Commonly asked questions about immigration to Canada

Canada has become one of the favourite travel destinations for most people from all over the world. A lot of people want to go to the country for different reasons from schooling to reconnecting with family to becoming a permanent resident. However, in general, there are commonly asked questions about immigration to Canada that people need answers to. These are questions about some of the steps or requirements involved in the immigration process. This article will answer 20 of these questions in great detail to help provide you with the clarity you need to pursue your travel plans.

1. How do I migrate to Canada?

Migrating to Canada involves a multi-step process, and there are several immigration pathways available. Carefully assess your eligibility and choose the most suitable immigration program. Then, follow the specific application procedures for the pathway you choose. Some of the most common pathways include:

Express Entry System

The Express Entry system is a points-based system that evaluates candidates based on factors such as age, education, work experience, language proficiency (English and/or French), and adaptability. For this route, you need to create an Express Entry profile online. Then, your profile will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on how much you qualify. Next, the IRCC conducts regular draws, and candidates with high CRS scores can apply for permanent residence.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Canadian provinces and territories have their own immigration programs which they design to meet their specific labour market needs. So, you can apply to a specific province or territory through their PNP. If nominated, you can then apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system or a separate PNP stream.

Study Permit

If you plan to study in Canada, you can apply for a study permit. Once you complete your studies, you may be eligible to apply for a post-graduate work permit, and this can be a pathway to permanent residence.

Work Permits

You can apply for a work permit if you have a job offer from a Canadian employer. Some work permits are employer-specific, while others are open permits allowing you to work for any employer in Canada.

Refugee and Asylum Seekers

Canada has programs for refugees and asylum seekers who are facing persecution in their home countries. The Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program assists those in need of protection.

2. How do I migrate to Canada with my family?

Migrating to Canada with your family involves a similar process to individual migration, but there are specific programs and considerations for family members.

Express Entry System

If you are applying through the Express Entry system, you can include your family members in your application. You can include spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children under the age of 22. Each family member’s information, such as language proficiency and educational background, contributes to the overall family CRS score.

Family Sponsorship

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can sponsor your family members for permanent residence. Eligible family members include spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents. You can also sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandchild or even other relative under exceptional circumstances. As a sponsor, you need to meet financial requirements and commit to supporting your sponsored family members for a certain period.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

Some provincial nominee programs have specific streams for family reunification. So, if a province nominates you, you may include your family members in the application for permanent residence.

Spousal Open Work Permit

If you are in Canada on a work permit or as a student, your spouse may be eligible for an open work permit. This allows them to come with you and work for any employer in Canada.

3. How do I become a citizen In Canada?

Becoming a Canadian citizen involves a separate process after obtaining permanent residence. You need to meet a different set of eligibility criteria which you can find below:

Permanent Residence

First, you must become a permanent resident of Canada. You can achieve this through various immigration programs such as Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), Family Sponsorship, or Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement.

Meet Residence Requirements

Next, you must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) out of the 5 years preceding your citizenship application. This includes time spent as a permanent resident before becoming a citizen.

Income Tax Filing

You may need to file your income taxes for at least 3 years within the 5-year period if required under the Income Tax Act.

Language Proficiency

Applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 must demonstrate adequate knowledge of English or French. This is typically assessed through a language test approved by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Pass a Citizenship Test

Applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 must also pass a citizenship test. This test assesses their knowledge of Canada, its values, institutions, symbols, and history.

Prohibitions and Criminal History

You should not be under a removal order, charged with a serious offence, or be in prison. Certain criminal convictions may make you ineligible for citizenship. A criminal background check is part of the application process.

Apply for Citizenship

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for Canadian citizenship. You can download the application form (CIT 0002) from the IRCC website. After submitting your application, you’ll need to wait for processing. Citizenship applications are generally processed within a few months, but processing times can vary.

4. How do I get a job in Canada?

If you are outside of Canada, your chances of getting a job in the country depend on the rate of demand for your service. This varies widely depending on the industry. Your qualifications and skills also determine your chances. Below are some of the steps you can take to secure your dream job:

Research the Job Market

Research the Canadian job market to understand the demand for your skills and qualifications. Explore industries and regions with job opportunities that match your profile.

Create a Resume Tailored to the Canadian Job Market

Adapt your resume to Canadian standards, emphasizing relevant skills and experiences. Highlight any international credentials, and consider having your qualifications assessed by a recognized credential evaluation service.

Job Search

Use online job boards, company websites, and networking platforms to search for job opportunities. Popular job websites in Canada include Workopolis, Monster, LinkedIn, and the Canadian government’s Job Bank.


Networking is crucial in international job search. Attend industry events, and job fairs, and connect with professionals in your field. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for building professional connections.

Apply for Jobs

Submit well-crafted applications for positions that match your skills and experience. Follow the application instructions carefully, and tailor your cover letter to each job application.

