When a new client contacts us about immigrating to Canada, one of the questions they often ask is “What immigration programs can I apply for?” This question is difficult to answer succinctly because there are so many different Canadian immigration programs, each with their own set of eligibility requirements.
Therefore, the answer to this question will differ depending on various factors pertaining to each individual. These factors include your qualifications, your goals, and your particular situation.
Today, we will describe some of the Canadian Immigration programs we typically handle applications for. We encourage you to seek out further information or guidance from a professional to determine which program is right for you.
Federal Express Entry – The Express Entry system is not an immigration program in and of itself. Rather, it is a system that manages the applications for immigration programs aimed at skilled workers. Therefore, you must apply to a skilled worker program (e.g. Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and Canadian Experience Class) fore your application to be managed through the Express Entry system.
Federal Skilled Worker Class – The Federal Skilled Worker program (FSWP) is designed for skilled workers who have foreign experience and want to immigrate to Canada permanently. This program has requirements for skilled work experience, language ability, and education. If you meet all of these requirements, your application will then be assessed by other factors such as your age, education, work experience, whether you have a job offer, and more.
Federal Skilled Trades Class – The Federal Skilled Trades Program is designed for skilled workers who want to become a permanent resident of Canada based on being qualified in a skilled trade. There are a few more requirements for this program than the FSWP. Eligible applicants will meet specific language standards, have 2 or more years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade (within 5 years of applying), meet job requirements according to the job’s National Occupation Classification (NOC), and have a valid job offer for a full-time position in Canada.
Canadian Experience Class – The Canadian Experience Class is for skilled workers who have Canadian work experience and want to become permanent residents. For this program, there are eligibility requirements for language ability and skilled work experience in Canada.
Provincial Nominee Programs (OINP) – The Ontario Immigration Nominee Program (OINP) contains various streams that are aimed at skilled workers, recent graduates, and entrepreneurs who are looking to come to Canada. These programs are created for those who want to settle permanently in Ontario with the ultimate goal of obtaining Permanent Resident status.
Caregiver Class – The Caring for Children Program is for those who have work experience in Canada as a home childcare provider. Successful applicants may be eligible to apply for Permanent Residence through this program. One of the core requirements for this program is that applicants must have at least 24 months of full-time work experience in Canada and this experience must have been acquired within the previous four years.
Family Class Sponsorship
The Family Class Sponsorship Program is for those who wish to bring their family to join them once they have settled in Canada. Not every family member is eligible to be sponsored; those who are eligible include your spouse/common-law partner, dependent child, adopted child, parent, or grandparent. Under certain conditions, you may also be able to sponsor a brother/sister, aunt/uncle, or nephew/niece. It is important to note that in order to be eligible to sponsor a family member, you must be 18 years of age or older and be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.
A study permit is a document issued to foreign nationals to study at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. The study permit allows the applicant to stay in Canada for the length of their program plus an additional 90 days, which allows them enough time to prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend their stay. Some of the requirements for the study permit include that the applicant is enrolled at a DLI, has proof of funds to support their stay in Canada, obeys the law, has no criminal record, and is in good health. Graduates may then be eligible to apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) or Permanent Residency through one of the programs listed above.
There are two types of work permits in Canada: open work permits and employer-specific work permits. Open work permits allow the applicant to work for any employer in Canada, while the employer-specific work permit requires them to work for a specific employer for a specific period of time and perhaps even in a specific location. Some of the different work permits classified as an Open Worker Permit include:
Temporary Worker Permits
Post-Graduation Work Permit
Regular Open Work Permit
Working Holiday Visa
International Experience Canada
Federal Skilled Trades Program
Federal Skilled Worker Class
Provincial Nominee Program
After spending a certain period of time in Canada, you are eligible as a Permanent Resident to apply to become a Canadian Citizen. Citizenship and Immigration Canada now requires you to prove your language proficiency as well as knowledge of Canada in either French or English.
It is important to note that the eligibility requirements outlined in this article are not comprehensive. Each program has a unique list of requirements, some lengthier than others. This article also does not contain every Canadian Immigration programs – there are over 80 different programs!
If you are unsure if you are eligible to apply for a specific Canadian immigration program, we recommend scheduling a consultation to determine your eligibility and chances of success applying to a specific program.