top of page

I Want to Immigrate to Canada, Where Do I Start?

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

The best path to Canada depends on your unique profile and background. It should be noted that there is no easy way to immigrate to Canada. This journey is an investment that requires time, financial, and emotional commitment.

Whenever you mention that you are interested in immigrating to Canada, you will be asked three main questions:

  1. Have you completed a Language test? Most potential immigrants to Canada, especially through the Economic or Provincial Nomination pathways, are required to complete a language test in one of the two Official Languages in Canada - English or French. Below are your test Options:


  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program

    • you must take the CELPIP-General test

    • IRCC does not accept the General-LS test for Express Entry

  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System

    • you must take the General Training option

    • IRCC does not accept the Academic option for Express Entry


  • TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français, including:

    • compréhension de l’écrit

    • compréhension de l’oral

    • expression écrite

    • expression orale

  • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français, including:

    • compréhension de l’écrit

    • compréhension de l’oral

    • expression écrite

    • expression orale

Do you have your Educational Credential Assessment? An Educational credential assessment (ECA) is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, or certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equal to a Canadian one. There are different types of ECAs. You need to get an ECA for immigration purposes. If you obtained another type of ECA, you may be able to get it re-issued, depending on the type of ECA and/or issuing organization.

If you completed your education outside Canada, you need an assessment to:

  • be eligible as the principal applicant for Federal Skilled Workers Program (Express Entry), or

  • earn points for education you got outside of Canada

You can also earn points for your spouse or common-law partner’s education if they are coming with you to Canada.

You don’t need an assessment for a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate.

To earn points, your report must show that your completed foreign credential (degree, diploma or certificate) is equal to a completed Canadian secondary school (high school) or post-secondary credential.

You must use one of these designated organizations:

  • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada

  • World Education Services

  • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)

  • International Credential Evaluation Service – British Columbia Institute of Technology

  • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (the professional body for pharmacists)

  • Medical Council of Canada (the professional body for doctors)

Do you have Sufficient Proof of Funds? Proof of funds is how you show the Canadian government that you have enough money to settle in Canada. If IRCC invites you to apply, you must give written proof that you have this money.

Who needs proof of funds?

You need proof of funds to meet the minimum requirements of the

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program

  • Federal Skilled Trades Program

Who does not need proof of funds

You don’t need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family if

  • you’re applying under the Canadian Experience Class or

  • you’re authorized to work in Canada and you have a valid job offer, even if you apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program

This table shows the minimum amount you need to immigrate to Canada as of June 9, 2022.

If you have all of the above, then you are ready to begin the eligibility process for the top 3 Canadian Immigration Programs that are administered through the Express Entry System.

Express Entry

This system is used for skilled workers looking to immigrate to Canada through three different pathways: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, and Canadian Experience Class.

Below is a comparative analysis of the minimal criteria for these three immigration pathways. Please note, your eligibility for these programs could vary based on your own personal profile.

Just because a factor is not required does not mean it would not be helpful to facilitate your journey to Canada. For example, While education may not be required for some applicants through the Canadian experience class based on their NOC code, having an education would boost your overall express entry points.

Provincial Nomination

In addition to the Express Entry Program, there are over 80 Provincial Programs you could qualify for. Except for Nunavut and Quebec, each of Canada's provinces and territories has its own unique Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) designed to meet its economic and demographic needs. Program requirements and application procedures differ significantly across provinces.

The province will nominate a successful PNP applicant to apply for permanent residence through the federal government. This means that applying for PNP to immigrate to Canada is always the first step in a two-step process. An interested immigrant must first be approved at the provincial level before applying to the federal level.

Top provinces with Express Entry Linked programs are:

  • Alberta

  • British Columbia

  • Manitoba

  • Saskatchewan

  • Ontario

  • New Brunswick

  • Prince Edward Island

  • Nova Scotia

If nominated, you would gain additional 600 points toward Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking Scores.

Family or Spousal Sponsorship⠀⠀⠀⠀

If you are not eligible for any of the above programs but have loved ones in Canada who are Permanent Residents or Canadian Citizens.

Loved ones include spouse, common-law partner, child, parent, grandparent, and on rare occasions - siblings.

Remember: it is misrepresentation to claim someone is your family member when they are not.

Now that you've read through this post,

If you still aren't sure what pathway to choose, book a Permanent Residence Consultation with one of our consultants who can assess your eligibility and advise on the best option for you.


bottom of page