Brian Harris

There are nearly a hundred ways to immigrate to Canada

Canada, hundred ways, immigrate, nearly

Did you know that Canada had nearly 104 economic immigration programs? Not just the federal government but every province and territory in Canada has been making great strides in introducing several immigration programs in the last thirty years. All these immigration programs have a common goal: provide a large number of immigration pathways for skilled immigrants to come into the country. Economic immigrants bring with them a variety of skills that significantly contribute to the economy of Canada.

There are three main pathways through which Canada welcomes permanent residents:

  • As economic immigrants who bring both capital and skills to the country
  • As family members of residents who come to the country under the family reunification program
  • As refugees who are admitted into the country on humanitarian grounds

Almost 6 in 10 immigrants come to Canada via the economic route. The economic immigration programs account for the largest share of immigrants in Canada. Most of these economic immigrants are high-skilled foreign workers who apply for immigration from overseas. High-skilled temporary workers in Canada and international students also apply for Permanent Residence through the economic immigration pathways.

The most popular economic immigration route to Canada is the Express Entry Program. Candidates submitting an Expression of Interest are screened for eligibility in any one of three primary economic programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Class
  • Canadian Experience Class

If you are found eligible under any one of these programs, your EOI enters the Express Entry Pool. Each applicant in the pool is assigned a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System. This score also known as the CRS score is used to rank candidates in the pool. The higher your score the higher your rank is and the faster you receive an invitation to apply for the Canada PR Visa process.

The CRS uses factors like your age, education, Canadian education, work experience, Canadian work experience, and language skills to assign a score to each candidate. You can use a CRS calculator to check out your CRS score if you are interested in immigrating to Canada.

Canada has also launched a number of pilot programs to bring in more economic immigrants to the country. The most notable ones are:

  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
  • Agri-food Immigration Pilot

PNPs are admitting a growing number of immigrants

The first Provincial Nominee Program of Canada was introduced in 1990. Since its inception, the PNPs have helped a growing number of immigrants to obtain Permanent Residency in Canada.

The PNPs brought in just 233 immigrants to Canada in 1996. In 2020, the admission target for the PNPs is over 60,000.

Canada allows provinces in the country to nominate candidates for Permanent Residence every year. These provinces can also nominate candidates from the Express Entry Pool who meet the skill needs of the provinces. The PNPs give smaller provinces in Canada greater flexibility in bringing in immigrants. The provinces can tailor these programs to meet their economic development goals and the specific labor market needs.

Almost all provinces and territories in Canada now have at least one immigration stream aligned with the federal Express Entry Program. If you get a provincial nomination, you effectively increase your CRS score by 600 points. These added points fast-track your application for an ITA for Canadian Permanent Residence.

Provinces like Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island have been holding PNP draws in recent weeks. These provinces have invited more than 2,500 immigrants to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian Permanent Residence.

Canada aims to bring in more than 200,000 economic immigrants through its 104 immigration pathways. 90,000 of these immigrants are expected to come in through the Express Entry Program. Canada aims to bring in 65,000 immigrants through the PNPs this year.

Express Entry draws

Canada conducted three Express Entry draws in July 2020. The first July draw happened on 8th July. The draw invited 3,900 immigrants with lowest-scoring candidate scoring 478 points.

The second July draw was held on 22nd July which was a PNP-specific draw. IRCC invited 557 candidates who had obtained a provincial nomination. The lowest cut-off score in the 22nd July draw was 687. 

The latest Express Entry draw was conducted on 23rd July inviting 3,343 CEC candidates. The lowest cut-off in this draw was 445.

The above draws are evident that Canada is aiming to meet its admission target for this year despite the pandemic situation.