Immigration to Canada from the United States as a permanent resident

Immigration to Canada from USA
Immigration to Canada from USA

Toronto: If you want to get permanent residency in Canada, you have a few options depending on your personal circumstances and settlement goals.

To begin, you must decide whether you are coming to Canada as an economic or family immigrant. If you do not have any close relatives in Canada, you may want to look into the more than 100 Canadian economic-class immigration programs.

There are several ways to qualify for these programs. They will be tailored for people who are coming to Canada to build a career, given their economic class. As a result, the program requirements will consider both your educational achievements and your work experience. Even if English is your first language, language proficiency will be important.

It is frequently advantageous to gain Canadian experience before entering the labour market. According to studies, immigrants with prior experience working and studying in Canada can increase their earning potential.

  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP)
  • Study Permits and Post-Graduation Work Permits
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Express Entry
  • Family Sponsorship

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) & International Mobility Program (IMP)

When comparing work permits issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and those issued under the International Mobility Program (IMP), the most significant distinction is the requirement for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (LMIA).

TFWP work permits necessitate the completion of the LMIA process by Canadian employers. A positive LMIA is essentially a document that proves that hiring a foreign worker will have a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market. Employers are frequently required to demonstrate that they advertised the open position for a specified period of time and that no domestic worker was available to fill the role.

The TFWP’s mission is to close labor-market gaps. The IMP, on the other hand, is more concerned with broadening Canada’s economic, social, and cultural interests. An LMIA is not required for these work permits.

The majority of IMP work permits are based on bilateral agreements with other countries, such as CUSMA. Another example is the Global Talent Stream, which has a two-week processing standard and provides a pathway to Canada for H-1B holders in the United States.

These are just a few examples of how to temporarily relocate to Canada. There are also a variety of immigration programs available for those seeking permanent residency.

Study Permits and Post-Graduation Work Permits

A study permit is required if you want to study in Canada. Once you have received a letter of acceptance from a Canadian institution, you can apply for one. Study permits allow you to legally attend classes in Canada, work part-time during the school year, and work full-time during scheduled academic breaks.

Certain immigration programs require a Canadian education from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Many of these institutions’ programs will qualify you for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which will allow you to work in Canada for up to three years.

This combined work and study experience will provide access to a variety of immigration options.

However, if you have completed your studies and simply want to work in Canada, you have a number of options. Especially if you are a citizen of the United States.


The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), formerly known as NAFTA, makes it easier for US citizens to work in Canada.

If you can come to Canada on a CUSMA work permit, your Canadian employer can avoid the time-consuming and costly Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process.

CUSMA work permits are classified into four types:

CUSMA Professionals – A CUSMA Professional must be qualified to work in one of approximately 60 targeted professions and have pre-arranged CUSMA employment in Canada in an occupation that matches their qualifications.

CUSMA Intra-Company Transfers – To work for a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their U.S. employer, CUSMA Intra-Company Transferees must be temporarily transferred to Canada. They must work in a position that is considered managerial, executive, or requires specialised knowledge.

CUSMA Traders – A CUSMA Trader must demonstrate an intention to conduct significant trade in goods or services between Canada and the United States. The trader must be employed as a supervisor or executive, or have responsibilities that require essential skills.

CUSMA Investors – A CUSMA Investor must demonstrate that they have made a significant investment in a new or existing Canadian business and are seeking entry into Canada to develop and direct that business. Employees of the primary Investor who are considered essential staff may also be granted work permits in the CUSMA Investor category.

If you do not fit into any of these categories, or if you are a U.S. resident with citizenship in another country, you have other options for obtaining a work permit.

Provincial Nominee Program

Except for Nunavut and Quebec, almost all of Canada’s provinces and territories have Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

PNPs are classified into two types: “enhanced” programs that work in tandem with Express Entry and “base” programs that operate independently of the Express Entry system.

Candidates for enhanced programs are selected from a pool of candidates from the Express Entry system. If you receive a provincial nomination through one of these PNPs, your overall score will be increased by 600 CRS points. This award will propel you to the top of the pool, putting you in line to receive an ITA in the next Express Entry draw.

Base PNPs operate in a slightly different manner and may be an option for those who are ineligible for Express Entry. To immigrate through a base PNP, you must apply to the province and, if eligible, receive a nomination. With your certificate in hand, you can apply to the federal government for permanent residence.

Express Entry

Express Entry is a website that manages applications for three Canadian immigration programs: The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Although the pandemic has delayed processing for the majority of these programs, Express Entry was designed to provide a faster path to permanent residency than the previous paper-based application system. The processing standard for 80% of applicants was six months, but the pandemic has pushed most lines of business to process CEC applications, pushing the others to the back seat.

For candidates who are already in Canada, the CEC is the best Express Entry program. Candidates must have at least one year of Canadian work experience in a skilled occupation to be eligible.

Although work experience in Canada is valued in the Express Entry points system, it is not required to qualify for the FSWP.

You must have one year of continuous skilled work experience, a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French, and an education credential to be eligible for the FSWP. You must also achieve a score of 67 out of a possible 100 on the FSWP points grid, which is separate from the CRS used by Express Entry. There is no requirement to have a job offer.

The FSTP is available to skilled trades workers who have at least two years of full-time work experience in an eligible occupation. They must, among other things, have a valid job offer in Canada for at least one year and a certificate of qualification in a skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal authority.

The Express Entry system invites the top scorers to apply for permanent residence. You cannot apply for permanent residency unless you have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in Canada holds regular rounds of invitations in which it sends out ITAs. If your CRS score is insufficient to qualify for an ITA, you may be able to apply for a provincial nomination, which will support your Express Entry application.

Family Sponsorship

Citizens and permanent residents of Canada can sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, children, or parents and grandparents. In certain circumstances, Canadians can sponsor relatives such as a brother, sister, aunt, or uncle. They are unable to sponsor relatives who are deemed criminally or medically inadmissible.

Spouses and common-law partners can be sponsored from either within Canada or from another country. To be eligible, you must be over the age of 18 and in a continuing, genuine relationship with a Canadian who can financially support you and any children you may have. Canadian citizens can sponsor from abroad, but permanent residents must be present in Canada. If you both want to wait out the process in Canada, you may be able to obtain a spousal Open Work Permit as the foreign spouse or common-law partner.

The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) provides a path to permanent residence for Canadian parents and grandparents. The program currently operates similarly to a lottery system, with a temporary intake window during which IRCC accepts interest to sponsor forms. Following that, the immigration department invites candidates to apply for permanent residence. The Super Visa, which allows parents and grandparents to stay in Canada for up to two years at a time, is an alternative to the PGP.

Canadians who have biological or adopted children under the age of 22 can also sponsor them.

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