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Immigrating to Canada (3/5) – How Much Does it Cost?

Once you have decided that you and your family are determined to move to Canada, permanently and you have determined which immigration category is best for your situation, the next question would be how much money you will need to process your application to immigrate.

Of course, you thought of that, right? But did you also realize that it is not just the processing fees that you need to prepare for? There are other fees associated with the processing of your application, securing the documents that you need also incur cost. Plus, there’s the settlement fund that you also need to provide.

I have repeatedly mentioned to the people I know and even to those who are emailing me to ask about coming to Canada that the process is not hard but it is not cheap. This is why in the very first post for this blog series, I mentioned that it is not necessary to hire a lawyer or an immigration expert if you are good in following instructions especially of your case is not extra ordinary, you can save the money that you’ll spend for the service fees and use it in other expenses related to the processing of your application.

In this post, I will give you an idea of how much money you need to prepare for you application in this post. However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has a list that will help you calculate your fees, as these fees may change from time to time, always make sure that you consult their website for the most current fees before sending your application with your payment details.

As discussed in part 2 of this series, there are different immigration categories. Each category has a corresponding application fee that is different from each category.

Application Fee

If you’re applying under the Economic Class (that includes Federal Skilled Workers, Quebec Skilled Workers, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class, Caregiver Program and Provincial Nominees, including Express Entry), application fee for the principal applicant is $550.00. If coming to Canada with your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, the latter pays $550 while a family member of the principal applicant who is under 19 years of age but is not a spouse or common-law pays $150 each.

Under the Family Class, the sponsor pays $75 per application for the application for sponsorship. The principal applicant pays $475, if the principal applicant, is under 19 years of age and not a spouse or common-law partner (including a dependent child of the sponsor, a child to be adopted and an orphaned brother, sister, niece, nephew or grandchild), application fee is $75. The spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner of the principal applicant pays $550 and a family member of the principal applicant who is under 19 years of age but is not a spouse or common-law pays $150 each.

For Investor, Entrepreneur or Self-employed Persons Class applicants, the application fee for the principal applicant is $1,050, the principal applicant’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, pays $550 and the a family member of the principal applicant who is under 19 years of age but is not a spouse or common-law pays $150 each.

Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF)

All landed immigrants must also pay the RPRF, which cost $490 per person. Applicants must pay this fee before CIC issues the permanent resident visa or before the applicant becomes a permanent resident in Canada.

Other Fees

Aside from the application fees, you also need to prepare for other fees associated with your application.

  • If you are from a country where English nor French is not the first language, just like my home country (Philippines), you will be required to prove your language skills by taking a language test approved by CIC. You will need to take any of the approved language test – Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test d’évaluation de francais (TEF). The test fee varies from each location, in Canada, IELTS’s fee is between $290 to $315. CELPIP’s cost is between $265 to $365 (depending on the candidates province or territory). Test fee for TEF are associated with each component of the test, the fees will vary according to each candidate’s selection and the amount range is from $50 to $125.
  • If you do not have all the required documents to support your application including your birth certificate, certificate of marriage, school and employment records, securing these documents will incur another costs. If these documents are not in French or English, you will also need to pay an authorized translator for the translation of these documents.
  • For sure, you know that you will also provide travel documents such as passport when you submit your application, your passport should be valid at the time of your submission. Getting a new passport or renewal of your passport is another cost to consider.
  • Your application should also include your photos and you must comply with the specifications given by CIC and if you are applying as a family, the cost is not cheap as well, if my memory serves me right, we submitted several photos with our application twice.
  • If you apply for permanent residence, you will go through immigration medical exam and even if your dependents are not coming with you to Canada, your dependents must also have a medical exam. Your own physician cannot do the medical exam, a panel physician in your country that CIC has approved to do medical exams should perform it. The applicant must pay any fees related to the medical exam and if the application is refused after your medical exam, these fees will not be refunded. Note that the fees vary by country, in February 2015, my mother had her medical exams (in the Philippines), and she paid around $100 to $150.

Settlement Fund

An applicant must prove that he/she and his/her family have enough fund to support yourself and your family when you move to Canada, you need to show proof to the Canadian visa office in your home country that you have enough money when you apply to immigrate. The amount of money you need to support your family is set by the size of your family. Generally, an applicant is required to have at least  $10,000 and an additional $2,000 for the applicant’s spouse and for each accompanying dependent. CIC updates these amounts every year, again, check the official website for the updated settlement funds required.

Travel Expenses

Now that your application has been approved and you are now ready to come to Canada, you now need to buy your plane tickets to come to the province or territory of your destination in Canada. This is a huge amount to prepare especially if your home country is far from Canada and you are immigrating to Canada as a family. Coming from the Philippines, the minimum cost of the airfare for an adult is $1300.


Please note that the fees indicated in this post are in Canadian Dollar (CAD)


Proof of Funds – Skilled Immigrants (Express Entry). Retrieved June 2, 2015.

Fee List –  Retrieved June 2, 2015.



Momsiecle is short for Momsie's Circle. I started my first blog on a free blogging platform in 2006 as a just for fun blog. When my family and I moved to Winnipeg in 2009, I started to write about my challenges and discoveries about living in Canada as an immigrant. In 2012, I decided to make a place to come for aspiring Canadian immigrants and for people who are embracing life in the “new world” that they are in.

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Cup of Tyh

Thanks for stopping by, as I make this space to be my superwoman wannabe diary, I want to share my life experiences as a mom, an immigrant, a financial advisor, a mortgage specialist and my life in general.

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