migrate to Canada

Immigrating to a new country is a difficult process and for newcomers looking to settle in Canada, there are many immigration programs to choose from. Here are 5 popular ways to immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident!


  1. Express Entry
  2. Provincial Nominee Programs
  3. Quebec Immigration
  4. Studying in Canada
  5. Family Sponsorship



In 2015, the Federal Government of Canada introduced Express Entry, an application management system that governs all federal streams of economic immigration. Since then, thousands of principal applicants and their families have been invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Currently, Express Entry is an umbrella system that governs the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). There are also some Provincial Nominee Programs  (PNPs) that are aligned with Express Entry.


Applicants looking to apply to one of the immigration streams governed by Express Entry must submit an Expression of Interest to the government of Canada. If you meet the minimum eligibility requirements of the program in question, you will be invited to the Express Entry pool.

There, you are given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score that is used to rank you against other applicants in the Express Entry pool. Every so often, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to the highest ranking individuals in the pool during an Express Entry draw. If you are among those issued an ITA, you will have 90 days to submit your application online for permanent residence.



There are currently ten provinces and three territories in Canada, each of which has authority over its own immigration programs and policies. These provincial immigration streams are more commonly known as Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).


With so many PNPs to choose from, it’s difficult to determine which programs you qualify for and what eligibility requirements are needed. However, ideal candidates for PNP programs usually fall under one of these categories:

  1. Have recently worked in Canada, or are currently working on a valid work permit
  2. Are currently in the Express Entry pool and meet the eligibility criteria for one of the Provincial Nominee Programs aligned with Express Entry
  3. Have a connection to the province, in the form of studies, prior work experience, or a formal job offer
  4. Have a family member living in the province in question, which may assist your application for some PNPs 


NOTE: If the Provincial Nominee Program you are interested in is aligned with Express Entry, you will need to submit an Expression of Interest first to enter the Express Entry pool.


While Quebec is also a province of Canada, it has much more autonomy on how it runs its immigration programs and policies. Currently, there are no Quebec immigration streams that are aligned with Express Entry. Instead, you may choose to apply directly to the Quebec government for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, the Quebec Experience Class, or Quebec Business Immigration.


All Quebec immigration programs are a part of a two-step process. Applicants interested in one of Quebec’s immigration streams must first apply to the Quebec government. If you are accepted, you are issued a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ). This certificate acknowledges that the Quebec government has accepted your application for your immigration program.

Afterwards, you are required to submit your application to the federal government for review. This is to ensure you are not medically or criminally inadmissible to Canada.


If you’re ineligible for one of the immigration streams mentioned above, the student pathway can be an excellent option for becoming a Canadian permanent resident.


When you choose to study in Canada, the credentials you gain make you a great candidate for permanent residence. With many immigration programs valuing Canadian student experience, your prior studies in Canada can be a great way to bridge the gap from temporary student status, to Canadian permanent resident.

If you currently qualify for an immigration program, studying in Canada can increase your chances of being accepted.

If you do not qualify for an immigration program, studying in Canada can help make you eligible.


NOTE: If you are applying to the Province of Quebec, you will need to obtain a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) before you can obtain your study permit.


Family reunification is the second largest class of Canadian immigration and another way of obtaining permanent residence. If you have a spouse or child that is currently a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, they are allowed to sponsor you to come to Canada.


If you are married or are in a common-law or conjugal relationship, you partner is eligible to sponsor you through the Inland or Outland Spousal Sponsorship categories, depending on if you currently reside in Canada. The final decision, however, on whether or not to accept an application comes down to the visa officer reviewing your file. No one document can guarantee sponsorship, and it is up to you to prove that your relationship is genuine.


If you have a child over who is 18 years old or older, who can financially support you to come to Canada, and who is a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, they can sponsor you through the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship program (PGP). The program currently runs on a lottery style system, whereby interested applicants fill out an interest to sponsor form during the period when the program is open. Afterwards, IRCC randomly selects 10,000 applicants to invite to apply to the PGP.

TIP: If you are not eligible to be sponsored, or missed the deadline to apply for the PGP, a Super Visa can be a great alternative. While it does not grant permanent resident status, it is a multiple re-entry visa valid for up 10 years, allowing your parents or grandparents to come and go from Canada as they please.