USA and the UK
- Expert Opinion about Immigration to Canada
- Express Entry System
- Family Sponsorship Program
- Provincial nominee program
- Start-up Visa Program
- Atlantic Immigration Program
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program
- Self-employed Persons Program
- Agri-Food Pilot Program
- Refugees Protection Program
- Quebec-selected Skilled Workers
- Canada Temporary Entry Programs
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How can IAS help me Immigrate to Canada?
Expert Opinion about Immigration to Canada
The Canadian Government admits that immigration plays a vital role in meeting labour market needs and helps to develop the Canadian communities according to a statement made in May 2022 by Hon. Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
To this end, the target number of immigrants by the Canadian Government has risen steadily over the years, with 430,000 immigrants projected to be invited in 2023. There has never been a better time to start your immigration journey than now.
The first step toward immigrating to Canada is to find out if you are eligible. This requires that you study the immigration programs available and determine which program you are eligible for.
Once you have found out which particular program you want to pursue among the ones you qualify for and studied their specific conditions, then you should find out which documents you need to make available for your visa application.
The process of immigrating to Canada under any of the several immigration programs requires that you invest significant resources such as time and funds.
Although the immigration processes can be done individually and without help, many of our clients have testified that involving an immigration expert made their Canadian immigration process easier and faster, as we employed our vast knowledge and experience in making the process seamless.
Once you have determined the documents you need, then you should find out how to submit your application and documents. There are many types of Canadian immigration programs from which you can choose.
Below are the major programs leading to permanent residence, including their requirements.
The Express Entry program is one of the fastest routes to immigrate to Canada for skilled immigrants of all classes. Immigrants from this class, also known as the Economic Immigration Class, contribute significantly to the Canadian economy.
It is also one of the long-term programs through which immigrants easily become permanent residents. The application process requires that you submit a profile online to the Express Entry pool.
Profiles submitted are scored by Canada’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Therefore, you should, first, ensure you meet the CRS cut-off score before you fill a profile.
The Express Entry program is further divided into the following categories below.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
This immigration program allows foreign nationals with foreign experience to come to Canada as skilled workers. To be eligible for this program, they must meet the minimum requirements in language ability, education, and skilled work experience. The current pass mark is 67 points.
The factors considered during selection include education, age, work experience, availability of a valid job offer, language skills (English and/or French), and adaptability to the new environment.
Federal Skilled Trades Program
This program allows a skilled worker who has had at least two years of full-time work experience obtained within the last five years before applying to immigrate to Canada.
Such persons must have also received a qualification certificate in Canada to practice their trade for their work experience to be considered valid and only the period of work experience acquired after the certification is considered.
To be eligible for this program, skilled workers must meet the minimum requirements in language ability and work experience.
Canadian Experience Class
This program is for those who have at least one year of full-time (or part-time up to 1560 hours) work experience acquired in Canada and the last three years before they apply.
The minimum requirements must be met to be eligible to apply to this immigration program.
How can I Immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry System?
The following are the steps you should follow to enter Canada through the Express Entry System:
- Check your eligibility by either reading the requirements for each program or by answering some questions anonymously on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website
- Check your score using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) tool
- Get the required documents ready if you meet the minimum requirements and decide to fill out a profile
- Fill and submit your profile on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website after your documents are ready
- You would be sent an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence if you are selected. You must apply within 60 days or your invitation becomes invalid
Documents needed to Apply for Permanent Residency through the Express Entry System
The following documents should be made available and submitted when creating a profile:
- Your language test results ( English and/or French)
- Your passport or travel document
- Your proof of Canadian education or an educational credential assessment report if you have opted for the Federal Skilled Workers program
- Proof of funds
- Provincial nomination (if available)
- Document of a job offer from a Canadian employer (if available), certificate of qualification, or proof of work experience
The following additional documents should be submitted upon invitation and when applying for permanent residency:
- Police certificates for you and your family members who are 18 years and above. You should also include Police certificates for countries you or your family members stayed for at least 6 months in the last 10 years
- Immigration medical exams for you (and your family members even if they are not coming with you)
- Proof of funds. You may not need proof of funds if you are applying under the Canadian Experience Class or if you have a valid job offer and a Canadian work permit.
