Are immigrants welcome in Canada?
The short answer is yes. Firstly, Canada is in a desperate need of workers — this includes highly qualified specialists who can easily move to the country having proved their qualifications and less-skilled workers who are desired in sparsely populated provinces under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. Secondly, Canada has a soft family immigration policy. Permanent residence can be obtained if one of the close relatives is a resident or citizen of Canada. This can be not only children and spouses, but also parents, grandparents and some other relatives in exceptional cases. Even more surprisingly, you can marry a resident/citizen of Canada if you enter the country with a simple tourist visa.
10 reasons to immigrate to Canada
  • Streamlined citizenship process. You can get a Canadian passport after just three years of permanent residence[6].
  • Friendly attitude towards aliens. Canada was the first country in the world to proclaim the value of multiculturalism[7] — the idea that every citizen of the country has the right to maintain their identity, and at the same time be a full member of society. It is easier for immigrants to integrate into society with such values.
  • Moving with the whole family. Canadian immigration policy allows to move the whole family from children to grandmothers. Moreover, they receive the status of permanent residents and can use all services and facilities.
  • Quality of life. Canada ranks first among the countries with the highest standards of living[8]. Its residents boast a well-developed system of health and education, social security, a stable economic and political situation. The average life expectancy in Canada is 82 years[9].
  • High level of freedom. Canada is one of the freest countries in the world along with the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Finland[10]. For example, same-sex marriage is legal and so is recreational drug use.
  • Two official languages are French and English. Immigration requires the knowledge of only one of them. Learning a second language in the natural environment is not as difficult.
  • Low crime rate. Canada is one of the safest countries in the world[11]. There is no division into hazardous and non-hazardous areas since the crime rate is extremely low throughout the whole country.
  • Diverse nature. In Canada there are 38 national parks[12], where you can see not only glaciers, icebergs and the northern lights, but also sandy beaches and waterfalls. Canada itself is surrounded by three oceans.
  • Active leisure. Geographical and climatic diversity allows Canadians to engage in all sports. High mountains (10 mountain ranges) and an abundance of snow allow you to ski, snowboard or snowmobile. In summer, canoeing and kayaking are possible.
  • Great ecology. Canadian government cares a great deal about environmental development and conservation of natural resources — Canada is 25 (out of 180) in environment performance index[13].
5 shortcomings of Canada
  • High competition in the labor market. High demands are set for professional immigrants, and there is no shortage of applicants[14]. This makes immigration harder than it should be for specialists.
  • Expensive rental housing. A month of renting even a one-room apartment outside of downtown areas will still cost almost 731 USD[15].
  • Tax on goods and services. This tax in most cases is not included in the price tag of a product or service. You will have to pay an additional 5-15% of the total purchase price at the checkout. The amount of tax depends on the province[16].
  • Income tax. With high wages, the tax can be 40-50% of the salary[17].
  • Climate. Not everyone likes cold winters and short, non-hot summers.

To immigrate to Canada, you must select the appropriate method of immigration, which involves obtaining the status of a permanent resident after entering the country. After determining the method, you need to collect the required documents and apply for a visa, study permit or another document depending on the method of immigration, by creating an account on GCKey, or by contacting one of the visa centers in Canada[18]. Citizenship can be obtained after 3 years of permanent residence in Canada.

Ways to immigrate to Canada

Student8+110 USD2-12 weeksStudy at a university or a language course
Professional4-7 +1,181 USD12 monthsHigh qualification, in some cases — an offer from an employer
Atlantic4+761 USDFrom 6 monthsAn offer from an employer in one of the Atlantic provinces
Business5+1,126 USD12-24 monthsStarting a business and individual entrepreneurship
InvestorsInvestments from 146,251 USD in the province of
MarriageNo761 USD12 monthsSpouses and partners of citizens or residents of Canada
Reunion with familyNo402-761 USD

12-24 months

Blood relationship


Refugees or people seeking protection

* On CLB scale for English and French. Results of IELTS, SELPIP, TCF, TEF exams are accepted.

Basic requirements for applications

Application documents for a visa are extremely important. This stage is crucial as it is decided whether the candidate will be given permission to enter the country. While for each method of immigration and the individual situation of candidates, the set of documents is always unique, there are several general requirements for application documents.

