Toronto Immigration: 4 Ways to Settle in Canada’s Biggest City

Published on: April 29th, 2019
Last updated: March 30th, 2022

In 2021, Toronto immigration made up over 20% of all immigration to Canada.

Known as Canada’s economic hub, Toronto continues to grow in popularity as it boasts North America’s fastest-growing tech-jobs market.

Find out how you can immigrate to Toronto

Toronto is Canada’s largest city by population. It is also the most popular destination for newcomers to Canada, with first-generation immigrants making up 47% of the city’s population.

Here are the four most popular options for Toronto immigration:

#1 – Express Entry: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

Express Entry is an immigration system for skilled workers. It is the most popular immigration system in Canada, accepting tens of thousands of new immigrants every year. The Federal Skilled Worker program is a subset of Express Entry that doesn’t require any previous experience in Canada.

FSW is a highly competitive system that uses the CRS scoring system to rank candidates against one another. The Canadian government then holds regular Express Entry draws, accepting only the most competitive candidates to immigrate to Canada. The Express Entry system ranks candidates based on their age, education, language proficiency, and employment experience.

Express Entry is popular for a few reasons. Firstly, the system is one of the fastest ways to become a Canadian permanent resident; the service-standard processing time for Express Entry is just 6 months. Secondly, Express Entry allows applicants to bring their spouse, common-law partner, and children in the same application.

If you are a young skilled worker with a high level of education and advanced English or French then Express Entry is a great option.

#2 – The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that enables Ontario to nominate foreign nationals for Canadian permanent residence. OINP encompasses a number of different streams, each with its unique eligibility criteria and application procedure. For example, the Ontario Entrepreneur stream is for business owners who have the skills and finances to build a business in Ontario.

There are two streams of OINP that are ideal for those living outside of Canada:

  1. Ontario Human Capital Priorities (HCP); and
  2. Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker (FSSW)

Both of these streams require candidates to have an active Express Entry profile. Through both of these streams, Ontario regularly hand-selects certain individuals from the Express Entry pool. Ontario uses the Human Capital Stream to select individuals with experience in a priority occupation. For Ontario to consider a candidate, they must have a CRS score of at least 400. Ontario uses the French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream to invite individuals from the pool who have indicated intermediate proficiency in French.

If you can meet the requirements for one of these streams, it is worthwhile to submit your Express Entry profile.

#3 – Studying in Toronto

One great way to improve your options for Toronto immigration is to complete post-secondary studies in Canada. Many PNP streams specifically target graduates of Canadian colleges and universities. Canadian education can also give you extra points in Express Entry.

Most international students who graduate from a Canadian post-secondary program are also eligible to apply for Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWP allows international graduates to stay in Canada and work for up to three years for any employer. Gaining Canadian work experience is extremely advantageous for permanent immigration, making applicants much more competitive in Express Entry’s Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or Ontario’s International Student PNP.

Thankfully, the city of Toronto hosts some of Canada’s most prestigious universities. The University of Toronto consistently ranks as one of the best universities in the world. Both York University and Ryerson University are also reputable institutions in Canada. The city also has a few smaller institutions with specialized programs, including the technical programs offered at Humber College and the creative programs offered at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

If you are looking to continue your education and improve your Canadian immigration options, studying in Toronto is a great option!

#4 – Working in Toronto

Gaining Canadian work experience is a great way to improve your chances for Toronto immigration. Of course, getting a Canadian work permit can be challenging, but there are a few options for those who want to work in Canada.

Firstly, gaining a job offer from an Ontario employer for a highly specialized position can enable you to apply for a work permit. In order to be eligible, the employer must first obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), indicating that they could not find a Canadian to fill the position.

Secondly, if you work for an international corporation that has offices in Canada, you can speak to your employer about transferring to a Canadian office. Generally, intra-company transfers are exempt from requiring an LMIA, which makes it easier to gain a Canadian work permit.


If you are hoping to move to Toronto permanently, but are not sure which option is right for you, start by completing our free online assessment form. We will examine your eligibility and contact you with your results!

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