- Certificates that prove your marital status especially if you have declared that you are married, widowed, or divorced.
- Birth or adoption certificate if you have declared that you have dependents or if you listed any of them as adopted.
- Other documents you feel are relevant to your application or that have been requested in your personalised document checklist.
The Canadian Government is devoted to keeping families together and they, therefore, have created the Family Sponsorship program for this purpose. You can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada and they can live, study, and work if they become permanent residents.
Can I Sponsor a Family or Relative under the Family Sponsorship Program?
You must be 18 years or over to sponsor family members or relatives under the program. In addition, you must be a Canadian citizen, have a Canadian permanent resident status, or be a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.
Who can I Sponsor under the Family Sponsorship Program?
The list below shows those you can sponsor under the Family Sponsorship program:
You must be legally married to your spouse who should be at least 18 years old.
Your common-law partner
This is someone who is at least 18 years old, not legally married to you, and has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months in a conjugal relationship. You will need to show proof of your relationships such as shared utility bills or shared ownership of residential property.
Your conjugal partner
This is someone who is at least 18 years old, and is in a conjugal relationship with you but lives outside Canada. You will need to give proof that you could not get married or live together in your conjugal partner’s country of residence due to legal or immigration reasons such as persecution, sexual orientation, or marital status.
To sponsor dependent children under 22 years, such children must not have a spouse or common-law partner.
The requirements that allow you to sponsor dependent children above 22 years of age are proof they are not able to support themselves financially (due to a physical or mental disability) and that they have been depending on you since before 22 years of age.
Parents and Grandparents
To sponsor parents or grandparents, you should meet the income requirements in addition to having an eligible status in Canada, and they also must be eligible. After you have submitted an Interest to Sponsor form, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) before you can continue.
You will need to submit your application to sponsor them and their application for permanent residence at the same time if invited. They can show they are eligible by submitting police and medical certificates along with their biometrics and any other relevant documents.
If you are not invited to apply, you may opt for the Super Visa option which allows your parents or grandparents to visit Canada and stay with you for up to five years at a time.
Here, your relatives fall into two categories. The first category includes your orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild.
To sponsor anyone in this category, they must be under 18 years of age, single, related to you by blood or adoption, and not have any living parent. If they do not satisfy any of these conditions, they become ineligible.
Under the second category, you may sponsor a relative of any age to whom you are related by blood or adoption if you do not have any other relative or family member who falls in any of the earlier mentioned categories under the Family Sponsorship program.
Also, you should not have any relative who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident or registered Indian under the Indian Act.
The requirements to sponsor a child from another country by adoption are that you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Canada, be at least 18 years old and live in Canada.
Provincial nominee program
These are Provincial programs run by provinces and territories and help them to bring in immigrants that fit the specific needs of their economies. With its own set of criteria and through regular draws, each province is able to invite the highest-scoring candidates to apply to the program.
Candidates usually do not require to have a Canadian education, Canadian work experience, Canadian connections, or a job offer to be eligible. However, you must meet the minimum requirement of the Canadian province of interest to you.
How can I Immigrate to Canada through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
The following are the methods of applying to a Provincial program:
- Paper-based Process: The first step is to apply to the Province under a base or non-express entry stream. If invited by the Province, then you need to submit a paper application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. This process takes longer than the Express Entry process.
- Express Entry Process: There are two ways to apply via Express entry. The first requires that you express your interest in a province by contacting them and applying for a nomination under their Express Entry stream. You then create an Express Entry profile when they agree to nominate you and accept their nomination via your account. The second way is to create an Express Entry profile where you indicate the provinces or territories you are interested in. You then apply to the Express Entry stream of whichever province or territory sends you a Notification of Interest. Finally, you accept their eventual nomination through your account.
Accepting a nomination from a Provincial Government awards you an extra 600 points to your CRS score which automatically guarantees that you receive an Invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Whichever route or process you decide to take in applying for the Provincial programs, you would need to submit your police and health certificates.
