Which is the Best Province to Immigrate to in Canada
January 22, 2024
As the second-largest country in the world, Canada offers diverse landscapes, cultures, and opportunities across its provinces. With so many attractive places to settle in the country, many immigrants are frequently faced with the question, "Which is the Best Province to Immigrate to in Canada?".
Navigating the complexities of this decision requires a comprehensive understanding of factors such as job opportunities, cost of living, cultural fit, and provincial nominee programs. Get a start on your Canadian adventure with our immigration guide to settling in the best province in Canada– Ontario!
Which Province is the Best to Immigrate to in Canada?
Ontario, with its vibrant cities and picturesque landscapes, emerges as a top choice for individuals contemplating immigration to Canada.
Ontario stands out as the premier choice for immigration to Canada, offering a myriad of advantages that make it the best province for prospective immigrants.
Thriving Job Market: Gateway to Success
Central to Ontario's appeal is its robust and dynamic job market, which is a gateway to immigrants' success. With bustling industries in gasoline and petroleum wholesaling, commercial, healthcare, and more, Ontario presents an array of career opportunities for professionals and skilled workers.
Ontario's unemployment rate is currently 6.3%, according to Canada's Job Bank. This ensures that newcomers have a high chance of finding permanent, secure, full-time employment in the province.
The province's economic prowess fosters innovation and ensures a competitive job market that values talent and expertise. For those aspiring to build a successful career and contribute to a thriving economy, Ontario's job market is a compelling reason to choose it as the ultimate destination for immigration.
Learn more about Ontario’s in-demand occupations.
Quality Education for a Bright Future
For families considering immigration, Ontario's commitment to education becomes a deciding factor. The province is home to world-renowned universities and colleges that consistently rank among the best globally.
From elementary to post-secondary education, Ontario offers a comprehensive and high-quality learning experience for students. Ontario’s provincial Ministry of Education is responsible for administering basic education in the province. Three of Ontario’s universities are in the Times Higher Education (THE) top 200 World University Rankings list. This includes the:
- University of Toronto, (nr 21)
- McMaster University, (nr 103)
- University of Waterloo (nr 155), and
- University of Ottawa, (nr 177).
The emphasis on education extends beyond the academic realm, fostering skills and knowledge that prepare the younger generation for a bright and promising future.
Cultural Mosaic: Embrace Diversity
Ontario proudly stands as a cultural mosaic, inviting residents to embrace diversity and celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures that coexist within the province. Toronto, the largest city in Ontario, is recognized as one of the most multicultural cities globally, providing a melting pot of traditions, languages, and experiences. According to the World Population Review, almost a quarter of the population in Ontario, 26%, is from a visible minority community. This includes, among others:
- South Asian (7.6%),
- Chinese (5%),
- Black (4.3%), and
- Filipino (2.2%).
This cultural diversity not only enhances the social fabric of the province but also creates an inclusive atmosphere where newcomers feel welcome and valued. The ability to embrace and appreciate different cultures is a hallmark of Ontario's identity, making it an ideal province for those seeking a truly global community.
Exceptional Healthcare Services
Health is wealth, and Ontario ensures the well-being of its residents through an exceptional healthcare system. Access to quality medical care is a fundamental aspect of life in Ontario, with a network of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare professionals dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare services. As a permanent resident in Ontario, you can access its publicly funded healthcare by registering for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
The OHIP covers:
- Doctor visits,
- Hospital stays and visits,
- Surgical or medical abortions,
- In hospital dental surgery,
- Eye-health services (Optometry),
- Ambulance services,
- Foot-health services (podiatry), and
- Lab testing services.
The province's commitment to health extends to preventive measures, public health initiatives, and a focus on overall wellness. For immigrants, the assurance of excellent healthcare adds a layer of security, contributing to a high quality of life in Ontario.
Learn more about healthcare in Canada.
Seamless Integration and Supportive Communities
The journey of immigration involves more than just finding employment and securing services; it is about becoming part of a community that fosters belonging and support. Ontario excels in creating an environment where newcomers can seamlessly integrate into society.
Government initiatives, community programs, and support services are designed to assist immigrants in navigating the various aspects of their new lives. From language programs to settlement services, Ontario ensures that newcomers feel supported and empowered to build a fulfilling life in their adopted home. Settlement services for newcomers in Ontario that you can contact include:
- West Neighborhood House,
- North Bay And District Multicultural Center,
- Luso Community Services,
- Cross-Cultural Community Services Association, and
- Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services.
5 of the Best Cities to Settle in Ontario
Ontario, a province known for its diverse opportunities and welcoming communities, hosts several cities that stand out as ideal places to settle. Here are five of the best cities to consider when planning your move:
Toronto: The Cosmopolitan Hub
Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is a bustling metropolis known for its cultural diversity and economic vibrancy. With a thriving job market, world-class amenities, and a rich cultural scene, Toronto offers a cosmopolitan lifestyle that attracts professionals and families alike.
