The categories are Federal Skilled Worker, Quebec Skilled Worker, Provincial Nominee Program, Family Sponsorship, Business Immigrant and Canadian Experience Class. Each category caters to a slightly different group of immigrants, and comes with its own set of requirements. You can also come to Canada under the Asylum category or the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Read below to find out about which category applies to you.
The requirements of the skilled worker category are intended to assess applicants, who are likely to become economically established in Canada after arrival.
In addition to that, there are three other characteristics an individual must possess in order to be eligible to immigrate under the skilled worker category. The first is a minimum level of work experience. A skilled worker must have at least one year of continuous full-time employment (or the equivalent in part-time). This work experience must be of a skilled nature, satisfying either Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B in Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. This work experience must have come within the 10 year period prior to applying.
The second element of the skilled worker category is one of financial resources. This is a straightforward requirement – an applicant must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves and their dependents for 6 months after arrival in Canada. If you have an approved job offer, this requirement is waived.
The third element of the skilled worker category is a points-based assessment. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) uses a points-based system to measure an applicant’s potential for establishing themselves in Canada. Applicants are awarded points based on six different selection factors. An individual must reach 67 points on this assessment to qualify for immigration to Canada. A satisfactory score on this evaluation does not however guarantee approval, as Canadian Immigration Visa Officers may use their discretion to approve or refuse an application based on a substituted evaluation.
Education (maximum 25 points)
Language Skills (maximum 24 points)
Experience (maximum 21 points)
Age (maximum 10 points)
Arranged Employment (maximum 10 points)
Adaptability (maximum 10 points)
Altogether these three elements, along with other requirements such as security clearances and medical examinations, make up the bulk of the requirements to come to Canada under the Skilled Worker category. If you are applying to live or work in Montreal, or elsewhere in Quebec however, you must meet the selection criteria of the Province of Quebec, outlined below.
According to an agreement between the Province of Quebec and the Government of Canada, the Province of Quebec has its own selection process for the skilled worker category of immigration. If you intend to live in Quebec upon arrival in Canada you will be assessed based on the Quebec Selection criteria and not the evaluation used by CIC. The application process for immigration to Quebec uses a similar points-based system but with slightly different criteria.
Like the federal system, Quebec uses a points-based system to assess potential immigrants. To qualify for a Quebec Selection Certificate, single applicants must score at least 60 points from the ten selection criteria, while an applicant with a spouse or common-law partner must score a minimum of 68 points.
Validated Employment Offer (maximum 10 points)
Experience (maximum 9 points)
Age (maximum 18 points)
Language Proficiency (maximum 22 points)
Stay and Family in Quebec (maximum 9 points)
Spouse’s Characteristics (maximum 18 points)
Children (maximum 8 points)
Financial Self-Sufficiency (1 point)
Adaptability (maximum 8 points)
One way to speed up the process of immigration to Canada is through the Provincial Nomination Program (PNP). The PNP consists of partnerships between the Government of Canada and provincial governments to select individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and settle in that particular province. Most provinces in Canada have agreements in place to participate in this program. Under the terms of these agreements, provinces may nominate applicants who are in occupations in high demand, or who will otherwise make important contributions to the province.
To immigrate to Canada under the PNP, an individual must first apply for a Provincial Nomination Certificate to the provincial government where they would like to reside. Each province has different requirements based on their particular needs. To learn more about each province’s requirements. After receiving the Provincial Nomination Certificate, an individual then must apply for a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa. Provincial nominees receive priority processing for their permanent residency applications.The following provinces currently participate in the Provincial Nomination Program:
The Family Class Sponsorship program allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are at least 18 years of age to sponsor close family members, who wish to immigrate to Canada. To sponsor a relative for Family Class immigration to Canada, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must sign a contract promising to support the family member who wishes to immigrate for a period of three to ten years after their arrival. The length of the agreement depends on the age of the family member being sponsored, and the nature of the relationship. To apply for Family Class immigration, the sponsored relative must also sign a contract promising to make every effort to be self-sufficient.
To be eligible to sponsor a relative, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must demonstrate financial ability to provide for the essential needs of the sponsored relative, should that be necessary. As a general rule, the sponsor must also be physically residing in Canada in order to sponsor. An exception is made for Canadian citizens, who wish to sponsor a spouse, common-law partner or children if the sponsor can demonstrate an intention to reside in Canada by the time the sponsored relative lands in Canada.
The Business Immigration Program is designed to seek out individuals who are in a position to contribute to Canada’s economic development through their investment and managerial skills. Individuals who apply under this category have financial resources that will strengthen the Canadian economy and help create more jobs. Individuals with business experience and relatively high net worth may apply under one of three categories of the Business Immigration Program. Each of these categories targets a different contribution to the Canadian economy, and has its own requirements.
The Canadian Experience Class caters specifically to Temporary foreign workers and international students who wish to become Canadian Permanent Residents. Having obtained a Canadian education and/or Canadian work experience, these individuals have already settled into Canadian society and have established important networks in their communities and their careers.The Canadian Experience Class requirements are based on a pass or fail model. There are separate minimum requirements for the two types of applicants:
International Graduates with Canadian Work ExperienceApplicants must have:
As a world leader and champion of human rights issues, Canada also recognizes a responsibility to grant asylum to refugees who face danger, persecution and violations of their human rights in their country of nationality or habitual residence. Canada’s refugee system offers protection to thousands of such individuals each year. Refugees may be government-assisted or may be privately sponsored by individuals or organizations in Canada.
There are two main components to this program:
For individuals who wish to come work in Canada, they may apply for a temporary work permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. As a general rule these work permits require a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, though there are exceptions. In most cases it is possible to extend work permits from within Canada, but some work permits have a maximum duration.
In many cases work permits require that the employer obtain Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada which confirms that the employment will not adversely affect Canadian workers. There are a number of exemptions to this rule.
Spouses and common-law partners of individuals who hold a Canadian work permit may accompany the work permit holder to Canada. In many cases spouses are eligible to apply for an open work permit, which allows the holder to work for any employer in Canada.