There are several ways to immigrate to Canada – in fact, there are so many ways that it can be confusing just deciding how to immigrate to Canada at all. The first step, and sometimes hardest, in your immigration journey is to define the best immigration path according to your profile.
In this post you will learn about the basics of Canadian immigration, a brief explanation about the different statuses and permits in Canada, the 3 most common ways to move to Canada and how COVID-19 is affecting the immigration process.
There is a lot of confusion over the different kinds of statuses and visas in Canada, mainly because a lot of terms are used interchangeably. For example, a visa and permit are usually the same thing.
Generally speaking, there are 3 types of Canadian statuses:
Express Entry (EE) is the system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process permanent resident applications for skilled workers. To learn more specifics about the program, you can read our extended guide on Express Entry here. Some key details about EE:
What you’ll need to start:
Considering it is a points based system, it may be a promising option if:
Here are some of the basic costs of applying for EE, and you can also check our full guide on the costs of EE here:
To get a full guide on calculating your score and starting the EE process, sign up for the free Visto portal.
Studying in Canada has become even more popular in recent years, and IRCC is welcoming it. In 2015, IRCC approved 219,000 study permits – and in 2019, they approved almost double that amount for a total of 402,000. This is a very good sign for those interested in studying in Canada.
The study permit is also a smooth path to permanent residency, since you will get extra points towards Express Entry when you get a Canadian degree. In most cases, once you graduate you will be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), a type of work permit that allows you to work in Canada after you graduate – and earning Canadian work experience gives you even more points for EE.
Difficulties on getting a study permit may include:
If you’re serious about studying in Canada, check out our full guide to the study permit here.
Getting sponsored by a Canadian company is another way to move to Canada, through what’s called a closed work permit. A closed work permit is an option if you’re able to land a job with a Canadian company that is willing to sponsor you, usually by applying for what’s called a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA allows you to apply for a closed work permit so you can work in Canada for that specific company only.
Getting a closed work permit can lead to a smooth path to PR (depending on your EE profile) because just getting a closed work permit will gain you a minimum of 50 points for EE, and because any Canadian work experience of 1 or more years gets you more points as well.
Opportunities: Getting sponsored by a Canadian company can be challenging, however, it may be promising if:
Make sure to check out our recent report on in-demand jobs in Canada here.
Bonus: Business Programs
If you’re a cofounder of a tech company, a long-time entrepreneur or high net worth individual these options might be good for you. Tech founders can look at the Startup Visa requirements, while other business owners or investors can look into the PNPs and the Owner-Operator LMIA.
Considering the 3 options provided above, evaluate the best option for you based on your own profile, skills, experience, or other factors that may apply. If you need even more in-depth information on each, you can also use our free immigration portal here.
We know that there’s so much confusing information on the internet and it can be overwhelming when you are about to make a life-changing decision. An immigration professional can help you navigate the different options above, or point out a different path that you haven’t considered yet. Make sure to be very careful when choosing a professional to work with, due to the many poor service providers or scammers in the market.
You can also book a consultation with one of our reliable immigration lawyers in the Visto portal here.
The Visto Portal is completely free and will help you understand the basics of Canadian immigration – all in one place. Also, our new tool, Visto Qualify, is the first Canadian immigration calculator that will check your eligibility for more than 65 Canadian immigration programs – including Express Entry, work permit, all PNPs, AIPP, etc. Make sure to check it out, and we will be happy to help you on every step of your immigration journey!