Immigrate to Canada from the US

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How to immigrate to Canada from the US

The first step to immigrate to Canada from the US is to find out if you are eligible to apply and if so, for which program. Canada has numerous immigration programs available depending on your background. Some people will have various ways to immigrate while others may have no options. Once you find out if you are eligible to apply, the next step would be to find out which documents you would need to obtain in order to apply for permanent residency, as well as how to submit your application. You can view the basic requirements of the main Canadian immigration programs below.

Available programs to immigrate to Canada

Federal Skilled Worker

For those with over one year of full-time paid work experience in a skilled profession AND higher than a high school level education

Federal Skilled Tradesperson

For those with over one year of full-time paid work experience in a skilled trade and the ability to challenge a Canadian trades test

Canadian Experience Class

For those with over one year of full-time paid work experience in a skilled profession AND higher than a high school level education

Family sponsorship

For those married to a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, dependent children of a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident or parents/ grandparents of a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident

Entrepreneur programs

For individuals looking to purchase an existing business or open a new business in Canada and have at least three years of experience owning or operating a business

Farming programs

For experienced farmers looking to purchase and operate a farm in Canada

Provincial programs

For those individuals who meet the requirements of a specific provincial program such as work experience, a job offer, work in a specific occupation, a connection to the province or a certain score.

Work permits

For those looking to work in Canada. Some applicants will require a job offer while others may be exempt from requiring a job offer.

Study permits

For those who have been accepted into a recognized Canadian educational institution

Let our experts simplify the process for you

What is the cost of immigrating to Canada

The actual cost of immigrating to Canada is separate from the amount of settlement funds that an applicant may require as part of their application. If you are immigrating to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker for example, you would require both settlement funds and the amounts listed below. The below amounts include government fees and all application related fees, but excludes any other third-party fees such as moving costs or airline tickets. The below are estimations and can vary.

For each additional family member: $ 415

Moving to Canada

What to sort out in the US before you immigrate

Quick Steps


Cancel local accounts and contracts such as cellphones, home insurance, gym memberships, medical insurance


Make a list of any goods you will be brining with you to Canada


Arrange a moving company


Arrange a place to stay on arrival


Plan your financial move


Arrange travel insurance for your first 90 days in Canada


Obtain any required prescriptions


Obtain your driving record and insurance history / statement

Download our free Canadian immigration checklist

What to sort out in Canada once you arrive

Quick Steps


Obtain your social insurance number


Open a bank account


Convert your driver’s license


Get a cell phone


Look for a job


Look for permanent housing

Download our free Canadian arrival guide

How to become a Canadian Citizen

To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must:

Be a permanent resident


Have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years


Have filed your taxes, if and when you need to


Pass a test on your rights, responsibilities and knowledge of Canada


Prove your language skills

Additional or different requirements apply under certain circumstances.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the department of the Government of Canada that deals with immigration applications, refugee claimants, Canadian citizenship applications, issues travel documents and helps newcomers settle in Canada.

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) was formally known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC. They were renamed in 2015. All individuals seeking a Canadian visa or permit have to apply through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides all of their application forms online. They also allow applicants to create an online account, known as an IRCC Secure Account, which applicants can use to submit a variety of applications as opposed to creating a new account for each type of application

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses an online application system for temporary resident visas (visit visas), Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTA), study permits, work permits, the International Experience Canada (IEC) and applications for permanent residency made through the Express Entry system. All other applications are submitted to them as paper-based applications.

    Canadian Permanent Residency (PR) Process

    The simplified process of applying to immigrate to Canada is outlined below. If your application is approved you are then granted Permanent Resident status in Canada. After living in Canada for three years within a five year period as a Permanent Resident, you may qualify to apply for Canadian Citizenship.

    Step Four

    Gather your supporting documents

    Step Five

    Submit your profile and wait to be selected (if applying through express entry)

    Step Seven

    Wait for your application to be assessed and hopefully, approved

    Step Eight

    Obtain your immigrant visa and Confirmation of Permanent Residency document (COPR) and immigrate to Canada!

    Getting Started

    Take our free assessment

    Complete our free assessment here to have our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant evaluate whether you would be eligible to immigrate to Canada at this time.

    Book a full consultation

    To review your eligibility and all of your available Canadian immigration options directly with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, book a full consultation right now.

    Click on one of the available Canadian immigration programs below to find out the full requirements.

    The Express Entry system is a file management system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for certain immigration applications. The Express Entry . . .system is used by anyone seeking to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Tradesperson, member of the Canadian Experience Class or certain Provincial Nominee programs. If you do not meet the requirements of one of those four programs, you will not be eligible to use the Express Entry system.

    For those individuals who may need additional points for the Express Entry System, Provincial Nominations can add 600 points to their score. Most Provincial programs require a job offer . . . , while some will select individuals without a job offer if their skills are in demand in that specific Province or if their Comprehensive Ranking System score is high enough.

    The Canadian Experience Class is for those who have previously worked in Canada, on a valid work permit, in a skilled occupation for one year or longer on a full-time paid basis in the past . . . three years and are proficient in English or French.

    The Federal Skilled Trades program requires applicants to either have a full-time paid job offer in their skilled trade in Canada or they need to physically travel to Canada to write a . . . Canadian Red Seal examination before they would be eligible to apply under this program. This program also uses the Express Entry system and would require applicants to be proficient in English or French.

    The first, and most popular option for those looking to immigrate to Canada is the Federal Skilled Worker program which uses the Express Entry System. This program . . . is designed for those who have at least one year of full-time paid work experience in any country in the world and can score high enough on the Federal Skilled Worker points system. The points system looks at age, completed education, language abilities in English and French, full-time paid work experience and previous work or study experience in Canada, or if you have any direct relatives living in Canada. This program does not require a job offer.

    For those who have an entrepreneurial background and are looking to start a business in Canada or purchase an existing business in Canada, there is a large variety of programs . . . available depending on the type of business you want to open or purchase. Some programs require you to have a substantial personal net worth and invest a minimum of $200,000 or more into a business, while others have no financial requirements and focus more on your business plan and whether or not you have the finances available to support your business plan. With most of these options, you would first, be issued with a temporary work permit, and then if your business was successful, you would be able to transition to permanent residency. These programs would also be used by anyone looking to own and operate a farm in Canada.

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