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Immigrating to Canada (2/5)– Immigration Categories

To continue with my blog series on Immigrating to Canada, let me share with you some of the different immigration categories that you can apply for in coming to Canada. Probably, after reading my previous blog about starting to immigrate to Canada and you have already assessed if moving to Canada is for you… To help you further understand the process I will discuss in this post the different immigration categories.

There are a few different ways of coming to Canada permanently and part of your decision process if you are considering of moving to Canada is to determine which immigration program that will work best for you and your family.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada enumerated various categories in their official website, I am not an immigration expert so I will not fully discussed each category but I will try the best that I can to give you a brief idea of some of these categories:

SKILLED IMMIGRANT (EXPRESS ENTRY). As of January 2015, CIC has implemented this electronic system that is intended to manage economic immigration programs. There are no caps on the number of candidates that will be accepted to the applicants’ pool. Under this program, a candidate must complete an Express Entry online profile, which includes their language test scores, their Educational Credential Assessment (if they need one) and outlines their work experience. There is no cost to complete and submit an online profile. Based on their profiles, candidates will be ranked against others in a pool. Anyone who is accepted into the Express Entry pool could get an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence and only those who get an Invitation to Apply from CIC will be able to apply, most complete applications under this new system is expected to be processed within 6 months. A candidate applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program; Federal Skilled Trades Program; Canadian Experience Class or Provincial Nominee Program (in some cases) must apply through the Express Entry system.

PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAM (PNP). Most provinces and territories in Canada have an agreement with the Government of Canada that allow them to nominate people who wants to immigrate to Canada. To be considered under a certain province or territory’s Provincial nominee program, the candidate must directly apply to a province or territory. Candidates under this program must have skills, education and work experience they need to contribute to the economy of that province or territory. A candidate under PNP must be nominated by a specific Canadian province or territory, then he/she applies to CIC to become a permanent resident of Canada. Each participating province and territory has its own nomination guidelines, when applying under this category always check the province or territory’s official website as they can change their policy and guidelines without notice.

QUEBEC-SELECTED SKILLED WORKERS / INVESTORS & ENTREPRENEURS PROGRAM.  Quebec has a special agreement with the Government of Canada on immigration. The province has its own rules for choosing immigrants who will adapt well to living in their province. Under this program, the candidate must apply to the Quebec government for a certificate of selection (Certificat de sélection du Québec). This shows that Quebec has accepted you as an immigrant. Quebec will assess you using its own rules. If the candidate was chosen, he/she applies for permanent resident to CIC.

FAMILY SPONSORSHIP. A citizen or a permanent resident of Canada who is at least 18 years of age can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada. A spouse; a conjugal or common-law partner; a dependent child (including an adopted child) or other eligible relatives including parent and grandparents can be sponsored to immigrate to Canada. In order to sponsor a family member to immigrate to Canada, the sponsor must provide proof that he/she can meet basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter for himself and his family, provide financial support and to ensure that his spouse or relative does not need to ask for financial help from the government.

START UP VISA. Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program is the first of its kind in the world. With the Start-Up Visa, Canada is targeting a new type of immigrant entrepreneur who has the potential to build innovative companies that can compete on a global scale and create jobs. To be eligible to receive a start-up visa, the candidate must prove his business venture or idea is supported by a designated organization and he meets the language requirements and the education requirements and must have sufficient settlement funds.

IMMIGRANT INVESTOR VENTURE CAPITAL PILOT PROGRAM. If you are an international investor with the skills and abilities needed to contribute to our economy and integrate into Canadian society, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program. IIVC Pilot Program has reopened. CIC will accept applications from May 25 to December 30, 2015, and will process the first 60 complete applications. CIC will also accept up to 60 additional applications that will be placed on a waiting list. The program may close earlier if 60 immigrant investors are approved for permanent residence, or once 60 applications are in processing and 60 applications are on the waiting list.

SELF-EMPLOYED PERSONS PROGRAM. This program is applicable for candidates who will become self-employed in Canada who must have either relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and intend and be able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada, or must have experience in farm management, and intend and be able to buy and manage a farm in Canada.

CAREGIVERS. A candidate can apply for permanent residence through the Caregiver Program in three different ways:

  • Caring for Children Pathway. A pathway to permanent residence for caregivers who have provided child care in a home.
  • Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway. A pathway to permanent residence for caregivers who have provided care for the elderly or those with disabilities or chronic disease in a health facility or in a home.
  • Live-in Caregiver Program. A pathway to permanent residence for live-in caregivers who are already working in Canada with a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit, as well as caregivers who are approved for their first Live-in Caregiver Program work permit based on an employer’s positive Labour Market Impact Assessment application that was submitted to Service Canada on or before November 30, 2014

REFUGEES. Refugees are people who have fled their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution, and who are therefore unable to return home. Many refugees come from war-torn countries and have seen unthinkable horrors. Canada is one of the countries in the world that happens to be a prime destination for refugees. Canada annually takes in one out of every 10, through the government-assisted and privately sponsored refugee programs. The Canadian refugee system has two main parts:

  • the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, for people seeking protection from outside Canada; and
  • the In-Canada Asylum Program for people making refugee protection claims from within Canada.

Like what I mentioned in the first part of this blog series, your main reference about immigrating to Canada should be the Department of Citizenship and Immigration official website. Keep in mind that immigration policies frequently changes, always see to it that the information that you have in your hands are the most recent ones. Until you have successfully landed to Canada, make it a habit to check the latest Canada immigration updates.


Immigrate to Canada. Retrieved May 29, 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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1 thought on “Immigrating to Canada (2/5)– Immigration Categories”

  1. Hi
    I understand IELTS result is required before I can apply online…I finished the exam and just waiting for the result by March 3, 2016.

    I just wanna ask if I will apply first in provincial /territory ( Manitoba province)? Will I need certificate to be submitted as proof that I have an sponsor ( my sister) in Manitoba?

    Will the province inform me when will I apply at Express Entry?

    Pls help me enlighten.. 🙂

    Thanks a lot.

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