Ready for a New Start? 8 Ways to Immigrate to Canada in 2020

February 9, 2021


  • Robynn Farrell

Do you want to start a new life in Canada?  With the estimated 341,000 foreign nationals Canada plans on welcoming this year, a new and exciting immigration program for skilled agri-workers and the continual labor shortages in various industries and provinces within Canada, 2020 may just be the perfect year to begin your Canadian immigration journey. In this post, we briefly explain the 8 most popular Canadian immigration programs for the new year. Which program do you qualify for? Find out below!

8 Canadian Immigration Programs in 2020 

1. Express Entry Canada for Skilled Workers

Man touching globe on virtual tech screen Of the 341, 000 foreign nationals Canada plans on welcoming in 2020, approximately 58 percent of them will be accepted to Canada through its three federal economic immigration programs, namely the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Class. Applications to these programs are managed by Canada’s popular online immigration system - Express Entry. This is a fast-track process that takes as little as six months for applications to be selected.  Here’s how it works: You are required to create an online Express Entry profile. The Express Entry System scores and ranks your profile according to factors such as your age, language skills, education, work experience and more. Based on the eligibility criteria, you get a Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS). The highest-ranking candidates are chosen and given Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence during routine Express Entry draws that take place every two weeks. In 2019, 85, 300 Express Entry candidates were Invited to Apply for Canadian permanent residence.  The trick to Canadian immigration in 2020 and beyond is creating a competitive Express Entry profile. For more information about eligibility requirements, apply to MDC today and an immigration consultant will contact you.   Start Your Journey

Express Entry Update

 Slight Increase in Settlement Funds

Besides your age, language skills, education and work experience, another important criterion to immigrate to Canada is proof of settlement funds. All applicants apart from those with valid job offers in Canada, as well as Canadian Experience Class applicants, need to prove that they have enough money to support themselves and family members when settling in Canada.  The new figures below are in place as of January 1, 2020
Number of Family Members Required Funds in CAD
1 (single applicant) $12, 960
2 $16, 135
3 $19, 836
4 $24, 083
5 $27, 315
6 $30, 806
7 $34, 299
For each additional family member $3, 492

2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) for Skilled Workers in Specific Occupations

Each Canadian province, with the exception of Quebec, has its own unique PNP streams that are designed to help the province meet its economic and demographic goals by welcoming foreign nationals to work and live in Canada. There are over 60 PNP streams to apply for! Some provinces have a need for truck drivers (Saskatchewan Long-Haul Truck Driver Stream) while others readily welcome skilled international graduates (Ontario Masters Graduate Stream). For this reason, the eligibility criteria and application procedures are slightly different for PNPs.  Here’s how it works: If you apply through a provincial stream, it’s important to note that all decisions regarding permanent residence must be approved by the Canadian Federal Government. For this reason, the application process is two-fold and consists of; 1) a provincial nomination and 2) a federal application. If you receive a provincial nomination it means your application has been approved on a provincial level. Thereafter, you must submit a federal application for permanent residence. 

Express Entry Provincial Nominee Programs

Many of the PNP streams align with the Express Entry system, like the Alberta Express Entry stream and the Manitoba Express Entry Pathway plus many more. You need to create an Express Entry profile and indicate your interest in a specific Canadian province who can then choose to nominate you. If you receive a nomination you can claim 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, virtually guaranteeing you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in the next Express Entry draw! Additionally, provincial governments can freely nominate candidates in the Express Entry pool who meet their eligibility requirements.
PNP Streams
British Columbia
  • Skills Immigration
  • Express Entry British Columbia
  • Entrepreneur Immigration
  • International Skilled Worker Category
  • Saskatchewan Experience Category
  • Entrepreneur and Farm Category
  • Skilled Worker Stream
  • Skilled Worker Overseas Stream
  • Business Investor Stream (formerly MPNP-B)
  • Morden Community Driven Immigration Initiative
  • International Education Stream
  • Human Capital Category
  • Employer Job Offer Category
  • Business Category
Nova Scotia
  • Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry
  • Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry
  • Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities
  • Skilled Worker Stream
  • Entrepreneur Stream
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
  • Physician Stream
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
Prince Edward Island
  • PEI PNP Express Entry
  • Labour Impact Category
  • Business Impact Category
New Brunswick
  • Express Entry Labour Market Stream
  • Skilled Workers with Employer Support
  • Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream
  • Entrepreneurial Stream
  • Skilled Workers with Family Support
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Express Entry Skilled Worker
  • Skilled Worker Category
  • International Graduate Category
  • International Entrepreneur Category
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Category
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
Northwest Territories
  • Employer Driven Program
  • Skilled Worker
  • Business Immigration Program
  • Yukon Express Entry (YEE)
  • Skilled Worker
  • Critical Impact Worker
  • Business Nominee