Start-up Visa Program
The Canadian Government is interested in talented and qualified immigrants who want to start a business and create jobs for Canadian citizens, driving the growth of the Canadian economy. These innovative businesses should be able to compete with other global businesses.
Who can apply for Canada’s Start-up Visa Program?
To be eligible for the program, the following provisions should be met:
- You should have a qualifying business. In other words, you should hold at least 10% of the voting rights of the company. Together with a designated organisation, you should hold at least 50% of the total voting rights of the business.
- You should also get a letter of support from a designated organisation.
- You must meet the language requirements by submitting a valid language (English and/or French) test result from an approved agency.
- You must show that you have enough funds to support yourself and your dependents when you immigrate to Canada. The amount required depends on your family size and is usually updated each year by the Canadian Government.
How can I apply for Canada’s Start-up Visa Program?
You will need to follow the application instructions as set out by IRCC. This includes using the document checklist, which shows all the documents you should fill out and include when sending your application.
Atlantic Immigration Program
This program, formerly known as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, admits skilled foreign workers and international graduates from a Canadian institution to Atlantic Provinces namely New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
The program commenced as a pilot program but became a permanent immigration program this year. Employers must find suitable candidates and offer them a job without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
How do I Immigrate to Canada through the Atlantic Immigration Program?
To be eligible as an immigrant under this program:
- You should have qualifying work experience or have graduated from a Canadian tertiary institution in one of the Atlantic Provinces
- You should meet or exceed the language requirements of the NOC level that applies to your job offer.
- You should have enough money to support yourself and your family (including those not travelling with you) when you immigrate to Canada through this program.
- You should meet the educational requirements that apply to your job’s NOC category. You would need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) if you studied outside Canada.
How do I Hire Employees through the Atlantic Immigration Program?
To be able to hire employees under the Atlantic Immigration Program:
- You must be designated or authorised by the Provincial Government to hire candidates under the program.
- You must take the required training. These are the onboarding training and the intercultural competency training. These training sessions will prepare you to be a capable employer with good knowledge of how the program works.
- You should hire skilled workers or international students who have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada. Candidates may also approach you.
- Your job offer must meet the requirements. Your potential employee must also be eligible as earlier stated.
- You must make a job offer using the recognised form and submit an endorsement application which the Province must endorse before your employee can apply for Canadian permanent residence. In addition, you must support your new employee by referring them to a settlement service provider organisation.
- If there is an urgent need to fill the position, you may apply for a temporary work permit which allows the employee to work while their permanent residence application is being processed.
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program
This program was designed to ensure that smaller communities benefit from economic migrations. It is a Canadian permanent residence pathway for any skilled foreign national who wants to work and live in any of the participating communities.
To participate, you must prepare to live in the community you choose. You must also possess a temporary resident status if you are in Canada when you apply.
How do I Immigrate to Canada through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program?
The steps to immigrate to Canada under this program are as follows:
- Check that you meet the eligibility requirements of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada which includes meeting or exceeding both the language and educational requirements, having enough funds to relocate, and having qualifying experience or education from a publicly funded post-tertiary institution in the community that recommends you for the program.
- Check that you meet the community-specific requirements of your community of choice.
- Find a genuine job offer in one of the participating communities by using their websites. The job must be permanent, non-seasonal, full-time, and have a wage that meets or exceeds the minimum wage for your category of job. Your work experience must also match the job duties.
- Apply to your community of choice for a recommendation.
- Apply for permanent residence if a community recommends you. Ensure that you have followed the application process correctly, tick the document checklist, pay the required fees and mail your completed application to the address specified in the instruction guide.
- If you are in Canada, you may check your eligibility for a 1-year work permit that allows you to work while your Canadian permanent residence application is being processed. The work permit, however, does not guarantee that you will get permanent residency.
Self-employed Persons Program
This program gives people who have relevant experience in athletics or cultural activities, and who are willing and able to make significant contributions to the cultural or athletic life of Canada the opportunity to immigrate to Canada.
How Can I Immigrate to Canada through the Self-employed Persons Program?
