Top 3 Canadian Immigration Programs for 2023

March 16, 2023


  • Wesley Allan

Canada is known for its diverse culture, beautiful landscapes, and excellent economy. Therefore, it is no wonder that many worldwide dreams of immigrating to Canada. However, immigrating to Canada can be daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with the immigration programs available. This guide will provide you with an overview of the top 3 immigration programs for 2023.

Canada is one of the most welcoming countries in the world, with a well-established immigration system that attracts people from all over the globe. The Canadian government offers various immigration programs to allow people with different skills and qualifications to enter the country. These programs are designed to help skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and investors settle in Canada permanently.

The Canadian government aims to welcome more than 500,000 immigrants to Canada annually by 2025. This target is part of Canada's Immigration Levels Plan, which aims to build a strong and diverse economy through immigration.

There are various immigration programs in Canada, each with its own set of requirements and procedures. The three most popular immigration programs in Canada for 2023 are the Express Entry program, Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and the Canada Start-up Visa program.

Express Entry

Express Entry

The Express Entry program is a federal immigration program that manages the applications of skilled workers who want to move to Canada. Express Entry is a point-based system that assesses the eligibility of applicants based on their age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and other factors.

How Does it Work?

The Express Entry System is the most famous and widely used immigration stream. It permits qualified workers to live and work in Canada. The country’s immigration authority board, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), will be able to examine and select skilled immigrants who have met the requirements under federal economic immigration programs. There are three programs under the Express Entry System.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The FSWP is designed for skilled workers with work experience. It is an immigration program for people who want to work permanently and live in Canada. The following are the requirements to be eligible for this program:

FSWP Eligibility Criteria
At least one year of Skilled Work Experience at TEER 0, 1 or 2
A Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7
Certification of your credentials from a designated organization
Enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada
more than 67 CRS points

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The FSTP is for skilled employees who seek to become permanent residents because they have a skilled trade qualification.

You must demonstrate that you completed the tasks outlined in the lead statement of the National Occupational Classification's occupational description. This comprises all of the necessary responsibilities and the majority of the key responsibilities.

Although no education is required, you can improve your chances in the Express Entry pool by certifying your credentials from a Canadian Authority. You may also have to have your trade assessed by a province to qualify to work in a particular region.

FSTP Eligibility Criteria
At least one year of Skilled Trade Work Experience at TEER 2 or 3
A Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 4
Certification of your credentials from a designated organization
enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada
A valid job offer in the trade you're qualified for

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The CEC is for permanent residents with Canadian work experience, which they gained through a temporary work permit. Because temporary foreign employees are likely already integrated into Canadian culture and have established support networks, they can easily convert to permanent residence and citizenship.

Successful candidates will benefit from one of the shortest processing times in Canadian immigration because the Express Entry system controls the CEC. You must first satisfy the Canadian Experience Class requirements before being considered for Express Entry.

  • Within 36 months of the application date, you must have gained at least one year of skilled, professional, or technical work experience in Canada.
  • For TEER 2 occupations, achieve or exceed a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5 or 7 for TEER 0 and 1 jobs.
  • You must plan to live and work outside Quebec's borders (individuals with work experience in Quebec and who plan to reside in Quebec should apply to the Quebec Experience Class).

How to Apply

When applying for Express Entry, there are several vital steps to ensure your process goes smoothly.

Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

Before you begin your application process, you must know which program you should apply to and how eligible you are for this program. A great way to ensure your eligibility for a program is to get a complete evaluation by a certified immigration expert like a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

Step 2: Create Your Express Entry Profile

Create an Express Entry profile on the IRCC website. When you create this profile, you will enter details like

  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Qualifications
  • Work experience
  • Connections to Canada

Step 3: Receive a CRS Score

IRCC then evaluates your details using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to create a CRS score. Each score is out of 1200, and every score goes into an Express Entry pool. Every two weeks, IRCC runs an Express Entry draw. For each draw, IRCC releases a set minimum score. All applicants with scores over that number receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.

Step 4: Submit Relevant Documents

Once you receive an ITA, you must submit the relevant documentation to IRCC within 60 days. The documents you must submit are:

  • Passport
  • National Occupation Classification (NOC)
    • This is the Canadian classification for your current job, explicitly referring to the type and level of your employment.
  • Education credential assessment report
    • This assessment is done on your education to ensure it matches Canadian standards.
  • Recent language tests;
  • Proof of funds showing sufficient settlement funds
  • Police certificates;
  • Results of a medical exam from certified health professionals;
  • Job letters from past employers legitimize your work experience.
  • Canadian job offer (If you have one)
  • Provincial Nomination (If you have one)

Step 5: Pay Your Application Fees

Once you’ve sourced and uploaded your documentation, you must pay your application processing fees. The application processing fees for the Express Entry system are as follows:

Fees CAD
Main applicant processing fee ($850) + permanent residence fee ($515) $1,365
Spouse processing fee ($850) + permanent residence fee ($515) $1,365
To add a dependent child $230 per child

Step 6: Submit Your Application

Once you have uploaded all the relevant documentation and paid your fees, you can submit your application.

Express Entry processing times can be as little as six months but change based on your eligibility, CRS score, and chosen program. Here is a breakdown of IRCC processing times to better understand how fast you can move to Canada.

Before choosing an immigration program, it is essential to consider your goals, skills, and qualifications. You should also consult a RCIC before making decisions.

