Canadian Immigration Requirements
Canadian immigration has made Canada one of the most multicultural countries in the world. In fact, approximately 20% of Canada’s 36 million residents (i.e., one out of every five people) are foreign-born. Canada’s diverse population has contributed to Canadians having a generally favorable attitude toward people who move to Canada, which helps to make newcomers to the country feel welcomed. After all, many Canadians are themselves immigrants or have family, friends, neighbors or work colleagues who were born outside of Canada. Simply walk the streets of Toronto or many other Canadian cities or towns and you are likely to see people and hear languages from a variety of Earth’s regions and cultures. With around 250,000 individuals from around the globe being approved for Canadian immigration each year, Canada is likely to become even more cosmopolitan in the years to come. Canada is also expected to remain one of the world’s top immigration destinations for the foreseeable future.
There are several reasons why Canadian immigration is so popular. A key motivation to move to Canada is to find Canadian employment during a time in history when skilled foreign workers are in high-demand due to an ongoing labor shortage in the country. Canada also has one of the world’s highest standards of living and is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth. Another incentive to immigrate to Canada is that the Canadian government views immigrants as an important asset for the country, has pro-immigration policies and has created several Canadian immigration programs, each of which has its own unique eligibility requirements.
Canadian Visa Criteria
Whatever your reasons, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements for a specific Canadian immigration program before you can be issued a visa to Canada. Each Canadian immigration program has its own unique eligibility requirements, but there are also several Canadian visa criteria shared in common.
Common Canadian visa criteria include the following:
- You must be at least 18-years-old to apply
- You must have good health (a medical exam may be required)
- You must be a person of good character (a police certificate may be required)
- You must have satisfactory English or French language skills (a language evaluation exam may be required)
- You must pay the governmental fee(s)
- You must possess a valid passport or other authorized travel document
In addition to these common requirements, there are also unique eligibility criteria for the various Canadian immigration programs. Some Canadian visa programs are designed for “economic immigrants” who have the education, work experience, English or French language skills, and other criteria needed by employers to fill various jobs in Canada. Examples include the points-based Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP); the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP); and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Skilled foreign workers (i.e., “economic immigrants”) who meet the eligibility requirements for the FSWP, FSTP or the PNP may also qualify for Express Entry to Canada. Other Canadian visa programs are not intended for skilled foreign workers, but rather have the purpose of reuniting families so they can live in Canada together (the Family Sponsorship Program is an example).
Since there are several Canadian immigration programs available, and they each have common as well as different eligibility requirements, it can be a challenge to determine which particular Canadian visa program one should apply for or to know whether one is likely to meet the eligibility criteria. Our experienced Immigration Consultants that we work with, who are registered members of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), can use their expertise to examine your details and inform you about your best Canadian visa option. If you are qualified to apply for a specific Canadian immigration program, they can also simplify the procedure for you, explain exactly what needs to be done, make sure your forms are completed and submitted correctly, and answer your questions during the procedure. To find out if you are likely to meet the eligibility requirements to apply for Canadian immigration, click here!