Mon | Jan 30, 2023

Immigration Corner | What are the ways to emigrate to Canada?

Published:Tuesday | October 19, 2021 | 12:06 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

I keep hearing that there is a shortage of labour in Canada, but it looks like they have scrapped the Federal Skilled Worker Programme as I haven’t heard of anyone being selected lately. I am waiting to see if they will start selecting people again before I apply, as I don’t want to waste my time and money. Are they still selecting people from outside of Canada? What other options are there to move to Canada? Should I be exploring other opportunities in other countries? What do you think?

– AH

Dear AH,

Canada has been recognised as one of the best countries for immigrants and I have written articles highlighting some of the benefits of living in Canada. Furthermore, Canada has one of the most generous immigration systems in the world. In fact, the government announced last year that they intend to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023.

Canada has over 80 economic class of immigration programmes, and so if you are unaware of them, I strongly recommend that you contact a Canadian immigration lawyer to examine your background and advise you of your options. The key to note is that you are not limited to the Federal Skilled Worker Programme as a pathway to permanent residence. There are many other routes you can take.

Also, you should note that the Express Entry System manages economic programmes, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, Federal Skilled Trade, Canadian Experience Class, and many Provincial Nominee Programmes are linked to the system.


The government continues to select individuals from the pool each month. No one knows which programme will be selected at any given time. Therefore, your focus should be on ensuring that you are in the pool and that you have the best possible comprehensive ranking score (CRS), so that whenever there is a draw, you have a chance to be selected.

Each candidate that enters the pool can get a core set of points up to 600 and an additional 600. That means an applicant can get as much as 1,200 points if they are able to satisfy the requirements. Some of the factors that are considered are age, language ability, education, skill and work experience of you and your spouse or common-law partner. Getting the highest possible score for your language skills is one of the easiest ways to get a high CRS and increase your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence to Canada.

The key to note is that, to get the highest possible score for English, both you and your spouse should sit the exam. Most individuals have access to the International English Language Testing System, General Training Examination. Applicants and spouse should try to get no less than the following in each band: listening – 8.5, reading – 8, writing – 7.5, and speaking – 7.5.

You can get additional points if you have, or are able to provide proof of the following: a sibling who is a citizen or permanent resident; speak both English and French; Canadian degrees, diplomas or certificates; a valid job offer (usually with Labour Market Impact Assessment); Canadian work experience; and a nomination from a province or territory.


Individuals that have been selected for 2021, have been the ones who qualify under the Provincial Nominee Programme, or who fall within the Canadian experience class. What does that mean for you? It simply means that depending on your age and education, you could consider doing a postgraduate diploma, master’s or PhD degree. This will give you the Canadian education and work experience that would give you extra points.

There are 10 provinces and three territories in Canada, and each has their own programme to which you may apply to receive a provincial nominee. These programmes are based on the local labour demands and economic needs. Some provinces require you to have an Express Entry profile before you can apply to them. That is another reason to enter the pool. Your profile in the Express Entry pool will be valid for 12 months. During that time, you can update your profile if anything changes, such as your level of education or receipt of a provincial nominee or job offer.

Do you have a high net worth? Are you an entrepreneur or have unique skills? You should explore investment in the Canadian economy as a pathway to immigrate to Canada. Have a look at the Start-up Visa or the self-employed person programme. The self-employed programme is a good way for persons who have experience in cultural activities and athletics to emigrate to Canada, if they are willing and able to make a significant contribution to the cultural life of Canada. It is best to book a telephone/Zoom meeting with us to review your credentials, occupation, family background, and help you to establish a personal immigration plan.

Depending on your age and education, you could also apply under the Express Entry System, as we hope that with border restrictions being relaxed and the world slowly coming out of the pandemic, we will see the government selecting people with CRS under 500.

Deidre S. Powell is an immigration lawyer with offices in Ottawa, Canada. Send your questions and comments via Telephone 613-695-8777. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.