Expat Guide to living in Canada: available work visas and pathways to citizenship

Residence permit


Expat Guide to living in Canada: available work visas and pathways to citizenship

Canada remains at the top of the list of places where foreigners want to live. The country offers a peaceful life, a stable economy, and beautiful scenery. Find out more about the types of work visas for highly skilled professionals in Canada, provincial visa programs, whether you can move to Canada with your family on a work visa, and other important issues for expats

Get more information about Canada
Get more information about Canada
Get more

Canada is an extremely popular destination among expats, as the country boasts a successful economy, a developed labor market, high-quality public services and a friendly local population. More than eight million migrants live in the country on the basis of a permanent residence permit, which is approximately 20% of the total population of Canada. Even more expats received temporary residence permits. Canadian immigrants come from India, China, Afghanistan and many other countries around the world.

However, the complexity of Canadian legislation is a problem for expats, it is difficult for foreigners to understand the rules of entry and the procedure for obtaining a visa and residence permit.

How to move to Canada? Today we will tell you everything you need to know about migration to the state.

Why is Canada in demand among expats?

Canada offers a wonderful combination of high quality of life and fascinating nature, as well as developed infrastructure and free medicine and education. Visa regulations are quite strict to prevent a foreigner from coming to Canada and enjoying social benefits without working for the government or contributing to the country's economy.

Expats settle mainly in the big cities of the state, many live in Ottawa and Ontario, because real estate prices are the lowest here. Vancouver is another popular destination among tourists and expats. Although living here is quite expensive, the region has a better climate, milder winters and less snowfall than in colder parts of the country.

What are the types of work visas for highly qualified professionals in Canada?

Most expats move to Canada on a work visa. Currently, three programs for highly qualified workers have been approved in the country:

● Federal program for skilled workers.

● Federal program for skilled trades.

● Experience Class visa.

The cost of participation in each of these programs starts from $825.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

Foreigners who have experience in a certain industry or profession can apply for a visa under the Skilled Worker Program.

● Basic requirements for the applicant:

- During the last 10 years, have work experience in a position that is the basis for submitting an application for a skilled worker visa.

- Work full-time for at least one year or accumulate the required number of hours working part-time over a longer period.

- The work must be paid, volunteering or internships are not suitable.

- Have an appropriate level of education.

- Take language tests in English or French and get the minimum number of points.

- Provide a job offer from a Canadian employer. If it is not available, demonstrate financial independence: provide a document on the availability of at least $12,960 in a bank account for one expat or $24,083 for a family of 4.

● Vacancies available - financial manager, conference and event organizer, accountant, graphic designer, etc.

Detailed information about the program on Immigration.ca

Canadian Federal Skilled Trades Program

The second available option for obtaining a work visa and obtaining a permanent residence permit in Canada is the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

● Specialists who work in the following industries or have a certain position fall into this category:

- industry, electrical engineering and construction;

- maintenance and operation of equipment;

- managers and technical workers in agriculture;

- control operators and inspectors of communal services in processing and production;

- cooks;

- butchers and bakers;

- plumbers;

- truck drivers.

There are no educational requirements, but having accreditation or certifications can improve your ranking and increase your chances of getting a visa.

Financial independence and language testing rules are similar to the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Experience – 2 years full-time or equivalent part-time hours.

Experience Class visa

The third option for obtaining a residence permit in Canada is the Experience Class visa, which is available to applicants who already have work experience in Canada and wish to obtain a permanent residence permit.

●Work Experience: To qualify, you must have a minimum of one year of qualified work experience in Canada within the last three years prior to applying.

Work without a temporary visa, student experience or freelance work do not count.

The requirements for knowledge of the language and rating by profession are similar to previous programs.

Provincial programs for obtaining a work visa to Canada

Federal programs operate across Canada, but each province has its own options for expat entry.

That is, under the Express Entry program, an expat can apply for a visa to the province in which he would like to stay. If the region approves your application, you will be referred to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to obtain a permit.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is available to applicants who wish to become permanent residents of Canada and have relevant skills, education or work experience.

The rules depend on the region and the lack of specialists there.

Students, skilled and semi-skilled workers and business professionals can apply for a PNP visa.

● Basic requirements for the applicant:

- Meet the qualification requirements of the chosen province.

- Pass a health and criminal record check.

- Pay the required fee.

- If necessary, provide evidence of skills, appropriate income, experience or education.

The cost of submitting an application varies, with an average of $300-$500, four provinces do not charge a fee for document processing at all, and in some regions the amount reaches $2,000.

Planning to move to Canada? For a comfortable stay in the country, take care of health insurance. The policy will protect you from unforeseen expenses and guarantee the provision of qualified medical care abroad.

What categories of specialists are in short supply in Canada?

