More than 60 Canadian immigration programs are available to individuals seeking to immigrate to Canada. A comprehensive assessment method evaluates a migrant’s eligibility across all categories. Ensuring you select the Canadian immigration category best suited for your circumstances can be overwhelming.
The path to Canadian citizenship begins by acquiring Canadian permanent resident status. Similar to a “Green Card” in the United States, a Canada Permanent Resident Card will enable you to work and live in Canada.
The federal government of Canada gives every province some selection discretion, most notably exemplified by the Provincial Nomination Programs. However, the level of deference afforded to Quebec is unrivaled. Quebec Immigration programs will typically have different selection criteria, based on Quebec’s cultural uniqueness. Despite the selection powers that provinces hold, all final Canadian immigration decisions fall under federal jurisdiction.
Work and study experience in Canada can be applied towards qualifying for Canadian permanent residency. In fact, finding a job in Canada will significantly increase your chances of qualifying for Canadian immigration. The general Canadian immigration categories listed below.
Permanent Status – Canadian Immigration Categories:
- Federal Skilled Worker
- Provincial Nominee Program
- Canadian Experience Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Class
- Family Class
- Business Investor
- Business Entrepreneur
- Business Self-Employed
- Quebec Immigration
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
Federal Skilled workers are foreign nationals with experience in specific occupations and who are issued Canadian permanent resident visas based on their ability to become economically established in Canada. Skilled Worker applicants are assessed based on a number of factors that forecast the likelihood of successful integration into Canadian society. Factors include, but are not limited to, the applicant’s work experience, language abilities and education.
Successful Skilled Worker applicants are issued Canadian permanent resident visas, allowing them to immigrate to Canada. Canadian permanent residents and their dependents have the right to live, study, and work anywhere throughout Canada, although they remain citizens of their home country. Permanent residents must make sure to meet Canadian residency obligations in order to maintain their permanent resident status and also to apply for their Canadian citizenship. Canadian permanent residents have rights provided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as the right to apply for their Canadian citizenship and to receive most social benefits that Canadians receive such as health care.
Skilled workers who want to immigrate to Quebec must apply through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, which is a different Canadian immigration program with different selection criteria.
- Provincial Nominee Program
Only the federal government of Canada may issue permanent resident visas, however, provincial nominee programs authorize provinces and territories to nominate particular foreign nationals to apply for their Canadian permanent residency. Provinces and territories nominate applicants based on the labour market and economic needs of each province or territory.
Once an applicant is nominated by a province or territory, he or she will be given a nomination certificate that is to be submitted with their application to the federal government for their Canadian permanent resident visa. Nearly every province and territory have a provincial nominee program, and applicants to those programs must intend to live in the province or territory they apply to.
Each provincial nominee program has different streams that applicants can apply under and they generally fall into the following five categories of streams: (i) skilled workers; (ii) semi-skilled workers; (iii) business/investors; (iv) international student graduates; and (v) family/community connections.
Below is a list of all the difference provincial nominee programs throughout Canada:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- North West Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed
Canada’s Federal Business Immigration program is designed for those foreign nationals who wish to use their business experience to immigrate to Canada. Applicants can only apply for one of the four classes listed below and the class cannot be changed after the application is submitted. A Canadian immigration lawyer at our firm can assist you and ensure a smooth application process. Below is a list of the four different classes available under this program, all of which have their own criteria and requirements:
- Immigrant Investor
- Federal Entrepreneur
- Self-Employed Persons
- Start-Up Visa Program
- Federal Skilled Trades
The Canadian Federal Skilled Trades program is a new Canadian immigration program for people who want to become Canadian permanent residents based on being in a qualified skilled trade. Applications are assessed based upon the applicant’s ability to become economically established in Canada.
This Canadian immigration program began in January 2013 and it will only be accepting up to 3,000 applications within the first year, and no more than 100 new applications per year for certain jobs.
Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to apply:
- Applicants must intend to live outside the province of Quebec (if you plan to live in Quebec please see the Quebec Skilled Worker Program page of our website).
- Applicants must meet the language requirements in French or English for each language ability (reading, writing, speaking and listening)
- Applicants must have a minimum of two years’ work experience (or the equivalent in part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within five years before the submission of their application.
- Applicants must meet all the job requirements for the particular skilled trade, as described in the National Occupational Classification (NOC);
Applicants must have a “full-time offer of employment” for a period of at least one year OR a “Certificate of Qualification” for their skilled trade which has been issued by a provincial or territorial body in Canada.