There are over 70 different programs to consider when thinking of how to immigrate to Canada. Some of these programs are only suitable for obtaining temporary work visas or working and travelling in the country. The Canadian government has unveiled plans to introduce over a million immigrants into the workforce within the next three years to combat the shortage of skilled and unskilled workers in the economy.

We’ve chosen four main programs that hold a variety of subcategories and streams that focus solely on permanent relocation to Canada which you may be suited to. Let us guide you through the stages of immigration from creating your application to the final stages of receiving your Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Express Entry system

People shake hands after discussing a plan to immigrate to Canada.

The Express Entry system is a fast-track way of applying for Canadian immigration that was designed for skilled workers who meet the criteria under the Federal Skilled Workers Program, Federal Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class. Being a successful candidate through this system sees your application being processed in as little as six months.

The Process

  1. Find out if you are eligible to apply.
  2. Create a profile through the Express Entry system, stating a specific stream you want to be considered for.
  3. Meet the criteria under your preferred stream and submit the correct documents.
  4. Improve your profile score under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
  5. If your score is high enough, you will be drawn from the pool.
  6. You are then issued an ITA after which you have 60 days to complete your application for permanent residence.

Provincial Nominee Programs

A man walks through a forest after he chose to immigrate to Canada.

Each Canadian province has its own Provincial Nominee Program, many of them with various streams - some streams are linked to the Express Entry system. These programs are for those who are looking to immigrate to Canada in the particular province that they are being nominated by who have skills and experience in a certain field that is in demand within that province. This includes students, business people, skilled workers and semi-skilled workers.

The Process - Paper-based

  1. Apply to the province directly.
  2. Meet the criteria for the selected program.
  3. Wait for a successful Provincial Nomination.
  4. From here you are invited to apply for permanent residence.

The Process - Express Entry Linked

  1. Create an online Express Entry profile and show the provinces you are interested in.
  2. Wait for a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the province.
  3. Wait for a successful nomination.


  1. Contact your chosen province under an Express Entry stream.
  2. Wait for a successful nomination.

Self-employed Visa

A woman researches how to immigrate to Canada on her laptop.

The self-employed Program allows candidates to apply to work in Canada under the basis of contributing to the Cultural, Athletic or Agricultural fields in a significant way. For this you will need to substantiate that you have relevant experience and education/skills in that area.

The Process

  1. Apply to the program and gather the relevant documents.
  2. You will need to submit your biometrics.
  3. Pay all the application fees.
  4. Meet the medical, criminal and language proficiency requirements.
  5. Wait for the result.


Being a caregiver is one of the ways to immigrate to Canada.

The Caregivers program works with four pathways to permanent residence:

  • Interim Pathway for Caregivers
  • Caring for Children Program
  • Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program
  • Live-in Caregiver Program

The Process

  1. Apply to the program and gather the relevant documents.
  2. You will need to submit your biometrics.
  3. Pay all the application fees.
  4. Meet the requirements, most importantly the licencing and work experience levels.
  5. Wait for the result.

Start-up Visa

A woman draws a dollar sign to symbolise her decision to immigrate to Canada.

This visa is aimed at business people with innovative ideas for contributing to the Canadian economy. If you meet all the requirements, you can start a business venture in Canada which could lead to an ITA for permanent residence.

The Process

  1. Apply to the selected stream under the Start-up Visa Program.
  2. Make sure your business qualifies according to the stream requirements.
  3. Adhere to other requirements such as language proficiency and sufficient funds for settling.
  4. Get a letter of support from a designated Canadian business.
  5. Wait for the results.

Family-sponsorship Programs

Two women are pleased they chose to immigrate to Canada.

This program is extremely popular, resulting in filled quotas by the beginning of each year. You can sponsor relatives who are at least 18 years old to come over to Canada. There are several different streams which you can apply to and all of them have different requirements based on who you are sponsoring.

You need to be

  • A Canadian citizen,
  • a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
  • be a permanent resident of Canada.

What Can You Do to Increase Your Chances?

A man types ‘how to immigrate to Canada’ on his laptop.

Applicants are always searching for ways to boost their chances of a successful application. We have a few tried and trusted methods of increasing your value as a candidate or simply making it easier to apply with the correct documentation.

Improve Your Profile

No matter what stream you go through, you are certain to have to adhere to a measured criteria. Certain programs such as those under the Express Entry system and Provincial Nomination Programs work with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). For Express Entry, this score usually needs to be over 300 points to be entered into the pool while certain provinces make use of their own point-system grid that gives candidates a score out of 100.

Basic CRS Criteria:

  • Level of education
  • Work experience or studies in Canada
  • Age
  • Canadian work experience
  • Language proficiency in French and English
  • Letter of employment/Job offer
  • Sibling living in Canada as a permanent resident
  • Provincial Nomination (not required but asked)

If you can improve on any of these areas such as becoming more proficient in English or French then you can make a dramatic difference in your overall score, thereby increasing your chances of being selected in the next draw of applicants.

Consider Getting a PN with EE

If you are applying to a program that falls under the Express Entry system such as the Federal Skilled Workers Program, creating another application under the Provincial Nominee Program is a smart choice. This is because a successful nomination from a province in Canada adds 600 points to your profile score. As mentioned, the minimum score is around 300 under this system but the average score has not yet exceeded 500, so there is a very good chance of being selected in the draw with these added points.

Use an RCIC

Using a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) can make a world of difference to your application process. We RCICs are well-acquainted with Canadian immigration policy and keep up to date with changing requirements and rules for the different programs on offer.

For this reason, it can increase your chances of being selected to immigrate to Canada because it does away with any errors in documentation or filing while entering you into the correct program from the start. These consultants can also give you extra tips on where you can boost your profile as well as what steps to take next, especially in a fast-track system where applications need to be completed swiftly.

Sign up with us today to find out which programs you are best-suited for. With so many different programs, streams and subcategories to decipher, why not make it easier with some help from a trusted authority on immigration? The sooner you are able to apply and gather the documentation, the quicker you will be on your way to permanent residency in Canada.