The year is drawing closer to an end, and if immigration to Canada is in your plans for the future, right now is the perfect time to start taking steps to make it happen.
Finding your way to Canada
There is no shortage of opportunities for foreign nationals in Canada and many ways to get there. If you’re unsure where to start, immigration consulting services are a great way to learn more about your options and the immigration process.
There are over a hundred different Canadian immigration programs, but here are some of the most widely used. Not sure if any of these is the right program for you? Immigration consulting services can help you find one that is.
Federal High Skilled Continues to Dominate
The Express Entry category remains one of the most popular routes to Canadian permanent residency. This category includes Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. Under the revised 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) hopes to welcome up to 113,750 new permanent residents per year through Express Entry.
Express Entry is a two-step process leading to permanent residency for qualifying candidates. Interested candidates must first meet all the criteria under one of the three available streams:
• Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
• Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
• Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
Those who meet all the conditions for one of these programs will be able to create an online Express Entry profile through the IRCC website, which will require key information on your work experience, education, age, relationship status, and English/French language skills. Points are allocated for each category, and a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score will be given based on the information provided.
Express Entry draws are typically conducted every two weeks, and candidates who meet the points threshold for that draw will be issued an Invitation to Apply for permanent residency.
Provincial Nomination Programs Becoming Increasingly Important
While the Canadian Government is responsible for the main programs, target immigration levels, and all aspects of permanent resident and citizenship regulation, Canadian provinces have the power to choose immigration candidates that meet the province’s labour demands.
Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) are now Canada’s second most popular immigration pathway. Over the next three years, between 80,800 and 83,000 new permanent residents will come to Canada through one of these programs.
Provinces run some PNP programs, and others are aligned with the federal Express Entry system. For the non-Express Entry PNPs, candidates can research the province or territory they are interested in and then explore the available programs. Popular options right now include:
• Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
• British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)
• Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
• Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
• Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
• Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
• New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
Most PNPs require candidates to have a job offer, among other criteria, to apply and applicants must also meet all other conditions for immigration and admissibility to Canada.
The Express Entry system also regularly conducts PNP-specific draws, where candidates who have received provincial nominations are invited to apply for permanent residency. A provincial nomination automatically adds 600 points to a candidate’s CRS score.
There are two ways to apply for provincial nomination through the express entry system. The first option is to apply through a provincial Express Entry aligned steam, for example, the Express Entry BC Skilled Worker (EEBC) category. If you meet the conditions and receive a provincial nomination, you will create an Express Entry profile and indicate that you have been nominated.
Alternatively, you can create an Express Entry profile and indicate the provinces or territories you are interested in. Meet the specific needs of a region on your list, and you might receive a “notification of interest” from a given province with instruction on how to apply for a PNP through that province’s Express Entry Stream.
These are just a few of the options available to foreign nationals looking to immigrate to Canada. To learn more about any of these programs or find a program that is right for you, the immigration consultants at 5S Immigration Solutions are available to help.