How to Immigrate to Canada from India

Canada aims to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, 500,000 in 2025 and plateau at 500,000 in 2026 There are many pathways to immigrate to Canada and secure Canadian permanent residence, however, the Elation Visas Team in India is committed to helping you keep things simple and fast.

Easiest Ways to Immigrate to Canada

The easiest way to come to Canada will depend on your own unique profile or connections to the country. With Canadian immigration targets higher than ever, now is the time to start your immigration journey.

It should be noted that there is no one simple way to immigrate to Canada. While some programs may be easier for you to apply to, the process is long and involves many steps.

While immigrating to Canada does require a significant financial and emotional investment, the end result is worth it. Canada consistently ranks among the best countries for quality of life and is known for its positive attitude toward immigration.

These are the four most popular ways for overseas applicants to migrate to Canada:

1. – Canada Express Entry Program

Express Entry is Canada’s fastest and most popular immigration program. Candidates that apply through the Express Entry system can receive permanent residence status as soon as six months.

By 2025, Canada plans to invite half a million newcomers. Of which a large percentage will come through one of the three streams of Express Entry:

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW);
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC); and
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

The Express Entry system involves submitting an online profile that is scored by Canada’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). To submit an Express Entry profile, you must first be eligible under one of Canada’s above three federal streams. The Canadian government then issues invitations to apply for permanent residence to the highest-ranking candidates in the Express Entry pool.

The Express Entry process may be the easiest way to come to Canada for certain candidates eligible to submit a profile. It can be difficult to meet the CRS cut-off in the federal draw. However, just by being in the pool of candidates, you could be nominated for permanent residence by a province.

The cost of immigrating to Canada through Express Entry is typically about $2,300 CAD for a single applicant, or about $4,500 CAD for a couple. This does not include the settlement funds that must also be shown as part of the eligibility requirement, which will vary by family size.

Visit our Express Entry page to learn more about submitting a profile and how to increase your ranking in the pool.

2. – Canada PNP (Provincial Nominee Programs)

The Canada Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is an immigration program designed to allow provinces and territories in Canada to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and settle in a particular province or territory. Each province and territory operates its own PNP tailored to address its specific economic and labor market needs.

Throughout the pandemic, provinces continued to nominate overseas workers for Canadian permanent residence. By 2025, Canada plans to welcome 117,500 new immigrants through PNPs.

There are countless nominee programs offered by Canada’s ten provinces and three territories. Each PNP has its own unique eligibility criteria. Many PNPs require a connection to the province to apply for nomination. However, there are some programs that invite overseas candidates solely based on their ability to respond to the province’s labour market needs.

Each PNP has its own application processing time. After receiving a nomination, PNP candidates must apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence. The time it takes to process the permanent residence application will depend on whether the PNP operates using the Express Entry system.

The cost of immigrating to Canada through a PNP is usually the same as Express Entry, with some additional fees, depending on the province. Certain provinces don’t charge a fee to process PNP applications, while others, such as Ontario, can charge up to $1,500 CAD.

3. – Canada Business Immigration Process

Canada offers several business immigration programs designed to attract entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed individuals who can contribute to the country’s economic development. These programs are available at both the federal and provincial levels, each with its own criteria and benefits.

The federal government offers immigration programs for individuals that plan to be self-employed in Canada or start up a business in Canada.

There are also several PNPs specific to overseas candidates interested in starting a business in a certain Canadian province.

Business immigration programs typically require a significant investment in the company you intend to start in Canada. The amount required will depend on the program you are interested in. Many PNPs have regional entrepreneur programs that require a lower investment for candidates interested in starting a business in a less populated area.

Canadian Immigration Programs Overview

Canada offers a variety of immigration programs designed to attract skilled workers, entrepreneurs, students, and family members. These programs are managed at both the federal and provincial levels, providing multiple pathways to permanent residence and citizenship. Here’s an overview of the main immigration programs in Canada:

There are more than 80 pathways to immigrate to Canada! We will outline the broad categories of Canadian immigration in an effort to keep things simple for our readers. Click on the links to the specific programs to learn more about the requirements and qualifications needed to be eligible to apply. 

Economic and Business Immigration Options

Economic and business immigration options are for professionals who have skills that support the Canadian economy. Each program differs greatly in the qualifications required so no one-size-fits-all description is possible. 

Economic and business immigration categories include:

  • Provincial Nominee Programs
  • Express Entry
  • Quebec Immigration 
  • Investor Programs
  • Entrepreneur and Self-Employed Programs
  • Other federal classes of immigration like the Caregivers Program, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, and the Agri-Food Pilot are also options under the umbrella of economic immigration to Canada. 

