As one of the most beautiful and scenic countries in the world, but also offering bustling metropolitan areas amongst its’ major cities, Canada offers a wide variety of places for people looking to move or settle there. The majority of those who move to Canada opt for one of the three main Canadian cities of Toronto, Vancouver or Montréal, but there are also a plethora of other, smaller cities that are increasingly playing host to those on working, family and study visas.

Whether you’re looking to obtain a visa for Canada for the purposes of work, family life, study or work, you will fit into one of the main visa categories, as follows:

  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)
  • Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)
  • Family-Sponsorship Program
  • Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP)
  • “Express Entry” Program


Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

This particular visa program offers tradespeople from qualifying trades such as electricians, plumbers, welders, mechanics and a host of other trade professions a Permanent Resident Visa for Canada.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The FSWP is also a permanent residency visa, but applicants under this visa program are assessed based on a number of factors which are used to determine their professional suitability for entry into Canada. Assessment of suitability for this visa scheme include evaluations of your education level, working experience, your age and language ability (English/French). In addition to passing with a minimum of 67 points, the profession you are in must also be part of the ‘wanted list’ for Canada of in demand professions, similar to the UK’s skills shortage list. With this being the case, the parameters for eligibility for the FSWP visa are constantly changing and you should ensure that any immigration advice you take is completely up to date prior to applying.

Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)

The Provincial Nomination Programs are for those who don’t fit the criteria for either of the Canadian skilled worker visas. This offers the chance to gain permanent residency in Canada for those who are classed as semi-skilled or low-skilled rather than ‘skilled workers’, as classified by the visa requirements. The PNP visas can offer slightly less choice than other visa categories, though, as successful applicants are nominated for a specific province in Canada that is in need of their particular skills at that point in time. It’s best to speak to an immigration lawyer so that you know where this may be prior to application.

Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)

As the largest province in Canada, Quebec has a some intriguing individual laws and legislation, including their own specialist visa program for immigration to their specific province within Canada. The Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers Program provides for those who have successfully passed the points-based system for entry, and who also have the relevant levels of French speaking skills, with French being the prominent language in Quebec. Quebec has a need for thousands of skilled workers and is known to have a larger demand for foreign skilled workers.

Family-Sponsorship Program

Family visas are for those who are already Canadian residents who have a spouse or partner who isn’t Canadian, or anyone who has family members in Canada who they are looking to join on a residency basis. Canadian citizens and permanent Canadian residents are eligible to sponsor their spouse or civil partner, as well as their dependants to enter Canada on a family visa, which also offers chance to become Canadian residents at a later date.

Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP)

A visa specifically for live-in caregivers who are qualified in the provision of care services for the elderly, disabled or children. Those on Canadian caregiver visas are entitled to live in a private home in any of the regions of Canada, but is particularly complex in terms of requirements and eligibility.

Express Entry

The Express Entry to Canada program has been newly added in order to ensure that skilled foreign workers looking to move to Canada are approved for the relevant visa faster than was previously the case. The Express Entry program is applicable where those skilled workers coming into Canada are seen to be contributing to the improvement of Canadian businesses.

For more information about visas for Canada, or to discuss your options, please get in touch with one of our emigration lawyers today using the form below:

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