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Canadian Immigration and Citzenship Master Wiki Thread

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Old Aug 30th 2023, 11:04 am   -   Wikipost
British Expats Thread Wiki: Canadian Immigration and Citzenship Master Wiki Thread
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  • Many newcomers to the BE forum feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that's available.
  • They don't know the order in which they should do things.
  • They also don't know how long the various steps are likely to take.
  • The purpose of this article is to assist newcomers in getting some idea of the sequence in which things happen and how long it takes to complete the various steps.
  • Please understand that this article will provide you with a very rough idea, since the precise details vary enormously from one person to the next.


Rough time frame

  • In very general terms, you can expect the migration process to take between one and five years, counting from the time that you start considering migration as a serious option.
  • Yes, there is the occasional person who is in a high demand occupation, who is recruited while he/she is in the UK, who has no house to sell, who has no kids to worry about, and who is over in Canada within a couple of months. But please understand that a case like this is very, very, very rare.
  • In the normal course of events, even if you're in an occupation for which there is a great deal of demand in Canada, it would take 6 - 12 months to get to Canada, counting from the time that you received a job offer from a Canadian employer.

Work permit applicant

  • This timeline is based on a person going to Canada on a temporary work permit (TWP), and is derived as follows, based on general timeframes:
    • Around 4 months for employer to get Labour Market Impact Assessment(LMIA)
    • 2 months for you to get temporary work permit (TWP), although this can be speeded up if you travel to Canada and apply for your TWP at a Canadian port of entry (POE)
    • 2 - 3 additional months if you're in an occupation that will require you to have a medical exam prior to starting work in Canada, e.g., nursing, childcare, etc.
    • As you probably can tell from the above steps, 6 months would be an optimistic timeline, counting from the time that you received a job offer.
    • It's probably more realistic to expect the process to take 9 - 12 months from the time that you receive a job offer.

Migration Stages

Preliminary Research Phase

  • This is the phase during which you seriously start to investigate whether or not migration might be for you.
  • Louise Green -- an expat coach in Canmore, Alberta, Canada -- recommends that you do not jump to conclusions about migration and possible destination countries at this point.
  • Rather, according to Green, you should look at all aspects of your life, identify the areas with which you are satisfied and the areas with which you are dissatisfied. When it comes to the arenas in which you are dissatisfied, consider the various actions you might take to address your dissatisfaction. This could involve any number of steps -- retraining, moving within the UK, moving abroad, etc.
  • If you feel fairly confident that migration might be the answer, don't rush to choose a destination country.
  • Draw up a list of what you want, without considering which place is likely to give you what you want.
  • If you have a partner and/or children, you won't be making a wish list on your own. You need to consider the wish list of every family member and, to the extent possible, reconcile the various different wish lists.
  • Once you're clear about your combined wish list, start investigating which place might give you the things on that wish list.
  • This is the time to find out as much information as you can, read the real life accounts of British expats, speak to people whom you know who have emigrated, and ask those newbie questions that have been asked zillions of time on the forum.
    • What are the job opportunities for a person in my occupation?
    • Would my qualifications be recognized in Canada or would I need to jump through any hoops to get recognition?
    • Is it a safe and secure place in which to bring up a family?
    • What is the education system like?
    • What is health care like?
    • What is the cost of living?
    • What is accommodation like?
    • What is the cost of accommodation? (Remember that the amount of equity you'll be able to take with you from the UK will make a difference to the overall cost of living equation.)
    • What are the natives like? Are they friendly? Are they generally well disposed towards British immigrants?
    • What sorts of recreational activities are available? Are recreational activities affordable for someone who earns the kind of income I'm likely to earn?
    • What's the climate?
    • What hoops would I have to jump through in order to gain entry to that country?
    • Of course the questions you ask will be influenced by what is on your wish list. These are just some ideas.
  • The Where to live section of the BE Wiki will be able to answer some of these questions for you.
  • muchmore Canada Magazine is a useful and free source of information on Canada.
  • relocation2bc is another good source of information on Canada, with the emphasis on British Columbia.
  • Try to get information from a variety of sources. Don't believe just one person, regardless of whether their opinion of your potential destination country is particularly good or particularly bad. Their personal, family and professional circumstances may be different from yours. But if you seek out information from many sources and you notice a consistent pattern emerging, the information probably is valid.
  • This preliminary research phase also may include a recce trip to a destination country that you're considering, just to see if it seems to be as good in real life as it looks on paper.
  • It is suggested that, during this early phase of your research, you refrain from making a quick decision to hire an immigration consultant. You may or may not want to hire one later, but do not make a premature decision about that.
  • From here on, this article will assume that you have decided you want to move to Canada, or that Canada at least is on your short list of potential destination countries.

