How Much Does it Cost to Immigrate to Canada?

May 20, 2021


  • Kelia Losa Reinoso

So you've set your sights on the maple leaf and are dreaming of a fresh start in Canada. Fantastic! But amidst the excitement, one crucial question looms: how much will it cost? Fear not, aspiring Canadians, for this blog post sheds light on the financial side of immigration, breaking down the key costs you'll encounter on your journey.

Program Costs and Application Fees

Navigating the various immigration pathways can be confusing, but understanding the associated costs provides valuable clarity. Let's delve into three popular programs:

Express Entry:

Express Entry is a system that attracts skilled workers. The Fees include language tests (around CAD300), Educational Credential Assessments (average $200), and government application fees: CAD850 per applicant + CAD515 right of permanent residence fee for each family member. This adds up to roughly CAD2,300 CAD for a single applicant, CAD4,500 for a couple.

Express Entry Costs
Fees Total in CAN
Your application - Processing fee and right of permanent residence fee  $ 1,365
Your application (without right of permanent residence fee) $ 850
Include your spouse or partner - Processing fee  and right of permanent residence fee $ 1,365
Include your spouse or partner (without right of permanent residence fee) $ 850
Include a dependent child $ 225 (per child)

Family Sponsorship:

Sponsoring a family member for permanent residence involves similar application fees ($1,080 for you and dependents) but may also require sponsorship fees depending on the specific program. Remember, you'll likely need to demonstrate enough income to support your sponsored family member(s).

Family Sponsorship Fees for spouse, partner or child
Fees in CAD Total Amount in CAD
Sponsor your spouse or partner - Sponsorship fee 75), principal applicant processing fee and right of permanent residence fee  1,080
Sponsor your spouse or partner without right of permanent residence fee - Sponsorship fee  and principal applicant processing fee  550
Sponsor a dependent child -Sponsorship fee and processing fee  150 (per child)
Include any dependent child - Include any dependent child on an application with your spouse or partner  150 (per child)

Home Support Worker Pilot:

This special program offers a pathway for experienced home support workers. Application fees are similar to Express Entry, but be prepared for additional costs like medical exams and police certificates.

Remember, these are just initial estimates. Fees can vary based on individual circumstances and chosen programs.

Home Support Worker Pilot Fees
Fees Total in CAD
Your application - Processing fee and right of permanent residence fee   1,080
Your application (without right of permanent residence fee)  550
Include your spouse or partner - Processing fee and right of permanent residence fee   1,080
Include your spouse or partner without the right of permanent residence fee  550
Include a dependent child  150 (per child)

Work Permit Fees

The work permit fees are as follows:

Work Permit Fees
Fees Total in CAD
Work permit (including extensions) – per person  155
Work permit (including extensions) – per group (3 or more performing artists) 465
Open work permit holder  100
Restore your status as a worker - Restore your status (200) and get a new work permit (155)  355

Settlement Funds

Think of settlement funds as your financial safety net. They cover essential expenses while you adjust and find employment. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) sets minimum amounts based on family size:

  • Single applicant: 13,210 CAD
  • Couple: 19,500 CAD
  • Family of 3: 24,750 CAD

These are just minimums, and realistically, you'll likely need more, especially in larger cities. Consider factors like:

  • Accommodation: Renting a decent apartment can range from CAD1,000-CAD2,500 monthly depending on city and size.
  • Living Expenses: Groceries, transportation, utilities, and other essentials can easily add up to CAD500-CAD1,000 per month.
  • Family Size: Costs naturally increase with more dependents.

Here's a glimpse into estimated monthly costs for essential expenses in different Canadian cities:

City Average 1-Bedroom Rent Groceries (Single Person) Transportation Pass
Toronto CAD2,243 CAD400 CAD156
Montreal CAD1,407 CAD350 CAD82
Calgary CAD1,600 CAD300 CAD110
Vancouver CAD2,500 CAD450 CAD120

Remember, these are averages, and actual costs can vary significantly based on your lifestyle and family size.

Variation in Costs Based on Lifestyle and Family Size

A young single professional will have different expenses than a family with children. Here's a general breakdown:

  • Singles: You may prioritize downtown living and eating out, leading to higher costs.
  • Couples: Sharing accommodation and expenses can bring down costs.
  • Families: Housing, childcare, and education add significantly to the budget.

No matter your situation, it's crucial to research and plan your budget carefully. Consider your lifestyle, chosen city, and potential employment income. Don't hesitate to adjust the IRCC minimums to ensure you have enough for a comfortable transition.

Additional Costs to Consider

  1. Biometrics fees: These fees cover fingerprinting and photograph collection for security purposes. They typically cost 85 CAD per adult and 35 CAD per child aged 14-79.
  2. Right of Citizenship Fee: Once you secure permanent residency, you may eventually want to become a Canadian citizen. Be prepared for a 631 CAD fee for this privilege.
  3. Medical examinations: Certain immigration programs require medical exams to ensure you meet public health requirements. Costs can vary depending on location and doctor but expect to pay around 200-300 CAD.
  4. Police clearance certificates: Proving you have no criminal record may be necessary for some program applications. Fees typically range between 50-100 CAD, depending on the country issuing the certificate.
  5. Translation and legalization of documents: If your documents are not in English or French, you'll need them translated and legally certified. Costs can vary significantly based on the document's length and complexity.
  6. Language testing (e.g., IELTS, TEF): Demonstrating proficiency in English or French is crucial for many programs. These tests usually cost around 300 CAD.

Remember, these additional costs can quickly add up. Always factor them into your budget and plan accordingly.

Pro-tip: Research fees associated with your specific program and chosen settlement city well in advance. This will help you avoid financial surprises and ensure a smooth transition to your new Canadian life.


Is It Worth It Moving to Canada?

Canada is well known for its remarkable education, healthcare, and safety. What you perhaps didn’t know is that Canada is currently ranked number one in the world. This is mainly due to the quality of life in Canada. Another great factor Canada ranked number one for its social purpose. This means Canada is the most progressive, inclusive, and committed to social justice.

When asking yourself, “How much does it cost to immigrate to Canada?” it’s also important to remember why it’s a great idea to move to Canada. And these points are just a few of many.

How Do I Pay for A Canadian Visa?

  • Online payment: This is the preferred method and works for most applications. You can pay using a credit card or debit card from a Canadian bank using INTERAC® Online.
  • Paper application: If you submit your application through paper, you can pay using a certified cheque or money order made payable to the Receiver General for Canada. Ensure the exact fee amount is reflected.