Canada Visa for Ex-pats
Bill Mandy 1 year ago

Canada Visa for Ex-pats: Guide on How to Immigrate to Canada

As long as they have a valid passport, citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and a few other European nations are eligible for visa-free entrance into Canada for stays of six months or less. However, to enter Canada, ex-pats from a specific list of nations must apply for a temporary residence visa, which is available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. This article will explain in full detail everything you need to know about obtaining a Canada visa for ex-pats. Steps you need to take to move to Canada, available pathways for immigrants, and FAQs.

By far, one of the most sought-after destinations for immigrants in Canada. Only in 2019, the Immigration Office reported that 341,180 permanent residents arrived in Canada, and 74,586 people converted from temporary status to permanent residency. With so many requests for immigration, Canada has established a few routes to make the process easier to handle.

More and more foreigners and expatriates are relocating permanently to Canada due to the country's excellent healthcare system, robust economy, and diversified culture. Canada has a higher quality of life than many other nations and is clean and pleasant. Anyone intending to enter Canada must thoroughly examine the various available visas, regardless of whether they intend to spend a short trip carving their way down the ski slopes of Canada or permanently relocate to one of its renowned urban centers.

The more than 60 categories offered may make the visa application process seem complicated. Still, the good news is that the Canadian government offers a thorough and up-to-date online resource to help applicants with the process. But you'll first need to take the right steps before making a move. Keep reading for all the information you need on how foreigners and expatriates can immigrate to Canada.

How to Immigrate to Canada as an Expat

Are you looking to move to Canada? Here's a moving to Canada checklist or steps to successfully obtain a Canada visa for ex-pats to immigrate to the country.

Determine if you are "Inadmissible."

In contrast to other nations, Canada has rigorous regulations about who is allowed to enter. Could you make sure you are qualified before deciding to move there? You may be denied entry to Canada for even minor offenses. The Canadian government may find you inadmissible if you have been convicted of a crime or committed a crime abroad. The following offenses are on this list:

  • theft
  • assault
  • manslaughter
  • dangerous driving
  • driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • possession of drugs or trafficking in controlled substances

In addition to the crimes listed above, you will also be inadmissible if you:

  • have ties to organized crime
  • have a severe health problem
  • have a severe financial problem
  • have lied in your application or interview
  • do not meet the conditions of Canada’s immigration law
  • have a family member who is not allowed into Canada

You can still apply to enter and come to Canada even if you have committed a crime, but you will need to take some extra measures. Working with an immigration official is required. Just so you know, the nature of the offense, the length of time since the offense, and your behavior since will all be taken into account by that officer.

Furthermore, checking whether you require an entry visa is the first step in preparing to move to Canada. A visa is not required for some groups of persons who can enter with an electronic permit. US citizens can enter Canada for up to six months without a visa.

Find a suitable immigration pathway.

Once you know that you qualify for entrance into Canada, you must choose the immigration route that is best for you. You'll need a justification for moving to Canada. These include moving for a new job or because you don't need to work because you already have enough money to live comfortably.

You can use this helpful calculator on the Government of Canada website to determine which immigration program you qualify for. You will need to provide short answers to questions about your age, intended employment, and nationality. How you respond to these questions will determine the program you can apply for.

The Canadian government offers the most popular visas for students and skilled workers. Even if you already have family members in the nation, you can still apply for a visa. Obtaining a visa shouldn't be an issue if you fit into one of these situations.

Depending on what you're looking for, you can apply for the immigration program in Canada that best fits your needs. The following are some of the most popular Canadian immigration processes:

Choose a province in Canada to live in

Canada is large, very large in terms of landmass; Canada is only two places behind Russia. Choosing which of Canada's ten major provinces you want to live in is one of the most challenging decisions you will have to make. The requirements for immigration vary by province. There is a specific type of skilled worker visa for those wishing to relocate to Quebec.

You must first choose between a large metropolis and a small village if you want to live in the best province. Then think about the kind of education your family or kids require. Consider how close to other towns and cities you wish to be. Think about the various dialects used throughout the world. Choose if you want to live among many tourists or in a more rural area.

