Immigrate to Canada From Japan

May 2, 2024


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

From bustling urban centers to serene natural wonders, Canada offers diverse opportunities, landscapes, and cultures waiting to be explored. For Japanese individuals who want to immigrate to Canada from Japan, relocating to Canada represents a geographical transition and a transformative journey toward better life and career prospects.

Ready to embrace a new chapter filled with boundless opportunities, cultural enrichment, and scenic wonders? It's time to go on your journey to Canada from Japan.

Japanese Community in Canada

Japanese Canadians, also known as Nikkei (Japanese immigrants and their descendants), have a long and impactful presence in Canada. The first documented arrival, Manzo Nagano, landed in 1877. The first wave of immigration arrived in the late 19th century, with many settling in British Columbia. These early immigrants, primarily Issei (first generation), sought opportunities in industries like fishing, forestry, and mining.

The early 20th century saw a rise in Japanese immigration, focusing on family reunification. The postwar years also witnessed a shift in immigration patterns. The 1967 Immigration Act, emphasizing skilled labor, led to a renewed influx of Japanese immigrants, the Sansei (third generation). This wave focused on education and professional careers, fostering a growing middle class within the Nikkei community. Today, there are over 121,000 Canadians of Japanese descent. British Columbia remains home to the largest concentration, with a vibrant Japanese community in Vancouver.

Many younger generations, the Yonsei (fourth generation), have mixed heritage, reflecting Canada's multicultural identity. Japanese Canadians have excelled in various fields, from business leaders like Arlene Kumagai to renowned scientist David Suzuki. Their cultural influence is evident in everything from popular sushi restaurants to vibrant summer festivals like the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. The story of Japanese Canadians is one of resilience, adaptation, and continuous enrichment of Canadian society.

Permanent Residency Pathways to Canada From Japan

Permanent residency pathways to Canada from canada

Canada, with its robust economy, high quality of life, and welcoming immigration policies, attracts skilled individuals worldwide, including Japan. If you're a Japanese citizen seeking permanent residency in Canada, here's a comprehensive look at the primary pathways available:

Express Entry System

One of the most popular pathways is the Express Entry system, a streamlined immigration process designed to attract skilled workers to Canada. Under Express Entry, candidates are assessed based on, among other criteria:

  • Age,
  • Education,
  • Work experience, and
  • and language proficiency in English or French.

Japanese immigrants can create an online Express Entry profile and enter the Express Entry pool, where they may receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency through one of the three federal economic immigration programs.

Learn which Express Entry program is best for you.

Provincial Nominee Programs

Another pathway for Japanese immigrants is through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), which allow Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who have the skills, education, and work experience needed to contribute to the local economy. Each province and territory has its PNP with specific eligibility criteria and streams tailored to the region's labor market needs.

Japanese immigrants may find opportunities to immigrate through PNPs by securing a job offer from a Canadian employer or demonstrating ties to a particular province or territory. Provincial Nominee Programs you can use to immigrate to Canada include.

Canadian Provinces or Territories Provincial Nominee Programs 
Ontario Ontario PNP
Quebec Quebec PNP
Alberta Alberta PNP
British Columbia British Columbia PNP
Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island PNP
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador PNP
New Brunswick New Brunswick PNP
Northwest Territories Northwest Territories PNP
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan PNP
Manitoba Manitoba PNP
Yukon Yukon PNP
Nova Scotia Nova Scotia PNP

Business Immigration to Canada From Japan

For Japanese entrepreneurs and investors, business immigration to Canada offers pathways to permanent residency through programs such as the:

These programs aim to attract individuals with the financial resources and business skills to contribute to Canada's economy and create jobs. Japanese immigrants interested in starting a business or investing in Canada can explore these pathways to obtain permanent residency.

Immigration Pilots

Besides the Express Entry system and PNPs, Canada offers immigration pilots that target specific occupations or communities needing skilled workers. For example, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot are initiatives designed to address Atlantic Canada's and rural communities' labor shortages. Japanese immigrants may qualify for these pilots based on their skills, work experience, and willingness to settle in designated regions.

