How to immigrate to Canada is a common question among those looking to move overseas and possibly get a permanent residency in another country. However, how and when to do it may be more precise questions, as there are so many different programs, and CRS points definitely favour those between the ages of 25-35. They are likely to score the best as this group of people can bring the most economic value to any country they decide to move to. 

To immigrate to Canada, you will need to choose the best program that applies to you. You will also need to make sure you fulfill the eligibility requirements for that program and collect the supporting funds and funds for the fees. Once all of this is done, you can start collecting the documents and make your application. When you get the Invitation to Apply, simply submit the documents and wait for your visa or permit to be awarded to you. It is really as simple as that. 

However, if you are younger or older, not all is lost. Canada has a lot to offer, and among its offers are many immigration programs. If you know a Canadian employer willing to give you a job position, have family members in Canada, or would like to study there, you are all set. In this article, we will go through a number of ways to go to Canada and gain access to all the benefits that this country has to offer. 

Effective Ways to Immigrate to Canada Easily

In fact, immigrating to Canada can be a very easy process. For as long as you know the reasons for your immigration, there will be a program suited to your needs. Every year has a high annual immigration target, so Canada is expected to receive 1.3 million immigrants between the years of 2022-2024. This is not a small number – it is an entire city of people. 

And you could be among those for as long as you arm yourself with time, patience, and sufficient funds. In many cases, such as when you have a valid job offer, a Canadian sponsor, or a good scholarship, even the support funds will not be an issue. For those that cannot provide any of these, there are other ways. Now, we will outline the pros and cons, immigration goals, and basic information about some of the most common immigration programs used today. 

Express Entry

The Express Entry program is a program by the Canadian Government that was born out of the need to drastically reduce processing times for a Canadian visa. Not only does it take roughly six months for a full process, but the information from this program can be sent to other immigration programs, such as Provincial Nominee Programs, so that, effectively, you have at least two chances to receive your ITA (Invitation to Apply). 

Under the Express Entry program, there are three subcategories: 

  1. The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  2. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) 
  3. The Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

Together, these programs let in as many as 320,000-440,000 people onto the Canadian soil. The best thing about this program is that you can make permanent residence applications and get your answer in as little as six months. The application process is really simple, with you manually entering your results, only to upload the documents if the first application round was successful. This is a great approach and it saves a lot of time – this is what makes the program so popular. 

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Provincial Nominee Programs

The next best deal when it comes to immigrating to Canada for potential immigrants and the best deal when it comes to the government reaching their Canadian immigration targets are PNP – Provincial Nominee Programs. As each province has a specific profile of potential immigrants that they are looking for, this may be a great chance for all who do not fit all the requirements of the Express Entry to get another chance. If you do get nominated, you will receive 600 CRS points to count towards your final score. 

The Provincial Nominee Programs were designed to help people with a lower skillset or a lower level of education to apply for a Canadian visa and to get it approved within a record time. This is the best chance for all those who have a connection to the province. The idea is not to limit the influx of immigrants but rather to make sure that they have connections to Canadian society that they can use to get integrated into Canadian society faster. 

Each PNP has its own application requirements. Each of these programs also has its own processing time and processing fees that need to be paid. However, some of them do not charge a processing fee at all, and some may even draw on applications from the Express Entry pool to enrich the workforce market of these Canadian provinces. As always, these programs will give you access to healthcare, and the many Canadian immigration options ensure that there is a way to step on Canadian soil for everybody. Normally, the processing fee for a PNP is not higher than CAD1,500 per person. 

Business Immigration

If you have had your own business or still do and would like to take that business with you to Canada, you are in luck. The Canadian demands for immigration are the direct result of its own wish to ensure it has enough workforce behind its own borders. But the lack of workforce does not mean that you will not be given a chance to migrate your business and open more workplaces. 

The beauty of these programs is that they help secure your Canadian Immigration Program ranking, and most of them will let you take your family with you. Beware that there are many forms of business immigration and that you may not need a business to apply for one. Even if you do not have a business yet, but would like to start one when moving to Canada, you could easily decide to start one up – and there are separate Start-Up Visas for young entrepreneurs such as yourself. 

