Overview of Canada’s Immigration System

Overview of Canada’s Immigration System

Overview of Canada’s Immigration System

Canada’s immigration system, overseen by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), admits around 300,000 immigrants annually, with a focus on the Economic Class and the Family Reunification Class.

The Economic Class comprises professionals and skilled workers seeking permanent residence in Canada. Applicants are assessed based on factors such as education, work experience in high-demand occupations, and language proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages. The main selection mechanism for federal skilled worker immigration programs is the Express Entry system. Candidates meeting basic criteria submit an online profile to the Express Entry pool, and the profiles are ranked against each other using the Comprehensive Ranking System. Top-ranked candidates are invited to apply for permanent residence in regular draws. The government aims to process cases within a six-month timeframe.

Provincial Nominee Entrepreneur programs follow a two-step process, where applicants are first selected or nominated by a province based on program requirements and then apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for permanent residence.

Wealthy business immigrants can also buy or establish a new business in Canada and qualify for a temporary work visa under federal ‘owner-operator’ policies. After a certain period, eligible applicants may apply for permanent residence under a provincial nominee class program or the Express Entry system.

In the Family Class, the focus is on reuniting Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their close relatives in Canada. Eligible relatives under sponsorship programs include spouses, common-law partners, unmarried dependent children under 22, parents, grandparents, orphaned siblings, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren who are unmarried and under 18 years old. There is also a special visa, the Parents and Grandparents Super Visa, which allows parents and grandparents to visit their loved ones in Canada. This multi-entry visitor visa is valid for 10 years and permits the holder to stay in Canada for up to two years without needing to leave the country.

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