How to Immigrate to Canada?

Canada pledges to welcome around 1 million qualified immigrants to their country and offer them Canadian permanent residence (PR) between 2020 and 2023. It can be a life-changing opportunity for foreign nationals who can immigrate to Canada as international students, skilled workers, businessmen, and so on.

Best Canadian immigration programs to migrate to Canada

While there are more than 80 immigration application processes to settle in Canada, we have shortlisted the most credible options. Go through the following categories to find out the best application process for you:

1. Express Entry

Express Entry is the easiest way to immigrate to Canada because it is fast, convenient, and precise. The Express Entry system can provide permanent residence for economic immigration programs like:

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

The Express Entry system works like a point-based grading program that includes eligibility criteria including:

  • Language ability in English or/and French
  • Medical examination reports
  • Age
  • International experience at work
  • Job offer

Based on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), applicants get points. Your Canadian immigration application must cross a cut-off point to get an invitation to immigrate permanently.

If you have a Canadian job offer, your chances of becoming a permanent resident increase. However, it is not mandatory. Having a provincial nomination will increase your points as well.

To apply through the Express Entry program, you need to make a profile and submit the following documents:

  • Passport
  • CRS report
  • Educational credentials
  • Provincial nomination (if any)
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Canadian job offer (if any)
  •  Proof of being a skilled worker
  • Qualification certificate for trade occupation issued by Canadian provinces or territories


You have to pay the application fees, after which your documents go into the Express Entry pool for scrutiny. You will be ranked based on the points your application collects.

Your Canadian permanent resident status will work out in your favor if your rank is as high as expected. You will then get an invitation and 90 days to apply for citizenship in Canada.


2. Labor Market Impact Assessment

Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that any Canadian employer will require before hiring foreign nationals.

If you have a positive LMIA document, you can prove your worth and requirement to fill in a job profile. The document also suggests that the existing Canadian citizens are not fit for the job. An appropriate LMIA is as good as a confirmation letter.

If an employer requires an LMIA, they have to apply for it. Once the employer receives and approves the document, the employee can apply for a work permit.

To apply for a work permit, you need:

  • Letter of job offer
  • Contract
  • Copy of LMIA
  • LMIA number

3. Provincial Nominee Program

If a Canadian province or territory nominates you according to your credibility, you can apply for Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

To make them review your profile, you must first apply to the province or territory you want to move to. Your qualifications must include education, skills, work experience, and more. You also need to share proof of funds to support yourself, your spouse, and your dependent children.

The territory or province will review the documents you present to evaluate if you fit into their economic requirements. If approved, they will inform you about processing your application for PR.

Once the territory or province approves your profile, you need to apply for PR within their given period. They might ask you to apply through Express Entry or other forms of applications.

The conditions to obtain a Provincial Nominee Certificate can differ from one province or another. It is best to have a clear idea regarding individual provinces or territories to verify if you meet their expectations.

Note that the province of Quebec chooses its immigrants differently compared to other provinces. They have a personalized process that is limited to Quebec only.

If you plan to start a Quebec entrepreneur program or have a job offer to move there, you need to connect with the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion du Québec.

4. Quebec skilled worker program

Quebec offers a unique immigration process tied with the Canadian government. To immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker in Quebec, the following stages must occur:

  • Applicant must write to the Government of Quebec to obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate
  • Provide necessary details for assessment
  • Quebec will assess by evaluating their set rules
  • Obtaining the certificate will verify invitation for PR in the Province of Quebec

If Quebec province selects you and gives you the Quebec Selection Certificate, you need to apply in a regular way and offer the certificate as proof. Note that this immigration process is only for PR. You can apply as a refugee or a regular immigrant with qualifications.

5. Student Permit

If you are an aspiring foreign student, Canada can give you a study permit. It is a document that allows you to stay and study here.

You might require a visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA) for your permit instead of a regular travel visa.

The study permit is tailored according to the duration of your study program. You also get an additional 90 days after that to process further stay or return.

Aspiring foreign students from India, China, Morocco, Philippines, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Senegal can apply directly through the Student Direct Stream. It provides you with the permit faster than other processing times, as it takes around 20 days only.

6. Business Immigration

If you are immigrating to Canada as a self-employed person, you will need business immigration. You can acquire a visa on a work permit and later apply for permanent residence. However, your work permit needs support from investors based in Canada. The following measures will determine if you are an eligible individual for business immigration:

  • Qualified business
  • Language proficiency in English or/and French
  • Proof of funds to verify managing living expenses
  • Commitment Certificate
  • Letter of Support from investors

7. Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) allows employers from Atlantic Canada to employ foreign workers. As the name suggests, this program is only for those who want to move to Atlantic Canada for work. It is also applicable for international students who want to stay in Atlantic Canada and complete graduation.

The pilot program began in 2017 and became a huge success. So, the government planned to make this a permanent program. Moreover, it will continue to be under the flagship of regional economic immigration programs. Thus, it will complement the provincial nominee programs for all Atlantic provinces.

8. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot began in 2019 to stimulate the Canadian economy by inviting skilled workers to work in rural regions. The program is for foreign workers who would like to move to Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories.

Most Canada immigration applications come from foreign nationals who wish to relocate to bustling metros like Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto. Canada started the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot to change this and attract immigrants to settle amidst smaller communities.

The communities join hands with the Federal Government to select potential immigrants for PR. This program was introduced after the success of AIP.

9. Agri-Food Pilot

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot started to fill labor shortages in agricultural sectors. It offers PR to potential agricultural workers.

Canadian agricultural market recently suffered labor shortage in Canada and relied on seasonal or short-term work permits. With the introduction of this pilot program, Canada now attracts agricultural laborers and their families to relocate to Canada.

Every year, around 2,750 applicants with families are allowed under this program. The program started in 2020 and is valid primarily for three years. Thus, around 16,500 people will be permanent residents under this program.

Agricultural employers who wish to select workers in this program will be eligible for LMIA for two years. To be an eligible candidate for selection, one must present:

  • Proof of full-time work experience for 12 months in Temporary Foreign Worker Program under which the individual learned to process meat, raise livestock, grow mushrooms or greenhouse crops
  • Qualify under Canadian Language Benchmark (CBL) 4 in English or/and French
  • High-school graduate as per Canadian standards
  • A job offer for a full-time position or non-seasonal worker at the prevailing wage

10. Family Sponsorship

If people in your family are already Canadian citizens, you can receive sponsorship to obtain PR. Family members allowed to take responsibility for sponsorship includes:

  • Legal partner/spouse
  • Dependent children (biological and adopted)
  • Parents
  • Grandparents

In exceptional circumstances, people can sponsor:

  • Orphaned grandchildren
  • Orphaned niece/nephew
  • Orphaned sibling

11. Caregiver Programs

Canada acknowledges the service provided by caregivers. Such individuals dedicate their career goals to serving others.

Children, seniors, and people with special care require caregivers. So, Canada introduced several programs to allow caregivers to have a good lifestyle and become permanent residents.

12. Humanitarian and Refugee Immigration

Canada is internationally acclaimed for offering refugee protection. Canada addresses refugee claims and pledges to offer better life under humanitarian considerations. The country dedicates a significant portion of annual immigration to refugees and citizenship Canada provision.

If you apply under this program, you do not have to present any financial requirements. You will only need validation of funds if you have a private sponsor. The Canadian group that sponsors you will provide proof of settlement funds.

Final thoughts

Every immigration process to move to Canada will differ from one another. So, an applicant should first evaluate their profession when trying to enter as an independent individual. It will give you the right direction, and you will know how to immigrate to Canada effectively.

Further reading:

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