How to Immigrate to Canada (2024)

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Canada aims to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, 500,000 in 2025 and plateau at 500,000 in 2026 There are many pathways to immigrate to Canada and secure Canadian permanent residence, however, the Canadim Team is committed to helping you keep things simple.

Find out if you're eligible to immigrate to Canada

Easiest Ways to Immigrate to Canada

The easiest way to come to Canada will depend on your own unique profile or connections to the country. With Canadian immigration targets higher than ever, now is the timeto start your immigration journey.

It should be noted that there is no one simple way to immigrate to Canada. While some programs may be easier for you to apply to, the process is long and involves many steps.

While immigrating to Canada does require a significant financial and emotional investment, the end result is worth it. Canada consistentlyranks among the bestcountries for quality of life and is known for itspositive attitude toward immigration.

These are the four most popular ways for overseas applicants to migrate to Canada:

#1 – Express Entry

Express Entry is Canada’s fastest and most popular immigration program. Candidates that apply through the Express Entry system can receive permanent residence status as soon as six months.

By 2025, Canada plans to invite half a million newcomers. Of which a large percentage will come through one of the three streams of Express Entry:

  • Federal Skilled Worker(FSW);
  • Canadian Experience Class(CEC); and
  • Federal Skilled Trades(FST)

The Express Entry system involves submitting an online profile that is scored by Canada’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). To submit an Express Entry profile, you must first be eligible under one of Canada’s above three federal streams. The Canadian government then issuesinvitations to applyfor permanent residence to the highest-ranking candidates in the Express Entry pool.

The Express Entry process may be the easiest way to come to Canada for certain candidates eligible to submit a profile. It can be difficult to meet the CRS cut-off in the federal draw. However, just by being in the pool of candidates, you could be nominated for permanent residence by a province.

The cost of immigrating to Canada through Express Entry is typically about $2,300 CAD for a single applicant, or about $4,500 CAD for a couple. This does not include thesettlement fundsthat must also be shown as part of the eligibility requirement, which will vary by family size.

Visit ourExpress Entrypage to learn more about submitting a profile and how to increase your ranking in the pool.

Find out if you're eligible to enter the Express Entry pool

#2 – Provincial Nominee Programs

Throughout the pandemic, provinces continued to nominate overseas workers for Canadian permanent residence. By 2025, Canada plans to welcome 117,500 new immigrants through PNPs.

There are countless nominee programs offered by Canada’s ten provinces and three territories. Each PNP has its own unique eligibility criteria. Many PNPs require a connection to the province to apply for nomination. However, there are some programsthat invite overseas candidatessolely based on their ability to respond to the province’s labour market needs.

Each PNP has its own application processing time. After receiving a nomination, PNP candidates must apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence. The time it takes to process the permanent residence application will depend on whether the PNP operates using the Express Entry system.

The cost of immigrating to Canada through a PNP is usually the same as Express Entry, with some additional fees, depending on the province. Certain provinces don’t charge a fee to process PNP applications, while others, such as Ontario, can charge up to $1,500 CAD.

Find out if you qualify to immigrate through a PNP

#3 – Business Immigration

If you have experience managing or owning your own business, the easiest way to work and reside in Canada could be through a federal or provincial business immigration program.

The federal government offers immigration programs for individuals that plan to beself-employedin Canada orstart upa business in Canada.

There are also severalPNPsspecific to overseas candidates interested in starting a business in a certain Canadian province.

Business immigration programs typically require a significant investment in the company you intend to start in Canada. The amount required will depend on the program you are interested in. Many PNPs have regional entrepreneur programs that require a lower investment for candidates interested in starting a business in a less populated area.

Find out if you can immigrate to Canada through a business immigration program

#4 – Sponsorship

If you have aqualifying family memberthat is apermanent resident or citizen of Canada, family sponsorship will likely be the easiest way for you to reside in Canada.

Canada offers several immigration programs that give permanent residents and citizens the chance to bring their family members to the country. This year, Canada plans to welcome 105,000 new permanent residents through family sponsorship programs.