Family Sponsorship

The next best deal is the family sponsorship to immigrate to Canada. As business immigration programs may not be best suited for all, the entire immigration process can then be carried out through family sponsorship. If you have a family member in Canada, and if they have citizenship or a PR status, this may be the best of all the immigration channels for you to come to Canada. 

Under this program, you can be sponsored by a parent, grandparent, sibling, child or even a grandchild. Beware that blood relations may not be necessary for this – adoptees are still considered family members. The same goes for partners, even same-sex partners, for as long as the relationship is official (a common-law partner) and monogamous (Canada does not recognize the ability to marry multiple people). The entire sponsorship can cost as little as CAD1,135 per person you sponsor, and the fees will only increase if you want to take them to Quebec. 

Canadian Investor Immigration

This program was designed to stand out among dozens of immigration programs because it is specifically aimed at those who can contribute the most to the economic immigration categories: high-net-worth individuals who can invest in the Canadian economy and make it grow even bigger. With this being said, an individual who could apply for this program should have a net worth of at least CAD800,000 and be willing to invest CAD400,000 for a minimum of five years in a government-approved investment fund. There is the Federal Investor Program and the Quebec Investor Program. 

Dual Citizenship for USA and Canada

Is it worth moving to Canada from the USA? Yes, it might be worth moving to Canada from the US. In fact, many USA students choose to do so because the schooling prices and the tuition fees are generally lower. In addition to this group of young people, many elderly US citizens decide to move to smaller cities and towns in Canada, for the prices are lower and the healthcare is more affordable and universally accessible. 

To learn about whether moving to Canada in your particular case makes financial sense, it is best to hire a Canadian immigration lawyer or one of the Canadian immigration attorneys and check in with them. Moving is never an easy task, and doing it right from the beginning is a necessity. Thankfully, both Canada and the USA allow dual citizenship, which should mean that you can keep both citizenship, or you can simply apply for a Permanent Resident status in Canada. 

USMCA/NAFTA

USMCA (United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement) was formerly known as NAFTA (North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement). This agreement allows for easier moving of products and easier immigration between these countries. It was this agreement that some economic immigration programs were based around. With this in mind, experienced immigration professionals can help you move to Canada with ease. 

Professional

If you are a professional and would like to move under the Professional USMCA/NAFTA stream, you will need to be qualified in one or more of the targeted professions. These include accountants, engineers, lawyers, medical and scientific staff, and more. You will also need to have a valid job offer, and you should bear in mind that self-employed individuals may not use this program to enter Canada. 

Intra-Company Transfers

This agreement has also enabled companies that work in two or all three of the aforementioned countries to move their staff around with more ease and to secure a steady growth of all their branches. To move to Canada as a part of an intra-company transfer, you will need to have worked in the company that’s moving you for at least a year, be employed by the company at the moment of application, and have to work in a managerial or otherwise specialized role so that your move could be justified. 

Traders and Investors

If you are looking to immigrate to Canada as a part of the traders and investors stream, you should know that the job offer you will get to apply for the Express Entry is going to bring in additional CRS points (usually 200). With this in mind, this stream is suited for all who are investing in Canadian businesses and would like to move there to help the business grow. 

Cost for Canada Immigration

When it comes to the cost of migrating to Canada, this is usually the tripping stone for many. Canada wants to make sure that the load on its great social welfare programs is kept at a reasonable level, so you will have to prove that you are able to support yourself for the duration of your stay in Canada. 

In general, your immigration journey will start with you paying for the paperwork in your own country. These costs are entirely up to you, and they do not depend on the government of Canada. On the other hand, you will also have to pay the processing fee for your program (up to CAD1,500 for PNP programs, CAD2,300 for a single applicant, and CAD4,500 for couples applying through different programs). 