You must fulfill the following conditions to be eligible for the program:
- You must possess relevant work experience. Your experience is relevant if you have participated in athletics or cultural activities on a global level or have been self-employed in the same for at least two years in the past 5 years before the day you started your application.
- You must be willing and able to be self-employed in Canada.
- You must meet the program’s selection standards in areas such as age, work experience, adaptability, education, and language abilities.
- You must also meet medical and security requirements, and have enough funds for you and your family to settle in Canada.
After these conditions are met, then you may proceed to do the following:
- Get the application package which includes an application guide and the document checklist to help you. The guide will help you fill out the forms correctly and include the required documents.
- Pay your fees. These include processing fees for you and anyone included in your application, biometric fees, third-party fees (e.g. language test fees), and the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF).
- Submit your application by mailing it to the indicated address in the instruction guide after you have completed and signed all forms, paid the processing fee (and attached a copy of the receipt), and included relevant supporting documents.
Agri-Food Pilot Program
This program focuses on the labour needs of the Agri-Food sector and provides a permanent residence pathway to non-seasonal and experienced workers in Canada’s agricultural industries. It is a 3-year pilot program and is expected to end in 2023.
How can I Immigrate to Canada under the Agri-Food Pilot Program?
To be able to apply for permanent resident status under this program, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have at least one year of full-time, non-seasonal work experience in an eligible occupation through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
- You must have been given a genuine job offer – a full-time, permanent, non-seasonal job found in the eligible occupation list.
- You must prove your ability in English or French by submitting a valid and approved language test result.
- You must meet the educational requirements by submitting at least a Canadian high school diploma or a recent educational credential assessment from an approved organisation showing you completed at least a secondary school education.
- By submitting your bank statements, you must show that you have the required funds to support you and your family members after you get to Canada, except you are already working in Canada. Your family members include both those coming and those not coming to Canada with you.
After you have made sure your work experience and job offer meet the requirements, you should refer to the official instruction guide and document checklist provided by IRCC. Pay your biometric and application fees before you mail or submit your application.
You would get a letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that tells you to give your biometrics. You should book and go for an appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) within 30 days from the date on the letter.
You and your family must go for a medical exam as well, even if they are not coming to Canada with you. After you application has been processed and approved, you would be mailed a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a Permanent Resident Visa.
You should immigrate to Canada before your COPR expires.
Refugees Protection Program
Canada is committed to upholding the right to security and freedom which is why it has a long history of admitting refugees. Foreign nationals who are at risk of harm and cannot get protection in their own country can seek refuge in Canada. Such persons, after being deemed eligible, are allowed to stay in Canada and may apply for permanent residency, and eventually get Canadian Citizenship.
Refugees fall into two categories which are refugee claimants and resettled refugees. Refugee claimants are those seeking asylum in Canada but whose status has not yet been determined while resettled refugees are screened abroad before they are given a visa to come to Canada.
How can I Seek Asylum in Canada?
Upon presenting yourself at a Port of Entry, you must prove that there is persecution in your country of origin. Officials of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will determine if you are eligible to be referred to the Immigration and Refugees Board for a hearing.
In addition to a successful hearing, you will undergo security, criminality, biometric, and biographic checks before you can be granted refugee status in Canada.
Skilled refugees are also eligible to immigrate to Canada through existing economic programs. This program is known as the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot.
Quebec-selected Skilled Workers
The Government of Quebec has a special immigration agreement with the Canadian government which allows it to choose immigrants according to its own rules. Skilled foreign nationals who meet these requirements are able to immigrate to Quebec and become permanent residents.
How can I Immigrate to Quebec as a Skilled Worker?
The following are the stages of applying to Quebec’s Regular Skilled Workers’ Program (RSWP):
- You must apply to the Government of Quebec for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) by following the instructions on the Quebec Government’s website.
- If you are issued a selection certificate, you can then proceed to apply for permanent residency.
Some programs allow foreign nationals to engage in activities in Canada as temporary residents. Such programs include the following:
- Canadian NAFTA program
- Canadian Visitor Visa
- Study Visa and Post Graduate Work Permit.