Work with Recruitment Agencies

Consider working with recruitment agencies that specialize in your industry. They can help match your skills with suitable job opportunities.

5. How much will it cost to move to Canada?

Questions on cost are some of the most commonly asked questions about immigration to Canada. The cost of moving to Canada can vary widely depending on various factors, including your immigration pathway, family size, and personal circumstances. Here are some key considerations for the potential costs:

  • Application Fees: This varies depending on your immigration pathway. Each pathway has its own set of application fees.
  • Language Testing Fees: You may need to pay for language proficiency tests, such as the IELTS or CELPIP for English, or the TEF or TCF for French
  • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) Fees: If you are applying through certain immigration streams, you may need to have your educational credentials assessed.
  • Medical Examination Fees: A medical examination is typically a requirement as part of the immigration process.
  • Police Clearance Certificate Fees: You may also need to obtain police clearance certificates from each country or region where you have lived for a certain period.
  • Travel Expenses: The cost of travelling to Canada, including airfare, can be a significant expense.
  • Proof of Fund: Some immigration programs require proof of settlement funds to demonstrate that you can support yourself and your family upon arrival in Canada. Currently, Canada’s proof of funds for international students is CAN$20,635. However, it can be higher depending on how many dependants you are coming with.
  • Housing Costs: Upon arrival, you will need to secure accommodation. The cost of housing varies by city and region. You may need to pay rent, a security deposit, and possibly utility deposits.
  • Initial Living Expenses: Budget for initial living expenses, including groceries, household items, and other essentials.

6. How do I school in Canada?

To school in Canada, you need to have an unconditional admission into a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) and a study permit. Below is a quick guide on how to achieve this:

  • Research and select a program and educational institution in Canada that aligns with your academic and career goals.
  • Review the admission requirements for your chosen program and make sure you meet the criteria.
  • If your program is taught in English, you may need to take an English language proficiency test such as IELTS or CELPIP. For French-language programs, you may need to take a test like TEF or TCF.
  • Complete and submit your application to the chosen institution.
  • Once you have your letter of admission, you can apply for a study permit. You may need to undergo a medical examination as part of the study permit application process.

7. How can I calculate language points for Canadian immigration?

Language points for Canadian immigration are calculated based on your proficiency in English and/or French, as assessed by approved language tests (IELTS or CELPIP for English and TEF or TCF for French). Your result from these tests are recalculated using the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) and Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) standard for English and French respectively. This ensures that every applicant is compared by the same benchmarks. You can check the equivalency chart to determine your CLB or NCLC score based on your test result. Keep in mind that the minimum score required for Canadian immigration differs across programs.

8. How do I apply for a PR card?

The PR card is official proof of your permanent resident status and is required for re-entry into Canada if you travel outside the country. To apply, you must be a permanent resident of Canada and be physically present in Canada for at least 730 days (2 years) in the past 5 years.

  • Check the expiry date on your current PR card. It’s important to apply for a new one well before the current card expires.
  • Collect all necessary documents, including a photocopy of both sides of your current PR card and supporting documents.
  • Download and complete the Application for a Permanent Resident Card (IMM 5444) form from the IRCC website.
  • After that, mail your completed application form, along with all required documents and the fee payment receipt, to the address provided in the application guide.
  • Once your application is approved, you will receive your new PR card by mail.

9. What is a PR visa?

A PR visa, or Permanent Resident visa, is a type of visa that grants you the status of a permanent resident in a foreign country. This status allows you to live, work, and study in that country on a long-term basis. In the context of Canadian immigration, the PR visa is associated with the Permanent Resident Card.

10. What is an Express Entry profile?

An Express Entry profile is an online application that individuals use to express their interest in immigrating to Canada under the Express Entry program. This program is a points-based immigration system used by the Canadian government to manage and process applications for permanent residence. The form typically includes personal details such as age, education, work experience, French and English proficiency, family details, and ties to Canada.

11. How can I create an Express Entry profile?

Before creating a profile, ensure that you are eligible for at least one of the three federal economic immigration programs managed through Express Entry: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Gather Document

Gather all necessary documents, including language test results, educational credential assessment (if applicable), work experience documentation, and passport information.

Create an Online Account

Go to the IRCC website and create an online account. You will be required to provide basic personal information and create a username and password.

Complete the Come to Canada Tool

Complete the “Come to Canada” tool on the IRCC website. This tool will assess your eligibility for Express Entry and other immigration programs.

Receive a Personal Reference Code

If you are eligible, you will receive a personal reference code. Make sure to save this code as you will need it to create your Express Entry profile.

Log in to Your Online Account

Log in to your online account using the username and password you created. Next, complete the Express Entry profile form, providing detailed information about your skills, education, work experience, language proficiency, and other relevant details.

Submit the Profile

Review all the information you provided to ensure accuracy. Once satisfied, submit your Express Entry profile. Upon submission, you will receive an Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code. Note down these numbers for future reference.

