How to Immigrate to Canada

by Shona Botes

Many people think that all they need to do to immigrate to a new country is ‘find a job.’ However, relocating to a new country like Canada requires far more than just securing employment. Although there are various options that can be used to immigrate to Canada, be forewarned that they all require you to put in a significant amount of time and effort to achieve. You will also require sufficient finances to complete the process.

Determine whether you are Eligible to Immigrate

 Before hopping on a plane to Canada, you will need to determine whether you are eligible to immigrate or not. For example, you may not be allowed to live in the country if you have previously been convicted of any international or human rights violations or have a serious criminal record.

If you have been diagnosed with any serious health conditions that will be deemed to be a financial drain on Canada’s health resources, you may also be denied the option to immigrate.

Consider Doing an LSD Trip First

 Although it will be costly to do a Look See Decide (LSD) trip before immigrating to Canada, this step is strongly recommended. After all, you certainly wouldn’t want to uproot your family and arrive in a new country, only to discover that it isn’t quite what you had envisioned.

Before booking flights and obtaining a visitor’s visa for your LSD trip, it is recommended that you perform some online research about various parts of the country. This will enable you to get a feel for which areas may be more suited for raising a family or pursuing your career if you are single or newly married.

If you already have friends or family living in Canada though, this can provide you with a fantastic starting point for your immigration journey as well. They may be able to give you valuable advice regarding where or how to go about seeking employment and getting settled after you’ve arrived.

Determining which Visa will be Most Suitable

 As there are several visa options available for anyone who wants to live and work in Canada, it’s essential to research and find out what will be most suitable for you and your family. While some of the more common visa options used will be discussed below, you may need to consult with a reputable immigration agency or attorney to obtain guidance and legal advice regarding your move.

  1. The Express Entry Option

 This is currently one of the most popular options for skilled and qualified people to immigrate to Canada. You will need to determine if you qualify to use this option, and this can be done by using the ‘Come to Canada’ online assessment tool, which is available on the official Canadian immigration website,

If you find that you’re eligible to immigrate via this pathway, you’ll need to create an online account and follow all of the instructions provided on the website.

When completing your Express Entry profile, you will need to supply information regarding English Language test scores, work experience and proof of education. In some cases, an educational credential assessment may also be required. Information regarding acceptable forms of English Language tests can be found on the immigration website as well.


Once complete, your Express Entry submission will be placed into a pool of candidates. Your application will then be provided with a score and ranked against other candidates in the pool.

Invitations to apply for permanent residence will only be issued to top candidates in the pool, so it’s crucial that you provide information that is accurate and honest.

  1. Family Sponsorship Program

 In some cases, family members who are already permanent residents or Canadian citizens and who are over the age of 18 may be able to sponsor you and your family to start your new life.

Family members that can qualify for sponsorship currently include partners, spouses, dependent or adopted children, parents and grandparents. The application process will differ depending on which family member will be sponsoring you.

  1. Working as a Caregiver

 Due to the shortage of available and experienced caregivers, Canada has made it possible for suitable candidates to obtain residency via this visa pathway.

Options that are currently available include working though the Caring for Children program, Caring for People with High Medical Needs and the Live-in Caregiver programs.

In most cases, you will need to have worked as a nurse aid, orderly or home support worker in Canada for a minimum of two years before becoming eligible to apply for permanent residency through these programs.

Because there are more than 60 available programs for anyone who wants to immigrate to Canada, only the most popular visa options have been discussed here.

Complete the Appropriate Application Paperwork and Pay the Appropriate Fees

After determining which visa program will be most suitable, you will need to complete the associated paperwork and application forms. Although some applications for specific visas may be able to be completed online, there are still a few that will need to be completed in paper-based format.

When completing your application, bear in mind that various fees will apply, which must be paid in full at the time of submitting your paperwork or online information. Failure to do so will result in your application not being processed. Fees will also depend on the amount of people that are being included in your application as well.

Await the Arrival of your Visa

 After sending off all of the appropriate paperwork, you will need to be prepared to wait up to six months before hearing whether your visa application has been approved or not. In cases where it has been declined, you may not appeal it. Although you can reapply at a later stage, it is recommended that you only do this if your personal circumstances change significantly.

Hire an Immigration Attorney or Consult with a Reputable Agency

 Owing to the fact that there are numerous available pathways available to immigrate to Canada, it is strongly recommended that you hire the services of a reputable agency or attorney to guide you through the process. They will guide you through each step of the process by ensuring that you provide all of the relevant documentation needed.

Keep in mind that you will have to have a medical examination performed at an accredited healthcare provider and you may also need to write an appropriate English exam. Until such time as you obtain permanent residence, you will also need to be able to foot the bill for private healthcare insurance, which can be costly.


For further information regarding immigrating to Canada or to use the assessment calculator, visit the official Canadian immigration website here:

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