Different immigration pathways to Canada cost different amounts of money, so how much does it cost to immigrate to Canada, in general? Well, the answer depends and it depends on many factors. Bringing additional family members or a dependent child has a big say in the total cost, and so does having a contract with one of many Canadian employers and the exact economic immigration pathway you decide to take. 

In general, the total cost will depend on the family size, the fees there are to pay, and whether you have an employment contract or a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. The province you would like to immigrate to also has a bit of a say, with British Columbia being the most popular, thanks to a variety of immigration programs and relatively low PNP application fees. In general, you can expect to pay CAD1,500- CAD2,000 per applicant (except children), plus the settlement funds that you need on your bank balance. 

How Much Does Immigration to Canada Cost?

As we’ve already said, during the application process, you should pay different fees. These may be generally divided into permanent residence fees and temporary residence fees. The former are more expensive, but they can result in permanent residence or even citizenship. When it comes to the latter group, they are usually cheaper, as the processing times are shorter and the screening process simpler. Let’s consider both in more detail. 

what do i need to move to canada

Permanent Residence Fees

The permanent residence fees are paid only if you are making a permanent residence application. Before applying for these programs, you should always check in with a Canadian Immigration lawyer to find the program best suited for your exact needs. The true costs of these fees are transparent, and remain the same in most cases. You are expected to pay CAD515 per applicant. Usually, these fees are paid at the same time as the application processing fees – this way, you can save on processing time further on. Please have the money ready beforehand, as you will have to pay for this within the 60-day deadline limit after you receive your ITA (invitation To Apply). 

Temporary Residence Fees

Usually, simply getting a permanent residence is not enough. For this reason, many people decide to travel to Canada for a short time and see if it works for them. Luckily, there are different ways to immigrate to Canada temporarily. Temporary resident visas (TRVs) are available to all who would like to visit Canada and to all who are eligible to do so. In general, acceptable proof of funds required should include the money for the period of time that you plan to spend there, and a clear medical examination and police clearance are needed for this. 

Additional Costs to Immigrate to Canada

Of course, the government fees outlined above are not the only costs associated with immigration to Canada. Besides these, and especially for the permanent residence programs, you will also have to pay for language tests, biometrics, medical exams (if applicable for temporary residence programs as well), and other expenses. Let’s have a more detailed look. 

Language Tests

The language tests can cost quite a lot. In general, you can expect to pay CAD200 – CAD300 per language test per family member. Yung children may be exempt from taking language tests. Always remember to check out which language tests and band scores are considered for minimum requirements, as taking a non-standard language ability examination will not be taken into consideration for the application process itself. When it comes to the test itself, there are also transfer expenses, as these centers are not strictly available in every city in the world. Here are the tests acceptable by the Canadian government: 

  • CELPIP – General test – English Language
  • IELTS – General Training option – English Language
  • TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français – French Language (all four skills) and 
  • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français – French Language (all four skills)


The biometrics will be asked for almost every immigration program. The biometrics that will be taken from you include a digital photo (biometrics photo) and all fingerprints. The biometrics fee is CAD85, and there is a limit to how much you pay: families pay a flat rate of CAD170, while groups of 3 or more people pay CAD255, for as long as you all give biometrics at the same time and at the same place. 

Medical Exams

The medical exams are asked for permanent residence visas and also for temporary visas, for as long as you have visited high-risk regions (with active epidemic outbreaks) in the year prior to the application. Similarly to language skills tests, the price of medical exams depends on the country you are in and the clinic you will be examined in. 


Of course, there are other expenses to consider with all types of permanent resident visas and short-term visas. These expenses include, but are not limited to: 

  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Educational Credentials (usually, the diploma will suffice, and so will the degree, but you may need to translate thee)
  • Cost of Traveling to the Biometrics Collection Center and the Language Skills Testing Center
  • The translation cost (with an affidavit done by a court-sworn translator or a notary public)
  • The fees you have to pay to get copies/originals of all other supporting documents that you may need during the application process
  • All other expenses connected to the application and immigration process

What Proof of Settlement Cash Is Admissible for Canadian Immigration?

Although settlement funds are not considered to be an expense, they are still on the eligibility criteria of most economic immigration programs. The Canadian immigration options are many, but the Canadian government still wants to make sure that you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay there and that you will not put additional strain on their social programs. Every Canadian immigration consultant can help you with this, but most immigration experts agree that the following proof of funds looks the best on a Canadian immigration application: 

  • bank statements
  • cash
  • stock
  • bonds
  • treasury bills
  • checks issued to your name
  • travellers’ checks
  • other monetary forms. Please beware that less-than-standard forms of money or value (such as cryptocurrency) will not be accepted. Furthermore, having property in a value equal to or exceeding the settlement funds for your family size is not enough; however, selling the property and having cash deposited into your bank account works well. 

Settlement Funds for Canadian Immigrants from the IRCC

In general, the settlement funds are a fixed amount of money calculated per family member, which you will be showing to the Canadian immigration authorities to showcase that your immigration journey is covered and that you will not rely on others to cover your expenses during your stay in Canada. Some programs may allow travelling to Canada without these funds, but then, you will have to have a valid job offer, employment contract, or a sponsor from Canada. For temporary short visits (TRV-type visa), you can be sponsored by a family member only. For study permits, you can be sponsored by a specific company or even the Canadian government. 

In general, these are the settlement funds that you will need: 

Family SizeSettlement Funds – CAD
Every Additional Family MemberCAD3,706
Source: Canadianvisa.org

PNP Candidates’ Processing Fees and Settlement Funds

Although Express Entry is the fastest and the most popular immigration pathway, there are also a number of provincial programs that attract many immigrants. With these, you can get a start-up visa or a permanent residency among others and the biggest advantage that these programs have is that you do not have to pay as much as you do for Express Entry. However, considering that Express Entry gives you access to most PNP (Provincial Nominee Programs), it is safe to say that this is your best bet. 