Calculate Your CRS Score

Your profile will be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. You can check your CRS score and see how competitive you are in the Express Entry pool. If you have a competitive CRS score, you may receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in one of the regular Express Entry draws conducted by the Canadian government.

12. How to calculate points for Express Entry?

This is another of the commonly asked questions about immigration to Canada via Express Entry. To calculate your CRS score, add up the points you receive for each factor. The maximum possible CRS score is 1,200 points. Candidates with higher CRS scores are more likely to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) during Express Entry draws. Keep in mind that the CRS is dynamic, and the minimum CRS score required to receive an ITA can vary with each draw. Below are the components for CRS ranking and their designated scores:

  • Core human capital factors (age, education, etc): A maximum of 500 points available. For candidates with a spouse/common-law partner, 460 points for the principal applicant and 40 points for the partner.
  • Skill transferability factors: A maximum of 100 points are available
  • Provincial nomination: 600 points are available for candidates with nomination certificates from a Canadian province or territory.
  • Offer of arranged employment: Up to 200 points available
  • Canadian study experience: Up to 30 points
  • Language ability: Up to 50 additional points
  • Sibling in Canada: A maximum of 15 points

13. How can I check eligibility for Express Entry?

To check your eligibility for Express Entry, you can use the “Come to Canada” tool provided by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This tool is an online questionnaire designed to help you determine if you are eligible for Express Entry and which immigration programs you may be eligible for.

While the “Come to Canada” tool is a useful resource to assess your eligibility, it’s important to note that it provides general guidance, and your eligibility may be subject to a detailed assessment when you submit your Express Entry profile.

14. How can I work in Canada?

To work in Canada, you will need a work permit. A work permit is a document issued by IRCC that allows you to work in Canada. There are different categories of work permits. Some common ones are:

  • Employer-Specific Work Permit: Tied to a specific employer and job.
  • Open Work Permit: This allows you to work for any employer in Canada.
  • International Experience Canada (IEC): Provides opportunities for young people from certain countries to work in Canada temporarily.

In most cases, you will need a job offer from a Canadian employer before applying for a work permit.

15. What is IELTS?

IELTS, or the International English Language Testing System, is a standardized test designed to assess the language proficiency of individuals who wish to study, work, or migrate to English-speaking countries. IELTS is widely recognized and accepted by universities, employers, and immigration authorities in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

The test assesses proficiency in four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each skill receives a separate score, and the overall band score is an average of the individual scores.

16. How do I prepare for IELTS Exam?

Preparing for the IELTS exam involves a combination of language skills practice, familiarization with the test format, and understanding the specific requirements of each section. Consider enrolling in IELTS preparation classes or workshops. Experienced instructors can provide guidance, tips, and structured practice to enhance your performance. Also, practice consistently, address weaknesses, and approach the exam with a positive mindset. Additionally, consider taking official IELTS practice tests to get a feel for the actual exam conditions.

17. What is CELPIP?

CELPIP, or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, is an English language proficiency test designed to assess the language abilities of individuals planning to immigrate to Canada. CELPIP offers two main test versions: CELPIP General and CELPIP General LS (Listening and Speaking). The CELPIP General test assesses all four language skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking), while the CELPIP General LS focuses specifically on Listening and Speaking.

18. What is ITA?

ITA stands for “Invitation to Apply.” In the context of Canadian immigration, receiving an ITA is a crucial step in the Express Entry system. Candidates who receive an ITA have the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in Canada. The ITA is issued based on the candidate’s CRS score at the time of the draw.

19. What is COPR?

COPR stands for “Confirmation of Permanent Residence.” After successfully completing the application process for permanent residence, including providing all necessary documents and meeting eligibility criteria, applicants will receive a COPR. It is an important document the Canadian government issues to individuals who have permission for permanent residence in Canada.

The Confirmation of Permanent Residence serves as official proof that the applicant has met the requirements for immigration to Canada and can now become a permanent resident. Note that the COPR has an expiration date. Applicants must travel to Canada and present their COPR for validation at a port of entry before the expiry date.

20. What is an Express Entry Draw?

An Express Entry draw is a regular selection process conducted by the Canadian government to invite candidates from the Express Entry pool to apply for permanent residence. Here’s how an Express Entry draw works:

First, individuals who want to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system create an online profile. The profile includes information about their age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and other factors. Next, each profile in the Express Entry pool is assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on factors stated earlier. The CRS score reflects the candidate’s overall eligibility and desirability as a potential immigrant.

Periodically, the Canadian government conducts Express Entry draws. During each draw, the IRCC selects a specific number of candidates with the highest CRS scores from the Express Entry pool. The number of candidates invited and the minimum CRS score required can vary in each draw. Candidates who are selected in an Express Entry draw receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.


This article has provided answers to 20 of the commonly asked questions about immigration to Canada. From questions on PR visas to language tests to Express Entry programs, the article answered all of them in great detail. So, whatever concerns you may have or clarity you may need, be sure to find it here.