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Top Pathways to Permanent Residency in Canada

Do you know Canada has a target to admit up to 500,000 immigrants as permanent residents? In recent times, Canada has ranked as one of the best countries to migrate to, especially with secure plans for family migration. However, if you are considering migrating to Canada, there are steps you must follow and information you need to know to make your dream come true. This article has all that information about the top pathways to migrate and get permanent residency in Canada. 

Canadian Immigration System

Canada provides one of the world’s most welcoming and open immigration systems. In 2023 alone, the system provided permanent residency to over 470,000 immigrants. The Canadian government has set a goal to provide 500,000 immigrants with permanent residency each year by 2025 to boost the labor supply. So, you see, the chances of migrating are high and real for anyone who knows the path to thread in making it happen.

Available PR Pathways in Canada 

There are four main pathways to permanent residency in Canada. They include economic pathways, family pathways, refugee and protected persons pathways, and humanitarian pathways. These pathways have various programs and visa options designed to accommodate various categories of people. The economic pathway is the most popular PR pathway in Canada, making up about 57.2% of total immigration in 2023.

Here is a detailed table of the PR pathways in Canada, their categories, and a table of the count of new Permanent Residents in Canada by immigration categories for the years 2021, 2022, and 2023 (according to the IRCC);

Admissions of new Permanent Residents (Canada PR) by Immigration Categories, 2021 – 2023.

Categories202120222023
Atlantic Immigration Pilot program49254870
Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP)520460110
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)33,40080,99035,500
Provincial Nominee Program5402088, 25743,290
Quebec skilled workers and businessmen22506555
Economic Pilots: Caregivers, Agri-Food Pilots; Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot847512,085
Spouses, Partners, and Children69,28569,335
Parents, Grandparents, and extended family12,15027,825
Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored954522517
Resettled Refugees – Government sponsored10, 81023911
Total Humanitarian & Compassionate and Other11,2158,615
Total – All Immigrant categories406,040437,120471,550

Comparison of Eligibility Criteria of the PR Pathways

Federal Skilled Workers (FSW)Canadian Experience Class (CEC)Federal Skilled Trades (FST)Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot ProgramProvincial nomineesCaregiver classesAgri-Food Pilot (AFP)Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway
Language skillsEnglish CLB 7
French NCLC7
Minimum level for all four language abilities:
English
TEER 0 or 1 – CLB 7

TEER 2 or 3–CLB 5
French
TEER 0 or 1— NCLC 7

TEER 2 or 3— NCLC 5
English
Speaking and Listening – CLB 5

Reading and Writing – CLB 4

French
Speaking and Listening – NCLC 5

Reading and writing- NCLC 4
TEER 0 and 1 – CLB/NCLC 6

TEER 2 and 3 – CLB/NCLC 5

TEER 4 and 5 – CLB/NCLC 4
Same as Express Entry language criteria.

Non-express entry is dependent on the province or territory.
Minimum CLB 5 in English or NCLC 5CLB or NCLC level 4CLB or NCLC level 4 or 5
Work experienceWork experience in one or  more of the NOC TEER Categories: TEER 0,1,2,3Canadian work experience in one or  more of the NOC TEER Categories: TEER 0,1,2,3You are required to have work experience in a skilled trade in  TEER 2 or TEER 3:Your work experience must meet the National Occupational Classification (NOC) Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category provided in the job offer. For the Express entry application, you are required to be eligible for one out of the three express entry program levels of work experienceHome child care provider (NOC 44100)
Home support worker (NOC44100) 
One year of continuous work experience in your primary occupation within the last 10 years (it could be a combination of part-time and full-time, or more than 1 job )Have sufficient work experience as classified by the National occupation classification 
Amount of work experienceOne year of work experience in Canada in the last 3 years (it could be a combination of part-time and full-time work)Two years of work experience within the last 5 years (it could be a combination of part-time and full-time work)A minimum  of one year of full-time work in the last three years (a minimum of 1,560 hours of non seasonal full time work)
A visa that  permits  vulnerable workers to work.
1 year of work experience (at least 1,560 hours) in the past 3 years.Subject to the province or territoryEmployment as a caregiver in Canada for 12 months or more in the last 36 monthsA minimum  of one year of full-time work in the last three years (a minimum of 1,560 hours of non-seasonal full-time work).
A visa that permits vulnerable workers to work.
At least 1560 hours/1 year in the past three years
Job offersNot required.
But having a job offer can get you selection criteria (FSW) points.
Not requiredRequired: you must obtain a  valid job offer for at least one year in total full-time employment or a certificate of qualification in a skilled trade. The certification must be issued by a provincial, territorial, or federal authority in CanadaYou are required to have 1 of the following:a Canadian educational credential, such as a Canadian secondary school (high school) certification or an (ECA) educational credential assessment  report from an authorized organization or body.it should be less than 5 years old when you submit an application.Subject to the province or territory You must be offered a job in Canada as a caregiver or have experience working in Canada as a caregiver. A genuine full-time, non-seasonal, and permanent job offer in an eligible industry You are required to be employed when you submit your application.  The job must exist on the NOC website
Education Secondary education is required. Having a post-secondary education can earn you more selection criteria points.


