takes at least three to four years), your earning capacity will be much higher than this. For example, a qualified electrician, a plumber or sheet metal worker earns more than $50 per hour including benefits (working 5 days 8 hours a week), such a skilled trades-person earns over $7500 a month (nearly Rs. 1 million a month). While you may not get such higher levels of income at the very beginning without Canadian experience, salaries for trades-persons are much higher than the minimum wage rate of $14 per hour paid to factory workers, cleaners and other such unskilled workers.

Canada is a country with one of the highest per-capita car ownership (Number of cars per 1000 people). It is 561 for every 1000 people. For example, manufacture year 2000 Toyota Corolla car is around Rs. 2.5 lakhs(About CAD$ 2000) A brand new Toyota Corolla (2011 model) costs only about 22 lakhs rupees, a RAV4 Toyota Brand new Jeep (2011 model) costs only about Rs. 30 lakhs (Over 115 lakhs in Sri Lanka) and petrol is around CAD$1.20 a litre (Rs. 160.00). Buying a car even if you do a lowest paying job is possible as it is the common man’s vehicle like a motor bike in Sri Lanka.

Great majority of new immigrants buy their first home in Canada within first two to four years of arrival. Buying a house is not a dream at all once you have settled down with jobs. Even the people with lowest income jobs can be eligible to buy a home or apartment. Following details will help you understand the basics of buying a home. A two bed room apartment can be bought for around C$200,000 (for Toronto. In regional areas and most other cities , prices are lower). If you buy this kind of apartment with a bank loan (banks grants loans for around 95% of the value of the house), monthly amount you have to pay to the bank and for other bills such as electricity and gas is around C$ 1200. When you rent a similar apartment, you generally pay the same amount for renting. Therefore after around two years, almost all new skilled immigrants get the opportunity and eligibility to buy a home. Most immigrants consider that paying rent is a waste as it all goes to the landlord, while paying your mortgage with that money (to the bank) ensures you live in your own home and pay the full value of the home to the bank and own it outright in the long run. However, while new immigrants can easily buy a good apartment with all the facilities including heating and air conditioning for cheap, most immigrants buy bigger houses with three (levels) stories. For such a house worth around C$350,000, they have to pay around C1800 (in Toronto) a month including the bank mortgage payments. Some earn about C$ 700 out of this amount by renting out the basement. By doing so they reduce the monthly amount they have to bear to around C$1300 even if they own a bigger and expensive home than an apartment. This is the secret behind great majority of newcomers owning homes within few years of arrival in Canada.

While some new immigrants obtain employment in their own fields within a short period of time, some will have to make a long term plan in order to obtain suitable employment. When new immigrants cannot find a job in their own field upon arrival, there are many alternative paths they take. Some enroll in courses and make themselves attractive with a Canadian qualification, some will do co-op programs (practical work placement) for two three months or some may find alternative employments in the field through Canadian government assisted programs. Some will start self employment with the help of Newcomer programs. However, some may decide to do light factory work or work in packaging lines, restaurants or similar jobs as a temporary measure. You can then decide if they are hard jobs or not as it depends on your own perceptions and thinking. What will happen if cannot find jobs/get sick/get into an accident? Will Canada send us back to Sri Lanka ? Will we lose everything?
When you become a Permanent Resident (you arrive in Canada as a Permanent Resident under this program), you have your rights protected by Canadian Constitution. According to such rights, unless you commit a serious crime or fraud, you cannot be expelled from Canada. Not only that, if you do not have money in hand or you cannot find a job and survive, you can obtain social welfare payments from the Canadian government. If you are injured (accident), you will receive a higher amount of social welfare payments (Disability Payments). If you have worked in Canada, you will get even higher payments under Employment Insurance (EI). In addition to that, you will receive assistance and payments for further studies and training etc under this EI program. Canada is a caring nation built upon human values and rights. People’s welfare is in the forefront of the Canadian government’s agenda. Therefore, you should not have any fears about being helpless in Canada as Canadian government will never let you down if you are destitute.

According to a recent research by University of Melbourne, Australia, Canada has been ranked as having the third best education system in the world. In fact, medium wise, Canada has the second best English medium education in the world. Canada has the best resources for education according to the above mentioned report and the facilities for education are the best in the world. While school education is totally free, there are grants, low interest government loans (payable after studies and suitably employed), newcomer grants and loans and newcomer free education programs etc for adult children and adults.
Example- I am 42 years, can I study in Canada? Yes! Even people in their 50’s and 60’s are studying in colleges and universities as adult education, career development, career progression and career change is quite normal in Canada.

