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Canadian Immigration Programs Overview

Since there are at least 60 different Canadian immigration programs, selecting and applying through the right one isn’t an easy decision. But the most common ones today are Express Entry, Family, LMIA, and PNP, and in Quebec, through investing.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of each of Canada’s common immigration programs:

Express Entry

The main advantages of Express Entry is that it’s a relatively simple and fast-moving program.

You can secure a Permanent Residency (PR) card in as little as 6 months, assuming you fill-out and submit the application correctly.

You start the Express Entry process by filling out an online profile. In it, you must give the federal government details about your age, education, proficiency in English or French, etc.

Next, the government will measure your profile based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Those with high CRS scores will get an invitation to apply for PR from the government.

Once you’ve received an invitation, you have 60 days to submit your electronic application. This step is the most difficult and stressful part of the Express Entry process as it involves finding and getting all of the necessary documentation, especially in terms of education and past work. 

A good way to make it easier for yourself — and increase the chances of having your application approved — is to work with professional immigration consultants. 

Family Sponsorship

If you are already a PR card holder or Canadian citizen, you have the option of sponsoring your spouse and/or children (younger than 22 years of age) to land and settle in Canada.

To qualify for this program, you must show the federal government that you’re able to financially support your family. In addition, you must also have a clean record — no criminal charges and/or bankruptcies. Finally, you must agree with the government and your spouse to fully support your spouse for a minimum period of time after they arrive in Canada.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LIMA) Visa

To qualify for the LMIA Work Visa, you must receive a job offer from a Canadian company. In fact, under this process, you’re not the one applying for immigration, but your employer.

The challenge with LMIA is that many of the factors that go into the government’s decision to approve or deny your application are out of your control. 

For example, officials will examine if your wages are the average in Canada for similar work. They will also see if there’s a shortage of people in your profession in Canada, especially in
the industry of your employer. 

It’s a very difficult process, but if you’re approved, you’ll receive a PR card. 

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

PNP is similar to Express Entry in that it’s designed for fast-tracking foreign professionals into Canada. However, PNP is exclusively managed by provinces, and each province will have its own rules for how to qualify candidates and issue PR cards. 

Unlike Express Entry, there is no rule standard rule for PNP. To see if you qualify (especially for the province of your preference), you’ll need to look into each province’s rules. So, if you want to enter Ontario, you should speak to professional Toronto immigration consultants.

Canadian Investor Immigration

The federal government discontinued the Canadian Investor Immigration program in June 2014. However, a very similar program is still active in Quebec under the Quebec Investor Program.

The basic idea of this program is that high net-worth individuals can get PR by taking ownership of a Canadian business (or opening a new one). 

As you can see, each Canadian immigration program has its challenges and advantages. The key is finding the program you best qualify for — that’ll increase your chances of getting PR.