Immigrate to Canada from India

How to Immigrate to Canada from India?

In 2021, Canada welcomed over 405,000 immigrants, an all-time high and nearly one-third of these immigrants were from India. Canada also welcomed nearly 450,000 international students last year and Indians comprised almost 50 per cent of this total. 

India has always been the biggest source of skilled immigrant population for Canada. And Canada is an attractive destination for Indians thanks to its immigrant friendly  population, free education for kids and universal healthcare. 

So, if you are an Indian, chances are you must have somebody in your circle  already in Canada giving you some serious Canada immigration goals. However, immigrating to a new country is a big decision, and so it is always good to weigh your options and see if taking this life-changing journey would be worth it or not. 

As you decide to move to Canada, there could be  a lot of questions that you need to answer. 

  • Which immigration program should I choose? 
  • Will I get a job there? 
  • What is the cost of immigration?  
  • Who can help me with the application process? 

This article is a comprehensive guide to all the immigration options, and other questions that you may have. 

In this article, we will cover:

Why should I immigrate to Canada from India?

One of the foremost reasons many Indians are moving to Canada is better quality life and work-life balance. In the US News Report – Best Countries in the World, Canada ranked #1 for quality of life. Canada also scores 0.929 compared to India’s 0.645 on the United Nations Human Development Index.

Canada’s immigrant friendly environment, free education for kids, universal healthcare and work life balance attracts a lot of Indians every year to the land of maple leaves. 

There are several immigration programs to attract skilled and semi-skilled workers to Canada and  bridge the ever increasing labour gap in the Canadian  market. Many Indian newcomers also migrate to Canada in search of lucrative work opportunities, social equality, and environmental sustainability.

How to immigrate to Canada from India through Express Entry

The federal Express Entry system is one of the fastest and most popular immigration streams to obtain permanent residence (PR) in Canada. All you need to do is check if you are eligible to apply under any of the Express Entry streams, fill out your Express Entry profile, and apply for PR online. 

Express Entry streams and requirements

The Express Entry system includes three distinct streams:

  • Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) program: This stream is for foreign skilled workers who possess a high level of education, relevant work experience to contribute to the Canadian economy from day one and proficiency in at least one official language—English or French.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): This stream is to attract  tradespeople who have minimum two years of work experience, a full-time job offer from a Canadian employer, and intermediate English or French language skills.
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program: This stream is directed at applicants who possess Canadian work experience for a minimum one year in the past three years.

The Express Entry application process 

  • Create an Express Entry profile: Once you have checked your eligibility for one of the Express Entry streams, you will have to create an Express Entry profile and fill out basic information regarding your education, work experience, age, language test scores, siblings in Canada, and other factors.


Canada immigration


Please note, all this information is important as your CRS score would depend  on it. So be very accurate.

  • Invitation to Apply: Your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is calculated using the information you have provided in your profile. This score is relative to other applicants in the Express Entry pool. If your score falls in the minimum cut-off range, you will be sent an ITA by the Canadian Immigration authorities. 
  • Submit your Permanent Residence (PR) application: After receiving an ITA, you will have 60 days to submit the supporting documents, pay the fees (application + permanent residence) and submit your application. Once submitted, you will get the confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) between six months and one year. During this period, you might be asked to submit your biometrics and get your medical done. 

Read our comprehensive guide on Express Entry system here.

How to move to Canada from India through PNP

Canada has 13 political divisions, with ten largely self-governing provinces and three territories with a lesser degree of self-government. Each province and territory has its own exclusive economic and geographic needs. 

Together with each province, the Canadian government operates an immigration program called the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Each program is designed to meet the province’s or territory’s needs for business individuals, investors, or skilled workers.

All provinces have their own rules that target specific groups. The rules contain requirements to qualify as a nominee under a program. Provinces do not approve permanent resident status, but nominate it. 

The power to approve permanent resident status rests with the federal government. This is why Provincial programs are referred to as “nominee” programs.

