USA and the UK
Immigrating to Canada from the US
If you wish to move to Canada, it is important to first know which permit you will need to apply for. Canada offers different visa varieties based on your needs and circumstances. This includes:
- Visitor Visas, for those who wish to visit Canada temporarily without seeking employment.
- Study permits, for applicants who wish to enroll in a study program longer than six months.
- Work permits, for skilled international workers and professionals
- Permanent residence, for those who wish to move to Canada from the US permanently and bring their family with them.
- Canadian citizenship, only available for those with permanent residence who meet specific requirements.
At IAS, our expert immigration lawyers have already helped several US citizens immigrate to Canada. Call us today to seek the help of one of our professionals.
How to become a permanent resident of Canada
Canada has dedicated residence programs for US citizens who wish to become Canadian residents. This includes a system of several economic programs called Express Entry.
Before you can apply for permanent residence in Canada, you must become eligible under one of the following federal economic immigration programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Canadian Experience Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
To get started, you must submit an Express Entry profile to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada). Your profile will be reviewed to determine your eligibility.
As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide information about your background. This includes your language proficiency, education level and other factors which will contribute to your total score out of 1,200 points.
Twice a month, IRCC will select the top-ranking candidates and invite them to complete their application.
Canada Federal Skilled Worker Programs
Professionals and skilled workers who wish to immigrate from the US to Canada permanently can apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. If eligible, candidates will be able to bring their partners and dependent children with them.
Eligible applicants do not require any connection to Canada. Nevertheless, they must meet the following minimum requirements:
- A minimum of 12-months of full-time, skilled work experience (should be in an occupation at National Occupation Classification Skill Level 0, A, or B)
- Adequate proficiency in either English or French. The minimum score for FSWC must equal to the Canadian Language Benchmark of Level 7
- A minimum education equal to the Canadian high school diploma
- Evidence of enough funds to support your settlement in Canada
Candidates with the highest CRS score may be invited to apply.
Canada Study Permits for US Citizens
If you wish to study in Canada for a period longer than six months at a post-secondary level, you must apply for a Canada study permit.
As part of your application, you need to present a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution and meet the minimum funds’ requirement. Besides, you will be asked to demonstrate that you intend to leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.
As a general rule, a Canada study permit is not required for:
- Attending preschool
- Completing a distance learning program
- Taking courses included in tour packages as a leisure activity for tourists
- Taking any course which is not academic, professional or vocational
- Taking a course or program of study which lasts six months or less
Canadian Spouse Visa
Canadian citizens and permanent residents may be able to sponsor their spouse or partner for immigration to Canada. If your application is successful, your partner will be able to immigrate from the US to Canada and get permanent resident status.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident currently living in Canada
- Be able to prove that you can sustain yourself and your family financially
- Prove that you have been living together with your partner continuously for at least one year
Applying for Canadian Citizenship
To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must:
- Be a permanent resident of Canada
- Have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years
- Have correctly filed your taxes
- Prove your language proficiency
- Pass a test on your rights, responsibilities and knowledge of Canada
It costs $630 to apply for Canadian citizenship (or $100 for minors under the age of 18). Once you submit your application package, it may take up to 12 months to get the results of your request.
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 7:43 am
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Express Entry is an application management system used by IRCC to process applications received through the national federal economic immigration programs for skilled workers.
This is a competitive immigration system, where only the best ranking candidates to apply for Canadian permanent resident status.
To apply, you must submit an Express Entry profile to the pool of candidates. This acts as an Expression of Interest (EOI). You will automatically receive a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System, which is out of 1,200 points.
IRCC conducts Express Entry draws at regular intervals (usually two weeks). This is when candidates above a certain rank will be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. If you do not receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), your profile will expire after 12 months.
Canada’s family class immigration allows the sponsorship of spouses, partners and children.
If your child was born in Canada, or if one of the parents is a Canadian citizen, then the child may already be a Canadian citizen.
To qualify for sponsorship, both the sponsoring parents and the child must meet the eligibility requirements. In other words, the parents may be ineligible to sponsor their child if:
- The parent was sponsored to become a Canadian permanent resident less than five years before they applied for their child;
- The parent does not intend to live in Canada with the sponsored child;
- The parent is a permanent resident but lives outside Canada.
The processing time for the Canadian Spouse Visa is approximately 12 months. However, it may take longer if any information or important supporting documents are missing from your application.