How to Immigrate to Canada

Updated: July 21, 2022

Each year, Canada welcomes more than 400,000 new permanent residents through its economic, family, refugee and humanitarian immigration categories.

The federal government oversees immigration policy through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which is responsible for managing the arrival of immigrants, providing protection to refugees, and offering resources and services to help newcomers settle in Canada.

Immigrants are important to Canada's ability to sustain and balance economic growth and taxpayer-funded services like education, pensions and health care. The Canadian economy depends on immigrants who are able to contribute to the country's labour market needs, pay taxes and spend money on goods, housing and transportation.

How to immigrate to Canada

Candidates who are interested in immigrating to Canada must go through several steps before obtaining Canadian permanent resident status at the conclusion of the immigration process.

These steps may vary depending on the immigration pathway that you are applying under, however the general process can be broken down into the following steps:

Step 1. Determine your eligibility

To be eligible for Canadian immigration, you must meet the eligibility requirements of a Canadian immigration program

The eligibility criteria of an immigration program will vary depending on the purpose of the pathway:

  • Economic immigration pathways target professionals who have the skills and experience (i.e. education and work experience) necessary to address Canada's labour market needs and support the economy.
  • Family class immigration pathways are designed to reunite Canadian permanent residents and citizens with their close family members.
  • Refugee immigration provides protection to foreign nationals who have a well-founded fear of returning to their home country because of persecution for reasons of race, religions, nationality, or because they face civil war, armed conflict, or have suffered human rights violations.

This page will provide you with an overview of several immigration pathways that Canada offers. Your first step will involve carefully considering the pathways available and reviewing the eligibility criteria of the immigration programs included under them. 

Step 2. Collect your documents

Once you have identified an immigration program for which you may be eligible, the next step involves collecting the necessary supporting documents that will be required of you throughout the immigration process.

These documents include:

  • a valid passport or travel document
  • identity and civil status documents (i.e. birth, adoption and marriage certificates)
  • police certificates
  • proof that you completed an immigration medical exam
  • proof of funds (ability to financially support yourself and your family)
  • digital photos to confirm your identity
  • proof of work experience (i.e. work reference letters)
  • language test results (i.e. IELTS or TEF)
  • an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
  • an offer of employment from a Canadian employer (if you have one)
  • provincial nomination (if you have one)

The necessary documents will vary depending on the program you are applying under as well as your particular circumstances. Once you have identified an immigration program for which you may be eligible, research the documents required for the process and start preparing them as soon as possible. 

Step 3. Submit an application for permanent residence

Once you have determined your eligibility for Canadian immigration and prepared the necessary documents, the next step involves:

  • completing application forms (usually electronically);
  • uploading copies of your documents;
  • paying your fees; and 
  • submitting your application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Once your application has been submitted, it will undergo a review and be subject to the processing times of the program you applied under.

If your application is approved, you will receive authorization and instructions on how to activate your Canadian permanent resident status.

What are the eligibility requirements to immigrate to Canada?

There are more than 100 immigration pathways that lead to Canadian permanent residence, each with their own purpose and criteria designed to attract newcomers from all over the world and support Canada's vision of diversity, multiculturalism and economic growth.

Economic immigration pathways

Economic immigration is designed to help boost Canada's population growth and labour force by attracting foreign nationals who wish to settle in Canada permanently based on their skills and experience.

Economic immigration programs generally require candidates to have:

  • skilled work experience in an occupation classified as Skill Type/Level 0, A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system
  • a post-secondary diploma, certificate or degree supported by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
  • intermediate or higher language ability in English or French supported by an approved language test
  • sufficient settlements funds
  • connections to a Canadian province or territory (i.e. close relative, previous work or studies in the province or territory)
  • arranged employment (in some cases)

Express Entry

The main pathway for economic immigrants to come to Canada is through Express Entry, which processes applications from skilled workers under the following economic immigration programs:

  1. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  2. The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  3. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  4. A portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Candidates who meet the eligibility requirements of one of the programs above can submit an Express Entry profile to the pool of candidates.