Canadian NAFTA Program
NAFTA (meaning North American Free Trade Agreement) is an International Mobility Program (IMP) that allows nationals from the United States and Mexico to enter and exit Canada easily for investment and trade activities. Canadian citizens are allowed to do the same in the United States and Mexico.
For citizens of Mexico and the United States, NAFTA removes the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and work permits for business persons, and allows them to apply for a visa at the Port of Entry (POE).
However, NAFTA does not provide for permanent admission, nor does it replace universal requirements concerning passports, identity documentation, health, safety, and security. It does not extend special privileges to spouses or family members and requires that concerned nationals meet the licensing or certification requirements of their profession.
Who qualifies to enter Canada under the NAFTA Program?
You are eligible for the NAFTA program if you are a citizen of Mexico or the United States but not a permanent resident in Canada.
Canadian Visitor Visa
A visitor visa allows you to visit Canada for a period of time as long as you are eligible and possess the required documents. Also known as the Temporary Resident Visa, it proves you meet the standards required to enter Canada temporarily as a visitor, worker, or student.
This type of Visa is further sub-classed into the following types:
- The Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) – This is a document that allows visa-exempt foreign nationals to travel to or transit through Canada by air.
- Visitor Visa – This is a document that allows you to visit family members, vacation, or perform other related activities.
- Super Visa – This visa allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to invite their parents or grandparents to visit Canada.
Study Visa and Post Graduate Work Permit
A study permit is an official document that allows foreign nationals to study at approved learning institutions. It does not replace a visa. However, the Canadian Government usually issues a visa along with a study permit.
How can I Apply for a Study Permit in Canada?
To be eligible to receive a Canadian study permit, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must first apply to a designated learning institution and receive a letter of acceptance.
- You and each family member who comes with you to Canada must have a valid passport or travel document and submit two recent passport-sized photographs (with your name written boldly on the back).
- You must prove you can support yourself and any family member who comes to Canada with you with a financial document.
- You should include a Letter of Explanation that helps the visa officer understand you and your goals.
- If you have a minor who requires a custodian, you should indicate by filling out the custodian declaration form.
- If your destination of study is Québec and your study period exceeds six months, you must apply for a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) issued by the Government of Québec.
- You must provide any other document required while your application is being processed.
The Post-Graduate Work Permit Program allows foreign nationals who graduate from an eligible designated learning institution to get a work permit. This permit authorises them to gain valuable work experience in Canada.
IAS can help you simplify and complete each step of the immigration process, giving you the best chance of a successful application. We are experts in all areas of immigration law.
We advise on all Canadian immigration programs, processing Canadian permanent resident status, Canadian citizenship, and other aspects related to the immigration process.
While it is not necessary to work with an immigration lawyer when you want to immigrate, it may be beneficial for you. Some of the services you can expect from us include the following:
- Assess your eligibility for your chosen route.
- Check your supporting documents to make sure that they are appropriate.
- Liaise with the Home Office on your behalf while your application is being processed.
- Prepare a letter of representation on your behalf to submit with your application.
- Complete your application form on your behalf.
- Advise on the language testing requirements.
Call +1 844 290 6312 today to discuss your options with an immigration adviser.
Last modified on October 25th, 2023 at 10:41 am
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
Although the process is complex, there are several programs available, and you may qualify for more than one immigration program. However, you can employ an immigration expert to help you navigate the hurdles, saving time and costs.
It is quite easy to determine your eligibility to immigrate to Canada. Refer to the IRCC eligibility tool to know if you can immigrate to Canada under your circumstances.
There is no age limit to immigrating to Canada. However, most immigration programs award more points to applicants aged between 25 and 30 years. This does not mean older applicants will not be given permanent residency if they qualify.
The amount required varies by program. For example, for the Express Entry system, the minimum amount to show as proof to immigrate to Canada stands at $13,310 and increases as your number of dependants increases.
Programs in the Express Entry system remain the fastest ways to become a permanent resident in Canada. Successful applicants can get their permanent residence status in six months.
You may be eligible for permanent residency through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot if you meet the eligibility requirements and have a job offer as a home support worker or home child care provider.