Family Sponsorship

Family Sponsorship is another pathway for Japanese immigrants to obtain permanent residency in Canada. Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their:

  • Spouses and Partners,
  • Dependent children,
  • Relatives,
  • Adopted children, and
  • Parents and Grandparents.

Japanese immigrants with family members living in Canada may be eligible for family sponsorship, provided they meet the sponsorship requirements and demonstrate the ability to support their family members.

Learn more about the three easy ways to move to Canada with your family.

Temporary Residency Pathways to Canada From Japan

Temporary Residency Programs to Canada from Japan

For Japanese citizens, temporary residency options through work permits offer valuable stepping stones. One common pathway is through Canada work permits.

Canada Work Permits

A Canada work permit allows foreign nationals to work in Canada for a specified period. Japanese citizens can obtain a work permit by securing a job offer from a Canadian employer willing to sponsor their application.

The work permit is usually tied to a specific employer and job, and the duration of stay depends on the terms outlined in the job offer. The two types of work Canadian work permits include the following.

Employer-specific Work Permit

An employer-specific work permit allows you to work for a specific Canadian employer with a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA demonstrates that hiring a temporary foreign worker won't negatively impact Canadian employment opportunities.

Open Work Permit

An open work permit offers more flexibility by allowing work for any employer in Canada within a specific timeframe, provided you meet the eligibility criteria. You can apply for an open or employer-specific work permit via the following programs.

Learn more about how you can work in Canada.

Temporary Foreign Work Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) facilitates hiring foreign workers to fill temporary labor shortages in Canada. Canadian Employers can apply for LMIAs to hire foreign workers for specific positions. Once an LMIA is approved, Japanese individuals can apply for a work permit to fill the designated position for the approved duration.

International Mobility Program

The International Mobility Program (IMP) offers temporary residency options for Japanese citizens who qualify under specific categories, such as:

  • Intra-company transferees,
  • International agreements (e.g., NAFTA),
  • Postgraduate Work Permit, and
  • Reciprocal employment arrangements.

Under the IMP, Japanese individuals may be exempt from the LMIA requirement, depending on their work and the terms of international agreements between Japan and Canada. Temporary residency pathways to Canada from Japan allow individuals to gain valuable work experience, explore career opportunities, and contribute to Canada's economy. The work experience gained via temporary residency in Canada can serve as a pathway to permanent residency via programs such as the Canadian Experience Class.

Benefits of Moving to Canada From Japan

Benefits of Immigrating to Canada from Japan

Canada, renowned for its vast landscapes, multicultural society, and high quality of life, attracts many worldwide, including Japan. If you're contemplating a move from Japan to Canada, here's a look at the benefits that await you.

Thriving Economy and Stable Job Market

Canada boasts a robust and diversified economy, with sectors like technology, finance, healthcare, and natural resources experiencing significant growth. This means ample job opportunities across various industries, offering stability and career advancement prospects. Many Canadian provinces, particularly Ontario and British Columbia, face labor shortages in skilled professions.

This creates a favorable job market for qualified Japanese immigrants with valuable skills and experience, potentially leading to faster job placement and competitive salaries. Canadian work culture is similar to Japan's emphasis on respect, professionalism, and dedication. This common ground can ease Japanese workers' transition to a new work environment.

Access to Universal Healthcare in Canada

Canada's universal healthcare system offers peace of mind, ensuring access to essential medical services for all residents, including preventive care, hospitalization, and specialist consultations. This eliminates concerns about high medical costs that are often prevalent in Japan. The universal healthcare system fosters a preventative approach to healthcare, encouraging individuals to prioritize their well-being. This is in line with the growing emphasis on health in Japan.

Learn more about healthcare in Canada.

Strong Work-Life Balance in Canada

Canada has strong labor laws that protect employee rights and ensure fair treatment in the workplace. This includes regulations on:

  • Minimum wage,
  • Overtime pay,
  • Employment insurance,
  • Paid vacation, and
  • Sick leave.