After submitting a profile, candidates are ranked using a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which awards points for their:

  • age
  • level of education
  • official languages proficiency (English and French)
  • work experience (Canadian and foreign)
  • brother or sister living in Canada (permanent resident or citizen)
  • arranged employment (if applicable)
  • provincial nomination (if applicable)

Candidates in the Express Entry pool with the highest CRS scores during an invitation round receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to process applications in under 6 months.


Canada intends to welcome more than 110,000 new permanent residents through Express Entry each year.

Do you want to immigrate to Canada?

Get FREE access to the ultimate step-by-step guide to Express Entry immigration.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals based on criteria designed to address their specific economic and demographic needs.

Each PNP is made up of multiple streams (or pathways) that target specific groups of individuals, such as:

  • skilled workers
  • entrepreneurs
  • students
  • individuals with specific occupational experience (i.e. health professionals, farmers and long-haul truck drivers)

Candidates who meet the requirements of a PNP and are nominated by a province or territory can submit an application for permanent residence at the federal level.

Which PNP stream is best for me?

With more than 80 PNP streams to choose from, the first step involves reviewing the eligibility criteria of each stream to determine which pathway you would be able to meet the requirements for:

The northern territory of Nunavut does not have a PNP, while Quebec has separate economic immigration programs that are not managed through Express Entry or a PNP.

Quebec immigration

The federal government has granted Quebec autonomy in its immigration regulations and policies, allowing the province to operate its own immigration programs which are distinct from other federal and provincial immigration programs.

Quebec's selection criteria targets skilled workers who are able to adapt to life in the primarily French-speaking province.

To immigrate to Canada as a Quebec Skilled Worker, candidates must apply in a two-step process:

  1. You apply to the Government of Quebec and are assessed according to the province's selection criteria. If you are selected, you will receive a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec or "CSQ").
  2. Once you have been selected and obtained a CSQ, you are then able to submit an application for permanent residence to IRCC.
Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)

Quebec's Regular Skilled Worker Program selects candidates who are able to economically establish themselves in the province according to a points-based system that evaluates factors such as:

  • education level
  • field of study/area of training
  • French and English language ability
  • connections to Quebec (i.e. previous visits, studies and work experience, family in the province)
  • accompanying spouse or common-law partner factors (if applicable)
  • accompanying children (if applicable)
  • a validated job offer from a Quebec employer (if applicable)
  • financial self-sufficiency
Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)

The Quebec Experience Class (PEQ) selects foreign students and temporary foreign workers in Quebec with an intermediate level of French language ability (NCLC 7) across two categories:

  1. Temporary Foreign Workers: For skilled workers who are legally working full-time in Quebec in an eligible occupation classified as Skill Type/Level 0, A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) for at least 24 of the 36 months before they submit an application.
  2. Quebec Graduates: For graduates who have obtained an eligible diploma, as well as eligible work experience in Quebec following the completion of their study program. Candidates must also have stayed in Quebec for at least half the duration of their study program.
Quebec Permanent Immigration Pilot programs

The Quebec pilot programs allow foreign workers or Quebec graduates in specific fields to settle permanently in the province.

The three pilot programs that are currently offered target workers in the following fields:

  1. food processing
  2. orderlies
  3. artificial intelligence, information technologies and visual effects

The pilot programs came into effect on April 22, 2021 and are scheduled to remain open until January 1, 2026, allowing for the selection of 550 individuals and their family members each year under each pilot.

Quebec business immigration

There are currently three streams that target businesspeople who wish to settle permanently in Quebec:

  1. Entrepreneur ProgramFor foreign entrepreneurs who want to start or purchase and run a business in Quebec. 
  2. Investor ProgramFor foreign investors who want to invest in a business in Quebec and who have business management experience.
  3. Self-Employed Worker ProgramFor professionals or businesspeople who wish to immigrate to Quebec in a self-employed position.