Thousands of children immigrate to Canada with their parents each year. Canada being a country of immigrants has set the stage ready for the new kid to integrate to the Canadian schooling system. Various facilities have been made available for the newcomer immigrant child by the Canadian schools, teachers, school settlement workers and additional language support staff who take the new child under their wings with a caring approach. Equipped with child psychological education, they make life so much easier for the child. It is in fact amazing to see the way children start loving the new school from the very beginning. In fact, the speed the Sri Lankan children getting adapted and shine in their new schools within a few months of arrival raises eyebrows of parents and teachers alike. None of our clients who have immigrated to Canada has found this an issue at all. In fact, this is one of the areas they see results within few weeks.

Canada is a very tolerant society. Equal protection of law and equality is entrenched into the system. People are not disrespected or differently treated according to their job, position or wealth. For example, electrician or carpenter trades have the earning potential of a computer engineer or even more. Police officer will come up to your car and call you with respect to check your license. Following area quoted by the Federal Court of Canada gives people a good insight about the way this society operates compared to countries where judges, police officers, politicians and public servants must be treated like gods or otherwise you could get into trouble or get unfavorable treatments.
How should one address a judge in Canada?
Counsel are reminded that they may choose to address the judges of the Federal Court as “Justice”, “Mr. Justice” or “Madam Justice”. Counsel are asked to refrain from addressing the judges as “My Lord”, “My Lady”, “Your Lordship,” or “Your Ladyship.” In writing, the judges are addressed as “The Honorable Madam Justice” or as “The Honorable Mr. Justice”. (Quoted from the Federal Court of Canada Website)

Nearly 35 million people live in Canada. Out of them, a great majority live in cities or towns close to the southern border of Canada. While the North is very cold, southern areas are comparatively warmer. For example, weather in the most favorite destinations of immigrants such as Toronto and Vancouver is as below:

  • September, May –Bandarawela like temperatures
  • October, November, March, April– Nuwareliya like temperatures
  • June, July, August –Kandy like temperatures
  • December, January, February- Winter with snow

Healthcare is free in Canada. However, elective surgeries and treatments such as plastic /cosmetic surgeries are not free. Following words of a multimillionaire philanthropist of Indian descent who recently made donations worth millions of dollars to a Toronto hospital, sums up the concept of the Canadian healthcare system as follows. “My wife had rheumatoid arthritis” Pyarali Nanji told the Star, and said he was very pleased with the care she received. He chooses to donate to hospitals for a reason, “Hospitals I admire because there is no religion, no discrimination. There is no rich or poor. If I am sick, I have to stay in queue and wait until it’s my turn. This is an area where everybody is treated the same” -Toronto Star Newspaper.

If you wear proper clothing , there is no effect on your health by winter weather. Other than the few minutes waiting for the bus or train, you are generally in a heated summer like temperature in your home, workplace, school, university. Also, snow falls, rains and seasonal changes have a purifying effect on the environment and therefore effects of germ propagation, air pollution and dust etc. that affect people’s health unfavorably is kept to a minimum compared to warmer countries. It is a fact that Sri Lankans who had asthma in Sri Lanka do not experience it at all or symptoms are minor compared to what they had before.

While you rarely see few mosquitoes in the summer months, there is no mosquito menace in Canada.

Even if anybody can buy a syringe and the medicine from the pharmacy and ask his/her wife/husband to give the injection or ask the nurse living next door to do it , people go to a doctor for good reason. Same reasons apply for professional assistance for migration as there are so many people who have lost their once in a lifetime opportunity due to simple mistakes made. There is more to immigration process than just filling forms. Applications made without knowing Canadian immigration application requirements and finer points of applicable law and procedures is a very good recipe for disaster. For example, Visa Officer guidelines relevant to visa application processing and visa grants were changed more than ten times during last three years affecting the way an application is assessed. Accordingly, once the guidelines pertaining to English Language Testing were changed without prior notice making only IELTS General Test acceptable for migration, those who sent applications with academic test results faced refusal. However, Mr. Bandula Abeysinghe, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and CEO/Chairman of Zenith Immigration having checked the guideline changes made by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada and sent to the visa officers, immediately contacted clients saving their applications. Ms. Morin Jayaweera presently living in Toronto whose details appear in the client page in this website is one such client who was saved with such timely action (please see her messages for more details). Visa officers are generally not required to request more documents or ask for clarifications (please see the quoted guidelines below). The visa officer assesses the applicant’s submission as is. – “The case should proceed directly to the selection decisions based on the information on file. No follow-up request for missing documents related to selection is required. If the applicant’s submission is insufficient to determine that the application is eligible for processing, a negative determination of eligibility should be rendered.” – Visa Officer Guidelines, Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Canadian Federal Court decisions effect changes to visa officer guidelines too.