These benefits can create a healthier work-life balance compared to the demanding work culture sometimes experienced in Japan. Canadian culture emphasizes a healthy work-life balance, encouraging employees to take time off to relax and recharge. This allows you to pursue hobbies, spend time with family, and explore your interests outside of work, contributing to a more fulfilling life.

Diverse Cultural Experiences in Canada

Canada actively promotes immigration programs that attract skilled professionals from diverse backgrounds. This fosters a welcoming and inclusive society where newcomers feel a sense of belonging. Canada's multicultural population offers a vibrant cultural experience. From vibrant cities to charming towns, you'll encounter a multitude of ethnicities, cuisines, and traditions to explore, enriching your daily life.

While French and English are the official languages, large Japanese communities exist in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver, allowing you to connect with your heritage while integrating into Canadian society.

Strong Social Support in Canada

Canada offers a robust social safety net with unemployment insurance and social assistance programs that provide a safety net for individuals facing financial hardship, fostering a sense of security and well-being. This can be particularly beneficial compared to Japan's more individualistic social structure.

Canadians are known for their friendly and helpful nature. Many communities have strong support systems, offering newcomers opportunities to connect with neighbors and build meaningful relationships.

Learn more about support services in Canada via a Social Insurance Number.

Vibrant Urban Centers in Canada

Canada boasts metropolitan hubs like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, filled with:

  • Museums,
  • Art galleries,
  • Theaters, and a
  • Thriving nightlife scene.

This caters to diverse interests and provides ample cultural exploration and entertainment opportunities. Canadian cities generally have well-developed infrastructure, offering efficient public transportation systems, reliable utilities, and well-maintained roads. This contributes to a high standard of living. Major cities often have vibrant ethnic enclaves, allowing you to experience a taste of home alongside the broader Canadian culture.

Learn about the emerging tech cities in Canada.

Strong Community Bonds in Canada

Canadian communities are known for their strong community spirit. Neighborly interactions and local events create opportunities to connect with others and build lasting friendships. This can be especially comforting for those relocating from a tight-knit society like Japan. Canada fosters a family-oriented culture with policies and programs that support families. This aligns well with Japanese values that emphasize family importance.

Learn how to find your community in Canada.

Breathtaking Nature and Diverse Landscapes in Canada

Canada offers all four seasons, providing various outdoor activities year-round. Hike through majestic mountains in the summer, ski down snowy slopes in the winter, or witness the vibrant fall foliage. This seasonal variety caters to a wider range of outdoor interests compared to Japan's more temperate climate.

From vast coastlines and towering mountains to crystal-clear lakes and lush forests, Canada's stunning natural landscapes offer ample opportunities for exploration and connection with nature. This abundance of natural beauty stands in contrast to the more densely populated areas of Japan.

A network of provincial and national parks such as Banff and Fundy National Parks. These parks provide opportunities for camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, and various outdoor activities, creating a healthy lifestyle and environmental appreciation. This extensive park system allows for a deeper immersion in nature compared to the limited park space in Japan.


Are Support Services Available to Help Japanese Immigrants Settle in Canada?

Yes, there are numerous support services available to assist Japanese immigrants in settling in Canada, including government-funded settlement agencies, community organizations, language schools, and cultural associations. These support services assist with housing, employment, language training, cultural orientation, and integration into Canadian society.

Learn more about professional immigrant networks.

How Long Does it Take to Immigrate to Canada From Japan?

The processing time to immigrate to Canada from Japan varies depending on factors such as the immigration program chosen, individual circumstances, and the volume of applications. Generally, it can take several months to a few years to complete the immigration process, with some pathways offering faster processing times than others.

How Can Japanese Immigrants Maintain Ties With Their Home Country While Living in Canada?

Japanese immigrants can maintain ties with their home country while living in Canada through various means. This includes connecting with family and friends through phone calls, video chats, and social media. They can also participate in Japanese community events and cultural festivals in Canada, accessing Japanese-language media such as newspapers, television programs, and online platforms.