To be eligible under a Quebec business immigration stream, candidates may be required to:

  • create and operate a business in Quebec
  • present a business plan as well as a service offer
  • own and control a percentage of a created or acquired business' capital equity
  • have a minimum in legally acquired net assets (net worth)
  • have management experience
  • make a start-up deposit at a financial institution located in the region where they intend to practice their trade or profession
  • have work experience as a self-employed worker in the profession or trade they intend to practice in Quebec
  • invest a certain amount of money in Quebec

The requirements listed above will vary depending on the program you are applying under.

Your application will also be assessed across other factors, such as:

  • your age and the age of your spouse or common-law partner (if applicable)
  • your education and the education of your spouse or common-law partner (if applicable)
  • your English and French language ability and the language ability of your spouse or common-law partner (if applicable)
  • your financial self-sufficiency (ability to support yourself financially)
  • your previous visits to Quebec
  • your family in Quebec

Business Class immigration

Businesspeople who are seeking new challenges and opportunities can apply under several immigration pathways that allow them to settle in Canada permanently.

Start-Up Visa Program

The Start-Up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs who can innovate, create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale by establishing a business in Canada.

To be eligible for the Start-Up Visa Program, candidates are required to:

  • have a qualifying business
  • get a letter of support from a designated organization
  • meet language requirements
  • have enough money to settle and live in Canada
  • be admissible to Canada

Application processing times for the Start-Up Visa Program currently vary between 12 and 16 months.

Self-Employed Persons Program

The Self-Employed Persons Program targets individuals who wish to settle in Canada permanently and who:

  • have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics
  • are willing and able to make significant contributions to Canada's cultural and athletic life as a self-employed person
  • are able to score at least 35 points out of 100 on a selection grid that measures candidates across five selection factors:
    1. Education
    2. Experience (relevant self-employed experience)
    3. Age
    4. Language ability in English and/or French
    5. Adaptability (i.e. previous work or studies in Canada, relatives in Canada, spouse or common-law partner's level of education)
  • can meet medical, security and other conditions

Application processing times for the Self-Employed Persons Program are currently 36 months.

Provincial Nominee Program business pathways

Many of Canada's provinces and territories have business immigration streams that target entrepreneurs and self-employed persons who wish to settle in Canada permanently. 

Candidates who have been accepted by a PNP under a business stream receive a provincial nomination which allows them to submit an application for permanent residence at the federal level.

Alberta business immigration 

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) has three streams for entrepreneurs who plan to buy or establish a business in the province:

  • Graduate Entrepreneur Stream (GES) - for qualified international graduates from post-secondary institutions in Alberta who wish to establish a business in the province following graduation.
  • Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream (FGES) - for qualified foreign graduates outside Canada who wish to launch start-up enterprises and innovative businesses in Alberta.
  • Farm Stream - for entrepreneurs with significant financial resources and farm management experience who wish to establish or purchase an existing farm in Alberta.
  • Rural Entrepreneur Stream - for entrepreneurs who want to start or purchase an existing business in a rural Alberta community. 
British Columbia business immigration 

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) offers three pathways to qualified entrepreneurs under its Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) stream:

  • Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category - for experienced entrepreneurs with senior management or business ownership experience who wish to establish new businesses or take over and grow existing businesses in B.C. This pathway is currently suspended and will announce when new registrations will be accepted in early 2022.
  • Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot - for entrepreneurs who wish to participate with regional B.C. communities in establishing new businesses that align with the communities' economic development priorities.
  • Strategic Projects - for foreign corporations that wish to establish a subsidiary or branch office in B.C. that strategically aligns with their core business.
Manitoba business immigration 

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) recruits and nominates qualified business investors and entrepreneurs through its Business Investor Stream, which includes two pathways:

  • Entrepreneur Pathway - for experienced entrepreneurs with senior management or business ownership experience who wish to establish, purchase or become partners in a business in Manitoba within the first 24 months of their arrival in Canada on a temporary work permit.
  • Farm Investor Pathways (FIP) - for individuals with proven farm business experience, sufficient capital to invest and who are willing to establish and operate a farming business in rural Manitoba.
New Brunswick business immigration

The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) offers two streams to qualified entrepreneurs who are ready to establish and operate a business in the province:

  • Post-Graduate Entrepreneur Stream (PGES) - for individuals who have graduated from a recognized university in New Brunswick or the New Brunswick Community College and have acquired or started a business in the province.
  • Entrepreneurial Stream - for experienced entrepreneurs who are willing to own and operate a business in New Brunswick.
Newfoundland and Labrador business immigration

The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) has two streams targeting prospective entrepreneurs and graduates who want to reside permanently in the province:

Northwest Territories business immigration

The Northwest Territories Provincial Nominee Program (NTPNP) has a Business Stream for candidates who want to start, purchase or invest in and operate a business in NWT. This stream has paused its intake of new applications until further notice.

