Canada is a country that welcomes immigrants from all over the world, offering them various opportunities to live, work, and contribute to its society.

Canada has several economic immigration pathways for skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and self-employed persons who want to become permanent residents of Canada.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular and accessible economic immigration pathways to Canada, and how you can apply for them.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) is a program that allows employers in the four Atlantic provinces of Canada (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) to hire foreign workers and international graduates who want to live and work in the region.

The AIP has three streams: the Atlantic High-Skilled Program, the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, and the Atlantic International Graduate Program. Each stream has different eligibility criteria based on the applicant’s education, work experience, language ability, and job offer.

To apply for the AIP, you need to have a valid job offer from a designated employer in one of the Atlantic provinces, and obtain an endorsement letter from the province. You also need to meet the general requirements for settlement funds, language proficiency, and criminal and medical checks.

Atlantic Immigration Program

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is a new initiative that was announced in November 2023, and will be launched in January 2024. The AIP is a fast-track immigration program that aims to attract and retain more skilled workers and international students in the Atlantic region.

The AIP will replace the existing Atlantic Immigration Pilot, and will have four streams: the Skilled Worker Stream, the International Graduate Stream, the International Student Stream, and the Francophone Stream.

The AIP will have simplified eligibility criteria, such as lower language and education requirements, and will offer priority processing and enhanced settlement support for applicants and their families.

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is a program that allows foreign workers and international students who have gained Canadian work experience to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

The CEC is part of the Express Entry system, which is an online application process that manages applications for three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

To be eligible for the CEC, you need to have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada in the last three years, meet the minimum language requirements for your occupation, and intend to live outside Quebec. You also need to create an Express Entry profile and receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Caregiver

The Caregiver program is a program that allows foreign nationals who have worked as caregivers in Canada to apply for permanent residence. The Caregiver program has two streams: the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot.

Both streams require applicants to have at least two years of Canadian work experience as a home child care provider or a home support worker, meet the minimum language and education requirements, and have a valid job offer or be working in Canada at the time of application.

The Caregiver program also offers an occupation-specific work permit that allows applicants to work for any eligible employer in Canada while their permanent residence application is being processed.

Related: How to get a Nanny Job in Canada 2024

Provincial Nomination

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a program that allows provinces and territories in Canada to nominate foreign workers, entrepreneurs, and students who meet their specific economic and labour market needs.

The PNP has two pathways: the Express Entry-linked PNP and the Non-Express Entry PNP. The Express Entry-linked PNP allows provinces and territories to select candidates from the Express Entry pool and invite them to apply for provincial nomination. The Non-Express Entry PNP allows provinces and territories to nominate candidates who are not in the Express Entry pool, but meet their own eligibility criteria and application process.

To apply for the PNP, you need to have a valid nomination from a province or territory, and meet the federal requirements for settlement funds, language proficiency, and criminal and medical checks.

Self-employed Persons (Federal)

The Self-employed Persons Program is a program that allows foreign nationals who have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics to immigrate to Canada as self-employed persons. The Self-employed Persons Program is not part of the Express Entry system, and has its own application process and selection criteria.

To be eligible for the Self-employed Persons Program, you need to have at least two years of experience in your field of activity in the last five years, demonstrate that you can make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada, and meet the minimum language and medical requirements. You also need to score at least 35 points out of 100 on the selection grid, which assesses your education, experience, age, language ability, and adaptability.

Quebec Business Class

The Quebec Business Class is a program that allows foreign entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed workers who want to establish or acquire a business in Quebec to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

The Quebec Business Class has three streams: the Quebec Entrepreneur Program, the Quebec Investor Program, and the Quebec Self-employed Worker Program. Each stream has different eligibility criteria and application process, and is managed by the Quebec government.

To apply for the Quebec Business Class, you need to obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) from the Quebec government, and then apply for permanent residence to the federal government. You also need to meet the general requirements for settlement funds, language proficiency, and criminal and medical checks.

Skilled Workers (Federal)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is a program that allows foreign workers who have skilled work experience, education, and language ability to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

The FSWP is part of the Express Entry system, which is an online application process that manages applications for three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

To be eligible for the FSWP, you need to have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent part-time skilled work experience in the last 10 years, meet the minimum language requirements for your occupation, have a Canadian secondary or post-secondary credential or an equivalent foreign credential, and score at least 67 points out of 100 on the selection grid, which assesses your education, work experience, age, language ability, and adaptability. You also need to create an Express Entry profile and receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Skilled Trades (Federal)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is a program that allows foreign workers who have skilled trade experience, education, and language ability to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

The FSTP is part of the Express Entry system, which is an online application process that manages applications for three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

To be eligible for the FSTP, you need to have at least two years of full-time or equivalent part-time skilled trade experience in the last five years, meet the minimum language requirements for your occupation, have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or a certificate of qualification from a Canadian provincial or territorial authority, and be able to perform the essential duties of your trade. You also need to create an Express Entry profile and receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Skilled Workers (Quebec)

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) is a program that allows foreign workers who have skilled work experience, education, and language ability to apply for permanent residence in Canada through Quebec.

The QSWP is not part of the Express Entry system, and has its own application process and selection criteria.

To be eligible for the QSWP, you need to have at least one year of skilled work experience in the last 10 years, meet the minimum language requirements for French or English, have a Quebec diploma or an equivalent foreign diploma, and score at least 50 points (if single) or 59 points (if married or in a common-law relationship) out of 100 on the selection grid, which assesses your education, work experience, age, language ability, and other factors.

You also need to obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) from the Quebec government, and then apply for permanent residence to the federal government.

Start-up Visa

The Start-up Visa Program is a program that allows foreign entrepreneurs who have an innovative business idea and the support of a designated organization in Canada to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

The Start-up Visa Program is not part of the Express Entry system, and has its own application process and selection criteria.

To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you need to have a qualifying business that is supported by one or more designated organizations, such as angel investors, venture capital funds, or business incubators, meet the minimum language requirements for English or French, have sufficient settlement funds to support yourself and your family in Canada, and complete the medical and security checks.

You also need to submit a letter of support from the designated organization, and a business plan that demonstrates the viability and potential of your business.

Final Thoughts

Image source – Freepik

These are some of the economic immigration pathways to Canada that you can explore if you are interested in moving to Canada for work, business, or education. Each pathway has its own benefits and challenges, and requires careful research and planning before applying.

If you need more information or guidance on how to apply for any of these programs, you can contact a licensed immigration consultant or lawyer who can help you with your application process. Alternatively, you can also visit the official website of the Canadian government for more details and updates on these programs.

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