Moving to Canada is a dream for many people around the world. With its beautiful landscapes, welcoming culture, and high quality of life, it’s no wonder why Canada continues to rank as one of the top immigrant destinations globally.
One of the most common paths to Canadian permanent residency is through economic immigration programs. These visas are a great option if you have in-demand skills and work experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the main types of Canadian permanent resident visas and how to successfully apply for each.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Points-based system that evaluates education, work experience, language ability, etc.
- No job offer required – can immigrate through Express Entry pool
- Minimum 67 points out of 100 required
The Federal Skilled Worker Program uses a comprehensive ranking system to evaluate applicants for permanent residence. You’ll get points based on your education, work experience, language ability, and other factors like age and arranged employment. While a job offer isn’t required, having one can help improve your ranking. To qualify, you’ll need at least 67 points out of 100 on the ranking grid. This program is managed through Express Entry, which operates the pool that candidates are selected from. Here’s a quick overview of applying through Express Entry:
- Create an Express Entry profile and complete assessment
- Enter the Express Entry pool and get ranked
- Improve your ranking with things like a job offer, higher language score, etc.
- Get invited to apply for permanent residence if your score is high enough
- Submit your application within 60 days
The Express Entry system makes immigrating to Canada much faster and more straightforward compared to before. Be sure to calculate your points and competitiveness before applying.
Provincial Nominee Program
- Nominated by a province based on local labor needs
- Each province has its own criteria – check PNP site
- Receive 600 bonus points toward Express Entry ranking
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate immigrants based on local economic needs. Each region has its own eligibility criteria based on skills, work experience, education, language ability, etc. The main benefit of provincial nomination is receiving 600 additional points on your Express Entry ranking. This effectively guarantees an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
To immigrate through a PNP:
- Research PNPs and find one that matches your occupation
- Apply to the province directly and get nominated if approved
- Enter Express Entry pool and get invited to apply
- Submit your application within 60 days
The PNP allows provinces to select candidates who align with local economic priorities. It’s an excellent pathway for Express Entry candidates who may not have enough points otherwise.
Canadian Experience Class
- For skilled workers with recent Canadian work experience
- 12 months of skilled work in Canada within last 3 years
- Meet language and education requirements
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream targets skilled foreign workers with existing work experience in Canada. To qualify you must have 12 months of skilled Canadian work experience within the last 3 years. The work must be full-time (or equivalent part-time) and meet certain skill type 0, A, B, or C per the National Occupational Classification. You’ll also need 1 year of skilled work experience from outside Canada.
Here are the main steps to apply through the CEC program:
- Have qualifying Canadian work experience
- Take approved language test and meet requirements
- Enter Express Entry pool and complete profile
- Get invited to apply based on CEC criteria
- Submit e-application within 60 days
The CEC offers a straightforward path to PR for those already working and established in Canada. It’s ideal for temporary foreign workers and foreign graduates who want to transition to permanent status.
Self-Employed Persons Program
- For experienced self-employed individuals
- Must have relevant self-employment experience
- Submit detailed business plan
Canada’s Self-Employed Persons Program aims to attract immigrant entrepreneurs who want to establish and operate a business in Canada. To qualify, you’ll need relevant self-employment experience, such as having managed your own business or worked as a high-level professional like a doctor or consultant. You’ll also need to submit a detailed business plan showing your financial resources and job-creating ability.
Key steps to immigrate as a self-employed person:
- Show experience managing a business or practicing as a professional
- Research which provinces accept entrepreneurs
- Prepare a comprehensive business plan with financial details
- Apply to the province and get nominated
- Apply for permanent residence if approved
Bringing your business to Canada can be very rewarding. Just be sure to demonstrate your entrepreneurial abilities and job creation potential in your application.
Family Sponsorship Programs
- For reuniting family in Canada
- Spouses, common-law partners, and dependents
- Minimum income requirements for sponsors
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor certain family members for immigration to Canada. This includes spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents. To be eligible, the sponsor must meet minimum income requirements and commit to providing financial support for the sponsored relative(s) as needed.
Here is an overview of the family sponsorship process:
- Determine your eligibility to sponsor relatives
- Complete required forms and include support documents
- Mail application to central intake office in Canada
- Wait for approval and issuance of permanent resident visa
- Sponsored family members can then apply for Canadian visa
Reuniting with loved ones is a top reason many apply for Canadian immigration. Just be sure the sponsor meets all requirements before applying.
Business Immigration Programs
- For established entrepreneurs and investors
- Options: Start-Up Visa, Self-Employed, PNPs, etc.
- Involve investment, business plans, job creation
Canada offers several business immigration pathways for accomplished entrepreneurs, investors and business owners. The Start-Up Visa program requires support from a designated organization and accepted business plan. The Self-Employed class requires experience and a plan to buy or start a business in Canada. There are also PNPs tailored to business immigrants with investment capital or niche expertise.
Typical application steps include:
- Determine best business visa class for you
- Obtain support from designated agency or province (if required)
- Provide detailed business plan and evidence of funds
- Apply and get nominated or approved
- Obtain permanent resident visa
Bringing an established foreign business or startup idea to Canada can be very rewarding. Focus your application on job creation, business development, and other economic benefits for Canada.
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
- For skilled workers who want to live in rural Canada
- Currently open in select communities
- Must have job offer in region to qualify
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot aims to spread the benefits of immigration to smaller communities in Canada. It’s currently open to candidates who want to live and work in select rural and northern regions across the country. To apply, you’ll need a valid job offer from an employer within the eligible communities. You can qualify through the pilot’s Express Entry stream or base Provincial Nominee Program.
Here is an overview of applying through this pilot program:
- Find job opportunities within the list of eligible communities
- Obtain a job offer from an employer in the region
- Apply either through Express Entry or PNP stream
- Get PR approval and land in Canada
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot makes it possible to get PR and build a life in beautiful small-town Canada. Consider taking advantage if this unique program interests you.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot
- For skilled workers who want to live in Atlantic Canada
- Must have job offer in one of four provinces
- Employer sponsorship required
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program aims to bring skilled immigrants to Canada’s four Atlantic provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. To qualify, you’ll need a job offer from an employer in one of these provinces who agrees to sponsor you. It’s an excellent pathway for those who want to live in east coast Canada.
Key steps for this program include:
- Get a job offer from an approved employer
- Apply through the AIP stream of Express Entry
- Include employer support and endorsement
- Obtain permanent residency if approved
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot provides a great opportunity to connect with employers in Canada’s beautiful eastern provinces. Consider applying if you’re interested in settling down in that region.
- Research which pathway best fits your situation
- Make sure you meet all eligibility criteria
- Have an ECA done for foreign credentials
- Get help from an immigration consultant if needed
- Submit a complete application with strong supporting docs
Canada’s economic immigration pathways offer excellent options for skilled workers, entrepreneurs and families. But make sure to pick the right program and submit a strong application. Doing plenty of research beforehand and getting professional guidance can really help ensure success. Double check that you meet all the eligibility criteria, and take time to gather high-quality supporting documents.
Permanent residency can provide a path to an amazing life in Canada. Just stay organized, meet all requirements, and highlight your strongest assets during the application process. You’ll put yourself in a great position to get approved and start your new future in Canada!
Keep visiting workliveincanada.con for the latest tips and news on immigrating to Canada. Good luck!