Nova Scotia business immigration

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) targets candidates with business ownership and senior management experience across two streams:

  • Entrepreneur Stream - for entrepreneurs who are willing to start a new business or purchase an existing business in Nova Scotia and actively participate in its daily operations.
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream - for recent graduates of a Nova Scotia university or the Nova Scotia Community College who have bought and operated a local business for at least one year continuously.
Ontario business immigration

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) offers an Entrepreneur Stream to experienced candidates who wish to start a new business or purchase an existing business in Ontario.

Prince Edward Island business immigration

The Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEIPNP) offers the Work Permit Stream to foreign nationals with business ownership or extensive management experience interested in moving to PEI  to start their business.

Saskatchewan business immigration

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) offers three streams to entrepreneurs and farm owners who wish to settle permanently in the province:

  • Entrepreneur Category - for foreign nationals residing in Saskatchewan interested in obtaining or partnering in a business in the province and actively manage its operations.
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Category - for international students who graduated from a post-secondary educational institution in Saskatchewan and who are planning to start a business in the province.
  • Farm Owner and Operator Category - for entrepreneurs with proven farming experience who plan to buy and run a farming business in the province and who have significant capital to invest in a farming operation.
Yukon business immigration

The Yukon Nominee Program (YNP) offers a business stream to foreign entrepreneurs who intend run their business in Yukon. Approved candidates are issued a 2-year work permit from the federal government allowing them to settle with their family and establish their business.

Family Class immigration

The purpose of family class immigration is to reunite Canadian permanent residents and citizens with their family members.

Under the family class category, a Canadian sponsor must sign an undertaking to financially support sponsored family members by providing for their basic needs for a specified period so they do not have to rely on social assistance from the government. 

To be eligible, the sponsor must be:

  • at least 18 years old; and
  • a Canadian permanent reside or citizen; or
  • a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act

The close relative being sponsored must be a:

  • spouse, common-law or conjugal partner
  • dependent child
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • adopted child outside Canada or child to be adopted in Canada
  • orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild 

There are additional requirements for the sponsor and person being sponsored depending on the type of family class application.

Spouse or Common-Law Partner Sponsorship

The spousal and partner sponsorship pathway allows Canadian permanent residents or citizens to sponsor their:

  • Spouse: an individual (husband or wife) you are married to under law (legally valid civil marriage). This applies to same-sex couples, provided the marriage was:
    1. legally performed in Canada
    2. legally recognized in the country where the marriage took place and in Canada
  • Common-law partner: an individual you have been living with for a period of 12 consecutive months in a conjugal (marriage-like) relationship.
  • Conjugal partner: an individual you have been in a genuine, interdependent relationship with (not simply a physical relationship) for at least 12 consecutive months where marriage or cohabitation was not possible for reasons beyond the control of the couple (such as religion or sexual discrimination)

Dependent Child Sponsorship

Canadian permanent residents or citizens can sponsor their dependent children outside Canada for permanent residence provided they are:

  1. under the age of 22 years old; and
  2. they do not have a spouse or common-law partner

Children over the age of 22 may also be considered "dependent" provided:

  1. they depended on their parents since before they were 22 years old; and
  2. they cannot support themselves financially based on a physical or mental condition

Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship

The Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) allows Canadian permanent residents or citizens to sponsor their parent(s) and grandparent(s) for permanent residence through a lottery invitation system.

