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Immigrate to Canada

From 2019 through 2021, Canada will welcome more than one million new immigrants through its many immigration programs. There are many possible pathways for securing Canadian permanent residence, but the Canadim Team is committed to keeping things simple! 

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Canada Immigration Programs

It is an ideal time to apply for Canadian immigration as long term plans project a steady increase in the number of immigrants accepted to Canada each year. Canada offers many programs which allow a person to apply for Canadian permanent residence. While these programs differ greatly, they can be broken down into four categories:

Economic Immigration Programs

The majority of Canada’s new immigrants are accepted through economic immigration programs. These programs are designed to help those with relevant work experience and/or education to resettle in Canada and contribute to the Canadian economy. There are several different categories of economic immigration programs.

Express Entry

In January 2015, the federal government introduced the Express Entry system for managing Canadian permanent resident applications submitted through economic programs. The Express Entry system encompasses three different programs:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  2. Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

As well, each of Canada’s provinces and territories operate their own immigration programs, called Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs). Some of these PNPs are aligned with Express Entry. This means that a province can nominate a foreign national for Express Entry immigration to Canada!

The Express Entry system is a merit-based immigration system. This means that simply meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee that a person will be able to immigrate to Canada. Instead, all eligible candidates are ranked against one another based on a number of criteria, and only the most competitive candidates are invited to submit an application for permanent residence.

Quebec Immigration

The province of Quebec retains a high level of autonomy and authority over its immigration programs and policies. For this reason, Quebec’s immigration programs are unique, offering a number of pathways not available in the other provinces.

Generally, those interested in applying for permanent residence in Quebec must first apply for and receive a certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ). Once an applicant has a CSQ, they are eligible to submit an official application for permanent residence to the federal immigration authorities. Quebec offers two economic immigration programs for those interested in immigrating to the province:

  1. Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW)
  2. Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)

Provincial Nominee Programs

Canada has ten provinces and three territories. With the exception of Quebec, all of these provinces and territories manage their own immigration programs designed to target their individual economic and demographic needs, called Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). PNPs vary greatly in terms of program type, eligibility requirements, and applications procedures.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

In 2017, Canada’s Atlantic provinces launched a new immigration program designed to stimulate economic growth in the region. The program is considered a pilot program, meaning it’s the first of its kind and is subject to change. This program aims to accept a maximum number of 2,000 new immigrants each year, with quotas increasing to 4,000 by 2020.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot program is unique because it allows designated employers from the Atlantic provinces to hire foreign nationals without obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The designated employers assist eligible foreign nationals with the submission of permanent residency applications and long-term settlement. Canada’s Atlantic provinces include New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

Business Immigration Programs

The Canadian Government provides a wealth of opportunities for potential immigrants with the skills needed to develop businesses in Canada. There exist a number of unique immigration programs offering accelerated permanent residence to entrepreneurs willing to bring their business management skills to Canada, financial investors willing to commit support for Canadian ventures, and self-employed persons able to put their unique skills to work in Canada. Learn more about Canada’s business immigration programs below!

Investor Programs

To be eligible for Canada’s investor immigration programs, individuals must have a net worth in the millions of dollars and the willingness to invest significant funds in the Canadian economy. Presently, there are two such programs in Canada.

Entrepreneur Programs

Canada offers entrepreneur immigration options for foreign nationals with significant experience as entrepreneurs with a proven track record of success. There are a variety of programs available for those with business management experience as well as those with experience starting new businesses.

Self-Employed Programs

Self-Employed programs offer some individuals working in self-employed positions an opportunity to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents. Self-employed persons will be asked to provide documented proof of self-employment as well as an intention to maintain self-employment once they arrive in Canada.

Family Sponsorship Programs

The Canadian government recognizes that the separation of families is a challenging process. For this reason, Canada has instituted several immigration programs designed to reunite family members. Under Canada’s immigrations goals for family reunification, Canadian citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to sponsor spouses, common-law partners, children and other dependents, parents, and grandparents.

