There are many ways to immigrate to Canada. Here, we provide our experience about immigrating to Canada. Information may change fast, and may not be accurate etc. so please use them just to have a general idea about how to immigrate to Canada and speak with a licensed immigration advisor.
Two main ways to to immigrate to Canada
– Top-down: get federal approval, then settle in the province of your choice
– Bottom-up: get provincial nomination, then apply for federal approval (permanent resident status). Even in this case, Federal approval is necessary, but it comes cronologically after you got the provincial nomination
Some Top-down ways to immigrate to Canada
These do not apply if you want to work/live in Quebec. They apply to the rest of Canada.
– Skilled workers and professionals (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/index.asp)
A point system. You send your application to the Canadian embassy of your Country. They will ask for more documents, you provide them when requested. You can assess your points on http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/tool/index.asp
Advantages: you do not leave your Country until you get the residency; then, you can work everywhere in Canada
Disadvantages: long process, can be expensive because you may need much more papers than are required when you are already nominated by a Canadian province.
– Canadian Experience Class (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/cec/index.asp)
Fast-track for people who already worked in Canada. You can apply if before you were a temporary foreign worker with at least two years of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada, or a foreign graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution with at least one year of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada.
– Investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/index.asp)
For people with deep pockets, or who work in art.
Some Bottom-up ways to immigrate to Canada
Every province has its own rules.
– British Columbia: http://www.welcomebc.ca/wbc/immigration/index.page?WT.svl=Topnav
– Ontario: http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/en/
– Quebec: http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/index.html
– most of Canadian companies are skeptical about employing people who never worked in Canada before
– if you do not find a legal way to get to Canada with a temporary work permit, then many companies do not want to wait for Provincial answer and hold the job in stand-by
– if you get a temporary work permit and it expires, you have to leave promptly unless the Immigration instructed you otherwise
Once you get PNP nomination, it is tied to a specific employer. Until you get permanent residency (seems it can take almost two years from the day you landed in Canada, as long as you provide all the documents promptly), you cannot change employer unless your PNP program advisor has approved the change.
About Canadian provinces
Quebec is one the best places in North America for architecture, culture, food, etc. Real-estate is priced reasonably. However, unless you want to live around the English-speaking community at McGill University (which, btw, is one of the best Canadian universities) in Montreal, you need to speak French or be willing to learn it.
Ontario offers the richest employment opportunities. Real-estate is not cheap, but opportunities are there to compensate for that.
British Columbia is, in my opinion, the best place in Canada. And likely in the world. Landscapes, people, etc. all is wonderful. If you like sushi or Indian or Chinese food, this is the best place to eat. Sushi is really top-class. However, considering there are many people who move to BC from other provinces to retire, and considering there are many wealthy immigrants coming here to invest and buy real estate, the cost of housing is very high. BC = bring cash.
Still, for the long term, BC is the best option in my opinion. You have to make some financial sacrifices when you settle, but than with the influx of immigrants/retirees/students etc. there will be more and more business opportunities.