The process of obtaining permanent residence through the PGP is broken down as follows:

  1. Potential sponsors must first fill out and submit an "interest to sponsor" form
  2. IRCC then randomly selects sponsors from the pool of submitted interest to sponsor forms and invites them to apply
  3. If you are invited to apply, there are 2 applications:
    1. you must apply to become a sponsor; and
    2. your parent(s) or grandparent(s) must apply for permanent residence
  4. If you are approved as a sponsor, IRCC will evaluate the eligibility of the person you wish to sponsor
  5. If the person you wish to sponsor is approved, they will receive:
    •  a Confirmation of Permanent Residence, or COPR
    • a permanent resident visa (if applicable)

Both the sponsorship and permanent residence applications must be submitted electronically at the same time.


IRCC has already met its quota for the 2021 intake period. Between September 23 and October 4, 2021, IRCC issued 34,500 invitations to sponsors in order to meet its intake threshold of 30,000 complete PGP applications. The application deadline has now passed. IRCC will announce details regarding the 2022 intake period some time next year.

Parents and grandparents of a Canadian permanent resident or citizen may also have an option to visit their children or grandchildren for up to two years at a time with a Super Visa without having to renew their status. This visa allows parents and grandparents to enter Canada multiple times for up to 10 years.

Sponsoring a close relative through Quebec

In addition to the standard sponsorship prerequisites, Quebec residents are required to meet additional requirements for sponsorship and sign an undertaking with Quebec.


Canada aims to welcome more than 100,000 new permanent residents under the family class immigration category each year.

Refugee Resettlement 

A refugee is an individual fleeing persecution and serious human rights violations in their home country with no hope of relief. Through its refugee protection system, Canada welcomes those who seek refuge or asylum protection, and allows them to stay in the country and apply for permanent resident status.

Canada offers two programs to refugees seeking protection status:

  1. Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program - for individuals who are applying from outside Canada
  2. In-Canada Asylum Program - for individuals who are applying from within Canada

How do I apply as a refugee in Canada?

Individuals seeking refugee status status in Canada must first be referred by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or a private sponsorship group to be considered. Once referred, they will need to:

  1. meet the definition of a Convention refugee or be a member of the Country of Asylum class:
    • Convention refugee - if you are outside your home country and cannot return because of a well-founded fear of being persecuted on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion (i.e. sexual orientation, gender, etc.)
    • Country of Asylum class - if you are outside your home country and cannot return because of civil war or armed conflict, facing torture or cruel and unusual punishment, or you have been denied basic human rights
  2. pass a medical exam
  3. pass a security background check

Quebec selects its refugees according to separate prerequisites, taking into consideration your capacity for integrating into the province.

How do I apply for Asylum in Canada?

To apply for Asylum, you need to submit an application from inside Canada in one of two ways:

1. At any port of entry (airport, seaport or land border) when you arrive in Canada, following which a border services officer will:

  • ask you to complete the required forms
  • ask you for details regarding your situation
  • collect your documents and proof of identity
  • take your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

If the officer determines that you have a valid refugee claim, they will give you:

  • a Refugee Protection Claimant Document (RPCD), which confirms that you made a refugee claim and if you are eligible for health care under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP)
  • a Confirmation of Referral, stating that your case has been referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)
  • basis of claim form
  • instructions for completing your medical exam

2. Submitting your claim online after you have arrived in Canada through the Canadian Refugee Protection Portal, provided you are already in Canada or a border services officer has instructed you to submit your claim online

How much money do you need to immigrate to Canada?

The amount of money you will need to immigrate to Canada will vary depending on the immigration program or category that you are applying under, as well as the number of family members included on your application.

The following tables will provide you with:

  • application processing fees
  • settlement fund requirements
  • estimated costs associated with the process (i.e. language tests, ECA, medical exams, etc.)

For the purposes of this section, all fees will be in Canadian dollars (CAD).

Express Entry costs

Candidates applying through Express Entry do not have to pay anything for creating their profile. However, once they have obtained an Invitation to Apply (ITA), there are costs associated with submitting an electronic Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR):

Application Fees


Principal applicant processing fee ($825) and right of permanent residence fee ($500)


Spouse or common-law partner (if applicable) processing fee and right of permanent residence fee


Dependent children included on the application (if applicable)

$225 per dependent


$85 for the principal applicant / maximum fee of $170 for a family of 2 or more people

In addition to application processing fees, there are additional expenses associated with the process that candidates must consider.