Ottawa: The Capital City Charm
As the capital of Canada, Ottawa combines historical charm with modern amenities. It's a city where government institutions coexist with picturesque landscapes along the Ottawa River. A strong job market, excellent education options, and a high quality of life make Ottawa an appealing choice.
Hamilton: A Perfect Blend of Urban and Natural
Situated on the western tip of Lake Ontario, Hamilton boasts a unique blend of urban living and natural beauty. The city is known for its vibrant arts scene, diverse neighborhoods, and proximity to the Niagara Escarpment. Hamilton is a great option for those seeking a balanced lifestyle.
London: Education and Innovation Hub
Home to renowned institutions like the University of Western Ontario, London is a city that thrives on education and innovation. With a dynamic economy, cultural attractions, and a strong sense of community, London appeals to students, professionals, and families looking for a progressive environment.
Waterloo: Silicon Valley of the North
Waterloo, often referred to as the Silicon Valley of the North, is a tech hub that has gained international recognition. With the presence of top-notch universities and a flourishing tech sector, the city attracts innovators and entrepreneurs. The quality of life in Waterloo, coupled with its forward-thinking atmosphere, makes it an enticing choice for settlement.
How Can I Immigrate to Ontario?
If you are aspiring to make Ontario your new home, there are several immigration pathways to consider, each tailored to different circumstances and goals. Here's a guide on how you can immigrate to Ontario:
Express Entry System
The Express Entry system is an online platform used by the Canadian government to manage immigration applications from skilled workers who want to settle in Canada permanently. Express Entry provides a streamlined, expedited immigration pathway with application processing times as fast as six months. It consists of three main immigration programs, the:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP),
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
Learn more about which Canada Express Entry program is best for you.
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that enables foreign nationals to become Canadian permanent residents by targeting skilled workers, workers in sectors with labor shortages, entrepreneurs, and investors. The main objectives of the OINP are to respond to skill shortages in targeted areas, make it easier to invest in Ontario and ensure newcomers can settle and integrate well in the province.
Find out more about how to qualify for the OINP.
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a Canadian immigration program designed to attract skilled workers to smaller communities. It is a community-driven program that aims to spread the benefits of economic immigration to these communities.
Learn more about the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.
The Agri-Food Pilot, is a program in Canada that provides a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and occupations in the agriculture and agri-food sector. The pilot is designed to address the labor needs of the Canadian agri-food sector, particularly in meat processing, mushroom production, and other related industries.
Find out more about the Agrifood Pilot's pathway to permanent residence in Canada.
Homecare Provider Pilots
The Home Care Provider Pilots in Canada allow qualified caregivers and their families to apply for permanent residence. There are two main programs: the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot. The Home Care Provider Pilots are designed to address the increasing demand for caregivers in Canada and offer a pathway to permanent residency for individuals in these professions.
Learn more about how to immigrate to Canada as a Caregiver.
Business Immigration to Ontario
The province of Ontario in Canada offers two main programs for business immigration: the Self-Employed Program and the Start-up Visa Program. The Self-Employed Program is designed for individuals with relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics who are willing and able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada. The Start-up Visa Program is aimed at individuals from outside Canada who want to start a business or buy an already existing business in Ontario.
Find out more about business immigration to Canada.
What Can I Do If I'm Not Eligible for Permanent Residency in Ontario (Canada PR)?
If you are currently ineligible to apply for permanent residency in Ontario, there are alternative pathways to explore that allow you to experience life and work in Canada. They are:
Canada Work Permits
A Canada Work Permit allows individuals to work legally in the country for a specified duration. Applicants must have a job offer from a Canadian employer and, in some cases, a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
Temporary Foreign Work Permit
This permit is designed for individuals who have secured a job offer in Canada that falls under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
International Mobility Program (IMP)
The International Mobility Program (IMP) encompasses work permits outside the TFWP, catering to certain situations where LMIA requirements are waived.
The experience gained working in Canada via a work permit can enable you to gain sufficient experience to apply for permanent residency in Canada via the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Canada Study Permit
A study permit is a mandatory immigration document for all international students who wish to study in Canada, except for those studying in a program that is less than 6 months. To apply for a study permit, students must have a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. The experience gained as an international student can help you stay in Canada via the Postgraduate Work Permit (PGWP).
Learn more about how to apply for a student visa in Canada.
How Do I Assess Job Opportunities in Different Provinces?
Research the demand for your occupation in each province, explore industry growth and check unemployment rates. Provincial websites, job boards, and industry reports can provide valuable insights into the job market.
Are There Specific Provinces That Are Good For International Students Seeking Permanent Residency in Canada?
Certain provinces have initiatives that make it easier for international students to transition to permanent residency. These provinces include:
How Do I Stay Updated on Immigration Policies and Changes in Different Provinces?
Regularly check the official websites of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and individual provincial immigration authorities. Subscribe to newsletters, attend information sessions, and consult with authorized immigration consultants to stay informed about any policy changes or updates.