There are many beautiful places to select from, and each province offers something unique.

Apply for Express Entry

Express Entry is a program offered by the Canadian government for qualified workers. Depending on the immigration option you can apply for, and where you intend to live, you may be qualified for Express Entry.

There are three different categories for Express Entry:

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

Each program has its prerequisites, ranging from educational level to work experience and language proficiency. If you meet the requirements for Express Entry, you will be added to the pool, where your application will be processed much more quickly.

Apply for a Canadian visa

Once you know the type of visa you require, you must apply. Although Canada is one of the few countries US citizens can visit without a visa, you will need one if you intend to stay there for an extended period. To establish your identification, you must produce documentation, such as your passport and the essential information requested on the applications.

You can also be required to provide biometrics like a fingerprint and facial scan if you're moving from Europe, Africa, or the Middle East. If biometric data is required, you can submit it at any visa application center. If the Canadian government notifies you in writing that you must provide biometric data, you can do it at application assistance centers in the US. You can provide your biometrics at specific visa offices in Europe.

Pass the language test

You may need to pass a language test to enter Canada, depending on the kind of visa and program you're applying for. It is best to be fluent in at least one of English or French because these two languages are the two most often spoken in Canada. Speaking the culture's language will make it much simpler for you to adapt and change. The purpose of the language test is to determine your proficiency in one of the nation's two official languages.

Prepare to move to Canada.

After you submit your application, it may take several weeks to get an answer. The average waiting time is around 6 months, but it may take up to 18 months if you apply in person. Make sure that during this time, you prepare everything you need for the move to Canada. 

The most challenging aspect of the procedure isn't finding and obtaining your visa. Once you are granted entry into the country and must start making moving preparations, the hard job really begins. You can't simply board a plane and move there the next day. Before you leave, there are a few things you should arrange.

It's a good idea to start saving money and organizing your finances before moving anyplace. You may need to demonstrate your assets as part of the Canadian immigration procedure, therefore you cannot ignore this. To find out how much money you can bring with you to Canada and what goods you can import duty-free, speak with a lawyer, a banker, and/or a financial adviser.

Move to Canada

You will receive an email with a COPR (confirmation of permanent residence) and a permanent residence visa if your application is accepted (if an entry visa is required). You must use ArriveCan after arriving in Canada; be sure to get the most recent version from the Apple Store or Google Play. To assist you establish and acclimate to life in Canada, you can use the immigration service there. In addition, Canada provides a "Welcome to Canada Guide" to ease your move.

Other Ways to Immigrate to Canada

You can relocate to Canada for family or academic reasons in addition to using the Express Entry Program:

  • Family reunification: You can apply for family reunification in Canada if you have a spouse/partner or a parent/grandparent in Canada. Other relatives can sponsor you in specific cases.
  • Immigration pathway for study purposes: To qualify for a student visa in Canada, you must be enrolled in a valid educational program. However, student visas can’t typically be transferred to work or residence visas. Still, after your studies are over, you can apply for a graduate work permit. 


Furthermore, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Canada visa for expats.

Is it difficult to immigrate to Canada?

Moving to Canada is generally not too challenging. It's simpler for you to meet the requirements for one immigration stream because Canada is receptive to new immigrants and provides a variety of immigration programs. You must still fulfill the prerequisites for the pathway you wish to apply for. Additionally, bear in mind that while moving abroad may not be too challenging, living there requires different preparations in terms of finances, mindset, and social network.

How much do I need to Immigrate to Canada?

To settle in Canada, you'll need at least CAD 13,200. This is the typical cost for a single person; but, if you relocate with other family members, the price goes up. During the moving procedure, additional unforeseen charges, such as entry taxes, the cost of shipping your belongings, the legalization of documents, etc., may arise.

Can I move to Canada if I am a US citizen?

Yes, holders of US passports are eligible for a six-month visa-free stay in Canada. However, in order to lawfully move to Canada after six months, you must apply for an immigration program.

Can I obtain dual Canadian citizenship?

Canada does indeed allow for dual citizenship. You must make a decision regarding which nationality you want to retain, though, if your other country does not permit it.

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