Family Sponsorship

Family sponsorship is a category of immigration available to the family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. 

Family members eligible to sponsor include:

  • Spouse or common-law/conjugal partner
  • Dependent child (adopted or biological) 
  • Parents and grandparents 

In some circumstances, you may be eligible to sponsor other family members outside the above-mentioned categories. If you have no other eligible relatives to sponsor you may sponsor the following family members:

  • Orphaned brother or sister
  • Orphaned nephew or niece
  • Orphaned grandchild

Humanitarian and Refugee Immigration

Canada has an international reputation as a leader in accepting new refugees and other immigrants for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. A significant portion of Canada’s annual immigration target is dedicated to admitting refugees.

How Much Money do You Need to Immigrate to Canada?

The cost of immigrating to Canada is generally about $2,300 CAD for a single applicant, or about $4,500 CAD for a couple. This amount does not include the settlement funds that many candidates must show to be eligible for Canadian immigration; this amount will vary by family size, starting at around $13,000 CAD for a single applicant. If a candidate is applying through a provincial program, additional fees may apply. Proof of settlement funds is not required for those with a Canadian job offer or who are applying under the Canadian Experience Class.

All forms of business immigration require significant investment in Canada. It might require the applicant to have invested in a Canadian company or require an applicant to make an interest-free loan to the federal or provincial government.

In most cases, you do not provide financial information to sponsor a spouse or dependent child. If you are sponsoring other family members like a parent or grandparent, there is a financial requirement that will need to be met in order to be eligible to apply.

If you are applying under humanitarian and compassionate grounds applications, no financial requirements exist. The only time financial information is required under this category of immigration is if the refugee is a privately sponsored applicant. In that case, the Canadian group sponsoring the refugee must demonstrate that they have raised sufficient funds to sponsor the resettlement of the refugee candidate.

What are the Requirements for Canadian Immigration?

Each immigration program has its own minimum eligibility requirements. It is important to verify your eligibility prior to applying.

When submitting an application, the Canadian government will request various documents to verify your work experience, education, identity, and criminal and medical background. The types of required documents depend on the program to which you are applying.

In order to determine the documents, you will require, first you have to determine which immigration program is best for you!

What is the Fastest and Best way to become a permanent resident in Canada?

The fastest and best method of immigrating to Canada is through Express Entry. Express Entry processes most applications in six to eight months or less.  

What is the Maximum Age for Canadian Immigration?

There is no specific age limit requirement for any Canadian immigration program. That said, in most categories of economic immigration, applicants 25-35 receive the maximum points. That doesn’t mean older applicants cannot be selected. Having substantial work experience, high language proficiency, connections to Canada, and advanced education can easily offset any points lost for age in economic immigration. 

Family sponsorship and humanitarian and refugee immigration to Canada do not use a ranking system and therefore do not have any penalties for age whatsoever. 

Which is the best pathway for me?

With over 80 pathways of immigration, Canada has a range of options for all types of applicants. That said, moving to a new country requires some effort. Some immigration programs require higher qualifications and more documents than others. Using the services of a Canadian immigration lawyer can greatly assist in the immigration process from start to finish. 

Canadian immigration lawyers are the point of contact with the government for your application. They handle the submission of your application and advise you on the documents you need, the ones you might want to include, and the documents you should not provide. 

To learn more about how the skilled legal professionals and lawyers at the Elation Visa’s Firm can help you, check out our Canadian immigration services page.  

Do I Need a Job Offer to Immigrate to Canada?

No. The vast majority of all Canadian permanent residents do not have a job offer in Canada when they apply. While some Canadian immigration programs require applicants to have a Canadian job offer, there is a range of programs and options available to foreign nationals without an offer of employment in Canada. Here are two main immigration programs that do not require a Canadian job offer:

1. Express Entry

The Express Entry system is responsible for welcoming over 100,000 newcomers to Canada each year. If you are applying for an Express Entry program, it is likely that you will not need a job offer. In fact, about 90% of Express Entry candidates were invited to apply for permanent residency without holding a Canadian job offer, according to IRCC’s Year-End Report 2019.

Express Entry requires applicants to have adequate work and educational experience, as well as language skills. However, you will not lose points for not having an offer from a Canadian employer.

2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

There are also many Provincial Nominee Programs that do not require a job offer to apply.

Some provinces, such as Saskatchewan, will instead use Expression of Interest (EOI) points-based systems – similar to Express Entry – to determine which candidates will be invited to apply for nomination.

