A Step By Step Guide to Canada’s Immigration Application Process

What does Canada’s immigration application process really entail? How long does the process last? What do I need to qualify? If you’re interested in moving to Canada, these are the questions you might want to ask to prepare for an extraordinary trip that could lead to a new life in the Great North.

Canada receives thousands of immigration applications each year and has become one of the most sought-after immigration destinations. Ranked as the second best country in the world for quality such as job opportunities, high quality of life and multiculturalism, newcomers are flourishing in Canada. By 2023, the Canadian government plans to take in 1.23 million immigrants to the country. Find out what it takes to be one of these below!

7 important steps to immigrate to Canada

If you apply to immigrate to Canada and your application is successful, you will be issued a permanent resident visa (PR). This allows you to live and work in the country permanently. If you are travelling outside Canada, you will need to show your PUBLIC Card and passport upon your return. As a permanent resident, you will enjoy most of the social benefits, including public health coverage, and will be protected by Canadian law. You can apply for citizenship after living in Canada for five years and receive a Canadian passport.

Step 1. Check if you are not admissible to move to Canada

The first step in Canada’s immigration application process is to check if you are not inadmissible in Canada. If you are deemed inadmissible, you will not be allowed to come to Canada under Canadian Immigration Act. Reasons why you may be inadmissible include security, criminal, and medical reasons, among others.

  • You’re a security risk
  • You have a criminal record, including DUI
  • You have health problems that can jeopardize public safety or cause excessive demand for health and social services
  • If you are not or are unwilling to financially support yourself and your family members
  • If you misrepresent your immigration application
  • If you have an unacceptable family member

Step 2. Find a Canadian immigration program that you qualify for

This could be the most challenging step in the immigration application process simply because Canada has more than 100 immigration programs and visas available. Each program comes with different eligibility criteria, application methods, processing times, and specific documents required.

  1. Eligibility assessments
    The most successful candidates use the professional services of certified immigration consultants to help them find the right path for Canada. Immigration advisors use an in-depth assessment of eligibility to plan an immigration plan based on their goals. It’s worth noting that even if you don’t qualify for a direct immigration program in Canada, your immigration advisor may find other alternatives for you. For example, if you need to gain Canadian work or education experience to be eligible for an immigration program, a consultant can guide you to apply for a Canadian work permit or study.
  2. Canadian Immigration Programs, Annual Goals, and Processing Time. How does Canada select immigrants? Well, most newcomers to Canada are economic immigrants who can fill skills and labor shortages in the country, as well as start businesses and create job opportunities for both Canadians and permanent residents. In 2021, Canada aims to take in 401,000 immigrants through economic categories in the following table.

Each category of immigration has a number of immigration programs associated with it, for example, the provincial candidate program is administered by 11 provinces and territories in Canada and has more than 80 immigration programs.

Step 3. Collect your immigration documents

What are immigration documents? These are forms, certificates and records used to support applications during the immigration application process in Canada. For example, if you claim to be in good health, you must include a medical examination certificate with the application.

Step 4. Give your biometrics to a center near you

You must provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photos) during the Canada immigration application process. If you previously provided your biometrics, you can check if they are still valid. The first step is to pay a biometric fee of $85 when you submit your application. You will then receive a letter confirming that you need to give your biometrics and tell you where you can go. Remember to make an appointment in advance. There are biometric location centers in each country, use this tool to find a location near you.

Step 5. Filling out government forms

Unfortunately, there is no bored administrator on the run when applying for permanent residency in Canada. You need to fill out some pages of government forms associated with the immigration program. It is also very important to complete the modules accurately because something as small as a typo or accidentally skipping the information can result in the return of the application. No one can circumvent the strict rules set by the Canadian government.

So there’s a question of where to find the forms. They are available on the Canadian federal government website or provincial government websites. Fair warning, it may look like you’re on a wild goose hunt. Government websites are not known to be extremely easy to use with a clear guide on where to find the forms you need or even what your form numbers are called. For example, the form for applying for permanent resident cards is called IMM 5444.

Step 6. Submit your application to the correct department

Finally, you can submit your request! When you need to apply depends on the permanent resident program for which you want to apply. Most immigration applications are processed in case centers in Nova Scotia, Canada. The only online-based immigration program is the express entry system

Step 7. Expect your results

The wait can be long, but it will definitely be worth it, especially if you can pack for Canada! It usually takes a few months to process some immigration applications. (See second step.) There has been a slight delay in Canada’s immigration application process due to the covid-19 pandemic, and processing times can take a little longer than usual. For this reason, it is a good idea to start your journey as soon as possible to overcome the avalanche of candidates.