Medical examination for immigrants
People who travel to Canada for a period of more than six months must undergo a medical examination. This is because Canada is not used to providing immigrants with healthcare upon entry. More details on the official website.

A preliminary medical examination is necessary for the following employees:

  • Hospital and clinical laboratory workers;
  • Nurses, nursing home workers;
  • Medical students;
  • Preschool, primary and secondary school teachers;
  • Other professions related to interaction with people;
  • Agricultural workers who have stayed for more than six months in one of the countries on the list throughout the previous year.
Requirements for the translation and validation of documents
Documents must be translated from other languages ​​into English/French unless stated otherwise. The following must be attached to the translation of the document:
  • An affidavit of the person who made the translation;
  • A notarized copy of the translated document.
Read more about the requirements for translation and certification of documents on the official website.

Student immigration to Canada

You can immigrate to Canada as a student if you get accepted to a university or vocational school and get a visitor visa and study permit, and after graduation, get a job and stay in the country. The advantage of this method is that it allows for soft integration into Canadian society. In addition, Canada supports the immigration of foreign graduates and provides them with the opportunity to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

Working while Studying in Canada

International students in Canada can work part-time on campus and/or off-campus for 20 hours a week[19]. A detailed description of the conditions can be found in the study permit that a student receives before entering the country. Work permits can also be obtained separately. The additional income will definitely make life easier, however, it will not fully cover living expenses and tuition. Therefore, a student must plan his life and study budget way in advance.

Read More

Education in Canada

Main article: Education in Canada.

Preparation for student immigration

  1. Learn about educational institutions and programs;
  2. Learn the language of instruction to a minimum of B2 level;
  3. Search for popular grants and scholarships;
  4. Pass the language and entrance exams;
  5. Translate diplomas or certificates of previous education;
  6. Receive a letter of acceptance and an invitation from the university;
  7. Make a study permit.
Admission to a Canadian university
Canada does not have a unified education system, so entry requirements vary from one region to another. It is necessary to begin the preparation of documents at least a year before the planned admission.

Documents for admission to the university:

Student visa to Canada: Study permit

Applying for a visa is a procedure of deciding whether the person is worthy to enter the state and the visa itself is a permit to enter the country. The process of applying for a study permit to Canada differs from the procedure adopted in most countries. There are no special student visas in Canada. Instead of applying for a visa directly, the candidate, after receiving an invitation from the university, needs to apply for a study permit. It allows you to study in Canada at certain educational institutions for more than 6 months, but it is not a visa. A visitor visa is issued automatically after a study permit has been approved: you can enter Canada and get a study permit at the border. If a student leaves Canada, he will not be able to return to the country under a study permit. To do this, you need a visa, which gives the right to re-entry.

Getting a study permit
The documents for a study permit must be submitted immediately after receiving an invitation from the university. Review of the application takes about 2 weeks, but in reality it usually takes even more time due to the submission of biometric data and the transfer of student’s data from the visa center to the Canadian representative office. The permit is issued for a period of more than 90 days and can be extended. The cost is 110 USD. You can apply online or at the visa application center.

Study permit application documents:

  • Valid passport (including for the period of study);
  • Acceptance letter;
  • Proof of financial resources to fund the tuition, accommodation, round-trip ticket to Canada;
  • Certificate of no criminal record (upon request);
  • Medical certificate (upon request);
  • Letter of explanation elaborating on a student’s desire to study in Canada;
  • Other documents upon request (more details on the Government of Canada website).

The process of obtaining a study permit:

  • Apply online or through the visa application center;
  • On-demand: submit biometric data;
  • On-demand: pass an interview, providing additional documents (medical certificate, certificate of no criminal record);
  • Wait for results (from 2 weeks);
  • Obtain a visitor visa and letter of introduction with a positive decision. It must be presented at the Canadian border in order to claim a study permit;
  • After entering the country provide a border services officer with the following documents:
  • Obtain a study permit.

Prospects for Canadian graduates

After graduating from a Canadian university a student can participate in the post-graduation work permit program (PGWPP), but only if this university is designated to participate in the program. Training should be full-time and take no less than 8 months. Thanks to the professional experience that graduates receive in this program, they can immigrate to the country as professionals on an ongoing basis. Graduates from several provinces can participate in the Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP).