Not required.Not a requirement.You are required to have 1 of the following: a Canadian educational credential, such as a Canadian secondary school (high school) certification or an (ECA) educational credential assessment report from an authorized organization or body. It should be less than 5 years old when you submit an application.Eligibility criteria as stated in any of the express entry programsOne-year post-secondary credential or higher or educational credential assessment (ECA) from an approved organization A Canadian high school certification or at least an ECA report not less than five years old on the day of application.Not required

Comparison of Other Immigration Pathways Eligibility Criteria 

Family SponsorshipRefugee resettlementFamily-based humanitarian program for Colombians, Haitians and Venezuelans
To sponsor your spouse, partner, relatives, dependent child or extended family, 
Your sponsor must be at least 18 years old, must be a Permanent resident or citizen, or a person who is registered in Canada under the Canadian Indian Act. Meet the income and financial requirements where applicable. Meet all medical requirements in the case of adopted children.
You must get a referral from an organization such as the United Nations Refugee Agency. The referral could also come from a private sponsorship agency or any other referral organization. You cannot apply directly.

To be eligible to apply, you must:
be a citizen of Colombia, Haiti, or Venezuelabe in South or Central America, Mexico, or the Caribbean have an eligible Canadian citizen or permanent resident to support your application plan to live in a province or territory other than Quebec not be inadmissible for reasons other than financial ones have a valid passport or eligible travel document

Pros and Cons of Each PR Pathway

Immigration PathwayProsCons
Express Entry Program 
If you have the right skills and background, you have a higher chance of selection and the application being processed very fast. You can live anywhere in Canada after your application is processedChances of immigrating through this PR pathway are relatively low as there are a limited number of programs for the thousands who apply
Family Sponsorship 
You can sponsor any family member, including a person you are in a long-term relationship with and are not married to. Large number of programs, hence higher chances of selection
Provincial nominee program
A large number of programs, hence higher chances of selectionApplication takes up to 15 months to process without express entry. You are bound to live in one province. Complex eligibility criteria.
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program
Eligibility for a one-year work permit to give work authorization while the PR application of the applicant is being processed You must secure an employment offer in one of the eligible communities 
Agri-Food Pilot (AFP)
Getting a Job is easier than in other categories. a job offer in an eligible industry and occupation is required before you will be considered
Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway
You can become a Canadian citizen once you reside in Canada for up to three out of five years. You must be employed when you submit your application. 
Refugee resettlementAccess to social services A well-established asylum system
Caregivers Getting a Job is easier than other categories. You must pass either the IELTS or CELPIP examination to work as a caregiver in Canada. 

PR Pathways for Young Experienced Professionals 

If you are a young person who is:

  • a skilled worker or international graduate with acceptable work experience 
  • qualified in a skilled trade and has acceptable work experience in Canada 

Then, you can apply for a PR through one of the top TR to PR pathways in Canada. I recommend below;

  1. The Canadian Experience Class for skilled workers with work experience 
  2. The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program
  3. Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program 

These programs are all managed under the Express entry system and are the best TR to PR pathways in Canada for Young professionals.

Best PR Pathways for Students 

Canada has well-established programs that allow you to get a permanent residency as an international student. You may be:

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  • an international student who has completed your post-secondary education in Canada 
  • an individual who is trade-skilled and a graduate of a Canadian institution

If you want to transition to a Permanent resident in Canada, I recommend the following TR to PR pathways

  1. The Provincial Nominee Program. This program caters to international graduates with job offers, including those with postgraduate degrees. 
  2. The Atlantic Immigration Program. This allows you to live and work permanently in one of the four Atlantic Provinces. 
  3. The Canadian Experience Class, if you have gained experience through a post-graduation work permit. 