** The individual who provides visa services must be a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant – Member of ICCRC (Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council). To be a member of ICCRC, one must be a resident/citizen of Canada and must have completed a relevant course of study in Canada, passed relevant exams and renew membership annually upon proof of continued professional development and licensing fees. ** Sri Lankan agents cannot provide immigration and application services. Only the ICCRC member(Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) can directly provide services to you. Using agents who state they act on behalf of ICCRC members could lead to visa refusal and heavy fines (C$100,000[Rs. 13 million]) and even result in revocation of Permanent Residence Status and even Citizenship of Canada under ‘misrepresentation of facts’.

Please visit www.iccrc-crcic.ca for more details. You can access this website by clicking the ICCRC logo at the top right hand corner of any Zenith Immigration web page.

An immigration firm/company/center must have a clearly identified Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant. Not only that, he/she should also be a trusted, well experienced and competent Immigration Consultant with a proven track record. For 18 long years since the year 2000, Zenith Immigration has assisted over 10,000 clients in finding better opportunities in various developed countries including Italy, Australia, UK, France, Japan and Canada. Migration to Canada, the best country for migrants can only be done if you meet the required criteria and we are exploring more opportunities in Canada for our clients through new and existing visa programs. Solidly rested on a platform created by a qualified, experienced, licensed and competent Canadian Immigration Consultant- Bandula Abeysinghe, the CEO/Chairman of Zenith Immigration Incorporated and Zenith Immigration Lawyers, Zenith name stands out in the field of immigration consultancy on the trust and goodwill of fellow Sri Lankans won through providing quality services for 18 long years.

If you are eligible to apply for Permanent Residency now, it is advisable to do it without delay. Canada changes the selection criteria based on the economic and other related factors in Canada. Therefore, those who are eligible now may not be eligible next year or later. Therefore, when you obtain the Permanent Residency, if you have compelling reasons to return to Sri Lanka, you still can live first three years in Sri Lanka and return to Canada before 3 year period is expired. However, please consult a Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant and ensure this position is correct and your legal rights are intact so that you can return to Canada without problem.

Yes. You can take everything you own to Canada without having to pay taxes (duty free). Zenith Immigration will direct you to the relevant information sources at a later stage in the process.

You can apply for visit visa and if granted, they can be with you for the duration of the visa, usually 6 months at a time (extensions can be requested in Canada). Alternatively, once you have established yourself with a steady income, you have the right to sponsor her as a permanent resident. Even if this permanent visa program for parents has been temporarily suspended in 2011 due to the backlog of applications, a Parent Super Visa program has been in place temporarily. Under it, 10 year multiple visa with maximum of 2 year stay are granted to eligible applicants.

Multiculturism is promoted and nurtured in Canada and this one of the blessed lands where this concept has borne fruit. Government of Canada helps your community promote your culture. Buddhist temples, Hindu kovils, Muslim mosques, Sikh temples are aplenty in Canada. Buddhist Daham pasal (Dhamma Schools), meditation programs, Vesak, Deewali and Muslim religion celebrations are held throughout Canada. Baratha dancing, Kandyan dancing, Cricket clubs, Sri Lankan musical programs, visiting Sri Lankan musicians are also not rare things in Canada. It all depends on how parents connect themselves and their children with the Sri Lankan culture. There are Sri Lankan children who were brought up here with Sri Lankan culture and values and speak Sinhales or Tamil languages, while there are others who are not. Sinhalese or Tamil languages can be taken as a high school subject credit that will be counted towards the eligibility for university or college programs.

Canada has been playing cricket for decades. They have a national cricket team and they are a part of the World Cup too. There are many cricket clubs and cricket grounds in Canada, within Toronto and few other main cities. Even if the standards are not up to the highest international level, many immigrants from South Asia enjoy playing cricket in Canada.

Conducted by Zenith Immigration for Zenith clients, almost all the information you need to know about settling down in Canada is given using real and practical experiences of Sri Lankan immigrants in Canada. Those first hand information have greatly helped our clients settle down as details of thrifty methods, money saving tips and career paths are given in these seminars conducted by a Sri Lankan living in Canada. Wrong information and outdated information could make your settlement difficult as well as more expensive.