Spouse or Common-Law Partner Sponsorship

Under current immigration programs, most Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to sponsor their spouses or common-law partners for Canadian immigration. When married, a person can generally sponsor their spouse for Canadian permanent residence as long as the marriage is legally recognized in both Canada and the country of marriage. For common-law partners, a person can sponsor their partner for Canadian permanent residence as long as the couple meets Canada’s definition of legal common-law partnership. There do exist exceptions to these rules.

Child or Other Dependant Sponsorship

Canada’s immigration system enables most parents to sponsor their dependent children and other legal dependants for Canadian permanent residence. To do this, the parent must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and the person being sponsored must meet Canada’s definition of being a dependant. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada defines a dependent child as any child under 22 years old who does not have a spouse or common-law partner. As well, it may be possible for a child over the age of 22 to qualify as a dependent child if they are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition.

Parent or Grandparent Sponsorship

It is possible for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents to join them in Canada. In order to be eligible, the sponsor must meet certain financial requirements proving that they could financially support their parents or grandparents, if necessary. This program uses a lottery system to select sponsors, with a target quota of 10,000 new applications annually.

Humanitarian and Refugee Options

Canada has an international reputation as a leader in accepting new refugees and other immigrants for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. A significant portion of Canada’s annual immigration target is dedicated to admitting refugees.

Canada Immigration FAQ

What is a permanent resident?

A Canadian permanent resident is a citizen of another country who has been granted permission to live in Canada as a permanent resident. Once a person has permanent resident status, they have the right to live and work anywhere in the country. Permanent residents receive a significant number of benefits in Canada, including: access to healthcare and social services, the right to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada, and protection under Canadian law. As well, after being a permanent resident for a certain amount of time, permanent residents are eligible to apply to become Canadian citizens! Notably, Canadian permanent residents do not have the right to vote in Canadian elections.

What is a citizen?

Canadian citizens have many rights and privileges in Canada. Citizens have access to healthcare, social services, support under the law. A citizen can live, work, and study, anywhere in Canada, and has the right to vote in Canadian elections. As well, citizenship cannot be revoked or removed. All people born in Canada automatically qualify for Canadian citizenship. As well, foreign nationals can become naturalized Canadian citizens by going through the proper application process with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Can I work anywhere in Canada?

Once a person has Canadian permanent resident status, they have the authorization to live and work anywhere in Canada. If a foreign national does not have Canadian permanent resident status, then they must have the proper authorization to work in Canada. Usually, this authorization comes in the form of a Canadian work permit.

Can I bring my family?

Certain immigration programs allow foreign nationals to immigrate to Canada with their family members. However, the family members able to accompany a foreign national varies depending on the immigration program. For example, those immigrating through Canada’s Express Entry system are eligible to include their spouse and dependent children on the application, but not their parents. However, Canada has family sponsorship programs enabling Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner, dependent children, and parents/grandparents. In order to determine whether or not your family members may join you, first you must determine which immigration pathway you choose to pursue!

How long does it take to immigrate to Canada?

The processing times for Canadian immigration programs vary widely from program to program. Under Canada’s new Express Entry system, some applications for permanent residence are processed in less than 6 months. Meanwhile, other programs may take two years or more to be processed. Once you have determined which program is best suited to your immigration needs, you may confirm the average processing times as indicated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Which immigration program is best for me?

In order to determine which immigration program is best for you, we need to know some information about your personal profile! To find out more, please complete one of our free immigration assessments and we will contact you to discuss your eligibility. These are the four major categories of Canadian immigration:

How much money do I need to immigrate to Canada?

The cost of immigrating varies greatly depending on the immigration program and the applicant’s profile. Usually, there are a few layers of cost, including government processing fees, documentation costs, and proof of settlement funds. Learn more about Canadian immigration processing fees.

What documents do I need?

The documents required for an immigration application depends on the program to which you are applying. Documents might include identification documents, educational records, proof of work experience, financial history, etc. In order to determine the documents you will require, first you have to determine which immigration program is best for you!

Do I need a job offer?

No. While some Canadian immigration programs require applicants to have a Canadian job offer, there are a range of programs and options available to foreign nationals without an offer of employment in Canada.

Is it required to take the IELTS English exam?

The IELTS exam is not a requirement for some Canadian immigration programs. However, many pathways to Canadian immigration require that an applicant submits official language test results in either English or French.

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