Professional Immigration to Canada

Canada’s growing economy needs highly qualified professionals who will benefit the Canadian economy with their skills. To obtain permanent residency status through professional immigration, you need to show full compliance with the requirements of one of the three federal immigration programs by filling out the Express Entry form. The federal program of professional immigration to Canada involves both independent immigration and immigration with an offer of employment.

The most sought-after professions in Canada
8 most sought-after professions in the Canadian labor market:
  • Sales representatives;
  • Accountants;
  • Engineering project managers;
  • Business analyst;
  • IT project managers;
  • Customer service managers;
  • Programmers;
  • HR Managers[20].

Federal professional immigration programs — Express Entry

ProgramQualification (NOC)EducationExperienceCLB*Offer of employment
Canadian Experience0, A, BNot RequiredFrom 1 year in Canada5–7No
Federal Skilled Worker0, A, BNot requiredFrom 1 year7No
Federal Skilled TradesBSecondary / higherFrom 2 years4 and 5Yes

*CLB (Canadian Language Benchmarks) — a language standard that helps to establish equivalencies between French and English language test results (IELTS, TEF).

Programs operate in all regions except Quebec.

National Occupation Classification (NOC)
Before applying, the candidate has to make sure that his specialization fits the rules of the program. In Canada, there is an official division of professions into groups (National Occupational Classification) depending on the complexity of work and the level of education of a person. Classification of immigrant professions:
  • Level 0 (zero) — specialists in management;
  • Level A — professional workers with a university degree: doctors, engineers, programmers;
  • Level B — technical specialists skilled in trades: cooks, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, etc;
  • Level C — intermediate workers with secondary education / vocational training: truckers, service workers, etc ;
  • Level D — labor workers: factory and factory workers, seasonal workers.

Provincial Nominee Program

Professional immigration through the Provincial Nominee Program is possible if the candidate meets the criteria of one of the federal programs and has a nomination from one of the Canadian provinces. To get support, the candidate needs to decide in which province or territory he wants to live and work, and then apply there for a nomination in Express Entry stream (to apply, select a province or territory in the list and apply following the instructions). You can create an account in Express Entry in advance. When making the decision, it is taken into account whether the province needs immigrants, as well as the plausibility of the candidate’s plans to live there. After receiving approval you can apply for permanent residence. The paperwork processing takes from 15 to 19 months. The total cost of fees will be from 1,181 USD (fees for the consideration of the application, permanent residence and the delivery of biometric data).

Documents for Express Entry form

What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is a system that was created by the Canadian government in 2015 in order to search for the most suitable candidates for immigration. Creating a profile in the system is the first step of the process. The potential immigrant’s profile is assessed using a test, after which it is assigned a score in the overall ranking. A high position in the ranking, as well as registration in the system, does not guarantee an invitation to apply for permanent residence. The profile must be at the top among all applications so that the candidate receives an invitation to apply for permanent residence. When filling out the form, you need to use the data from the documents; you do not need to upload the documents themselves. However, the indication of false information will lead to disqualification and a ban on entry for 5 years.
Learn more about creating an account on Express Entry.
What does Express Entry evaluate?
  • The level of education;
  • Work experience in the chosen direction;
  • The presence of an invitation from the employer;
  • Availability of nomination from the province;
  • Age (most valued are young people from 18 to 35 years old);
  • Knowledge of English / French;
  • The ability to quickly adapt (experience living or studying in Canada, having relatives), etc.
You can evaluate your approximate chances on your own using a special assistant.
  • International passport;
  • Language certificate;
  • Diploma of secondary/higher education (and validation of a diploma for the Skilled Worker Class program or for getting extra points for the criterion "education" in Express Entry);
  • Documents confirming work experience;
  • Nomination from the province (if available);
  • Offer of employment (if available);

An up-to-date description of documents can be found on the official website.

The process of professional immigration to Canada

  • Choose the right program (you can see the comparison here);
  • Translate the necessary documents into English/French;
  • Assess your education;
  • Create an account in Express Entry;
  • Fill out the form within 60 days;
  • Collect the documents;
  • Wait for an official letter of confirmation of your candidacy and invitation (waiting up to 12 months);
  • Apply for permanent residence within 60 days after receiving the invitation.
Validation of the previous education
If education was not received in Canada, you must validate it. Validation of the diploma is necessary for the Skilled Worker Class program or for obtaining extra points for the criterion "education" in Express Entry. As a rule, confirmation of only the latest education received is required. An up-to-date list of organizations that conduct the assessment is published on the official website of the Government.