Despite the strict requirements for obtaining a visa, Canada increases the quota of issued residence permits every year to ensure the operation of the country's financial markets, because the country has a shortage of highly qualified workers in certain industries:

- Oil and gas industry.

- Areas of services.

- Real estate.

- Finance and insurance.

- Governance.

- Development of equipment and software.

- Health care.

To increase your chances of getting a visa to Canada, get a job offer from a Canadian employer.

● Where to look for a job to get a visa to Canada?

Many expats look for work online, mainly on large sites such as WorkopolisIndeed, Eluta or Jobboom.  

What other visa types are available for expats in Canada?

In addition to visas for skilled workers and the Provincial Nominee Program, Canada offers several other options for employment visas for expats:

● Caregiver Visa – Expats who have at least two years of home care experience or are participating in the Care at Home pilot program launched in 2019 can apply for temporary or permanent residence.

● Temporary workers - if you have a confirmed job offer in any profession and with different levels of earnings, you can apply for participation in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program with the support of your employer.

● Self-Employed Visas - Foreign nationals who have relevant experience in their chosen business or profession and want to make a "significant contribution" to the cultural or sporting life of Canada can obtain a permanent residence permit.

● Family sponsorship – an expat can be sponsored by a relative who has already obtained Canadian citizenship or has a permanent residence permit. Applicants are usually parents, spouses, children, adopted children and grandparents.

● Start-up visas – this option is available for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business. The application must be supported by a Canadian investor agency or business foundation.

Can I move to Canada with my family on a work visa?

If an expat receives a work visa to Canada, he can bring family members: spouse, partner, children and other relatives with him for an additional fee for each person (about $1300).

A family member can also be added to the visa application without paying additional processing fees, but then the relative will be considered a temporary resident of Canada and will therefore have restrictions on social services and the right to work or study.

What benefits do holders of a permanent residence permit in Canada receive?

Permanent residents have the same benefits and rights as citizens, including health care, freedom of movement and protection under all Canadian laws.

As a permanent resident, you will not need to renew your visa or apply for a new one. You can live, work or study in any province of Canada.

How to get Canadian citizenship?

Expats who have lived in the country for at least 3 years and meet the following requirements can apply for Canadian citizenship:

● Not to live in another country for more than 730 days in the last five years.

● Never violate Canadian immigration laws or be deported from the country.

● Confirm the absence of criminal records.

● Not to serve in the armed forces whose activities would be contrary to the interests of Canada.

● Confirm knowledge of English and French languages.

● Have paid Canadian taxes in compliance with established requirements for the past five years.

The cost of applying for citizenship is $630 for an adult or $100 for a minor.

Canadian immigration law has many options for obtaining a work visa to move to the country, as well as obtaining a permanent residence permit and citizenship. Download from the link a detailed checklist with the rules for obtaining all available types of permits in Canada. Everything you wanted to know about your upcoming trip in one place!

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Canada;

Legal advice on business issues in Canada;

Travel insurance for foreigners in Canada;

Medical insurance all over the world;

Insurance for international students in Canada.

More articles on the topic:

How many immigrants is Canada ready to accept in 2024-2026? The government has published a new plan.

Canadian Labor Law: 10 important rules for foreign employers.

Recommended articles

2 min

Expats What to do if your Turkish residence permit application is rejected?

What to do if your Turkish residence permit application is rejected?

Have you dreamed of a long-term residence in Turkey, but unfortunately your application for a residence permit was rejected? Do not despair, as there are ways to resolve the situation. Find out more about when a residence permit can be denied in Turkey, the most common reasons for denial, how to appeal, and other important details

15 Sep. 2023

More details

3 min

Investment Investing in real estate in the US: best cities to invest in 2023

Investing in real estate in the US: best cities to invest in 2023

Investing in US real estate remains attractive to foreign investors. Find out more about the features of the current real estate market in the United States, how to choose the best places to invest in real estate and the top best cities in the United States for investment in 2023

16 Sep. 2023

More details

3 min

Residence permit Green Card in the USA: step by step instructions for filling out Form I-485

Green Card in the USA: step by step instructions for filling out Form I-485

Form I-485, officially known as the "Application for Registration of Permanent Residence or Change of Status". Find out more about who is eligible to fill out Form I-485, the list of required documents, the Green Card application procedure, and other important details

17 Sep. 2023

More details

2 min

Insurance Is it necessary to have travel insurance for a trip to Europe: essential guide

Is it necessary to have travel insurance for a trip to Europe: essential guide

When planning a trip to Europe, don't forget to take care of quality insurance. It is this important point that ensures that you are as protected as possible. Learn more about whether it is mandatory to have travel insurance for a trip to Europe, why you should take out a policy even if it is not required by law, and other important details

18 Sep. 2023

More details