Provincial Nominee Program

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate candidates who want to live and work in their region. Each province and territory has its own PNP, with specific eligibility requirements and procedures. They are as follows:

  • Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
  • British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)
  • Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
  • New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NW PNP)
  • Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NL PNP)
  • Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
  • Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NS PNP)
  • Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP)
  • Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
  • Saskatchewan Provincial Nominee Program (SINP)
  • Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)

How Does it Work?

One of the best Canadian immigration programs for 2023 is the Provincial Nomination Program (PNP). This visa program caters to workers with the skills and experience required by a particular province who want to settle and work within that region. Choosing a province is the first step, as your application process and requirements are based on which province you would like to settle in.

It is a great option to get Canada permanent residency if you know where you want to live and have a job offer from a particular province. You can submit your application through a paper-based process where you can apply to the province for a nomination not inclusive of the Express Entry pool, or you can contact the province where you want to live and work and apply for a nomination under the Express Entry Stream. You can also indicate which provinces interest you when you create your Express Entry Profile.

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility requirements for the PNP vary depending on the province or territory. However, most PNPs require applicants to have the following:

  • A valid job offer from an employer in the province or territory
  • The necessary education and work experience to perform the job
  • Language proficiency in English or French

How to Apply

Step 1: Research the Different PNP Programs

Each province in Canada has its own PNP program with different eligibility criteria and application processes. Research and determine which program fits your qualifications and goals.

Step 2: Meet the Eligibility Criteria

Once you have determined the program that suits you, check the eligibility requirements and ensure you meet them. The eligibility requirements may include language proficiency, education, work experience, and a job offer from a Canadian employer.

Step 3: Apply to the Province

After determining the program you qualify for, submit an Expression of Interest or apply directly. You may need to provide documentation to support your application, such as educational certificates, language test results, and work experience.

Step 4: Receive a Provincial Nomination

If your application is successful, you will receive one. This nomination will add 600 points to your CRS score, increasing your chances of receiving an ITA for permanent residency from the federal government.

Step 5: Apply for Permanent Residency

After receiving the provincial nomination, you can apply to the federal government. You must provide additional documentation, such as medical exams and police certificates, and pay fees.

Note that the application process may vary depending on the province and program you are applying to. Therefore, checking your chosen program's specific requirements and procedures is important.

Learn more about how you can get a Provincial Nomination Here.

Start-up Visa

Canada Start-up Visa

The Canada Start-up Visa program is designed to attract foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Canada. The program offers permanent residence to entrepreneurs with a viable business idea and the support of a designated organization.

How Does it Work?

Here’s a handy introduction to the Start-up visa.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Canada Start-up Visa program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a qualifying business idea
  • Secure a commitment from a designated organization in Canada
  • Prove language proficiency in English or French
  • Have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family

How to Apply

To apply for the Canada Start-up Visa program, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Get a Commitment

The first step is to secure a commitment from a designated organization in Canada. Next, the selected organization will provide a letter of support and help you develop your business idea.

Step 2: Take a Language Test

You must complete a language test to prove your proficiency in English or French.

Step 3: Present Your Settlement Funds

You must demonstrate sufficient funds to support yourself and your family to the IRCC.

Step 4: Apply for Permanent Residency

Again, you must provide the letter of support and other documents to prove that you meet the program's requirements.

Each of the three immigration programs has advantages and disadvantages. The Express Entry program is a good option for skilled workers who want to move to Canada quickly. The PNP is ideal for those who want to live and work in a specific province or territory. Finally, the Canada Start-up Visa program is perfect for entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Canada.


Immigrate to Canada

How High is the Cost of Living in Canada?

Like most countries, this depends on your chosen province. The housing costs for a two-bedroom apartment in Toronto can average around $2,745; in Montreal, it is $1,130 monthly.

What Influences my CRS Score?

Several factors influence your CRS score. It is the system used by the IRCC to rank an Express Entry profile in the pool. The points you get from the CRS system include a core set of points up to 600 and additional points up to 600. Your total score will be out of 1,200.

Core: Up to 600 points

  • Skills and experience factors
  • education
  • Spouses or common-law partner factors, such as their language skills and education
  • Skills transferability

Additional: Up to 600 points

  • Canadian degrees, diplomas or certificates
  • a valid job offer
  • a nomination from a province or territory
  • A sibling who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • strong French language skills

Find out how to improve your CRS score here.

How to Start Your Immigration Process

How to Start Your Immigration Process

Immigrating to Canada can be life-changing. It is essential to understand the immigration programs available and choose the one that is right for you. When choosing an immigration program, you should consider the following factors:

  • your age, education, work experience, and language proficiency
  • your goals and aspirations in Canada
  • the eligibility requirements and procedures for each program
  • the processing times and fees for each program
  • the availability of job opportunities in your field

Consulting with an RCIC can help you make an informed decision and guide you through the immigration process.

An RCIC is a professional the Canadian government authorizes to provide immigration advice and assistance to clients. RCICs must meet educational and professional requirements and be registered with the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC).

An RCIC can help you with the following:

  • assess your eligibility for immigration programs
  • prepare and submit your application for permanent residence
  • represent you in communication with the Canadian government
  • provide advice and guidance throughout the immigration process

Consulting with an RCIC can help you navigate the complex immigration system in Canada and increase your chances of success.

If you are considering immigrating to Canada, consult with an RCIC to start your immigration process.