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Who can immigrate to Canada

Immigration to Canada refers to the process by which foreign nationals migrate to Canada to reside. Besides, the majority of them will go on to become Canadian citizens. However, not everyone can immigrate to Canada easily. Individuals and family members will undergo a series of processes and meet specifications before applying.

Even though Canada welcomes over 250,000 new immigrants yearly, all newcomers must meet specific criteria. Applying for permanent resident status in Canada is the first step in immigration. Endless resident visa applications in Canada are divided into four categories under Canadian immigration law. Each of these categories has its own conditions for allowing you to remain in Canada.

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However, you can only immigrate to Canada if you can fit in or find the permanent immigrant category suitable for you. Moreover, under each of these categories are different immigration visa programs which are the gateways to follow if you wish to immigrate to Canada.

Who Can Immigrate to Canada

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However, immigration to Canada is not easy as it seems. You will have to take several steps to successfully apply and get approval to immigrate to Canada. These steps and processes take a very long time, usually several months and even a few years. But your case may differ; you can improve your chances of successful approval and avoid delays and frustrations.

All you have to do is research and learn more about the basics of immigration to Canada. Moreover, as we mentioned earlier, permanent immigrants are grouped by the IRCC in Canadian law as either of the following categories below. This qualifies a foreign national to be eligible to immigrate to Canada.

Immigration Categories

Here are immigration categories by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC):

  • Family Class:ย This immigration category includes persons closely related to one or more Canadian residents who are living in Canada.
  • Economic Immigrants: Includes skilled workers, caregivers, or business persons.
  • Humanitarian or Compassionate: Applicants in this class or category of immigration include persons accepted as immigrants for humanitarian or compassionate reasons.
  • Refugees include persons escaping persecution, torture, or cruel and unusual punishment.

These are the four immigration categories, under which you will find the visa types and programs that are the gateway through which one can immigrate to Canada. Moreover, we will also be giving information in detail about these immigration categories and the immigration visa programs under them.

Family Class:

The family sponsorship class is a category of immigration available to the family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. That is to say, citizens and permanent residents may sponsor family members to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents. Under the requirement, the sponsor can accept financial responsibility for the individual for a given period.

Moreover, family reunification remains a vital part of Canadaโ€™s immigration policy. Immigrants in the Family Class have relatives in Canada who have offered to support them financially. You may sponsor your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner, dependent child (including adopted child), or another qualifying relative to become a permanent resident if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

However, you will have to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to qualify to sponsor your relative. Moreover, only spouses and children under 22 can be supported under the family immigration class. Investing in your parents or grandparents is no longer an option. But they can still come to Canada under the Super Visa Category.

Economic Immigrants:

The economic immigration class options are for professionals with skills that support the Canadian economy. Although the economic immigration class is the largest source of permanent resident admissions in Canada. There are also several immigration programs under this category of immigrants.

However, each program also differs considerably when it comes to qualification requirements. That is to say, there is no one-size-fits-all description. Each program under this category is designed to fit an applicant’s specific motive for immigrating to Canada. Which then determines the particular Canadian visa type you will need.

Skilled employees, those with Canadian experience, and those who count under one of the company groups are all examples of economic immigrants. Since 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have offered an electronic system called Express Entry to handle permanent residency applicants under some economic programs.

However, economic immigrants are sub-categorized under the following classes:

  • skilled Federal worker
  • Quebec immigration
  • Provincial nominee class
  • Canadian experience class
  • Express Entry
  • Entrepreneur and self-Employed Programs
  • Investor programs and more.

1. Federal Skilled Worker:

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for individuals with special skills, training, and knowledge that they can apply to their work and wish to become permanent residents. Applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Program are considered permanent residents if they can live in Canada and contribute to the economy. Jobs and individuals with desirable occupational skills, qualifications, and experience in the Canadian labor market are classified as professional workers.