You could receive higher consideration if you have a degree in one of the top PR pathway courses in Canada. The top 5 PR pathway courses in Canada in 2024 include IT, Business and Finance, Engineering, Medicine, and Journalism. 

Best TR to  PR Pathways in Canada for Entrepreneurs

The PR pathways I recommend below are for those who are:

  • entrepreneurs seeking to expand their business internationally
  • individuals with an innovative business idea and startup venture 
  • entrepreneurs seeking to invest in Canadian businesses or start a new venture 

If you are in any of these categories, here are my top PR pathway recommendations for you:

  1. Startup visa program for innovative business ideas
  2. Provincial Nominee Program 
  3. Intra-company transfer (ICT) Visa: As an entrepreneur, you can apply for an ICT work permit and later apply for permanent residency after operating a business for one year.

Best PR Pathways for Self-employed People

There are several TR to PR pathways in Canada for entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses and self-employed people looking to purchase businesses in Canada. If you are in this category, the best TR to PR pathway for permanent residency in Canada for you is the Self-Employed Persons Program (SEPP). The Provincial Nominee program also allows self-employed individuals to purchase businesses and eventually apply for permanent residency. 

The startup visa program could also be a good PR pathway for you if you can secure funding from designated organizations and investors. 

Best TR to PR Pathways in Canada for Dependent Family Members

If you are a citizen of Canada or a permanent resident of Canada and you want to bring in your spouse, common-law partner, dependent child, or extended relatives to Canada, the best TR to PR pathway to utilize is the family sponsorship program. The program is specifically tailored to allow you to bring your relatives to join you in Canada. Your dependents are eligible for a work permit or study permit where applicable. 

Best TR to PR Pathways in Canada for Living in Rural Areas

If you are:

  • an international student who studied in a rural area and has a job offer post-graduation
  • a worker in a rural area who wants to apply for permanent residency

Then, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is the best pathway to permanent residency in Canada. With this program, you can apply for PR in a rural community after you have been recommended by the community. As an international student, you have a higher chance of receiving recommendations from the community. However, in this case, you need to have a degree in one of the top PR pathway courses in Canada. You must also show your ability to finance your transition into the community, and you must meet all the community-specific requirements.

Best PR Pathways in Canada for Asylum Seekers

For a refugee to become a Permanent resident in Canada, you need to get referred by a referral organisation such as the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNRA). The referral could also come from a private sponsorship agency or any other referral organization. You cannot apply directly. The government of Canada assists refugees in some cases. 

You are in this category if:

  • you cannot return to your home country due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, and other related factors
  • you have been seriously affected by a civil war
  • you are being continuously denied your basic human rights. 

FAQs

Which immigration pathway is best in Canada?

The most popular and effective TR to PR pathway in Canada is the Express Entry System. However, the best pathway to permanent residency in Canada for you is dependent on your circumstances and eligibility qualifications.

Which is the fastest PR pathway to Canada?

The Express Entry System is popular as the fastest and most efficient pathway to permanent residency in Canada. It’s known for its efficiency in application processing and this process usually takes as short as 4 to 6 months to be completed.

Which Province of Canada gives PR easily?

Saskatchewan is the easiest province in Canada to get a PR. It has strong economic growth and several job opportunities. If you qualify for express entry into Canada, you can apply to the Saskatchewan Express system to speed up your application process. 

Which is the easiest pathway in Canada?

The easiest pathway to permanent residency in Canada is through the family sponsorship pathway. As long as you have a sponsor and meet all the requirements, you can apply for permanent residency. Remember that your sponsor must be a Permanent resident or a citizen of Canada.

Conclusion 

There you have it! The top pathways to permanent residency in Canada. I believe you have found a suitable program for your immigration plans. For a smooth immigration process, book a call now with our experts for all viss-related services at IES Portal.

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DISCLAIMER: Please note that the information provided on this website is for general understanding only and should not be considered as legal advice. Every pages of the website is not updated every day. It is recommended to consult with our lawyers for latest information.

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