Documents for obtaining a permanent residence after an invitation

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

Atlantic Immigration Pilot is an agreement between the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces:

  • New Brunswick;
  • Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • Nova Scotia;
  • Prince Edward Island.

The essence of this agreement is to accept qualified immigrants to fill job positions for which there are not enough local candidates. For immigration, you must first get a job offer. Consideration of the application takes from 6 months, the cost is 761 USD. An employer can accept a candidate in one of the categories.

Atlantic immigration categories and requirements


Atlantic High-Skilled Program

Secondary education certificate of Canada or its equivalent

At least 1 year on a managerial or professional/technical position

Checklist and forms
Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled ProgramSecondary education certificate of Canada or its equivalentAt least 1 year on a position requiring secondary education or a minimum of a year of vocational trainingChecklist and forms
Atlantic International Graduate ProgramStay in Atlantic province for at least 16 months In the last 2 years before graduationA degree or diploma/certificate from one of the Atlantic province’s institutions.Checklist and forms

General requirements include an offer from the employer, a certificate of passing the international exam in English / French (result CLB4+, no older than 2 years) and proof of funds (min. 2,316 USD/person[21]).

Immigration process

  • Assessment of education to match Canadian Standards;
  • Receive an offer of employment from a province participating in the program;
  • Obtain an individual settlement plan from a settlement service provider;
  • Obtain a certificate of endorsement from a Canadian province;
  • Collecting of documents and uploading applications for permanent residence (documents and procedures depend on the program);
  • Submission of biometric data;
  • Application for a temporary work permit, which gives the right to work at the time of consideration of the application for permanent residence (optional).

Learn more about the Atlantic immigration process.

Business immigration to Canada

Canada is an attractive place for entrepreneurship and ranks 7th in the list of the best countries for doing business[22]. The Canadian government is interested in immigrating foreign entrepreneurs and investors who bring money to the country. An entrepreneur should have a good knowledge of the local market, the conditions for doing business, speak English or French and have a business plan. Provinces can offer their own conditions for business immigration, which could differ from federal ones.

Types of business immigration to Canada

Start-up visa1,126 USD +12-16 months
Self-employed person1,126 USD24 months

Start-up Visa program

The program is designed for young entrepreneurs with a project that creates new jobs, is innovative and can be useful to the Canadian economy. Up to 5 company founders and their families can get a visa. Key business requirements:

  • Each of the founders has a 10% share of the company;
  • Applicants and the selected organization hold more than 50% share of the company;
  • Get support from one of the designated Canadian investors who can invest in a new business;
  • Knowledge of the language at the level of CLB 5+;
  • Availability of sufficient financial resources from 9,264 USD/person;
  • At the time of obtaining permanent residence, the business must be registered, operate and carry out the bulk of its operations in Canada.
Application for the Start-up Visa program
When applying, you need to refer to the current list of documents and recommendations for collecting them and filling out an application. Sample list of documents:
  • Generic application form (IMM 0008);
  • Start-Up Business Class program application (IMM 0008 — schedule 13);
  • Schedule A — background/declaration (IMM 5669);
  • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406);
  • Separation declaration for minors (IMM 5604) (provided by the second parent, who remains in the country of departure);
  • Declaration of a common-law union (IMM 5409);
  • Additional dependents declaration (IMM 0008DEP) (if there are 5 or more people dependent on the applicant);
  • Supplementary information — your travels (IMM 5562);
  • Contract with an investor;
  • Medical certificate;
  • Police certificate;
  • Language certificate;
  • Fee payment receipt (1,126 USD/person).