Job Hunting Phase

  • For the vast majority of Britons who want to gain entry to Canada, the number one prerequisite is pre-arranged employment.
  • This process is thoroughly explained in the BE Wiki article called Quick Job Hunting Instructions-Canada and in the other articles in the Job Hunting-Canada section of the Wiki.
  • Because pre-arranged employment is so critical to gaining entry to Canada, that probably is the most important section of the BE Wiki for you to understand.
  • It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of understanding and implementing the information about the way job hunting is done in Canada.
  • For many prospective migrants, the job hunting phase also includes a recce trip to the destination country.
  • If you do a recce trip during this phase, it tends to be a trip with a more serious agenda.
    • You're now trying to line up job interviews.
    • You're seriously looking at housing.
    • You're seriously looking at schools.
    • You're seriously testing commuting times in your proposed destination city.
    • You're seriously looking at the selection of merchandise and prices in stores.

Immigration Application Phase

  • Once you have a job offer and your employer has an LMO, you can apply for a temporary work permit.
  • There also are other ways of gaining entry to Canada.
  • For example, you might gain entry via one of the Provincial Nominee Programs, but this avenue also requires a job offer before anything else happens.
  • Although there are some exceptions, most paths to Canada involve securing a job first.
  • It is recommended that you do the following:

Moving Phase

  • Once you have approval to live and work in Canada, you have to get yourself and your family members, pets, and possessions over there.
  • There are many articles in the Moving Logistics section of the Wiki that address the issues you have to face during this phase.
  • Perhaps the single most useful article in that section is the one called Departure To Do List.

Arriving in Canada

  • In your first days and weeks in Canada, you have to take care of many practical matters.
  • The BE Wiki article called Arrival To Do List tells you which things are the most urgent and that you must get taken care of as soon as possible.
  • Try not to allow yourself to be overwhelmed during this phase.
  • Take things one step at a time, try to pace yourself, and try to carve out a little bit of family time and relaxation time as you go along.


  • Many people look forward to their arrival in Canada in the same way that they look forward to their wedding day.
  • There may be a huge build up to a wedding, but in actual fact life goes on after the wedding.
  • Similarly, life goes on after migration.
  • Just as the honeymoon phase wears off in a marriage, the honeymoon phase wears off for a migrant.
  • People run into a variety of problems, all the way from minor irritants through some more major challenges to (occasionally) catastrophic events.
  • To one degree or another, most migrants do experience culture shock and sometimes other difficulties too.
  • It's great to meet up with other British expats once in a while, but your migration journey will be more satisfying and effective if you also integrate into the local community.
  • Expat coach Louise Green, mentioned above, states that, while the amount of time it takes expats to integrate varies enormously, depending on their individual circumstances and personalities, the average time is about two years.
  • In her e-book on migration, Green encourages the expat to use the same approach that they used at the very beginning of the migration journey, back when they still were in the UK and assessing what they did and did not like about their life.
  • If you're feeling disgruntled about things in your new country, sit down and look at every area of your life.
    • Make lists of what's going well and what's going not so well.
    • This exercise alone will show you that, while you may think everything's going badly, in fact some things are going well.
    • For example, a vendor may have taken longer than you would have liked in supplying something you needed for your new house.
    • But, on the other hand, one of the other mums at your child's school may have invited you to her house for coffee.
    • Record and acknowledge every accomplishment.
    • Then identify what you can do to get things back on track in the areas in which you are less than satisfied.