The application process for Provincial Nominee Programs

Before applying for PNP, it is important  to identify the province and the pathway that you would be most comfortable with and  can easily meet the eligibility criteria. Once you have done your due diligence, the next step is to apply for PNP which you can do in two ways – through a paper-based application or online through Express Entry.

Popular PNP streams for Indians without Canadian work experience or education

Choosing the right PNP stream can be overwhelming and having a Licensed Consultant by your side at this stage could make things really easy and stress-free for you. 

Read everything you need to know about RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) here. 

If you don’t have Canadian work experience, relevant education, or a job offer from a Canadian employer, here are some popular PNP streams you can explore:

Province PNP streams
OntarioHuman Capital Priorities streamSkilled Trades Stream: Under this stream, you might need a valid license or a certificate of practice. 
AlbertaAlberta Express Entry Stream except for the Accelerated Tech Pathway that requires a job offer.
Manitoba Manitoba Skilled Workers Overseas
SaskatchewanSaskatchewan Express EntryOccupation-in-demand Stream
Nova Scotia Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities Stream
Prince Edward IslandPEI Express Entry
Newfoundland and LabradorPriority Skills NL

Other immigration programs to move from India 

Oh yes! Express Entry and PNP account for just 45% of the government’s immigration targets. There are other immigration programs that you can explore to get permanent residence in Canada. 

Some of these include:

Family Sponsorship

If you have a spouse, partner, child, parent, or grandchild who is a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, you can qualify under the family sponsorship program. Your sponsor must submit a sponsorship undertaking and agreement assuring that they will support you financially and provide for your basic needs. If your sponsor is found to be eligible, IRCC will process your PR application.

Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

If you are looking to settle in one of  the 4 Atlantic provinces that is Nova Scotia, New Brunswick (NB), Prince Edward Island (PEI), or Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), thenAtlantic Immigration Program may be an ideal option  for you. AIP is an employer-driven program aimed at attracting top skilled workers to bridge the labour gap in the Atlantic market. You need to have a minimum 1,560 hours of work experience in the last five years or a degree completing two-year study program in Atlantic Canada. You also require a valid job offer from an eligible employer. 

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

RNIP is a community-driven immigration program providing permanent residence opportunities to skilled foreign workers in one of the participating communities in Canada.

The program is a five-year pilot program launched in November 2019 with a target to approve 2,750 permanent residence applications each year until 2024.

Start-up visa (SUV)

The SUV program is aimed at attracting foreign entrepreneurs who have relevant experience and skill to set up innovative businesses in Canada and create employment for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. To qualify, you need to have a qualifying business and a letter of support from a designated organization authorized to invest in potential start-ups.

Once you have a commitment certificate and letter of support from a designated organization, you need to be in Canada to establish your business before you file your permanent residence application. 

How to move to Canada from India to study

Another popular way to move to Canada and eventually settle there eventually is to go on a study visa.  The benefits of studying in Canada are multiple:

  • Top global colleges and universities with a diverse student base and potential to build a global network. 
  • A great way to experience life in Canada before you come to a concrete decision.
  • Increases your chances of getting permanent residence. 

You need an admission letter from a Designated Learning Institution before applying for a study permit. You need to enroll in a study program that’s at least eight months long. This further qualifies you for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) allowing you to work in Canada for a particular period of time (usually same as the duration of your course).

After receiving the acceptance letter, Indian students can apply for a study visa through the expedited Student Direct Stream (SDS). You can get your study permit within 20 business days if you have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) (a proof that you have enough funds to cover your living expenses in Canada).

Can I stay in Canada permanently after completing my studies?

Your study permit expires 90 days from the date of your program completion. You have to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit within this time to continue living in Canada. This open work permit allows you to work with an employer of your choice in a place of your choice. 

If you intend to live permanently in Canada, your Canadian education and work experience can add extra points to your CRS score. Also you can apply under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program that is specifically aimed at PR applicants who have a minimum one year of work experience in Canada.  at least one year of Canadian work experience. 