Self-Employed Persons Program

The program is designed for individual business professionals in the fields of cultural activities and athletics who are committed to contributing to Canada’s athletic and cultural life. The main requirements for the candidate:

  • Have experience in participating in cultural or sports events on the world stage or be self-employed in the fields of culture or athletics (at least 2 years over the past 5 years);
  • Intention to work for yourself in the field of culture/athletics after moving to Canada and to contribute to the development of your field in Canada;
  • Score at least 35 points in the test (estimated age, education, experience, etc.);
  • Medical certificate and a police certificate.
Application for the Self-Employed Persons Program
When applying, you need to refer to the current list of documents and recommendations for collecting them and filling out an application. Sample list of documents:
  • Generic application form (IMM 0008);
  • Schedule A background/declaration (IMM 5669);
  • Schedule 6A: Business immigrants — self-employed persons (IMM 0008 — schedule 6A);
  • Additional family information (IMM 5406);
  • Separation declaration for minors (IMM 5604);
  • Declaration of a common-law union (IMM 5409);
  • Additional dependents declaration (IMM 0008DEP);
  • Supplementary information — your travels (IMM 5562);
  • Document checklist (IMM 5784);
  • Contract with an investor;
  • Medical certificate;
  • Police certificate;
  • Language certificate;
  • Fee payment receipt (1,126 USD/person).

Immigration for investors

There are no federal investment programs, but investors can invest in provinces through regional programs. When meeting the minimum requirements, a businessman-investor receives the permanent residence and the right to conduct business in Canada. The main condition is that the business project must meet the needs of the region.

Business and investment in some provinces: minimum requirements

Program nameCapitalAmount of investmentSpecifics of a business projectWork experienceExperience
Yukon Business Nominee Program365,628 USD219,377 USD
  • IT
  • Manufacturing
  • Value-added processing
  • Industry
  • Forestry
  • Tourism
  • Energy
  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Cultural industries
  • Film and video production
5 years3 years
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program365,628 USD146,251 USDNo-3 years

More details about investment programs and business immigration to other Canadian provinces.

Marriage immigration to Canada

Canada does not automatically grant citizenship after marrying a citizen of Canada. A newly-married spouse must be a permanent resident of Canada through the Family Sponsorship program. You can obtain citizenship after 3 years. Children born in a mixed marriage are entitled to citizenship if one of the parents is a citizen of the country. It is not necessary to be born in Canada.

The process of obtaining a permanent residence permit after marriage

Marriage in Canada
  • Non-Canadian citizen applies for a tourist visa to enter the country;
  • After marrying, the couple submits documents for immigration under the Family Sponsorship program;
  • Paperwork takes about 12 months. At this time, the husband or wife of the Canadian sponsor applicant cannot leave the country or get a job.

Requirements for the spouse of a Canadian citizen to obtain the status of a permanent resident of

  • 18+ years;
  • Prove the authenticity of the relationship.
How to prove the authenticity of the relationship
If the immigration office doubts the authenticity of the relationship of the spouses, then the couple can be called for an interview. You can confirm the relationship with the help of material evidence:
  • Couple photographs;
  • Letters, text messages, phone conversations;
  • Mutual future plans (for example, a joint housing lease, purchases, bank statements, insurance etc.).
Enter a university abroad

Family reunion in Canada

Canada has one of the most convenient Family Sponsorship programs. Every year, new amendments appear in the legislation to facilitate the relocation of relatives to Canada: the review periods are shortened, and the procedure itself becomes less confusing. Relatives who have entered the country under such a program receive a permanent residence and the right to enjoy all social benefits. However, if they lose their jobs and cannot support themselves, the state will not pay them unemployment allowance. All responsibility rests with the sponsor.

Sponsor requirements
  • Citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • 18+ years old;
  • Does not use state social security (except for cases of disability);
  • Proof of funds that the sponsor is able to provide for accommodation and medical assistance to his relative. The minimum amount depends on the province, the number of family members, the age of the relative and the proximity of the relationship;
  • Do not have debts in Canada;
  • The province of Quebec has a different set of requirements.

Who can use the Family Sponsorship

Family RelationshipRequirements
  • 18+ years old;
  • The proof authenticity of the relationship.
Couples in a common-law union
  • 18+ years old;
  • Relationship duration 1+ years.
Children (own and adopted)
  • Children under 19 years old, unmarried;
  • Full-time students (any age);
  • Children with severe illnesses.
Parents and grandparents
  • Passing a medical examination;
  • Police certificate.
Other relatives
  • Have a good reason to move.