Language tests 

Express Entry candidates are required to do an approved language test in English and/or French:

The costs associated with the exam will vary depending on the country and testing center location. 

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Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

The cost of an ECA ranges between $200-220 CAD without courier fees and applicable taxes.


The cost of an ECA through the Medical Council of Canada and Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada are higher. You will need to contact the regulatory board for your occupation to find out how much it costs.

Medical Exam cost

The average cost of a medical exam reported by most immigration candidates is $200 CAD, ranging between $150-500 CAD depending on several variable such as:

  • the location of the exam
  • the panel physician administering the exam
  • the age and health of the individual examined

If required, you would also need to pay any additional diagnostics or specialist referrals resulting from your initial exam.

Translation services

Supporting documentation in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by an official translation of the original. Applicants should use the services of an accredited (officially recognized or authorized) translator.

The cost for a certified translator will vary greatly depending on the provider, with fees ranging around $25 CAD per page up to 250 words, and an additional $25 CAD per 250 words above this limit.

Settlement funds 

Candidates applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program and Federal Skilled Trades Program are required to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family for settlement in Canada. The amount required will depend on the size of your family:

Number of family members

Funds required in $CAD















For each additional family member


Do you want to immigrate to Canada?

Get FREE access to the ultimate step-by-step guide to Express Entry immigration.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) costs

Candidates applying through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) must pay additional application processing fees based on the province or territory they are applying to:

PNP Application Fees


Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)


British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)


Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)


New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)


Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)


Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)


Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

$1,500 or 2,000

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEIPNP)


Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)


Immigrate to Canada FAQs

Can I move to Canada without a job offer?

Yes. In most cases, you do not need a job offer to meet the eligibility requirements for Canadian immigration.

Do I need a job offer for Express Entry?

No. If you are applying through Express Entry, you will only need a job offer if:

Even though having a valid job offer is not required for Express Entry, candidates who are able to secure one receive additional points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score under arranged employment:

  • 200 CRS points if the offer of employment is in a NOC 00 job
  • 50 CRS points if the offer of employment is in a NOC A, 0 or B job

Since candidates in the Express Entry pool with the highest CRS scores are most likely to be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence during a draw, obtaining a valid job offer should be a point of focus for anyone trying to maximize their chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

Do I need a job offer for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

Many PNPs offer pathways (or streams) that do not require candidates to have a valid job offer.

Some of these PNP programs are aligned with the Express Entry system (enhanced nominations), while others exist outside the Express Entry system (base nomination).

The following immigration pathways do not require candidates to have a valid job offer:


Stream / Program

Express Entry-aligned?





British Columbia


British Columbia


British Columbia


British Columbia
















New Brunswick


New Brunswick


Northwest Territories


Nova Scotia


Nova Scotia


Nova Scotia


Nova Scotia














Prince Edward Island


Prince Edward Island






















Is Canada looking for immigrants?

Yes. Immigration plays a key role in Canada's economic development and population growth. Canadian immigration minister, Sean Fraser, has gone on record saying he plans to maintain, and even increase, Canada’s efforts to grow the labour force with foreign workers.

The Government of Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024 reveals that Canada aims to welcome 431,635 new permanent residents in 2022 (a significant increase from 2021's 401,000 target), and 447,055 new permanent residents in 2023. This year-over-year increase of new permanent residents reflects Canada's ever-growing need for immigrants.

Is Canada easy to immigrate to?

Though immigrating to Canada isn't simple, many believe the rewards of living in Canada outweigh the challenges associated with the immigration process.

Compared to many countries, Canada is a peaceful nation that offers higher than average living standards, work conditions, a globally recognized education, a rich and diverse multicultural landscape and a world-renowned social and healthcare system.