Express Entry Skilled Worker

This is a Federal program, whereby skilled applicants apply to enter a 'pool', and then CIC pick those with the highest points score on the Comprehensive Ranking System and invite them to apply for PR.

In order to qualify to enter the pool, you must either have 67/100 Skilled Worker points (Federal Skilled Worker), or have at least a year of skilled work experience in Canada (Canadian Experience Class).

Once you are in the pool, to be in with a chance of being selected and receiving an invitation, you will need to score above approximately 460-470 as a rough guide. If you don't score enough, then you'll need to look at other visa routes and/or get a job offer and LMIA to boost your points score.

Please note that the Federal Skilled Trades points required are much lower, although calculated on the same grid. To enter the CRS pool under FST you would need at least two years of recent work as a skilled tradesman.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/Immigra...lled/index.asp https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...ed-trades.html

Overview of the EE system https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...ess-entry.html

Thanks to Christmasoompa for this step by step guide

Express Entry Skilled Worker route to PR? It's a two stage process.

Firstly you need to check that you score above 67 on this points test to make sure you'd qualify as a Federal Skilled Worker and be eligible to enter the 'pool' of Express Entry applicants - https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...ess-entry.html

You'll also need to meet the other criteria i.e. have worked in a skilled job for at least a year, have enough funds in your bank account (for a family of four, current amount is $24083), etc.

To be in with a chance of being selected from the Express Entry Pool, you'll need to be scoring about 460/470 on this test as a minimum (unless you are applying under FSW Trades - see above) - https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigr...d/crs-tool.asp

For both tests, take them as if you've taken an English test (IELTS) and scored maximum points, you can assume that for now as native speakers - there's no point in paying a few hundred quid for tests if you don't score enough anyway. This is just to give you an idea of your scores at the moment.

Once you've taken the above two tests, post on the forum about your points and we can help you work out your next step. https://britishexpats.com/forum/immi...hip-canada-33/


Intra-Company Transfer

If your company has offices in Canada, you may be able to get an intra-company transfer.

Self-Employed Class

If you have at least 2 years self-employed experience out of the previous 5 years, in a qualifying occupation (cultural/athletic/farming) you can consider this program. [[url=http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/self-employed/index.asp]CIC website].

Canadian Experience Class (Now part of Express Entry but worth points and can be invited 'under it')

If you have worked full-time (or the equivalent in part time over a longer period) in Canada for at least 1 years in a Skilled job, then you would qualify for Express Entry under this program, and could be drawn to be invited to apply for Permanent Residency if you have enough CRS points. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...nce-class.html

Job Offer

If you do not fall in to any other category for immigration, as outlined in this guide, then your only option is to try and find a job offer to get a visa.

If you find an employer who is willing to hire you, the employer can apply to get the job offer approved by the government to be able to hire you. This is in the form of an LMIA, or Labour Market Impact Assessment.

The LMIA route gets you into Canada as it can be used to apply for a Temporary Work Permit. To get the LMIA, your potential employer must pay $1000 and prove that they have advertised the job across Canada and been unable to find a Canadian willing, or able, to do the job.

However, your work permit will have an expiry date between 1 and 3 years after you land in Canada (at which point you will be required to leave unless you have obtained Permanent Residency, or if not, can get a new Temporary Work Permit), and you will only be permitted to work for that employer. Your Work Permit can sometimes be used to apply for Permanent Residence, depending on the Skill Level and province.¹. [[url=http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/foreign_workers/temp_assessment.shtml]HRSDC website].

