Immigration to Canada

Canada embraces multiculturalism and is one of the most inclusive countries in the world. Its universal healthcare, top-ranked universities and low crime rate make it an ideal country for immigration.

Find out more about the immigration requirements by clicking on the suitable visa category below.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

This is one of the 3 federal programs managed through the online application system- Express Entry. This program offers permanent residence to skilled workers with foreign work experience.
The program has the following minimum requirements:

You must have completed at least 1 year of paid work in the last 10 years in any of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) job groups:

  • Managerial jobs
  • Professional jobs
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades

You must take approved language tests in English or French and meet the minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in writing, reading, listening and speaking. The test results are valid for up to 2 years.

If you have foreign education, you need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), that shows your education is equivalent to secondary and post-secondary education from a Canadian institution.
Once the application meets these minimum requirements, it is assessed on a 100-point grid. The current pass mark for this program is 67 points.

Federal Skilled Trades Program

This is one of the 3 federal programs managed through the online application system- Express Entry.
This program offers permanent residence to skilled workers based on their work experience in a skilled trade.
The program has the following minimum requirements:

You must have completed at least 2 years of full-time work in the last 5 years in any of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) job groups:

  • Major Group 72- construction, electrical and industrial job groups
  • Major Group 73- equipment operation and maintenance job groups
  • Major Group 82- technical and supervisor jobs in agriculture, natural resources and related production
  • Major Group 92- manufacturing, processing, central control operators and utilities supervisors
  • Minor Group 632- chefs and cooks
  • Minor Group 633- butchers and bakers

You must take approved language tests in English or French and meet the minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for listening and speaking and Canadian Language Benchmark 4 for reading and writing. The test results are valid for up to 2 years.

You must have

Canadian Experience Class

This is one of the 3 federal programs managed through the online application system- Express Entry.
This program offers permanent residence to skilled workers on the basis of their Canadian work experience.
The program has the following minimum requirements:

You must have completed at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada in the last 3 years in any of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) job groups:

  • managerial jobs (skill level 0)
  • professional jobs (skill type A)
  • skilled trades and technical jobs (skill type B)

You must take approved language tests in English or French and meet the minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs and Canadian Language Benchmark 5 NOC B jobs. The test results are valid for up to 2 years.

Quebec Investor Immigrant Program

The program has the following eligibility criteria. You must:

  1. have legally acquired personal net worth of at least C$2 million;
  2. have two years of suitable management experience within the last five years
  3. invest C$1.2 million into a government-guaranteed investment for a period of five years;
  4. have the intention of settling in the province of Quebec.

Your application is assessed based on your age, education and language skills.

Quebec-selected skilled workers

This process is planned for those skilled workers who intend to migrate to Canada and live in Quebec.

The application process consists of two stages:

  1. Apply to the Government of Quebec for a Quebec Selection Certificate. This certificate shows that the province of Quebec has accepted you as an immigrant.
  2. Once you obtain the certificate, apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for permanent residence.

Family Sponsorship

Canadian citizens and residents are eligible to sponsor their relatives as per family immigration program.

The Family Sponsorship program offers various options.

You fulfil the eligibility criteria if you are:

  1. at least 18 years old
  2. a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
  3. able to support them financially
  4. able to prove that you’re not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability

For this process, you should send the following two applications together at the same time:

  • Apply for becoming a sponsor
  • Your spouse, partner or child should apply for permanent residence

You fulfil the eligibility criteria if you are:

  1. at least 18 years old
  2. a Canadian citizen, permanent resident r a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act

If you sponsor a relative for coming as a permanent resident, you are responsible for providing financial support and ensuring that they don’t need social assistance.

This program allows you to sponsor parents and grandparents. You can also sponsor your brothers and sisters, only if they are dependent children.

You can sponsor more than one person if you have enough income to meet the financial needs of all the sponsored people.

You fulfil the eligibility criteria if you are:

  1. at least 18 years old
  2. a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
  3. have enough income to be able to support the sponsored persons

For this process, you should send the following two applications together at the same time:

  • Apply for becoming a sponsor
  • Your parents or grandparents should apply for permanent residence

This visa lets a person visit their children or grandchildren for a period of up to 2 years. The visa is valid for a time period of 10 years and allows multiple entries.

You fulfil the eligibility criteria if you:

  1. are the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
  2. have medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company
  3. have a signed letter from your child or grandchild

The signed letter should provide the number of people in the household and must include a copy of the Canadian citizenship or permanent resident document of the person inviting. It should also include the promise of financial support for the person invited.

Provincial Nominee Program

You can apply for immigration under this program if you:

  • have the required set of skills for contributing to the economy of a specific province or territory
  • wish to live in that province, and
  • wish to reside permanently in Canada

You can apply using the paper-based process or through Express Entry. The paper-based process takes longer than Express Entry.

Both processes

  • require a medical exam and a police check.
  • require you to meet the eligibility criteria of the province and territory

The eligibility criteria for each province and territory varies.

Study in Canada

If you have studied in Canada and would like to become a permanent resident, you can choose from a few programs offered by the Canadian government.

  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades
  • Federal Skilled Workers Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

The eligibility criteria for these programs differ in term of language ability, job offer, and the amount of work experience required. The programs assess applicants based on the following criteria:

This Canadian standard measures English language proficiency of immigrants planning to live and work in Canada.

This is a list of all the occupations in the Canadian labour market. These are the main job groups according to skill type and skill level:

  • Skill Type 0 (zero): management jobs
  • Skill Level A: professional jobs usually requiring a degree from a university
  • Skill Level B: technical jobs and skilled trades usually requiring a college diploma or training as an apprentice
  • Skill Level C: intermediate jobs that usually requiring high school and/or job-specific training
  • Skill Level D: labour jobs that usually provide on-the-job training

Express Entry

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) implemented a new electronic system called Express Entry from January 2015. This is an online system for managing applications for permanent residence.

Express Entry deals with the following immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

You need to submit your profile to the Express Entry pool. Your online form is scored and ranked. Applicants with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residence. At this stage, applicants will need to submit copies of documents such as:

  • language test results
  • passport or travel document
  • written job offer 
  • police certificates
  • medical exams
  • proof of funds

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