Immigrating to a new country is never easy. If you are interested in making Canada your new home, it is important to bear certain facts in mind:

  • You must be eligible for Canadian immigration by meeting the eligibility requirements of an immigration program. In most cases, meeting the eligibility criteria involves an evaluation of your human capital profile (i.e. education, work experience, language ability, etc.). Canadian immigration programs generally target individuals (or groups of individuals) who have specific skills, experience, or ties to Canada.
  • Canadian immigration takes time, involving an application process that lasts several months (occasionally years) before a candidate obtains permanent residence. 
  • Canadian immigration is not free. There are costs associated with the immigration process, such as fees for submitting an application, undergoing a language exam or educational credential assessment, translating your documents if they are in a language other than English or French, etc. In most cases, candidates are also expected to have sufficient settlement funds for their settlement in Canada.
  • Canadian immigration can be complicated and overwhelming for some. With more than 80 immigration pathways available, you are expected to do your due-diligence by researching the requirements, determining which program is best-suited to your needs and profile, collecting the necessary documentation, and completing the required forms correctly. 
  • Immigration consultants or lawyers cannot expedite the process or help you bypass the requirements of Canadian immigration. Representatives do not dictate or have any control over immigration policy or procedure. They cannot issue visas, nor can they guarantee the success of your immigration application. Only Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is responsible for selecting immigrants, issuing visas, and granting citizenship. You may engage the services of a legal representative if you require assistance in discovering your options or submitting your application. However, it is crucial that you verify the authorization of any legal representative and take steps to to protect yourself against fraud.

What is the processing time for Canada immigration?

Canadian immigration processing times will vary depending on several factors, such as:

  • the type of application you submitted
  • the completeness and accuracy of the information in your application
  • how long it takes for you to respond to requests or concerns from IRCC
  • the number of applications being processed by IRCC
  • your country of residence

Express Entry processing times

Most Express Entry applications are processed within 6 months from the day they are submitted. Express Entry manages applications for the following economic immigration programs:

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) processing times

The average processing time for a PNP application is 15 to 19 months outside the Express Entry system. If you have been nominated through an Express Entry-aligned PNP and are invited to apply through Express Entry, your application will be processed within 6 months.

Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) processing times

The average processing time for a Quebec skilled worker application is 15 to 17 months (at the federal stage only). This does not include the time it takes to receive the Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec), which are usually processed by Quebec within 6 months.

Spousal and Partner Sponsorship processing times

Spousal sponsorship applications are typically processed within 12 months, but may take longer depending on the nature of your case.

Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship processing times

The processing time for the Parents and Grandparents program is 12 to 24 months. If your Parent or Grandparent is applying for a Super Visa, processing times will vary depending on their country of residence. On average, Super Visas are processed between 75 and 171 days.

Refugee Sponsorship processing times

Refugees can expect to arrive in Canada within 4 months after the sponsorship has been approved. This does not include factors that are beyond the control of the Canadian government, such as conditions in the refugee's home country.


Due to COVID-19, IRCC is incapable of processing applications within the normal time-frames and cannot provide accurate processing times for most applications.

What is the fastest way to immigrate to Canada?

Express Entry is one of the fastest ways to immigrate to Canada. The Canadian government aims to process applications through Express Entry in 6 months or less.

If you are interested in applying, check out our Express Entry Blueprint - the ultimate step-by-step guide for Express Entry immigration.

What does permanent resident mean in Canada?

A Canadian permanent resident is someone who is able to live, work and study anywhere in Canada indefinitely. To obtain permanent resident status, a foreign national must immigrate to Canada by applying through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) under one of several immigration programs. After a certain period of time, Canadian permanent residents are able to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Can I leave Canada as a permanent resident?

Yes. However, to keep your permanent resident status, you must be in Canada for at least two years (730 days) in the last five years. These days do not need to be continuous and some of your time abroad can be counted towards your residency requirements.

What is the maximum age to immigrate to Canada?

Even though there is no maximum cut-off for age, candidates may begin to start losing points for age under several points-based system, such as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) or the Federal Skilled Worker points-grid. If you are applying through Express Entry, the best age is between 20 and 29 years old.


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The Express Entry Blueprint