Sometimes CIC allows certain types of jobs to be LMIA exempt, and there are various categories of workers that fall under this criteria, including intra-company transfers. [[url=http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/apply-who-permit.asp][1]]

Provincial Sponsorship / Nominee

However, most Provinces in Canada have what is known as Provincial Sponsorship or Provincial Nominee, which allows you to immigrate to Canada through the Province you are living in. The following provinces offer programmes that allow you to be sponsored in with a Work Permit in occupations at a lower skill level.
  • Manitoba (Any occupation) [[url=http://www.immigratemanitoba.com/how-to-immigrate/eligibility/]MPNP Eligibility Website]
  • British Columbia (tourism/hospitality, food processing and long-haul trucking industries) [[url=http://www.welcomebc.ca/Immigrate/Provincial-Nominee-Program-Home/Strategic-Occupations-Home/Entry-Level-and-Semi-Skilled-Workers-Home.aspx]BCPNP Entry-Level Route Website]
  • British Columbia North East Development Region Only (NOC Level C and D) [[url=http://www.welcomebc.ca/Immigrate/immigrate-BC/Provincial-Nominee-Program-Home/Strategic-Occupations-Home/Entry-Level-and-Semi-Skilled-Workers-Home.aspx]BCPNP North East Development Region Entry-Level Route Website]
  • Alberta (NOC Level C - Limited list) [[url=http://www.albertacanada.com/immigration/immigrating/ainp.aspx]AINP Website]
  • Saskatchewan (Any level in Designated trade list) [[url=http://www.saskimmigrationcanada.ca/]SaskImmigration Website]
ALL Provincial Nominee Programs: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration....html#websites


Study Permit

If you can secure a place at a university, college or technical institution, you can apply for a study permit [[url=http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/guides/5269E2.asp]CIC Website]. This will allow you to study in Canada for the duration of your course. Having Canadian qualifications can lead to more CRS points, improving your position in the Express Entry pool [[url=http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/cec/index.asp]CIC Website].

Family / Canadian Relatives

Canadian Parent(s)

If your mother or father is Canadian, you may be able to claim Canadian Citizenship.

Canadian Spouse/Children/Grandchildren

You may be able to get your Canadian spouse, adult child or grandchild to sponsor you, or possibly another family member (i.e. a sibling, aunt, cousin, etc) if they meet the fairly narrow criteria set out in the aforementioned link.

Canadian Relatives

This varies from province to province, however in some provinces more distant relatives are able to sponsor you into Canada under a Provincial Nominee Program.


Terminated programs: Federal Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneurs, this program has been terminated. On June 19, 2014, applications still in the backlog of the federal Immigrant Investor Program and Entrepreneur Program were terminated.

Edited to add, there are various business investment programs still available for certain other Provinces. More details here: http://www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/page/2783/

There is also the "Start Up" program: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigra...t-up/index.asp

The Quebec Investor Program and the Quebec Entrepreneur Program are not affected.

Quebec Investors Program

To be eligible for this program, you must:

Have, alone or with his accompanying spouse, including de facto spouse, net assets of at least $1,600,000 CAN obtained legally, excluding the amounts received by donation less than six months before the date on which the application was filed. Have experience in management in a legal farming, commercial or industrial business, or in a legal professional business where the staff, excluding the investor, occupies at least the equivalent of two full-time jobs, or for an international agency or a government or one of its departments or agencies;

We define management experience as the exercise, for at least two years in the five years preceding the application for a selection certificate, of duties related to the planning, management and control of financial resources and of human or material resources under your authority; the experience does not include experience acquired in the context of an apprenticeship, training or specialization process attested to by a diploma. Intend to settle in Québec and sign an agreement to invest $800,000 CAN with a financial intermediary (broker or trust company) authorized to participate in the Investor Program.

Quebec Entrepreneur Program http://tinyurl.com/4x3xw4o

Entrepreneur candidate Your experience as a entrepreneur, your ability to successfully carry out a business plan, your efforts to acquire a business in Québec, your assets and their lawful acquisition.

Provincial Programs

Each province has their own Provincial Nominee Program, and each of these have many different streams. It is worth exploring them, especially as some of them are more 'open' than the Federal programs, so it is possible to get Permanent Residency without a job offer for example. [[url=http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/provincial/apply-who.asp][2]]

International Experience Canada

If you are a UK citizen between 18 and 30 (inclusive - or 18-35 if you are a citizen of the Republic of Ireland) you can enter Canada on a 24-month open visa through the IEC.

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Canadian Immigration and Citzenship Master Wiki Thread

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