How to Immigrate to Canada

Canada offers about 120 different immigration pathways for economic class candidates. Here are the most popular options.
Do you want to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker?

In 1967, Canada introduced the world’s first ever objective points system to assess whether immigration candidates could successfully integrate into the Canadian labor market. This was done through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) which continues to be one of Canada’s most prominent immigration pathways.
What has changed since 1967, however, is the number of additional Canadian immigration programs now available to skilled workers.
Canada is guided by its Immigration Levels Plan. It is seeking to welcome the highest levels of immigration in its history, over 400,000 new immigrants per year. About 60 per cent of these new immigrants will arrive to Canada under the economic class as skilled workers and business immigrants. About 25 per cent will arrive through family sponsorship, while the remaining 15 per cent will be welcomed as refugees.
Here is an overview of the most prominent options available to skilled workers.
Express Entry

Express Entry is the main way that Canada, , manages and welcomes skilled workers. IRCC is now aiming to welcome some 110,000 new immigrants through Express Entry each year.
The first step to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry is by ensuring you are eligible fewer than one of the three programs managed by Express Entry. The three programs are:
• Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
• Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
• Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
If you meet the criteria of one of these programs, you are eligible to create an Express Entry profile on IRCC’s website. IRCC will ask you to enter key information such as your age, relationship status, education, work experience, and English and/or French language skills.
Approximately every two weeks, IRCC holds Express Entry draws. It issues invitations to apply (ITA) for permanent residence to candidates with the highest CRS scores.
Applicants who have not lived in Canada before, chances are the FSWP will be the best way for you to become eligible for Express Entry. You are encouraged to enter the Express Entry pool once you confirm your eligibility to give yourself a chance to secure an ITA. Being in the Express Entry pool also gives you a chance to gain additional CRS points by securing a provincial nomination (600 extra CRS points) or a valid job offer (50 or 200 extra CRS points).
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Nearly every province and territory operates their own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). This means they nominate skilled worker candidates that meet their local labour market needs. Canada welcomes over 80,000 immigrants each year through the PNP.
Many provinces also operate PNP streams that align with Express Entry. If the applicant is eligible for both Express Entry and a PNP stream, a province can issue a provincial nomination invitation while the applicant is in the Express Entry pool which automatically adds 600 additional point to the total accumulated points in the applicant 's profile which virtually guarantees an Express Entry ITA.


The third most popular way to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker is by applying directly to the province of Quebec. Quebec has special status in Canada as the country’s only Francophone province. As such it operates its own immigration system and now seeks to welcome over 25,000 economic class immigrants each year. If Quebec approves your application, it issues you a Quebec Acceptance Selection Certificate. You then use the certificate to support the permanent residence application that you submit to IRCC.
Other Federal Programs

In recent years, IRCC has expanded the number of skilled worker programs that it operates to address regional and occupational needs.
If you wish to immigrate to an Atlantic province (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick or Nova Scotia), you may wish to consider the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. IRCC looks to welcome over 6,000 immigrants per year through the AIP.
As another example, IRCC operates the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot which accepts up to 2,750 applications per year. The pilot exists to find skilled workers who can help meet the labor market needs of Canada’s multi-billion dollar agriculture and agri-food industry.
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