Every day, people make the decision to move to a new country. It can be a difficult choice, but the opportunity to start over in a new place is too great to pass up for many. Canada, for example, is one of the most popular destinations for immigrants around the world.
With its diverse landscape and welcoming attitude, it’s no wonder people are eager to move to the Great White North. But before you take the plunge, there are a few things you should know about immigrating to Canada. Here’s what you need to know to start the process.
Canada’s Immigration Pathways
There are a number of different ways to immigrate to Canada, each with its own benefits and requirements. Here’s a snapshot of some of the common pathways used by those immigrating to Canada.
- Express Entry Program: The Express Entry program is a fast, efficient way to apply for permanent residency in Canada. It’s a points-based system that awards points for things like age, education, work experience, and language ability.
- Canadian Immigration Family Sponsorship: The Canadian Immigration Family Sponsorship pathway is a way to immigrate to Canada if you have a family member who’s a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Your Canadian sponsor must have adequate resources to support you. Canadians can sponsor spouses, dependent children, parents, and grandparents.
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): The Provincial Nominee Program is a great way to fast-track your application for residency in Canada. Each province has its own PNP, and each one has its own requirements. So, you’ll want to see if your background matches a specific field a province wants to grow.
- Federal Skilled Worker Program: The Federal Skilled Worker Program is a points-based system that awards points for things like age, education, work experience, and language ability. It’s for skilled workers with foreign work experience.
- Federal Skilled Trades Program: The Federal Skilled Trades Program is also a points-based system that awards points for things like age, education, work experience, and language ability. It’s for those with work experience in a skilled trade.
- Québec Selected Skilled Workers Program: The Québec Selected Skilled Workers program is similar but separate from the federal programs mentioned above. It’s also based on a point system. However, Québec sets its own criteria, including demonstrating proficiency in French.
Canada’s Immigration Points System
Canada uses a points system to determine who’s eligible to immigrate to the country. You must score at least 67 points out of a possible 100 for most pathways.1 The higher your score, the more likely you are to be accepted into one of Canada’s immigration programs. Here are some of the factors that are awarded points.
- Age: You can receive points for your age, with younger immigrants receiving more points than older immigrants.
- Education: Points are also awarded for your level of education, with higher levels of education receiving more points.
- Work experience: Your work experience is another way to earn points, with more points being awarded for longer periods of work experience.
- Language ability: Additionally, you can receive points for your language ability in English or French.
Work Permits in Canada
If you’re interested in moving to Canada temporarily, then you’ll want to look into a work permit. Depending on your field of work, requirements vary. For instance, you may need to have a job offer from a Canadian employer.
General eligibility requirements include proving you can support yourself financially and aren’t criminally inadmissible.2 While a work visa is temporary, it can help you decide whether you want to apply for permanent residency at some point.
The Cost of Immigrating to Canada
Immigrating to Canada generally costs about CAD $2,300 for a single applicant and about CAD $4,500 for a couple.3 However, those figures don’t include the minimum settlement funds that most immigrants need to have on hand.
Settlement funds vary by the size of your family. Here’s a look at the minimum amount of money immigrants need to prove they have to be eligible to immigrate.
- Household of 1: CAD $13,310
- Household of 2: CAD $16,570
- Household of 3: CAD $20,371
- Household of 4: CAD $24,733
- Household of 5: CAD $28,0524
You’ll want to thoroughly research the costs because they can vary by immigration pathway and province. You may want to work with an immigration lawyer, which is another cost to factor in.
Consider Getting Help From an Immigration Lawyer
If you want to immigrate to Canada, then you may want to get help from a Canadian immigration lawyer. Immigration lawyers can help you with every step of the process, from preparing your application to helping you settle in Canada. They can also provide helpful advice and support during the application process.
Immigrating to a new country can be a complicated process, so an immigration lawyer can be a valuable resource. After all, they have a deep understanding of Canadian immigration law and the application process. While hiring an immigration attorney costs money, it may help you avoid wasting money on an application that gets rejected.
Top Cities To Move to in Canada
As you look into immigrating, you’ll also want to research Canadian cities to help you decide where you want to live. There are a number of great Canadian cities to check out. Here are some of the top cities to consider.
- Toronto: Toronto is the largest city in Canada and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It’s home to many great jobs. Toronto is also a great city for immigrants because of its large immigrant population and welcoming attitude.
- Vancouver: Vancouver is located in the beautiful province of British Columbia. It’s known for its mild climate, stunning scenery, and great quality of life. Vancouver is also a popular destination for immigrants since it has a large immigrant population and diverse culture.
- Montréal: Montréal is the largest city in Québec and one of the most bilingual cities in Canada. In fact, more than half of the population speaks both French and English.5 So, immigrants will want to keep that in mind. The city feels like a slice of France with a lot of old-world charm.
- Calgary: Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada.6 As one of the prairie provinces, Alberta is home to cattle ranches and oil refineries, although Calgary has a cosmopolitan feel.
- Victoria: Victoria is located on Vancouver Island and is the capital of British Columbia. It’s known for its mild climate, great quality of life, and historic architecture. Victoria has a smaller immigrant population than Vancouver, but it’s a lovely city worth considering.
Things To Keep in Mind
Now that you know a bit more about immigrating to Canada, keep researching to determine if making the move is right for you. The application process can be complex, so you’ll want to read up and consult with an immigration lawyer if you have questions.
Remember, Canada is one of the most popular destinations in the world for a reason — it has something to offer everyone! It’s known for a high quality of life and strong sense of community spirit. From Toronto to Vancouver, it’s full of vibrant cities to call home.