You also get additional points for Canadian education and work experience under other immigration programs, including the Express Entry FSW program and Provincial Nominee Programs.

How to move to Canada from India to work

Another popular way to come to Canada is through a work permit. Due to labour shortage, Canada supports its employers hiring foreign skilled workers provided it does not impact the Canadian labour market in a negative way. 

By choosing this route and gaining Canadian work experience, not only you get extra CRS points under various immigration programs  but you can also get an idea about your life in Canada before you decide to permanently move here. 

Types of work permits in Canada

There are two types of work permits in Canada:

  • Employer-specific work permit: For employer-specific work permit, you need to have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. Under this permit, you are not allowed to work for any other employer. 
  • Open work permit: Under this permit, you can work for any eligible employer in Canada. Open work permits are granted to international students who’ve completed a qualifying study program in Canada, certain PR applicants, as well as spouses or partners of foreign skilled workers and international students in Canada.


Canada immigration


How to apply for jobs in Canada from India

One of our most frequently asked questions is, “Can I get a job in Canada from India?” The answer is yes, but there is a c complex process for it. In most cases, Canadian employers must get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). 

An LMIA or Labour Market Impact Assessment is a permission document that Canadian employers require before they could hire a skilled foreign worker to work in Canada. 

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) issues LMIAs after assessing the impact of hiring a foreign skilled worker on the overall Canadian labour market. A positive LMIA is a confirmation that hiring a foreign worker is necessary as there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident who will be able to fill this position giving the employer a go-ahead to hire the foreign worker on a temporary basis. 

But how do you find jobs in Canada? 

The foremost thing to do is explore Canadian job portals like Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. However, Canada has a large hidden job market as 65 to 80 percent of available job vacancies are filled through recruiters’ networks. 

So, networking is one of the most workable strategies to find a job opportunity in Canada. You can connect with professionals on LinkedIn and ask for guidance on the Canadian job market. The next thing you need is an impressive Canadian-style resume tailor made for each job opportunity.

How to choose the right immigration pathway to move from India to Canada

Choosing an immigration program that maximises your chances of getting permanent  residence can be confusing and overwhelming. Here are some tips on choosing the right immigration pathway:

  • Calculate your estimated CRS score: You can compare your CRS score with the last cut-off score and get an idea whether you could qualify for Express Entry or PNP programs. You can calculate your CRS score using our free CRS calculator.
  • See if your occupation is in demand in Canada: Many PNP programs have in-demand professions which they priortise. Check if your profession is in demand in the provinces of your choice.
  • Evaluate if your background makes you eligible for other PR programs.
  • Look for jobs in Canada. A Canadian job offer can add extra points to your CRS score thus increasing your chances of getting an ITA. You can also try for a temporary work visa first and then apply for permanent residence after gaining Canadian work experience. 

Who can help me migrate to Canada?

Keel’s Licensed immigration consultant can help you move to Canada in a hassle free manner. Having an RCIC can help you explore the best route to move to Canada. Here are 4 benefits of hiring an immigration consultant in Canada:

1. Visa Selection Guidance

Every immigration application is unique. To make the correct visa selection, you need the assistance of immigration experts who can guide you and provide you with the best possible strategy to reach Canada. 

2. Understanding And Resolving Complex Issues

Identifying the best program is not enough. The process of arriving in Canada is a bit complicated and navigating through the immigration process can be tricky. A lot of complications and unanswered questions can come up while preparing the documents on your own. A Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant can help you every step of the way and can guide you overcome all these hiccups with ease. 

3. Well-Prepared And Well-Presented Immigration Application

Canadian Immigration Consultants can help you prepare a well-presented immigration application that is acceptable to the Canadian Immigration authorities. This is especially important if you have a special case or if you feel your application is not strong enough.

4. Fast and Efficient

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants can prepare your application for permanent residence in a much faster and efficient manner thus reducing the overall processing time of your application. This gives you an edge and increases your chance of getting shortlisted by Canadian Immigration authorities.

We are here to make your Canada Immigration Journey Possible