On top of this, you will also need settlement funds (CAD13,000 for a single applicant) and additional fees (Biometrics fee – CAD85). You may need even more funds, such as those to cover the moving costs and educational costs (if applying for a student visa or a student permit). You may also need to consider the costs of healthcare until you can gain access to Canadian healthcare systems and the cost of tuition if you plan to send your children to a private school. 

Requirements for Canada Immigration

There are strict requirements for PR Canada. Canada is one of the safest countries in the world, and it intends to stay that way. For that reason, Canada is pretty strict when it comes to proving that you fulfill all the prerequisites that it sets for immigration to its territory. If you cannot provide all the necessary documents and proofs, your application will not be considered, and your application fee will be kept. 

In general, Canada does not ask for too much. Here are some basic documents that you will need for the Canadian visa application process, but beware that different programs may have different requirements and that some programs may even ask for in-person applications out of some applicants, but not all. Here are the documents you will need for a proper application process: 

  • A valid passport
  • The Canadian Visa Application Form
  • Evidence of Canada Visa Fee Payment 
  • Two passport Photographs
  • Proof of Funds to Support Yourself 
  • Proof of Intent to Return to Your Citizenship Country (unless applying for a permanent residency)
  • Police Clearance
  • Medical Clearance 
  • Letter of Invitation to Canada
  • Letter Outlining the Purpose of Your Visit 

You will also need to stay away from criminal organizations, committing crimes, and areas known for epidemics of contagious diseases, as this can significantly slow down your application process and even deem you inadmissible to Canada. 

What You Should Know Before Moving to Canada

Needless to say, your educational experience, employment experience, and other ways to interact with Canada will differ from what you are used to in your home country. When it comes to Canada, this democratic country differs from so many others in terms of property ownership, healthcare costs, opening a bank account, and the taxes that you are expected to pay. As this may be too much to learn on the go when you move there, all overseas applicants are advised to learn about these differences BEFORE moving to Canada. 

Buying/Renting in Canada

When you move to a developed country such as Canada, you should know that this is one of the most popular countries to move to. This means that there is a high demand for housing and that the housing costs can be quite high. For this reason, it is best to first use hotels and motels. Then, think about renting a place rather than buying one in the first place. You should know that you would need some time to be financially stable enough to purchase a place of your own. As housing prices are high in Canada, especially in large cities, it is probably best to start looking for a place on the outskirts of the city and commute to work. 

Healthcare

Canada has some of the best healthcare services in the world. Still, it is necessary to know that you will not have access to this national healthcare the moment you set for Canada. For the initial period of around three months, you should pay for private healthcare and use the time to learn more about Canadian healthcare insurance. Some costs that may have been covered in your country, such as dental insurance, free prescription medication (even with patient participation), and even ambulance or emergency service, are not included in the insurance. 

Establishing a Bank Account

Another thing that you should do immediately after coming to Canada is to start looking for a way to open a bank account. Luckily, there are many banks working in Canada, and there are even banks that have tellers specialized to work with new immigrants. The National Bank of Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada are among those, and so are the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the Bank of Montreal. 

Taxes

In many countries around the world, people pay a single tax. This is not the case in Canada. In Canada, you pay several taxes. They include income taxes at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels. Besides this, with every purchase you make, you will be charged sales taxes as well, and you will also have to pay property taxes, to name a few. If you are self-employed, you will have to pay the taxes on your own, which includes calculating the taxes as well. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Moving to Canada

Canada is a vast country that offers great education and job experience, as well as many opportunities for all types of applicants for their generous immigration programs. With the exception of investor immigrants, most newcomers to Canada will need to start looking for a job or come to Canada with a job offer right away. They will be greeted by a welcoming labour market that is very multicultural and diversified. 

Besides this, Canada will greet you with their social services, low crime rates, beautiful nature, and a stable government that focuses on human rights and easing the pathways of immigration for all. As immigration needs are slowly being fulfilled and you settle in, you can soon find out that Canada also has some disadvantages for all newcomers. 