If your spouse, child, or grandchild is a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, you may be eligible for family sponsorship.

Sponsoring a relative typically costs about $1,135 CAD. Additional fees will apply if the sponsor resides in or intends to reside in Quebec.

The processing time for a sponsorship application will depend on the family member who is sponsoring you. Forspousal sponsorship, applications typically take about 12 months to process from start to finish.

Find out if you're eligible to sponsor or be sponsored for permanent residence

Canadian Immigration Programs Overview

There are more than 80 pathways to immigrate to Canada! We will outline the broad categories of Canadian immigration in an effort to keep things simple for our readers. Click on the links to the specific programs to learn more about the requirements and qualifications needed to be eligible to apply.

Immigration Tip

Discover your Canadian immigration options by completing our free online assessment tool. In one simple form, we will evaluate you for the dozens of immigration programs available and let you know which one is best for you.

Economic and Business Immigration Options

Economic and business immigration options are for professionals who have skills that support the Canadian economy. Each program differs greatly in the qualifications required so no one-size-fits-all description is possible.

Economic and business immigration categories include:

  • Provincial Nominee Programs
  • Express Entry
  • Quebec Immigration
  • Investor Programs
  • Entrepreneur and Self-Employed Programs
  • Other federal classes of immigration like the Caregivers Program, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, and the Agri-Food Pilot are also options under the umbrella of economic immigration to Canada.

Family sponsorship is a category of immigration available to the family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Family members eligible to sponsor include:

  • Spouse or common-law/conjugal partner
  • Dependent child (adopted or biological)
  • Parents and grandparents

In some circ*mstances, you may be eligible to sponsor other family members outside the above-mentioned categories. If you have no other eligible relatives to sponsor you may sponsor the following family members:

  • Orphaned brother or sister
  • Orphaned nephew or niece
  • Orphaned grandchild

Humanitarian and Refugee Immigration

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.

How Much Money do You Need to Immigrate to Canada?

The cost of immigrating to Canada is generally about $2,300 CAD for a single applicant, or about $4,500 CAD for a couple. This amount does not include the settlement funds that many candidates must show to be eligible for Canadian immigration; this amount will vary by family size, starting at around $13,000 CAD for a single applicant. If a candidate is applying through a provincial program, additional fees may apply. Proof of settlement funds is not required for those with a Canadian job offer or who are applying under the Canadian Experience Class.

All forms of business immigration require significant investment in Canada. It might require the applicant to have invested in a Canadian company or require an applicant to make an interest-free loan to the federal or provincial government.

In most cases, you do not provide financial information to sponsor a spouse or dependent child. If you are sponsoring other family members like a parent or grandparent, there is a financial requirement that will need to be met in order to be eligible to apply.

If you are applying under humanitarian and compassionate grounds applications, no financial requirements exist. The only time financial information is required under this category of immigration is if the refugee is a privately sponsored applicant. In that case, the Canadian group sponsoring the refugee must demonstrate that they have raised sufficient funds to sponsor the resettlement of the refugee candidate.

What are the Requirements for Canadian Immigration?

Each immigration program has its own minimum eligibility requirements. It is important to verify your eligibility prior to applying.

When submitting an application, the Canadian government will request various documents to verify your work experience, education, identity, and criminal and medical background. The types of required documents depend on the program to which you are applying.

In order to determine the documents, you will require, first you have todetermine which immigration program is bestfor you!

Check if you are eligible to come to Canada

What is the Fastest Way to become a permanent resident in Canada?

The fastest method of immigrating to Canada is through Express Entry. Express Entry processes most applications in six months or less.

What is the Maximum Age for Canadian Immigration?

There is no specific age limit requirement for any Canadian immigration program. That said, in most categories of economic immigration, applicants 25-35 receive the maximum points. That doesn’t mean older applicants cannot be selected. Having substantial work experience, high language proficiency, connections to Canada, and advanced education can easily offset any points lost for age in economic immigration.

