Published by Gabriel Oliveira on April 18, 2020

Step 1 - Understand the whole process

Why immigrate to Canada?

Cold might be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about Canada. And it makes sense to be like that, after all, winters are really challenging there. But here are some good news: For a start, cold can be fun too! Second, the country is prepared for it. Third, It might not be as cold as you'd imagine:

Life quality may be the second thing that comes to mind, and again, it is a valid conception. Canada is ranked on 13° place (out of 189 countries) on the 2019 Human Development Index Ranking, which means, in practical terms, that life quality is (very!) good there. Health care is good, education is good, safety is good, and the list goes on and on.

Stanley Park in Vancouver

And here is the great news (that you probably already know) - Canada is looking for skilled immigrants! There is a shortage of workers in serveral professions, so immigration is a traditional source of economy-boost. There are many incentives to attract immigrants, for an example - citizenship might be granted after a few years.

Take a look at these impressive numbers on immigration, from the official 2019 Anual Report to Parliament on Immigration :

There are several paths to immigration. This website provides a step-by-step guide on how to go through one of them - Permanent Residency visa, through the Federal Skilled Worker program, using the official proccess called "Express Entry".

Different Immigration Programs

Let's go over some of the basics.

Categories of Immigrants

There are several ways one can move to Canada. Here are some options:

  • Federal Skilled Worker - This is maybe the most famous category, the one that keeps hitting the news. In a summary, the population is growing old, and Canada needs to attract (relatively) young professionals to keep things rolling.
  • Student - You can go as a student, however, it is a temporary visa - you are expected to leave at some point, or change status to something else to become a permanent resident. More information here.
  • Start-up Visa - For people that will start a business there. There are some specific requirements for this, like ammount to be invested, business plan, etc. More information here.
  • Diplomat, Refugee, etc. - There are several other categories, but because they are each very specific, we won't cover them here. More information here.

Skilled Worker

Again, Canada is looking for skilled workers (population growing old, etc. etc). However, there are specific sets of skills needed the most, and there is a process in place to make sure people with those skills are selected first. This process is called Express Entry.

Express Entry - Overview

Express Entry is the official process in place to select skilled workers and grant them with a Permanent Residency visa.

The process consists basically of two major phases:

PHASE 1 - You submit a form saying you have interest, and stating your information like number of dependents, education, English level, etc. No need to provide any documents yet.

PHASE 2 - If you get enough points, they send you an Invitation to Apply (ITA), and you now send all the required documents. If everything is ok, you get your PR.

Express Entry - Details

The two phases mentioned above are a very summarized way of putting it.

Here is a more detailed approach:

  1. You answer some questions online (on the government website) to check if you are eligible or not;
  2. You do an english exam (like IELTS), that will give you a score. Also, you get a document certifiying that your education history is equivalent to Canada's for your profession (Educational Credential Assessment). So now you have proof that you can handle English (or French!) well, and that you have some skills.
  3. You submit a form with your english exam results, your education equivalency status, along with other information, like work experience, age, number of children, etc. No need to submit any documents yet.
  4. Based on that information, you will get a score from on a points-based system, and you enter a "candidate pool". Let's say, as an example, you get a final socre of 489 points.
  5. Every 15 days, they do a round of invitations, and call a certain number of people with the highest scores. Usually around 3000 people get called every round. Each round, they publish the lowest score that made it. So, for an example, if the lowest score selected was 460, and yours is 489, you are in!
  6. When you get called, you do a medical assessment, and mail all the needed documents to them;
  7. They analyze all the documents you sent and, if approved, you get your visa. A bit of hard work, but it is actually quite simple :)

The items above are just a summary, each one has it's own set of procedures, which are all covered in detail on this website.

If you plan on give it a try, and move forward on the process, you can celebrate - you just finished the first step - "understand the process"! Set this as "done" on the button below, and move on to the next step.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take?
A typical process takes around 1 year to be completed (get visa).

How much will it cost?
A typical process costs somewhere between $1000 and $2000 (CAD) in fees.

Does each member of my family need to go throguh this whole process?
No. Only one person do this proccess, as main applicant, and family members are included as dependents.

Do I need to be officially married to take my sopouse/partner?
No. Canada accepts "common-law partners" as well as typical marriage certificates.

Ok, let's start!

This website details all the steps needed, so all you have to do is follow the instructions.

Track your progress - After you complete each item, click on the "Set as Done" button for that step, and move on to the next task.


Jaqueline Volpe 2021-04-14T20:23:05Z

Já estou consumindo todo conteúdo, mas tenho duas dúvidas: onde que eu vejo qual foi o ultimo score rankeado para FSW? e na hora de informar a educação nas questões lá para ver se eu sou elegível, não sei qual eu considero para mim que sou pós graduada. :( de resto, estou amando o site e como é bem mais fácil de entender que o site oficial do governo! rsrsrsrs

Gabriel (Author) 2021-04-15T15:10:31Z

Eba, que bom que tá ajudando! Então, o ultimo score do FSW voce pode ver aqui (FSW vai aparecer como "no program specified"): https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/mandate/policies-operational-instructions-agreements/ministerial-instructions/express-entry-rounds.html E se a sua pós durou mais que 1 ano, a principio voce entra na opcao "two or more certificates, diploma, or degree". O que vai definir isso mesmo é o ECA, mas caso você ainda não tenha feito (o ECA), a princípio uma pós entra nessa opção mesmo. Para referencia: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/permanent-residence/economic-classes/federal-skilled-workers/selection-criteria-education-equivalency-assessment-outcomes-education-points.html

Larissa Figueiredo 2021-07-04T14:14:59Z

Hello Gabriel!!! I just signed up your website and I'm enjoying so much, you're are great and your tips are clear and direct. I'm a lawyer in Brazil, in my searching I figured out that law gets points as Master, isn't?! However it's not all places that I could do ECA to get the maximum amount of points. Do you what institutions I could do the ECA to get points as a master? Thank you in advance for all the help you have given for those who wanna imigratte to Canada. It's really fantastic your Instagram profile and this web site.

Gabriel (Author) 2021-07-06T17:16:26Z

Hi Larissa, thanks for such a cool feedback!! Yeah law might count in as masters! But I believe that's only true if you are allowed to practice in Canada (like if Canadian "OAB" allows you to). But you might want to double-check that, just to be 100% safe! Regarding different institutions yielding different ECA results, AFAIK they should all get to the same results, but I do hear a lot of people saying one worked better for them than the other, using the same documents as inputs. But I don't know which has a history of "helping" more on those cases. Sorry, really wish I could help more on this one. Thanks a lot for the cool comment again!! Really hope everything works out smoothly on your process!

David Trudeau (Guest-295795) 2021-11-05T02:28:35Z


Gabriel (Author) 2021-11-15T05:56:32Z

A pleasure :) Love the last name btw :D

Md Nazim Uddin 2021-12-24T14:38:27Z

Dear Gabriel,This is really awesome. I have understood how to immigrant to Canada by reading your writing. Thanks for all the information. Md Nazim Uddin. Banker Chattogram, Bangladesh.

Gabriel (Author) 2021-12-26T04:23:52Z

Hey thanks for the cool feedback! Really happy it helped a bit :)))

Muhammad Saad (Guest-452723) 2022-10-25T15:05:33Z

Hi Gabrial i really liked the way you have guide us and thanks for making us easier for us to understand this process
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