News on Sunday

Faryal Poonah : “Mauritians have a greater advantage for Canada and U.S.A immigration”

Immigration Lawyer, Faryal Poonah is currently in Mauritius for a seminar on U.S. and Canadian immigration. The expert in immigration helps business owners and individuals to start a new life in these two countries. She provides an insight about the opportunities, challenges and immigration process in the U.S. and Canada. 

Faryal Poonah explains that Canada and U.S. have been highly in demand for immigration over the past years across the world including Mauritius. She states that Canadian immigration particularly has become the largest area of immigration currently. “The Canadian immigration system is set to bring in over one million of immigrants in the next three years and hence, people are taking advantage of this. The target group is those between the ages of 18-35, with experience in “Demand Occupations”. Mauritians have a greater advantage because of their bilingual background.” The expert adds that most Mauritians are qualified for Canadian immigration because of their experience, qualifications and knowledge of the French and English languages. 

Canada and U.S. Immigration 

The lawyer avers that there are three ways to get into Canada: The federal programs, provincial programs and Quebec programs. In Canada alone, there are over multiple pathways, she says. But she clarifies that for an average person to navigate through the process, it is extremely difficult, as each program has its own set of criteria. “With so many categories, it is indeed difficult to know the eligibility requirements. This is where an immigration lawyer plays a significant role.”

CN Tower, Toronto, Canada.
CN Tower, Toronto, Canada.

Further, in Canada, there is also the Express Entry system, which is part of the Federal Economic Immigration programs and several of the Provincial programs, which reduces the application time for Canadian permanent residency to under nine months. Normally, for the non-Express Entry, it can take around two to three years, she says. For the U.S., it is a completely different system, she highlights. “For the U.S, you need to have specialised knowledge, a job offer and the employer must prove that there are no U.S. qualified workers to perform the job being offered.” Unlike Canada, in the U.S., self-immigration is very limited. 

The cost of immigration 

Faryal Poonah utters that settlement funds are needed for immigrating to the U.S. or Canada, which depends on the family size. “The family or individual should have cash beyond poverty level. For example, for a family of four, approximately 24,000 Canadian dollars are needed and in U.S, it is around $33,000. Without this sum, it is difficult. In Canada, the sum must be in your bank account for six months, unless you have a job offer, where you will not need to have the sum.” In the U.S., tax returns will be required as proof for family sponsorship and some employment based categories. Of course, government fees are separate and this depends on the type of filing.

Statue of Liberty, New York, USA.
Statue of Liberty, New York, USA.


According to the expert, there is a wide choice of career prospects in both countries. She confides that the high demand occupations in Canada include accountancy, auditors, carpenters, electricians, bilingual customer service, banking, insurance companies, health care sector and IT related fields. “Many people prefer these two countries because of career advancement and better education. In Canada, it is quite easy for Mauritians to get a job if they are bilingual.” In U.S, there is a promising career choice for nurses, therapists and other health related sectors. 

Moreover, in Canada, there are many investment opportunities which can lead to permanent residency, she adds. “In the U.S., there are also investment opportunities for those opening or taking over an existing business. There are different fields of investment and many include farming. Investment should be over 200,000 Canadian dollars.”  


The Immigration lawyer advises those willing to immigrate to have realistic expectations. “There is an adaptation phase. They need to get a job and a decent place to live. It takes time to understand and grow. Also, the climate; the winter in Canada is quite harsh and there is a lot of snow. Once they overcome these difficulties, life becomes much easier.” 

Another advice she gives is to do your due diligence before you commit to representation. I will advise people to hire a high-trained immigration attorney to represent your best interests, before of full payment in advance. 

About Faryal Poonah 

Faryal Poonah is the founder of the Faryal R. Poonah Law Firm.  She has many years of legal experience with immigration law matters. Before founding this firm, she worked as a corporate Attorney for a multi-national corporation in Toronto, Canada. As the founder of this Immigration Law Firm, she wishes to help businesses, families and individuals from across the world to obtain their hopes and dreams of immigrating to the U.S. and Canada and achieving their maximum potential. 


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