Family Immigration

Relative from 22 years old761 USD
Dependants110 USD
Relative under 22 years old (not child)468 USD
Spouse/partner of a relative761 USD Family

Reunification procedure

  • Document submission on behalf of the sponsor in Canada;
  • Waiting for results up to 12 months;
  • Upon approval, the relative receives the application number;
  • Upon request, a relative undergoes a medical examination, submits biometric data, provides additional documents or undergoes an interview;
  • Obtaining further instructions, entry permits and confirmation of permanent residence;
  • Arrival in Canada, handing in the necessary documents and an interview at the border;
  • Entry and reception of a permanent residence at the address of residence.

More information and an Infographic about the process of family immigration

Application documents for the sponsor
When applying, you need to refer to the current list of documents and follow the recommendations for collecting them and filling out the application. Sample list of documents:
  • Documents confirming the identity of the sponsor;
  • Generic application (IMM 0008);
  • Relative sponsorship application (the form depends on the type of relationship);
  • Sponsorship agreement (IMM 1344);
  • Finance evaluation (IMM 1283);
  • Document checklist (IMM 5771);
  • Fee payment receipt;
  • Confirmation of financial viability (bank statement, property deed);
  • Documents that confirm the relationship of the sponsor and the sponsored (birth, marriage, etc.);
  • Other documents.
Application documents for the sponsor’s relatives
When applying, you need to refer to the current list of documents and follow the recommendations for collecting them and filling out the application. Sample list of documents:
  • Sponsorship agreement (IMM 1344);
  • Generic application (IMM 0008);
  • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406);
  • Relationship information and sponsorship evaluation (IMM 5532);
  • International passport;
  • Medical certificate;
  • Police certificate;
  • Certificate of family composition;
  • Documents that confirm the relationship of the sponsor and the sponsored (birth, marriage, etc.);
  • Other documents.

Parent and Grandparent Super Visa

The Family Sponsorship program is designed primarily for the reunion of spouses and parents with children, and such applications are a priority. It is more difficult for parents and grandparents to immigrate under this program, as their applications are processed more slowly (about 2 years). In addition, there is a quota — from 17,000 to 20,000 applications per year. Candidates are selected randomly, so there is no guarantee that even the best application will be approved. There is a workaround — parents and grandparents can get Parent and Grandparent Super Visa. A visa is issued for 10 years and allows you to continuously stay in Canada for up to two years. The processing time is about 80 days. The cost is 73 USD.

Application documents for the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa
  • Invitation from a permanent resident or citizen of Canada;
  • Documents confirming the financial viability of the inviting person (minimum income for a family of two people — 22,395 USD/year);
  • Proof of intent to return home after 2 years in Canada;
  • Documents confirming kinship;
  • Canadian health insurance;
  • Medical certificate.

Humanitarian immigration to Canada

Today, Canada is an economically prosperous and multicultural state and it has a high degree of freedom that defends human rights. Canada positions itself as a country that has provided protection to internally displaced persons throughout its history and is ready to provide it today to refugees from literally all regions of the world[23]. People who have left their homeland for fear of persecution can receive protection in Canada. However, this is the most difficult way to obtain Canadian citizenship. The immigration service carefully examines each case: for the provision of false information or false documents, a punishment will follow, which will depend on the severity of the violation of immigration law. In case of serious violations, a ban on entry into the country awaits a failed refugee. A candidate who is denied refugee status must leave Canada within a month.

Reasons to apply for asylum

  • Persecution based on ethnicity, nationality, belonging in a social group (including sexual minorities), religion, political views;
  • Violation of human rights;
  • Justified fear for one’s life related to threats and harassment with the goal of murder or physical punishment, torture.
Reasons for refusal of a refugee
  • Refugee status in another country;
  • Arrival to Canada through the US-Canadian border or other safe countries. Under the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement, refugees must seek asylum in the first safe country they encounter along the way;
  • Criminal past;
  • Obtaining refugee status in Canada in the past;
  • Refusal of refugee status in Canada in the past.

Refugee protection programs in Canada

There are two ways to apply for asylum. Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program allows you to ask for protection from outside Canada. This cannot be done by an individual: the referral may be provided by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or a number of accredited private organizations. You can also apply for asylum through the In-Canada Asylum Program after arriving in Canada on your own. Candidates who received Canada’s protection have the right to take advantage of state support: free language courses, assistance in finding work and housing, etc. Refugees can receive a monthly allowance for a year under the Resettlement Assistance Program.

