When it comes to migrating to Canada, there are many steps involved in the process. The process can take several months and in some cases a few years. But if you know what options are available, you can improve your chances of success and avoid frustrations and delays in the long run.

It should be noted that there is no one simple way to immigrate to Canada. While some programs may be easier for you to apply to, the process is long and involves many steps.

Even though immigrating to Canada does require a significant financial investment, the end result is worth it. Canada is among the leading countries when it comes to quality of life and it is known for its peaceful and welcoming attitude to immigrants irrespective of the part of the world they are coming from.

7 Ways to Apply for Canada Immigration in 2023

Below are the ways overseas applicants can immigrate to Canada in 2023:

  1. Express Entry

In Canada, Express Entry is one of the fastest and most popular immigration programs. Candidates that apply through this Express Entry system can receive permanent residence status within six months of stay. Over the next three years, Canada plans to invite about 240,000 new immigrants through three streams of Express Entry which are as follows:

  • Federal Skill Workers (FSW)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC) 
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST) 

If you are eligible for one of the above-listed programs, you may also be able to apply for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that is aligned with the Express Entry, although it is not necessary for all Provincial Nominee programs.

Express Entry is Canada’s main immigration pathway. The Express Entry system involves submitting an online profile that is scored by Canada’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). To submit an Express Entry profile, you must first be eligible under one of Canada’s above three federal streams.

The Canadian government then issues invitations to apply for permanent residence to the highest-ranking candidates in the Express Entry pool. The Canadian Express Entry processing time was nine months. The pandemic slowed down processing at IRCC.

According to the latest figures, IRCC has a backlog. The Canadian Express Entry backlog alone is at about 140,000 applications. The Express Entry allows its candidate to apply for Canadian immigration to any province or territory other than Quebec, which is why it gets a segment of its own.

The cost of immigrating to Canada through Express Entry is typically about $2,300 CAD for a single applicant, or about $4,500 CAD for a couple. This does not include the settlement funds that must also be shown as part of the eligibility requirement, which will vary by family size.

  1. Provincial Nominee Programs

The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) route is becoming the most popular way to immigrate to Canada. Canadian provinces such as Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, and others have developed their own immigration programs that often lead to a fast-track process.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) can be an option for candidates who do not qualify for the Express Entry, or for Express Entry candidates who want to get more extra points. Other than Nunavut and Quebec, every province and territory has a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

The provincial and territorial governments made these programs to suit their own economic and population growth strategies. Throughout the pandemic, provinces continued to nominate overseas workers for Canadian permanent residence.

This year, Canada has plans to welcome about 83,500 new immigrants through The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). There are countless numbers of the provincial nominee programs offered by Canada’s ten provinces and three territories. Each of The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has its own unique eligibility criteria.

Many of The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) requires a connection to the province to apply for nomination. However, there are some programs that invite overseas candidates solely based on their ability to respond to the province’s labor market needs.

Each of The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has its own application processing time. After receiving a nomination, PNP candidates must apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence. The time it takes to process the permanent residence application will depend on whether the PNP operates using the Express Entry system.

The cost of immigrating to Canada through a PNP is usually the same as Express Entry, with some additional fees, depending on the province. Certain provinces don’t charge a fee to process PNP applications, while others, such as Ontario, can charge up to about $1,500 CAD.

  1. Business Immigration

If you have experience managing or owning a business, the easiest way to immigrate to Canada could be through a federal or provincial business immigration program. The federal government offers immigration programs for individuals that plan to be self-employed in Canada or startup a business in Canada.

There are also several PNPs specific to overseas candidates interested in starting a business in a certain Canadian province. The Business immigration programs typically require a significant investment in the company you intend to start in Canada.

The amount required will depend on the program you are interested in. Many PNPs have regional entrepreneur programs that require a lower investment for candidates interested in starting a business in a less populated area.

  1. Sponsorship

The Canadian Sponsorship Program is right for you when you have a qualifying family member that is a permanent resident or citizen of Canada. Canada offers several immigration programs that give permanent residents and citizens the chance to bring their family members to the country.

This year, Canada plans to welcome about 105,000 new permanent residents through family sponsorship programs. If your spouse, child, or grandchild is a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, you may be eligible for family sponsorship.

You can sponsor your spouse and children under the age of 22 (there are some exceptions to this). Sponsoring your parents or grandparents is no longer an option at this time. However, you can bring them to Canada under the Super Visa Category.

Sponsoring a relative typically costs about $1,135 CAD. Additional fees will apply if the sponsor resides in or intends to reside in Quebec. The processing time for the sponsorship application will depend on the family member who is sponsoring you. For spousal sponsorship, applications typically take about 12 months to process from start to finish.

  1. Canada Study Permit

International students can also get their permanent residence in Canada by first coming under a Study Permit, then applying for a Post-graduation Work Permit, and finally seeking their permanent residents by applying through the Express Entry Program.

The Canadian Government welcomes more than 350,000 international students yearly. To be eligible to study in Canada these students must demonstrate that they have the following requirements which are as follows:

  • have been accepted by a school, college, university, or other educational institution in Canada
  • are law-abiding citizens with no criminal records
  • are in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, and;
  • can satisfy an immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stays.
  • Upon graduation, a foreign student may apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. Under this program, the work permit may be issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years.
  • Once issued a study permit, these students can work in Canada under the following categories
  • have enough money to pay for their tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation
  • on-campus without a work permit
  • off-campus with a work permit
  • in co-op and internship programs, where work experience is part of the curriculum, with a work permit.
  1. Post-Graduation Work Permit

The valuable work experience gained while under a Post-Graduation Work Permit can count towards a permanent residence application through Canada Express Entry system. Under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) used by Express Entry system programs, applicants for immigration are assigned points based on the following skills:

  • Work experience
  • Language ability
  • Language ability and education of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner
  • Possession of a job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment
  • Possession of a provincial government nomination for permanent residence.

Certain combinations of language skills, education, and work experience result in a higher chance of the applicant becoming employed (skill transferability).

  1. Start-Up Visa Program

Immigrant investors can also come to Canada under the Start-up Visa program which can grant them Canadian permanent residence.

This program aims to recruit innovative entrepreneurs to Canada and link them with Canadian private sector businesses, such as angel investor groups, venture capital funds, or business incubators, and facilitate the establishment of their start-up business in Canada.

A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least about $200,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totaling about $200,000. A designated angel investor group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business.