How to Move to Canada with Your Family

May 10, 2021


  • Kayla Peters

Are you looking for a better life for yourself and your family? Meaning a safer environment to grow up in, having access to top-notch education and healthcare facilities or having a forward-thinking government. Immigrating to Canada will allow for all that and more.

Now if you are wondering how to move to Canada with your family, it is quite simple. There are several programs that allow families to live in Canada together and become Canadian permanent residents.

The Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program are just two of the immigration pathways that allow the applicants to add their spouse or dependent child to the application.

Continue reading to see which immigration pathway best suits you and your family.

Why Immigrate Through Express Entry


The Express Entry system is made of three federal immigration programs. They are the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class. Anyone who is a skilled worker should apply through this stream.

This online immigration system offers skilled workers an opportunity to become permanent residents of Canada. Not only for the applicant but also the applicant’s spouse and child.

The Express Entry pathway is known to be one of the fastest and most efficient ways to move to Canada as a permanent resident. The processing time of an application can be as little as six months. Another advantageous factor is that if the applicant is not chosen from the draw pool, they will be able to stay in the pool for one year, allowing them to be picked for the next draw. This increases the chances significantly.

Canada has a goal to welcome over 1.2 million immigrants and the Express Entry system is contributing to 332,750 of that total, issuing 105,500 Invitations To Apply (ITAs) in 2021.

As a person looking to immigrate to Canada, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) would be the way to go, as no Canadian work experience is needed.

Below is a table comparing the two program's requirements for eligibility.

List of Requirement Differences Between the FSWP and FSTP
Criteria FSWP FSTP
Language skills CLB 7 (English or French) CLB 5 (speaking and listening) and CLB 4 (reading and writing)
Type/ Level of work experience 0, A, and B - Canadian or foreign experience in skilled trade under the key groups of NOC B. Canadian or foreign experience in a skilled trade under key groups of NOC B.
Amount of work experience 1 Year continuous within the last 10 years - A combination of part-time, full-time, or more than 1 job in a primary occupation. 2 Years within the last 5 years - A combination of full-time or part-time occupation.
Job offer 1 Year continuous within the last 10 years - A combination of part-time, full-time, or more than 1 job in a primary occupation. A valid job offer for full-time employment for at least 1 year, or a certificate of qualification in a skilled trade that has been issued by a Canadian provincial, federal or territorial authority.
Education Secondary education is required, plus more FSW points for post-secondary education. Not required.

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) list is Canada's national system for describing occupations. When searching the NOC code you will learn about its main duties, educational requirements or other useful information.

How Does the Express Entry System Work?

If an applicant meets the requirements for Express Entry, they will need to create an online profile. The following documents will be required to do so:

  • Your passport or travel document;
  • Education credential assessment report;
  • Language test results;
  • Proof of work experience (if you have one);
  • Certificate of qualification in a trade occupation issued by a Canadian province or territory (if you have one);
  • Provincial Nomination (if you have one)

Important to know: Applicants only have 60 days to complete and submit their online profile. They will have to start from the beginning if it is not complete within the time frame.

You're placed into a pool with other eligible applicants and then given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. This CRS score will determine the ranking of the applicant against the others. The maximum number of points any given applicant can score is 1,200.

Applicants need to meet or score higher than the CRS cut-off score to receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA), which is different for every draw. Receiving an ITA means that you can now apply to become a Canadian permanent resident.

Your CRS score is determined based on factors such as language, work experience, skills education and more.

Facts on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

  1. A point-based system is used to rank and score all profiles in the Express Entry.
  2. The scores are made up of two sections, they are the core set (600 points) and the additional set (600 points).
  3. The score is determined based on factors such as language, work experience, skills education and more.
  4. Overall your CRS score is divided into four sections with different combinations that can result in higher points.
  5. CRS scores can be improved or increased, even after submission.
  6. Apply with a spouse or common-law partner it can help increase your score.

Provincial Nominee Program


An agreement between local provinces and the government in which the provinces can nominate immigrants who would like to stay in a particular province for work and essentially, immigrate to Canada.

To be nominated by any province, you will need to choose a province and apply for that nomination. All applications are based on each province’s immigration and labour needs respectively.

Simply put, a foreign skilled worker will be nominated by a province where their skills are in demand. And if an applicant applies directly to a province, this could be a way of choosing where they want to stay in Canada, if successful.

11 Provincial Nomination Programs in Canada

  1. Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
  2. British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)
  3. Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
  4. New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NW PNP)
  5. Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NL PNP)
  6. Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
  7. Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NS PNP)
  8. Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP)
  9. Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
  10. Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
  11. Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)

How Does the Provincial Nominee Program Work?

To increase the chances of receiving an Invitation To Apply (ITA), the individual needs to apply to a province where their skills are most in demand. Once approved by the province, which takes around two to nine weeks, the next step is to do the medical, police and security checks. This step takes fairly longer at six to eight months depending on the province.

Once you've been nominated, the PNP can assist with a work visa before moving to Canada. There are two application options when applying through a Provincial Nominee Program. These are by applying directly to a province or territory or through the Express Entry-linked process.

By simply having a nomination candidates will score 600 points, this could be all they need to get an ITA.

Direct Application Process

Application is sent directly to the province of choice. Submit a paper application via mail or courier. The waiting time for the result of the application can take between 15 to 19 months.

Express Entry-Linked Process

For this application there are two ways to apply, they are:

  • Expression of Interest - this is where you express interest in a certain province or territory through your Express Entry profile. If you have the skills and experience, a province can directly select your profile and send you a nomination.
  • Apply through a Provincial Nominee Express Entry Stream - find the province where your job is in-demand

Now, in terms of increasing the chances of receiving an ITA and moving to Canada sooner, the Express Entry-link process is the way to go. The average waiting period is around six months.

Another reason being, since the beginning of the year, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been holding PNP-specific Express Entry draws, approximately every two weeks. Rounds of invitations were held on April 14 and April 28 and a total of 647 candidates were invited to apply for permanent residence.

This is yet another great program to consider when looking at how to move to Canada with your family.

Which Province Needs Immigrants?


Newfoundland and Labrador are interested in inviting immigrants who would like to stay permanently, this comes as a result of the ageing and declining population.

By applying through the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NL PNP), and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), skilled workers do not need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

In-Demand Occupations in Newfoundland and Labrador

Below are some jobs that are in demand in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Skilled Workers Stream & Atlantic Immigration Pilot
NOC Code Eligible Occupations
0013 Senior managers - financial, communications and other business services
0631 Restaurant and food service managers
3112 General practitioners and family physicians
3413 Licensed Nursing Assistants
5241 Graphic designers and illustrators
4031 School teachers
6513 Food & Beverage Servers
6331 Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers - retail and wholesale
7511 Long Haul Truck Drivers
7154 Delivery Workers
8431 General Farm Workers
9462 Industrial Butchers

Is Canada a Good Place for Family?

Canada is a great place to raise a family because of its world-class education which promotes a bright future for the children and low crime rates which allow kids to simply be kids and perhaps enjoy a game of tag with other neighbourhood children and the generous work-life balance that will allow you to spend more time with family if needed.

All you need to do now is check which program you are eligible for, to determine how to move to Canada with your family.

Simply click the link below.