In recent years, Canada has become a more attractive destination for immigrants than the USA because it has built a reputation over the last half-century of welcoming immigrants and valuing multiculturalism, while the US under the leadership of President, Donald, J. Trump has curtailed many of its immigration programs including those for temporary workers and refugees.
Canada has an immigration system that encourages and welcomes immigrants through a range (temporary permit and permanent residence) of programs. I immigration system is also arranged to accommodate and support younger people who are highly educated, have good working experience and good English skills, integrating them into different occupations, from managerial to technical aspects.
According to the Canadian government, immigrants contribute to the economy not only by filling gaps in the labour force and paying taxes but also by buying goods, spending money on housing and transportations.
Some immigrants also create businesses which in turn creates job opportunities for Canadians. Canada accepts immigrants from different parts of the world (India, USA, China, Nigeria, Syria, Iran, South Korea, etc).
Canada was ranked as the world’s seventh most efficient labour market due to its openness to welcoming lower-skilled workers by the World Economic Forum and this is a startling contrast compared to us who has seen a 7.5% drop in immigration figures.
Moving from the USA to Canada may not be too difficult since they share a border. American immigration to Canada has been constant since the country’s inception through the present.
This guide aims at helping foreign workers in the US plot a path to Canada.
Canada offers more than 80 visa and immigration programs to achieve permanent residency in Canada. Some of the easiest ways include:
- Express entry
- Provincial Nominee Programs
- Family sponsorship
- Getting a permanent job
- Start-up Visa
Candidates looking to immigrate to Canada from the USA can start by submitting an Express Entry profile to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada). IRCC is a department in the government that processes applications.
Express Entry is the application system that is used by Canada to manage skilled worker applications. It can also be said to be the main driver of Canada’s economic immigration and the most popular way to immigrate to Canada.
IRCC is Express Entry draws inviting candidates to apply for permanent residence in Canada approximately every two weeks. To enter the pool, you must first create an Express Entry profile and meet the eligibility requirements for one of the three programs, which are:
- Federal skilled workers class
- Federal skilled trades class
- Canadian experience class
Documents Needed For Express Entry Profile
Some documents needed to be uploaded to submit a profile includes;
- Passports or travel documents
- Language test results
- Education credential assessment report
- Provincial nomination (Optional)
- Written job offer from an employer in Canada (Optional)
How Express Entry Works
- Find out if you are eligible
- Make sure your documents are read
- Submit your Express entry profile to the pool
- Receive an invitation
- Apply for Canada permanent residence
Provincial Nominee Programs
This is another method used to immigrate to Canada from the USA and also the next common method. It is also abbreviated as PNP.
In Canada, almost every territory and province operates the PNP. A provincial nomination certificate is given to successful applicants which are then submitted to IRCC with their permanent residence.
The Canadian provinces that operate PNP include:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
The PNP program is aimed at people who:
- Want to have a permanent residence visa for Canada
- Want to live in one particular province
- Have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of that province
How To Apply For PNP
The method of application for a Provincial Nominee Program differs in each province and it all depends on the province you are applying to. In some provinces, you would have to apply directly to them while in others you would have to apply through express entry. To see the requirements for eligibility and method of application, you would have to visit the official site of the province you are interested in.
Canadian immigration laws allow the local citizen or permanent resident of the country, the spouse sponsorship, for his/ her spouse or common-law partner in Canada. You must be at least 18years to be able to be a sponsor and it takes about 12months of processing time to sponsor a spouse or relative.
How To Apply
- Get the application package
- Pay the application fees (it ranges from $150 – $1050)
- Submit your application (It is advised to find out how long it will take to process your application)
- Send additional information during processing.
Getting A Permanent Job
To live and work in Canada, a work permit is needed. Obtaining a work permit allows you to work in Canada for some time (temporarily). During this period you’d gain experience and be considered as a skilled worker which will further make you eligible for a permanent residence.
There are two categories of work permits. The first category involves LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) while the other doesn’t require LMIA. canada’s federal government uses LMIA to determine how the hiring of foreign workers may impact the wages and employment of workers in Canada. Some job offers require LMIA and hence, employers in Canada need to petition the federal government and obtain either a positive or neutral lmia before bringing the foreigner in but in contrast, US citizens do not require LMIA as they are eligible for an LMIA-exempt work permit under the former NAFTA, now known as USMCA (United States-Canada-Mexico-Agreement). US citizens have greater flexibility to work in Canada.
The eligibility requirements for a work permit include:
- Having a job offer from an employer in Canada
- The employer must have an LMIA
- having sufficient finance to provide for yourself and your family (if they are coming with you)
- Having a clean criminal record
- Being in good health condition
Start-up Visa Program was initiated by the Canadian government to attract entrepreneurs from all over the world, finding and supporting their businesses to thrive. If you are an entrepreneur with the interest of immigrating to Canada, then the Start-up Visa program is the right choice for you.
The program targets innovative entrepreneurs and links them with private sector investors in Canada, who will help them establish their start-up businesses. This visa provides permanent resident status which can lead to citizenship.
How It Works /Requirements
- Approval of your business by a designated investor
- Meet the language requirements
- Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada
- Prove your business meet ownership requirements.