Canada is one of the best countries for foreigners to immigrate and work in. The country’s fast-growing and highly industrialized economy presents unlimited opportunities and potential for every resident and immigrant to explore.
Additionally, because of the country’s wealth, Canadian residents have some of the highest standards of living in the world. Couple that with a stable political scene and the government’s commitment to welcoming immigrants and you have a country where foreigners will not only feel at home but have more chances to thrive.
How to Immigrate to Canada
Fortunately, there are so many ways (over 80) to immigrate to Canada and become a Canadian permanent resident. However, if you’re only considering Canadian immigration today, you’ll want to speak to an immigration consultant to guide you on the best path for you.
Otherwise, the options available may overwhelm you. Besides, with a thorough understanding of Canadian immigration paths and requirements, immigration consultants know which pathway will most likely work for you based on your needs.
That said, below is a brief list of the best and most popular pathways for foreigners to become permanent residents of Canada.
Economic & Professional Immigration
If you ask anyone which immigration pathway is best if you want to become a Canadian permanent resident, they’ll probably mention an economic or professional pathway. Typically, these pathways are best for skilled professionals whose expertise and education is essential for the growth of the Canadian economy. Be aware that the COVID-19 pandemic may have significantly lengthened the processing time and/or slots available for each path.
Although these broadly fall under the same category, their qualification criteria are vastly different. These immigration pathways include:
- Express Entry – The most popular and fastest immigration pathway, Express Entry is a government program that invites skilled workers in specific professions to apply for Canadian permanent residency
- Provincial Nominee Programs – Also known as PNPs, these pathways provide foreigners with the opportunity to immigrate to specific Canadian provinces and territories
- Quebec Immigration – Immigration to Quebece has a special set of guidelines, unlike other Canadian territories that foreign residency applicants need to meet
Other than the three above, there are plenty of other popular immigration pathways including an entrepreneur and self-employed programs, caregivers programs, and most recently, the Atlantic Immigration Program, which was previously a pilot project.
This immigration pathway is available for foreigners with family in Canada who are already permanent residents or Canadian citizens.
If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the family members you can sponsor include:
- A spouse or conjugal/common-law partner
- An adopted or biological dependent child
- Grandparents and parents
Depending on the circumstance and typically if you have no other relatives you can sponsor, the following may be eligible:
- Your brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild if they’re orphaned
Humanitarian & Refugee Immigration
Canada is huge on humanitarian and refugee immigration and resettlement. Thus, a significant portion of immigrants that Canada targets are those moving into the country on compassionate grounds.
What You Need to Immigrate to Canada
The requirements you need to fulfill to immigrate to Canada and become a Canadian permanent resident will depend on the pathway you choose. However, there are certain documents that will fast track your process and that you’ll do well to prepare beforehand.
Some of the documents you’ll require with most Canada immigration pathway are:
- Proof of your work experience
- Education qualifications
- Proof of identity
- Criminal and medical background checks
Of course, these will change based on the immigration method you choose, so make sure you understand what’s required of you for the process you wish to undertake.
Do I Need a Job Offer to Immigrate to Canada?
Fortunately, most of the pathways that lead to becoming a permanent resident of Canada don’t need a job. However, for others like Express Entry, having a job offer boosts your chances of getting an invitation to apply for permanent residency.
What’s the Difference Between Being a Permanent Resident and Citizen?
While permanent residents of Canada and citizens enjoy many of the same rights and protections. Citizens are granted more freedoms and rights.
One of the biggest benefits of being a permanent resident is the ability to work and live anywhere in Canada. Permanent residents also enjoy:
- Access to social services and healthcare
- Ability to study anywhere in the country
- Protection under Canadian law
On the other hands, while all citizens enjoy the benefits above, they also have the right and privilege to:
- Run for office
- Work in specific jobs
Most importantly, unlike permanent residency, citizenship cannot be revoked!
With an aging population and minimal birth rates, Canada’s economy and population growth is highly dependent on immigrants. As a result, the country has some of the easiest pathways to permanent residency. You only need to know which path is best for you and your family, which you can always find out if you talk to an immigration consultant.