Family sponsorship and humanitarian and refugee immigration to Canada do not use a ranking system and therefore do not have any penalties for age whatsoever.

Which is the best pathway for me?

With over 80 pathways of immigration, Canada has a range of options for all types of applicants. That said, moving to a new country requires some effort. Some immigration programs require higher qualifications and more documents than others. Using the services of a Canadian immigration lawyer can greatly assist in the immigration process from start to finish.

Canadian immigration lawyers are the point of contact with the government for your application. They handle the submission of your application and advise you on the documents you need, the ones you might want to include, and the documents you should not provide.

To learn more about how the skilled legal professionals and lawyers at the Canadim Law Firm can help you, check out our Canadian immigration services page.

Do I Need a Job Offer to Immigrate to Canada?

No. The vast majority of all Canadian permanent residents do not have a job offer in Canada when they apply. While some Canadian immigration programs require applicants to have a Canadian job offer, there is a range of programs and options available to foreign nationals without an offer of employment in Canada. Here are two main immigration programs that do not require a Canadian job offer:

1. Express Entry

TheExpress Entry system is responsible for welcoming over 100,000 newcomers to Canada each year. If you are applying for an Express Entry program, it is likely that you will not need a job offer. In fact, about 90% of Express Entry candidates were invited to apply for permanent residency without holding a Canadian job offer, according to IRCC’sYear-End Report 2019.

Express Entry requires applicants to have adequate work and educational experience, as well as language skills. However, you will not lose points for not having an offer from a Canadian employer.

2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

There are also many Provincial Nominee Programs that do not require a job offer to apply.

Some provinces, such asSaskatchewan, will instead use Expression of Interest (EOI) points-based systems – similar to Express Entry – to determine which candidates will be invited to apply for nomination.

Other provinces, such asOntarioorNova Scotia, will invite candidates directly from the Express Entry pool to fill specific demographic or labour market gaps. That means, just by having an Express Entry profile in the pool of candidates, you have the opportunity to be invited to settle permanently in a Canadian province.

So if you want to immigrate to Canada and do not yet have a valid job offer, don’t panic! There are many options available to become a permanent resident do not include a job offer requirement.

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 becomeCanadian 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 hasCanadian 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 Canadianwork permit.

Can I Bring My Family to Canada?

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’sExpress Entry systemare eligible to include their spouse and dependent children on the application, but not their parents.However, Canada hasfamily sponsorship programsenabling 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!

Why is Canada Looking for Immigrants?

Canadian cities and rural areas depend on newcomers to keep their populations growing and to support their labour markets. Canada also has an aging population, and without a robust system of immigration, Canada would be on a similar trajectory to that of Japan in the 1990s. But unlike Japan, Canada embraced immigration and that has allowed us to maintain a large proportion of the population in prime working age, between 25 and 54. This would not be possible without mass immigration to Canada.

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How to Immigrate to Canada (2024)


What are the requirements to immigrate in Canada? ›

Documents for Express Entry
  • a passport or travel document. ...
  • language test results.
  • proof of Canadian education or an educational credential assessment report for immigration purposes if. ...
  • provincial nomination (if you have one)
  • written job offer from an employer in Canada (if you have one)
  • proof of work experience.
Feb 21, 2024

How hard is it for a US citizen to immigrate to Canada? ›

If you qualify for one of the following programs, you may be eligible Canadian permanent residence through Express Entry. 80% of applications for permanent residency submitted through Express Entry are processed within 6 months, making it one of the fastest immigration systems in the world.