3. Family Sponsorship for Permanent Residents 

Three generations of men Canada’s family sponsorship is a special immigration program that focuses on bringing families together. The family sponsorship program allows those who have obtained permanent resident status or citizenship in Canada to sponsor a spouse, partner, dependent children, parents or grandparents to move to Canada.  Here’s how it works:  With a Canadian sponsorship, family members sidestep the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that determines applicants’ eligibility to move to Canada based on criteria such as, language proficiency and education qualifications. Instead, a primary requirement for anyone looking to sponsor family members is financial stability. They should be able to provide for family members who can’t provide for themselves, like children and elders.  Canada’s Family Class Immigration Targets for Years 2019, 2020 and 2021
Immigration Category Category 2019 Target  2020 Target 2021 Target
Family Spouses, Partners, and Children 68,000 70,000 70,000
  Parents and Grandparents 20, 500 20,500 20,500
  Total Family 88,500 91,000 91,000

Updates to Family Sponsorship 2020

The parent's and grandparents' program has been postponed for the year due to a flood of applications. The program admits about 20,000 people annually, but current processing times are around two years. The IRCC will adapt and improve the application system and the new system will be revealed in April 2020.  

4. Business and Entrepreneur Programs 

multicultural group of employees Business immigration to Canada is popular. Beyond creating jobs for Canadians, immigrant-owned businesses improve trade ties to Canada and help strengthen the Canadian economy, which is the number one factor that drives Canadian immigration.  There are two broad business immigration categories for self-employed persons and entrepreneurs to expand their businesses to Canada. These include the Self-Employed Program and the Investor or Start-Up Visa Program.
Program Main Requirements  Processing Time
Self Employed Only Artistic or Athletic Activities/Industries my apply. 21 months
Start-Up Visa Your business must be innovative, globally competitive and create jobs for Canadians.  12- 16 months

Provincial Nominee Programs for Business 

Canada’s 13 provinces and territories have at least one entrepreneur or one investor stream dedicated to business-savvy individuals who would like to make an economic difference in a specific Canadian province. The eligibility requirements may vary for each province.  Learn more about Canada’s Business Immigration Programs here

5. Atlantic Immigration Pilot

Atlantic Canada Canada’s maritime provinces; Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick introduced a special immigration pilot, namely the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, in 2017 that aims to help Canada’s Atlantic region strengthen their economy with immigration. The Pilot is an employer-driven program and therefore requires candidates to obtain a valid job offer from one of the 1,896 designated employers to be eligible to apply for Canadian immigration through three sub-programs: 1) The Atlantic High-Skilled Program 2) The Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program 3) The Atlantic International Graduate Program Initially launched as a three-year pilot, the IRCC announced in 2019 that the Atlantic Immigration Pilot will be extended by two years to December 2021. To date, the pilot has assisted 2, 535 immigrants obtain permanent residence in Atlantic Canada.  Learn more about the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, here. 

6. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Small Village Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot was launched in 2019 as a community-driven program and much like the Atlantic Pilot is designed to economically strengthen smaller and remote communities in Canada by providing a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers. 11 communities have been selected to form part of the Pilot but only three communities are currently accepting applications.
Community Status 2020
North Bay, ON Coming Soon
Sudbury, ON Coming Soon
Timmins, ON Coming Soon
Sault Ste. Marie, ON Launched
Thunder Bay, ON Launched
Brandon, MB Coming Soon
Altona/Rhineland, MB Launched
Moose Jaw, SK Coming Soon
Claresholm, AB Coming Soon
Vernon, BC Coming Soon
West Kootenay, BC Coming Soon
Learn more about the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, here. 

7. Skilled Refugees Resettlement

Canada broke the record as the country that took in more refugees than any other country in 2018, according to UNHCR. It seems that Canada has plans to continue the trend in 2020 by admitting more refugees through economic immigration programs, especially those with trade skills.  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is working closely with Talent Beyond Boundaries, a refugee resettlement organization to bring in more refugees through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP’s) in Canada. Participating provinces and territories include Yukon, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Ontario. Refugees who meet the requirements of the provincial programs and streams will be considered for permanent residency in Canada. 

8. Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

Tomatoes and mushrooms The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is set to launch in March 2020. The Pilot will address labor shortages in the Canadian agri-food sector, particularly in meat processing and mushroom production. The Pilot is aimed at skilled agricultural workers and will be active for three years.  More information about eligibility requirements and the application process will be available soon. 

How We Can Help You Immigrate to Canada in 2020

team-of-employees-in-canada With so many programs, streams and pilots to choose from, the immigration process can be quite daunting. Luckily, you don’t have to take it on alone.  Our team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) is immigration experts who can assist you throughout the entire process, from start to finish. RCICs help you discover the best pathway to Canada based on your individual needs and requirements. They also handle all of the required paperwork on your behalf to ensure that your application is faultless and optimized for success.  Prepare for your next journey with professionals who really care about helping you. Take the first step, fill in the contact form below.