Among these are the taxes that are paid to the Federal government, the provincial government, and the municipal government. Individual provinces have their own tax rates, and even the sales tax may be different and superimposed onto the prices you see in the supermarkets. 

Besides these, Canada is most disliked for its very cold weather and very high costs of living. If you think you are overpaying for the services and goods, try considering a smaller place in the vicinity of a large city to live in. You could also consider moving to a different province. When it comes to the weather, besides Victoria and the places in the coastal regions and the vicinity of the Great Lakes, there are very few places in Canada that offer moderate climates. 

how easy is it to move to canada

Other Options to Immigrate to Canada

When it comes to the Canadian immigration policy, there is not a single immigration pathway. The visas and immigration programs outlined above support the mass immigration of hundreds of thousands of people every year. Still, if none of these apply to you, you can search further for a suitable immigration pathway or someone for a sponsorship application. An economic immigrant will always have higher chances over refugee claimants and humanitarian and compassionate immigrant nominees. However, Canada still provides a chance for everyone to change their country of residence to Canada. 

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class is a popular immigration program that allows people with previous work experience in Canada to join the immigration stream and immigrate to Canada. As this stream is available under the Express Entry program, the process with immigration papers and the definite application processing time is usually around six months. You will need to have worked in Canada for at least a year to join this program. 

Humanitarian and Compassionate Application

If you come from an area devastated by natural disasters, wars, or similar issues, you may be able to get into Canada through a humanitarian and compassionate application for a visa or a refugee immigration service. The same may be true for people whose rights are not respected (such as homosexual individuals or couples), and who are persecuted or otherwise endangered in their own country. A total of 18% of immigrants come through these programs. 

Refugee Claims

When it comes to refugee claims, they are reserved for those coming from countries where they are persecuted for political reasons. Unlike others, these kinds of immigrants can show up at a Port of Entry and can ask for an entry visa or a refugee visa there. They will need to prove the reasons why they cannot go back into their own country, but this is a risky path to take because the entry requirements still may not be fulfilled. In this case, the person will be neglected entrance into the country. 

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Progam

The Atlantic immigration pilot program (AIP) is available only in the following provinces: New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia. As these provinces have long-term labour shortages and gaps with immigrants, this program was presented as a way to ease the entrance of immigrants and to help populate the regions further. 

FAQs

Is Canada a Good Place to Live?

Yes, Canada is an excellent place to live. Everybody who has minimal work experience is willing to get study permits, work permits, or has money to invest is welcome to this country. Canada is a great state to live in and has great education, healthcare, and social benefits to offer to all. 

Who Can Sponsor Me to Canada?

If you are looking for sponsorship to travel to Canada, your move there can be sponsored by the Canadian government, a Canadian company, or a domestic company from your country of citizenship. If these do not work for you, you could even ask a family member or a relative to sponsor your arrival. At a cost of as little as CAD1,135, you, too, could move to Canada under the Family Sponsorship program. 

Is College Free in Canada?

No, college is not free in Canada. In fact, an average student has to pay around CAD6,800 for a school year for tuition fees. On top of this come books and other supplies, as well as housing, healthcare, food, and any other personal expenses a person may have. Luckily, there are government sponsorships, scholarships, external scholarships, family sponsoring, and grants that can all reduce these expenses. A full scholarship, for example, will cover 100% of the tuition fees, with some covering even the housing costs. 

What Happens to My Social Security if I Move to Canada?

If you decide to move to Canada as a USA citizen or user of social security, that social security will remain intact for as long as you have made the minimum requirements to start collecting it in the first place. When it comes to the Social Security Number (SSN), it is issued once and is valid for life. Moving to Canada will not impact your Social Security in any way. 

Final Thoughts

The attitude toward migration has been changing in recent years, and it has become clear that Canada is working hard to make the immigration process safer and easier for all. With over 80 programs available, there are a number of ways to immigrate to Canada, be your immigration for economic or health reasons. In any case, our immigration to Canada guide is there to make the process of moving to this beautiful country easier for you and to help you make more informed decisions.