Canada is the second largest country in the world. For some people, Canada is more than a tourist destination. In 2016, 2,96,346 people chose to migrate to Canada from across the world.
According to a census taken in the same year, foreign-born individuals accounted for more than one-fifth of Canada’s population. It has been estimated that by 2036, immigrants and children with at least one foreign-born parent will make up half of Canada’s population.
With all the challenges, rules and costs of immigrating, the easiest way into Canada is not always available to most people. If you don’t have the money or skills and you aren’t an artist of some sort, then obtaining a visa to immigrate to Canada can be extremely costly.
There is the Business Visa, the Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as well as the Work Permit that allows you to gain access into Canada, but these all require a job and are extremely expensive.
Here are 5 easy and cheap ways to immigrate to Canada.
1. Canadian Study Permit
If you can afford it or you have a scholarship, the best way to go to Canada is through a study permit. Canada is the home to some of the world’s top research facilities and academic institutions.
Not only are the universities outstanding, but the best part is that Canadian provinces offer permanent residence streams for graduates in universities. However, one needs to research the Provincial Nominee Program in the university’s province to see what is required to qualify for permanent residence.
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This usually means that you will need a job offer after graduation and a commitment to remain in the province for a certain period. It is also important to note that any work done as a student does not count towards any work experience immigration streams.
2. Canadian Visitor Visa
If you thought the only way to get to Canada is with a job offer and a work permit, then you will be happy to know that you can also apply to visit the country on a Visitor’s Visa. Yes, take a break and come see this beautiful country.
Unfortunately, you cannot work in Canada using a Visitor’s Visa, however, you can make connections and communicate with potential employers for future work.
So plan a holiday, pack your bags and come see this outstanding country, and while you are here, see if you can make connections. Once you return home, apply for that work permit.
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3. Canadian Spousal Sponsorship
Having a Canadian spouse possibly provides the easiest and fastest way into Canada. If your spouse is a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen, then he/she can sponsor an eligible family member to live in Canada as a permanent resident. As a permanent resident in Canada, one can live, work, go to school and receive benefits such as health care.
Who Can You Sponsor
Family members who can be sponsored include:
- Spouse (husband or wife);
- Same-sex spouse (husband or wife);
- Common-law partner;
- Conjugal partner or fiancé, (in a romantic relationship with the sponsor but unable to live with them due to circumstances outside of their control such as sexual orientation or legal barriers);
- Dependent child;
- Spouse’s or common-law partner’s dependent child; and
- Grandchild who is still a dependent
Please note that the Canadian Government is cracking down on “marriage fraud”, a common and illegal act.
4. Canadian Live-in Caregiver
A live-in caregiver, also known as an Au-Pair is the easiest career specific route into Canada. This is great for anyone who has no specific skills. You will need a high school education, a job offer and either six-months training or one year experience as an au-pair to apply for this work permit.
There are a number of agencies that specialize and assist in placing you with the right potential employers. It is much easier to find a job as a caregiver than it is to find another job. Canada has a special permanent residence for the people that are part of the program.
5. International Experience Canada (IEC)
Also known as the working holiday visa, this visa allows you to work in Canada in any profession. If you are between the ages of 18 and 35, this may be your ticket into Canada. You can enter Canada on an open work permit, which means you don’t need a job offer – this works similarly to a work permit.
This can be a little restricting as it is only offered to people that are from a select group of countries including Australia, Denmark, Japan, Norway, Taiwan, Austria, Estonia, South Korea, Poland and Ukraine amongst others.
The 3 Types of International Experience Canada (IEC)
There are three types of IEC programs:
- Working Holiday – this is limited to a select group of countries.
- Young professionals – you will need a university degree and a job offer to apply.
- Co-Op – you must be a student in a university/institution in your home country.
It is important to note that the work experience under the working holiday or young professional programs can be used towards obtaining permanent residence should you want to immigrate to Canada in the future.