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A checklist for newcomers in Canada

It is not easy to relocate to Canada from another country. It takes a lot of time and organization to ensure a smooth transition into life in a new country, whether you plan to settle in Canada permanently or relocate for better career or study opportunities.

We’ve created a handy moving to Canada checklist that will walk you through everything you need to do, from deciding which immigration program to apply for to prepare for your life in Canada.

Choose the best immigration route for you.

Select either temporary or permanent residency.
When you first consider relocating to Canada, you will have to choose between several immigration options. Many newcomers apply directly for Permanent Residence (PR), which allows them to live and work in Canada permanently and eventually become Canadian citizens.

The other option is to apply for temporary residence, either in the form of a study permit or a work permit, so you can get a feel for life in Canada before deciding whether to stay permanently or return home. Because of ongoing delays in the immigration process, many newcomers who were planning to apply for permanent residency (or were awaiting a response on their application) are now looking into temporary ways to move to Canada.

However, before making a decision, it is critical to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each path. For example, while obtaining a study permit is easier and faster, the path to PR is longer. Furthermore, the cost of education for international students is quite high, and even if you are permitted to work part-time while studying in Canada, you will still be required to rely on your savings to cover living expenses during your study period.
If your estimated Comprehensive Ranking System score is low, it may be better to apply for a study permit or work permit first.

If your estimated Comprehensive Ranking System score is low, it may be better to apply for a study permit or work permit first.

Prepare to apply for Permanent Residency (PR)

Choose the province where you want to live.
The province in which you choose to live will determine the job opportunities available to you, the quality of life you will have, the cost of living, the schooling options for your children, and the cultural environment. Many provinces also have Provincial Nominee Programs that invite newcomers with skills needed to fill in-demand jobs in the region.

Conduct research on Canada’s provinces and territories, major cities where newcomers prefer to live, and the job market. This will assist you in deciding which province you want to live in before applying for PR.

Determine the best public relations program for you

Canada has several immigration programs for permanent residents, both federal and provincial. The Express Entry program, which includes streams for foreign skilled workers, skilled tradespeople, and foreign nationals with Canadian work experience who want to settle in Canada permanently, is the most popular among newcomers.

The Express Entry program ranks and evaluates individual immigration applications using a point-based system known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) based on factors such as skills, education, language ability, work experience, age, and more. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) holds periodic draws to determine the CRS cut-off, and if your score is higher, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for PR. Instead, if you already know which province you want to live in, you can apply through the Provincial Nominee Program. Obtaining a provincial nomination raises your CRS score by 600 points, significantly increasing your chances of qualifying for PR.

Gather essential documents for your application

  • An ECA verifies that your foreign educational degree, diploma, or certification is valid and equivalent to a Canadian one. Because the ECA process takes time, begin it at least two months before you intend to submit your PR application.
  • Language proficiency test results: If English or French is not your first language, you must take an English and/or French language test. The IRCC accepts IELTS and CELPIP test scores for English, but you must take the TEC Canada or TEF Canada test for French.
  • Passport: Because your PR application will be linked to your passport number, check the validity of your passport and have it reissued if it is about to expire.

Identify your NOC

The Canadian government uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system to classify occupations based on job duties and skill level.

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