Application documents for refugees
When applying, you need to refer to the current list of documents and follow the recommendations for collecting them and filling out the application. Sample list of documents:
  • Generic application (IMM 0008);
  • Additional dependents (IMM 0008DEP);
  • Schedule A — background/declaration (IMM 5669);
  • Additional information — refugee claimants inside Canada (IMM 0008, Schedule 12);
  • Basis of claim;
  • Use of a representative (if there is a representative who will defend the interests of the candidate) (IMM 5476);
  • Document checklist (IMM 5745);
  • Identification documents (passports, driver's license, birth certificate);
  • Documents confirming harassment and discrimination at home country (police reports, the medical evidence of injuries, correspondence with threats and insults, and other evidence);
  • A letter outlining the history of the persecution;
  • 4 passport photographs of the applicant and his family members take over the past 6 months.

Refugee status procedure

  • Application;
  • Filling in the application package;
  • Attendance at the hearing (within 60 days);
  • Obtaining a decision after a meeting or by mail;
  • Appeal the result within 15 days (if declined).
Where and when to apply?
Applying for refugee status is possible after illegally crossing the border. By land, Canada only borders the United States, which is considered a safe country. Therefore, refugees who have arrived at official border posts illegally will be denied entry. In other cases, when illegally crossing the border, the candidate will be arrested, his documents will be checked, an asylum application will be made and sent to a temporary shelter where the potential refugee will be at the time of the hearing.
You can also ask for protection after lawful entry into the country with any type of visa — at the airport, seaport or land border post. In this case, the applicant is given 15 days to bring all the necessary documents to the Immigration Center. You can also contact the Immigration Center directly. To do this, you need to have on hand a whole set of documents.
How to increase your chances of obtaining a refugee status
  • Tell your story in detail and truthfully at a hearing. If you do not speak English or French, you must find an interpreter in advance;
  • Bring a witness to the meeting who can confirm your story;
  • Provide as much physical evidence as possible of the persecution, violation of rights, etc.

More about applying for refugee status.

Immigration to Quebec

The province of Quebec is the second most populous province in Canada[24] in which almost a quarter of the population are immigrants[25]. It enjoys broad political and legal autonomy[26]. For this reason, the procedure for immigration to Quebec may have significant differences. Candidates for immigration to Quebec need to read the relevant information on the websites of the Government of Canada and the province of Quebec:

Obtaining Canadian citizenship

Canadian passport gives immigrants rights that are not accessible to permanent residents — the right to visa-free visits to 184 countries, stay outside Canada without time restrictions, a simplified procedure for hiring and the right to vote. The examination of the application costs 461 USD. Obtaining a Canadian passport will take about 12 months.

Basic requirements for obtaining Canadian citizenship

  • Minimum 3 years of residence in Canada over the past 5 years (can be counted using a calculator);
  • Permanent residence status;
  • The absence of tax debts for the last 3 tax years;
  • English / French Level CLB4+;
  • Knowledge of Canada’s culture, history, laws, geography, economics, and government symbols.

The process of obtaining Canadian citizenship

  • Get acquainted with the paperwork requirements, fill out all the necessary forms;
  • Pay a fee;
  • Send the required set of documents to the mailing address of a suitable office;
  • Submit fingerprints at the police or accredited organization;
  • Pass a citizenship test (exam on history, socio-political structure, etc. of Canada, for applicants from 18 to 54 years old);
  • An interview after the test in the immigration center;
  • Acquiring citizenship and taking the oath at the ceremony after a maximum of 3 months.
Application documents for Canadian citizenship
The set of documents depends on a person applying for citizenship — the main applicant, his child or other categories. Before submitting documents, you need to check the list of documents and requirements for them on the official website. Key documents for an applicant over 18 years of age:
  • Application for Canadian citizenship adults (CIT 0002);
  • Document checklist (CIT 0007);
  • 2 photos with the name of the applicant on the back;
  • Residence outside Canada (CIT 0177)
  • Copies of all foreign passports for 5 years;
  • Language certificate of English / French CLB4 + for applicants from 18 to 54 years old (certificates, certificates from language courses);
  • Identification documents (driver’s license, health insurance card, pension certificate);
  • Tax return for the last 3 years on demand;
  • Fee payment receipt (adult — 461 USD, children under 18 years old — 73 USD).

Read more about the process of obtaining citizenship and filling out documents.

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