Immigrate to Canada from the Philippines in 2021

April 8, 2021


  • Reuben Walter

If you are from the Philippines, you may know that your beautiful island nation has a population of around 70 million people, and maybe you know that the landmass is around 300,000 square kilometers. Canada, with our population of 37.5 million people, has a landmass of 9,985 million square kilometers. So, aside from a lot of room to breathe, why else would you want to immigrate to Canada from the Philippines in 2021?

The average monthly wage in the Philippines is currently equal to $1,170 Canadian dollars, the average wage per month in Canada is $4,550. While there is a disparity in the cost of living between the two countries, there is also a major disparity between the quality of life you will enjoy in Canada compared to the Philippines. The reality is that even minimum wage workers earn upwards of $30,000 a year in Canada, and enjoy a very good quality of life.

Canadian Immigration Options for Filipinos

Happy Filipino Family-Migrate to Canada in 2021

The Express Entry System

For Filipinos who have experience and/or a qualification in a managerial or professional occupation or as a skilled tradesman, Express Entry is a way to apply for permanent residency from outside of Canada, without requiring a job offer. It is important to make sure you have an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) done to make sure your qualifications are recognized in Canada.

Certain professions may also require recertification, such as teachers and nurses. Having a plan to get this done as soon as possible when you arrive in Canada could mean the difference between finding a well-paid job in your profession, earning a great income and possibly having to take a job with fewer entry barriers to meet expenses.

If you qualify for the Express Entry system, you are required to create a profile that is entered into a pool of candidates depending on your skills and qualifications. There are three pools or programs:

  • Skilled Worker Program - applicants require work experience and a qualification as a manager or in a professional occupation, such as teachers, nurses, engineers and IT professionals, to be eligible for this program. ;
  • Skilled Trades Program - applicants must have at least two years of experience or a qualification as a skilled trades worker. They must also have a valid job offer in Canada or be certified in your trade by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority. This is again where the ECA and recertification are important. Examples include carpenters, welders, plumbers, electricians and pipefitters. You can also study a trade while working in Canada.
  • Canada Experience Class - applicants require at least one year of experience working in Canada under a Temporary Foreign Work Permit, in an occupation eligible for one of the above categories. This program receives preference over the other two because candidates have demonstrated that they are capable of functioning in Canadian society.
    • International graduates from Canadian universities, colleges and trade schools who continue to live and work in Canada often apply for permanent residency through this program. This pathway will be looked at next.

Study in Canada

Canadian employers are more likely to hire foreigners if they have a Canadian credential, it is that straightforward.

Once you graduate from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada, that is any university, college or trade school with permission from the Canadian government to accept foreign students, you will have 90 days to secure a job offer and will then be eligible for a temporary foreign work permit.

You can then apply for permanent residency either through your provinces’ International Graduate program or as soon as you have a year of experience, through the Canada Experience Class (CEC).

International graduates of certain universities and colleges are eligible for the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). This special work permit is issued with a duration directly correlated to the length of your studies. It also allows the holder to work for any employer in Canada, so you do not need to apply for a new work permit if you change employers. You will also be able to apply for permanent residency through the same programs mentioned above.

Young Filipino Man in Canada-Express Entry

Start a Business in Canada

Filipino businesses have begun to spring up all over Canada, especially over the past decade. The greater Toronto area especially has been the birthplace of a number of major Filipino-owned companies such as Crispy Town, Grill City, Jollibee and the Philippine National Bank.

If you can show at least 3 years of experience as an active business owner, or 4 years as the manager of a business, and can meet the minimum investment requirement, you may be eligible to start or buy an existing business in Canada.

You can then apply for permanent residency under your province's entrepreneur stream of the Provincial Nomination Program. There will be a set of requirements for the minimum net worth, your minimum investment and the number of jobs you will be required to create for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. For entrepreneurs, this is the best way to immigrate to Canada from the Philippines.

The Start-up visa program is another option that allows young entrepreneurs with new or innovative ideas to apply for permanent residency in Canada if they can secure a Canadian investor to fund their business idea in Canada.

Immigration Pilot Programs

The Home and Child Care Provider Pilots assists caregivers from the Philippines in becoming permanent residents of Canada. All they require is a job offer from a Canadian citizen or resident to apply for an open work permit and to the pilot. After they have two years of experience working in Canada as a caregiver they will be eligible for permanent residency.

Community-specific programs, such as the Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot, allow communities to nominate foreign workers employed within their towns or communities for permanent residency. All you require is a job offer in one of the 11 participating towns or cities.

Some of the most in-demand occupations in Canada are in the medical and IT fields, and one of the most in-demand occupations in Canada is nursing. Candidates with qualifications in either are highly sought after, this means a great wage, and an easier path to permanent residency than most.

Filipinos in Canada

The last census in 2016 indicated that there were over 850,000 Filipinos or people of Filipino descent living in Canada. That is nearly 3% of the total population. Because of the place Filipinos have already managed to make for themselves in Canadian society, there are Filipino magazines, newspapers, radio stations and even television channels.

Year on year, more and more Filipinos become permanent residents of Canada. In 2002, eleven thousand Filipinos became permanent residents of Canada. In 2008, twenty-four thousand. In 2015, fifty thousand. We look forward to seeing how many Filipinos are welcomed to Canada in 2021, with the total immigration target for the year set at a record-breaking 401,000!

Canadians are friendly, welcoming people. The majority of people speak English. While initially, most Filipinos settled in the greater Toronto area, there has been a steady increase in the amount of Filipinos living in western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Wherever you land up, it is highly likely that you will find an expat community, should you ever feel a little homesick and need a little support.

Family in Canada from the Philippines

Are You Ready to Start a Life in Canada?

If you want to move to Canada, you can. The first and most important step is to determine which immigration program you are eligible for, and then to plan an immigration roadmap to make sure your application for permanent residence is secure. The most important thing you can do when immigrating to Canada from the Philippines in 2021 is to make sure your status is legal. Whether you start out on a work permit, as a student or by apply for residency through Express Entry, it is important to make this journey the right way.