2. Canadian Experience Class:

Immigrants already in Canada and have temporary status but wish to apply for permanent residency are eligible for the Canadian Experience Class. This particular program is under Express Entry. The process is done by submitting an online profile to the Express Entry pool. Under one of the three federal Canada immigration programs. Then, the highest-ranked candidates will be invited to apply for permanent residence.

Under the Canadian Experience Class, immigrants who have lived in Canada for some time, like temporary foreign workers or foreign students, and who have strong English and/or French language skills, are professional workers, and have adjusted to life in Canada, maybe qualified to become permanent residents.

3. Business Class:

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Entrepreneurs, Self-Employed immigrants, and Investors are business groups for immigrants who have the money, expertise, and experience to run a business in Canada.

4. Express Entry:

Express Entry is an online system that the IRCC uses to manage applications for permanent residence from skilled workers. It is the application process for skilled immigrants who want to settle in Canada permanently and contribute to the country’s economy.

Moreover, Express entry is the fastest way to enter Canada. As mentioned above, it manages permanent residence applications for three economic-class immigration programs. Which are as follows:

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

Humanitarian and Compassionate Immigration Class:

Humanitarian and Compassionate immigration applications are for Canadian permanent residence applications filed from within Canada. They are for people who do not have legal status in Canada but still make Canada their home.

Moreover, Canada is internationally known as a leader in accepting new refugees and other immigrants for humanitarian and compassionate reasons.

Compassionate applicants may not otherwise be qualified to become permanent residents of Canada but can qualify for humanitarian or human reasons. There are one-of-a-kind situations that are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The following are some of the more common factors to consider:

  • Immigration to Canada,
  • Links to colleagues,
  • Childrenโ€™s best interests,
  • The ramifications of not approving the request

Class of Refugees:

The Refugee Class is for refugees in need of security who are unable or unable to return to their home country and plan to live in Canada. Citizens and permanent residents of Canada may sponsor people from other countries who are eligible to come to Canada as refugees.

Who is not qualified to immigrate to Canada?

Some persons are โ€œinadmissibleโ€ under Canadaโ€™s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and are not permitted to enter the country.

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), you may be considered inadmissible, denied a visa, or denied entry to Canada for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Concerns about defense and security
  • Violations of civil or foreign rights
  • Criminality
  • Reasons for wellbeing
  • Monetary considerations
  • Misrepresentation
  • Non-compliance with the IRPA or
  • Having an inadmissible family member

People who want to immigrate to Canada must, in most cases, apply for a permanent resident visa before coming to Canada. Applications may be sent to a Canadian Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission abroad by mail or in person. Refugee applicants, in-home caregivers, spouses or common-law partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and those with humanitarian or compassionate reasons to be in Canada can apply while residing in Canada.

COVID-19 has caused several temporary changes:

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Canadian government has temporarily modified various immigration systems and procedures. Visit canada.ca for the most up-to-date statistics.


In conclusion, Canada will welcome more than one million new immigrants from 2021 to 2023. Therefore, there will be many pathways to immigrating to Canada and becoming a permanent Canadian resident. But that doesn’t mean it will be easier to immigrate to Canada. You will still have to follow the usual and proper procedure to enter the country.

However, you will just have to learn more about the basics of immigration to Canada. You can check our previous posts about immigrating to Canada by visiting our Canadian immigration webpage. Moreover, there’s also an online tool known as Come to Canada. In case you are still wondering what immigration programs you can apply for. This tool helps foreign nationals find out if they may be eligible to apply as immigrants, visitors, workers, or students in Canada.

Furthermore, the tool guides you through some questions about your personal and work history. Depending on your responses and your situation, it then gives you

  • A list of options, and
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to apply

Besides, the Come to Canada tool is for reference only. No immigration decision will be made based on your answers. If you choose to apply, an immigration officer will consider your complete application according to Canadaโ€™s immigration law. Your results from the tool will have no bearing on their decision.

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