What is the easiest way to immigrate to Canada? ›

11 Easiest Ways to Immigrate to Canada in 2023
  1. Family Sponsorship. ...
  2. Study Permit. ...
  3. Work Permits. ...
  4. Start-up Visa. ...
  5. Atlantic Immigration Pilot. ...
  6. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. ...
  7. Humanitarian and Compassionate Consideration. ...
  8. The Intra-Company Transferee (ICT)

How much money will I need to immigrate to Canada? ›

How much money you need
Number of family membersFunds required (in Canadian dollars)
4 more rows
Feb 21, 2024

Can I move to Canada without a job? ›

Do not worry. You can immigrate to Canada without a job offer. Canada is a welcoming country that values diversity and welcomes immigrants worldwide. While having a job offer in Canada can increase your chances of being approved for permanent residency, it can be optional.

Is it difficult to immigrate to Canada? ›

Generally speaking, moving to Canada is not too difficult. Because Canada is open to welcoming new immigrants and offers several immigration programs, it's easier for you to qualify for one immigration stream. Still, you have to meet the requirements for the pathway you want to apply for.

How long can a US citizen stay in Canada? ›

Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada. If you're allowed to enter Canada, the border services officer may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months.

Can you immigrate to Canada if you are over 55? ›

Canada welcomes individuals over 50 for immigration, offering diverse programs for various backgrounds. Express Entry is a crucial pathway, but age-related points may impact eligibility; strategies to boost CRS scores include language proficiency and additional education.

How is cost of living in Canada? ›

Thus, the average cost of living in Canada can be around CAD 18,340 (INR 11,14531) per annum. Additionally, the monthly cost of living in Canada is estimated to be INR 68,792 (C$1,132 per month), excluding rent. Monthly expenses with rent are estimated to be $1,708 per month per person and $3,911 for a family of four.

Is there a downside to living in Canada? ›

Cost of Living: Canada has a high cost of living, particularly in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Housing, transportation, and food costs can be expensive. Weather: Canada has long and harsh winters, with snow and ice covering much of the country for several months each year.

What is the age limit for immigration to Canada? ›

What is the Maximum Age for Canadian Immigration? There is no specific age limit requirement for any Canadian immigration program. That said, in most categories of economic immigration, applicants 25-35 receive the maximum points. That doesn't mean older applicants cannot be selected.

What is the cheapest way to move to Canada? ›

There are four easiest provinces to immigrate to Canada in 2022: Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. The cheapest way to immigrate to Canada would probably be through applying directly to a Provincial Nominee Program. Absolutely. Yes, you can apply to both at the same time.

Who can sponsor me in Canada? ›

you (the person who wants to sponsor your relative) don't have a living relative you could sponsor instead, such as a:
  • spouse.
  • common-law partner.
  • conjugal partner.
  • son or daughter.
  • parent.
  • grandparent.
  • orphaned brother or sister.
  • orphaned nephew or niece.
Jan 11, 2024

How much is rent in Canada? ›

Cost of rent in Canada
City (Outside of Center)1-bed apartment3-bed apartment
4 more rows
Mar 21, 2024

What are the 4 types of immigrants in Canada? ›

Classification of admission category
  • 1 - Economic immigrant. ...
  • 2 - Immigrant sponsored by family. ...
  • 3 - Refugee. ...
  • 4 - Other immigrant.
Dec 29, 2023

Is it easy to go from US to Canada? ›

The U.S. and Canada share a border, which makes travel from one country to another accessible and relatively straightforward. Traveling to Canadian destinations is incredibly popular amongst U.S. travelers — almost 400,000 people cross the border every day.

Is Canada immigration easier than the US immigration? ›

Visas and Immigration

The USA is renowned for its complex immigration system, which can be challenging to navigate. In contrast, Canada has a more streamlined system, particularly through the Express Entry points-based system, making it generally considered more accessible.

Can a US citizen buy property in Canada? ›

There are no restrictions on non-Canadian ownership, which means that as an American, you have the same property rights as Canadians. This welcoming environment has contributed to Canada's popularity as a destination for international property buyers.

Is it easier to become a resident in Canada or in the US? ›

A. Contrary to popular opinion, it is much easier to immigrate to Canada than to USA. In general, USA immigration is employment based which means the easiest and fastest way to enter the USA is via a work permit. After that, an applicant can “adjust their status” for permanent residence.

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