The United Nations ranks Canada as one of the best countries to live in the world. 250,000 people move to Canada every year. If you wish to be one of those people, here are the steps you’ll need to take.
Step 1 – Eligibility
Check your eligibility to move to Canada on Canada’s government website.
Some people are not allowed to come to Canada. They are known as “inadmissible” under Canada’s immigration law.
Inadmissibility reasons include:
– Security risk.
– Human or international rights violations.
– Criminal conviction, or committing an act outside of Canada that would be a considered a crime in Canada.
– Ties to organized crime.
– Serious health problems.
– Serious financial problems.
– Misrepresentation on the application or in an interview.
– Not meeting the conditions in Canada’s immigration law.
– Relative that is not allowed into Canada.
Step 2 – Apply for residency
In order to initiate the process of obtaining a permanent resident visa, you may contact the nearest consulate, high commission or an embassy of Canada or go online to download forms from http://www.cic.gc.ca/. Some categories of application can be completed online, for instance The Express Entry form for skilled workers, while others require a mail in.
At the basic level, obtaining a permanent resident visa requires the individual to:
– Provide a medical certificate and criminal record check.
– Fill in and submit a permanent resident visa application.
– Pay the application fee – roughly $550 Canadian dollars.
– Attend interviews with immigration representatives.
There are several categories under which individuals can apply for Canadian permanent residence:
Skilled Worker Class Immigration
Express Entry for Skilled Workers. The skilled worker class is considered by many to be the most effective way to gain Canadian residency. People with at least 12 months of full time managerial, professional, or skilled trade work experience may apply under this category. When applying through this class, officials will consider your age, work experience, education, and the field in which you will be working.
Business Class Immigration
These types of visas are meant for individuals who are entrepreneurs, own their own businesses, or who are professional investors. Investors who wish to apply through the investor channel must have a net worth of at least $10 million Canadian Dollars or more.
Provincial class residency occurs when a specific Canadian province selects you to move to it. This form of residency is relatively rare.
Family Class Immigration
In the family class, your family members who already live in Canada can agree to sponsor your immigration to the country.
Quebec-selected immigration is similar to Provincial class residency, except it is the Provincial government that selects you on behalf of the Federal Government. It is designed for students, business people, temporary workers, families, and refugees who only want to move to Quebec.
In the international adoption class, current Canadian citizens who have adopted a baby or child from another country can secure the child’s Canadian residency.
People who are fleeing their home countries for safety reasons may also apply for residency by completing a refugee application. Sponsorship to help with the cost of the application and relocating to Canada is also available.
If you are coming to Canada for the purpose of caring for a Canadian resident or citizen, then you may be able to apply for a Caregiver visa.
Self-Employed. If you work for yourself, then you may be able to apply for a visa as a self-employed individual. Keep in mind that you may have to prove that you have an income of at least $40,000 per year and that you could continue to earn as much living in Canada.
In addition, and depending on the nature and category of your application additional document may be required. For instance:
– Educational degrees, diplomas, and certificates.
– Personal identification documents.
– Sponsor letters and relevant information.
– Documents proving sufficient funds.
– Proof of refugee status.
– Language test results.
Even if you apply using the Express Entry form, you may have to wait for up to six months to get a response.
If your application is denied you may not appeal the decision, you can however reapply given your situation has changed in a significant way.
Step 3 – Move to Canada
When you move, you will need to have certain official documents with you in order to gain entry to Canada. You’ll need:
– A Canadian immigrant visa and Confirmation of Permanent Residence for each family member traveling with you.
– A valid passport or other travel document for each family member traveling with you.
– Two copies of a detailed list of all the personal or household items you are bringing with you.
– Two copies of a list of items that are arriving later and their money value.
Canada does offers free health insurance to residents and citizens, but you will need to purchase private health insurance to ensure coverage for up to three months after you first arrive in Canada.
If you are a refugee coming to Canada, then you may be protected by the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) and not need to purchase private insurance.
Social Insurance Number
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. You should apply for a SIN as soon as possible after you arrive in Canada.
To apply for your SIN, simply gather all the required original proof-of-identity documents and take them to the nearest Service Canada point of service. If everything is in order, you will get your SIN at the time of your visit.
Step 4 – Apply for citizenship
If you choose to stay in Canada and want to enjoy the rights of being a Canadian citizen, you may apply for citizenship after 3 years of residency. In addition to living in the country for 3 years, you must also be at least 18 years of age, be able to speak English or French, have an understanding of Canadian social protocols, and have passed a Canadian government and politics exam.
When these obligations are met, you will be granted legal Canadian citizenship. You will receive an invitation to attend a citizenship ceremony, where you will receive a certificate highlighting your Canadian citizenship.