Other provinces, such as Ontario or Nova Scotia, will invite candidates directly from the Express Entry pool to fill specific demographic or labour market gaps. That means, just by having an Express Entry profile in the pool of candidates, you have the opportunity to be invited to settle permanently in a Canadian province.

So if you want to immigrate to Canada and do not yet have a valid job offer, don’t panic! There are many options available to become a permanent resident do not include a job offer requirement.

What is a Permanent Resident?

A Canadian permanent resident is a citizen of another country who has been granted permission to live in Canada as a permanent resident. Once a person has permanent resident status, they have the right to live and work anywhere in the country. Permanent residents receive a significant number of benefits in Canada, including access to healthcare and social services, the right to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada, and protection under Canadian law. As well, after being a permanent resident for a certain amount of time, permanent residents are eligible to apply to become Canadian citizens! Notably, Canadian permanent residents do not have the right to vote in Canadian elections.

What is a Citizen?

Canadian citizens have many rights and privileges in Canada. Citizens have access to healthcare, social services, support under the law. A citizen can live, work, and study, anywhere in Canada, and has the right to vote in Canadian elections. As well, citizenship cannot be revoked or removed. All people born in Canada automatically qualify for Canadian citizenship. As well, foreign nationals can become naturalized Canadian citizens by going through the proper application process with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Can I Work Anywhere in Canada?

Once a person has Canadian permanent resident status, they have the authorization to live and work anywhere in Canada. If a foreign national does not have Canadian permanent resident status, then they must have the proper authorization to work in Canada. Usually, this authorization comes in the form of a Canadian work permit.

Can I Bring My Family to Canada?

Certain immigration programs allow foreign nationals to immigrate to Canada with their family members. However, the family members able to accompany a foreign national varies depending on the immigration program. For example, those immigrating through Canada’s Express Entry system are eligible to include their spouse and dependent children on the application, but not their parents. However, Canada has family sponsorship programs enabling Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner, dependent children, and parents/grandparents. In order to determine whether or not your family members may join you, first you must determine which immigration pathway you choose to pursue!

Why is Canada Looking for Immigrants?

Canada actively seeks immigrants for several key reasons, all of which are central to its national development, economic growth, and demographic stability. Here’s an overview of why Canada places such a high priority on attracting immigrants:

1. Economic Growth and Workforce Needs

  • Labor Market Shortages: Many sectors in Canada face significant labor shortages, particularly in healthcare, technology, engineering, construction, and skilled trades. Immigrants help fill these gaps, ensuring that businesses can continue to operate and grow.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Immigrants bring diverse perspectives, skills, and experiences that can lead to innovation and the creation of new businesses. Programs like the Start-Up Visa aim to attract entrepreneurs who can drive economic growth.
  • Global Competitiveness: By attracting skilled talent from around the world, Canada enhances its competitive edge in the global economy. Skilled immigrants contribute to key industries, boosting productivity and innovation.

2. Demographic Challenges

  • Aging Population: Canada has an aging population, with a growing number of retirees and a declining birth rate. Immigrants help balance the demographic scales by increasing the working-age population.
  • Population Growth: Immigration is a key driver of population growth in Canada. Without a steady influx of immigrants, the population growth rate would slow significantly, impacting economic and social stability.

3. Cultural Diversity and Social Enrichment

  • Multiculturalism: Canada prides itself on being a multicultural society that welcomes people from diverse backgrounds. This cultural diversity enriches communities, fosters social cohesion, and enhances the quality of life.
  • Global Connections: Immigrants bring connections to other countries, facilitating international trade, cultural exchange, and diplomatic relations.

4. Sustaining Social Programs

  • Economic Contributions: Immigrants contribute to the economy not only by filling jobs but also by paying taxes. These contributions are essential for sustaining social programs such as healthcare, education, and pensions.
  • Support for Social Services: A growing and dynamic population helps ensure that there are enough workers to support social services and public infrastructure.

5. Regional Development

  • Addressing Regional Imbalances: Some provinces and territories in Canada face more significant demographic and economic challenges than others. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) help distribute immigrants across the country, supporting regional development and reducing urban-rural disparities.
  • Revitalizing Rural Areas: Immigration can help revitalize rural and remote areas that are experiencing population decline and economic stagnation.

6. Humanitarian Commitments

  • Refugee Protection: Canada has a longstanding commitment to protecting refugees and offering asylum to those fleeing persecution, war, and violence. This humanitarian approach aligns with Canada’s values and international obligations.
  • Family Reunification: Canada places a strong emphasis on family reunification, allowing citizens and permanent residents to sponsor family members to join them in Canada, thereby promoting social stability and integration.
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