Even if you do not score well on the CRS scale, getting the PNP status will grant you an additional 600 points and you will be able to pass on a shorter notice, depending on how successful candidates are in that draw cycle. Still, these programs entail some costs, which are generally around: 

Fee TypeFee Amount in CAD
Principal Applicant Application Processing FeeCAD1,365
Spouse or Common-Law PartnerCAD1,365
Dependent Child Fee – per ChildCAD230

Costs of Temporary Visas and Immigration Documents

So, if you would like to travel to Canada for a shorter time and get an idea of a genuine Canadian experience, you will have to pay some fees as long as you do not live in a visa-exempted country. Here are some Temporary Resident Fees that you may pay, based on your temporary immigration goals:

Visa TypeFee in CAD per person
Study PermitCAD150
Work PermitCAD155
Visitor VisaCAD100
Family Visitor VisaCAD500
Working Holiday Visa (International Experience Canada)CAD153

Besides this, you may also need to pay the eTA (electronic Travel Authorization – CAD7), depending on the country you come from. Do not forget that visa-exempt countries allow you to travel to Canada for a period of a maximum of 3-6 months only with an eTA.

Check Out How Much You Need to Immigrate to Canada:

Ways to Immigrate to Canada Easily

If you liked your stay in Canada, you need to decide on the type of visa that you will be applying for and start collecting money for the visa processing fees. Whether your language proficiency is good enough or not, you can judge by your stay in Canada, but you will still need to be tested into one of the official languages in Canada (English and French) as this is a prerequisite for you to enter the pool of candidates. Having health insurance is also a necessity, but this is something you can take care of after a successful application. 

This being said, and knowing your immigration needs and basis (skilled workers use one program, while those accompanying their children need a super visa), it is time to choose the type of immigration you would like to undertake. In general, you can provincial nominee programs, business immigration pathways, Express Entry, and even family sponsorship if you have close family members in Canada. 

Express Entry

Express Entry allows some 300,000 immigrants to enter Canadian territories and provinces every year. The program is issued by the Federal Government and is aimed at foreign workers with or without Canadian work experience. It offers three basic streams or pathways for you to undertake on your journey to the permanent residence: 

  • FWT – Federal Skilled Trades
  • FSW – Federal Skilled Workers
  • CEC – Canadian Experience Class

Provincial Nominee Programs

Provincial Nominee Programs, on the other hand, are issued by specific provinces and are aimed at filling up the deficient workplaces and are aimed at all with skilled work experience. These programs usually provide child care or elderly care opportunities to a single person, but there are also those that provide chances to entire families. If Canada is your dream country, these programs are aimed at you, regardless of your country of origin. You will still need to cover your living expenses (proof of settlement funds), but you can also get a job offer directly through a PNP and immigrate without these funds. 

Business Immigration

Business immigration is aimed at all high-net-worth individuals who would like to start a Canadian company or to love their existing business there. When it comes to skilled immigrants they are better off using the Express Entry program, but they may choose to start a business once settled there. These business immigration programs offer chances to CEOs and those in higher managerial positions to move there. In some cases, you can even be sponsored: the sponsorship fee is paid by your Canadian company, and these can only be paid when you move from another branch in the same company to the existing branch in Canada. 

Family Sponsorship

In case you already have family members in Canada, family sponsorship is the best bet that you can make. The sponsorship application itself is made by your close relative living in Canada and is delivered to Canadian authorities who need to revise it and deem it acceptable or not. At the same time, you or whoever else is looking to immigrate applies for a specific visa type in their local visa office. The program allows you to sponsor or be sponsored by: 

  • a grandchild or a child 
  • a sibling 
  • a spouse or a common-law partner
  • a parent or grandparent
  • (under special conditions) by your last remaining relative


What Is the Monthly Cost of Living in Canada?

The cost of living in Canada differs quite a lot between different territories and provinces. In addition to this, living in a large city can also significantly increase your living costs. However, the average falls somewhere around CAD736 (Canadian Dollars), while a family of four will need just a bit over CAD2,300 for a decent life. The average cost does not reflect how most Canadians live but is a good indicator of how much funds you will need to start your life in Canada. 

Can an American Live in Canada?

Yes, an American can live in Canada. However, as a US citizen, you can only stay in Canada for a short period of time – visitor visas are generally issued for a period of up to 6 months. If you would like to join permanent residents of this country, you will need to submit an immigration application and start the whole immigration process. This process can last as short as six months, depending on which of the Canadian immigration programs you’ve chosen. 

How Much Do Canadians Pay in Taxes?

Canadians pay a bit more in taxes than other developed countries. When it comes to the average taxation rate, Canadians pay on average 25% of their income towards taxes. This is a percent more than the rest of the developed countries. Although this may seem too much, Canadians do enjoy free and universal healthcare and free education, which is something many developed countries cannot provide their citizens with. 

Can US Citizens Go to College in Canada?

Yes, a US citizen can go to college in Canada. When it comes to the legal aspect of your stay here, you will need to obtain a study permit and will need proof of funds while there. A single applicant will also need to provide proof of paid funds to the visa office and will need to demonstrate their plans in the US after the graduation takes place. 

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for ways to immigrate to Canada, you understand that there are significant expenses to be covered so that you can realize your Canadian dream. Starting from tuition fees for students all the way to airplane tickets and processing fees, you will need to secure sufficient funds to meet the minimum eligibility requirements. This being said, this guide is supposed to bring closer to you the exact expenses of moving to Canada and the entire visa application process.