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You are seeking to gain permanent resident status in Canada. There are several options for you to explore in order to legally move to the city of Vancouver. Specifically there are six different routes to apply as a potential immigrant in Canada.

Please note: The following information is provided here as a summary and for your convenience only. The language used is derived from Citizen and Immigration Canada sources, and has not been approved by the Government of Canada. In all cases refer to official information provided at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

1. Skilled Worker Class Immigration

You may be a highly-trained professional who wants to move here and work. You will easily become established working in Canada's economic environment and benefit Canadian citizens with your knowledge and expertise. To access the Skilled Worker Class Immigration application, click here.

To qualify for this class you need to meet minimum work experience requirements; prove you have financial stability required for settlement; and pass six selection factors.

Minimum work experience requirements:

a. At a minimum, you must have at least one year of full-time, paid, work experience.

b. Your work experience must be in one of the categories (of Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC).

c. You must have had this experience within the last 10 years.

To further determine if you qualify for Skilled Worker Class Immigration refer to these steps.

Proof of funds:

If you have already secured employment in Canada, then it is not necessary to prove financial stability.

If you have not yet secured a job, then you must show you have enough funds for settlement. 

A single person must show proof of having $10,168 in Canadian dollars. The amount of funds required increases incrementally by the number of members in your family. In addition, you will be required to pay application fees.

Six selection factors:

a. Education level - from high-school diploma to PhD or Masters degrees.

b. Official languages proficiency - your ability to speak, listen, read and write in English and/or French.

c. Work experience - the number of years you have been employed in your profession.

d. Age - optimally between the ages of 21-49 at time of application.

e. Arranged employment - if you have previously confirmed a job in Canada.

f. Adaptability - if you have family ties or previous experience in Canada.

To further determine if you meet the six selection factors above, refer to this test.

2. Business Class Immigration

If you run businesses or invest in them, this class may suit you. You may apply for immigration in this category as an Investor, Entrepreneur or Self-employed Person. To access the Business Class Immigration application, click here.


As an Investor you are experienced in business and have CDN $400,000 in capital to invest in Canada. It is required of you to demonstrate business experience and a minimum net worth of CDN $800,000. Your investment will be used to create jobs and assist growth in the provincial economy, and it will be returned to you, without interest, about five years after you become a permanent resident.


You intend to own and actively manage one or more businesses in Canada that will create jobs and make an economic contribution in the country. It is required of you to demonstrate business experience and a minimum net worth of CDN $300,000. You will also be subject to conditions upon arrival in Canada.

Self-employed persons:

Self-employed people must intend to and possess abilities to create their own employment. You have relevant experience in cultural activities, athletics or farm management, and are capable of making economic contributions in that field. Also, you must have the financial capacity to support you and your family when you arrive in Canada.

3. Family Class Immigration

If you do not already live in Canada and want to immigrate, your relative or family member in Canada must apply to sponsor you. You and your sponsor will be required to sign a Sponsorship Agreement that outlines your mutual obligations:

Your sponsor must promise to financially support you, and any family members that accompany you, for 3 - 10 years so that you are not dependent on social assistance.

You must promise to make every effort to become financially self-supporting, unless you are elderly.

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada, and over the age of 18, you may sponsor your family member to come to Canada if they are: spouses, common-law or conjugal partners aged 16 and older; parents and grandparents; dependent children, including adopted children; children under 18 who you intend to adopt; children under guardianship; brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or grandchildren who are orphans.

Sponsoring your Spouse or Partner:

If you are in Canada and your partner has been living with you and has maintained their legal temporary status (such as with a visa), you may sponsor your spouse or common-law partner for immigration. This includes their dependent children whether or not they are already in Canada. You are responsible to financially support your spouse or common-law partner for at least 3 years from the date they become a permanent resident of Canada.

To access the Spouse or Partner Immigration application, click here.

A son or daughter is considered dependent if they are: 

a. under the age of 22 and do not have a spouse or common-law partner;

b. over age 22 but a full time student and substantially dependent on a parent for financial support, or were married, since before the age of 22;

c. disabled and financially dependent on a parent since before the age of 22.

Commitment of financial support:

You must be able to financially support your relative for a period of 3 - 10 years while they are settling in Canada. To promise this support, you will need to engage in an Undertaking with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

You must sign a Sponsorship Agreement with the person you are sponsoring, and any accompanying family members, that outlines your commitment to support them and their commitment to make every effort to be self-supporting. Children under the age of 22 do not have to sign the Sponsorship Agreement. You can check this list to determine length of financial support required.

To sponsor any of the above-mentioned relatives or family members, you may be required to meet income requirements. If you have previously sponsored relatives or family members who have received social assistance in Canada, you may not be entitled to sponsor another person.

For sponsorship applications and guides, visit here.

4. International Adoption

You are a permanent resident or citizen of Canada and wish to adopt a child from another country. To bring your adoptive child to Canada, you must sponsor the child for immigration. The entire process of adoption and immigration can be complicated and frustrating. You must be aware of and comply with Canadian Provincial and Federal laws in addition to the laws of your adoptive child's country. You can start the sponsorship process immediately once you decide to adopt, or after you have found a child and have started the adoption process. For information on both processes, visit here.

5. Provincial Nomination

Most provinces have agreements with the Government of Canada to allow them a more direct role in selecting immigrants who want to settle in that province. As a provincial nominee, you will receive faster processing of your application for permanent residence.

In this case, first apply for provincial nomination to the Province of British Columbia. Your application will be considered based on their immigration needs and your genuine intention to settle there. After you have been nominated, you then make a separate application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for permanent residence. Provincial Nominees are not assessed on the six selection factors of the Federal Skilled Workers Program. 

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) allows the province to select immigrants based on their ability to contribute to the BC economy. There are two categories under which you may apply for a BC provincial nomination:

1. Strategic Occupations:

Skilled Workers - Select highly skilled immigrants who can fill critical labour shortages in BC. Priority sectors for highly skilled workers are in aerospace, information and high technology. Certain trades workers, small and medium-sized employers, and employers facing geographic impacts, may also be considered. For official information, guides and applications, click here.

Public Sector Health Professionals - Applications are limited to registered nurses, psychiatric nurses and physicians recruited by provincial and regional health authorities administered through Health Match BC. For official information, guides and applications, click here.

International Graduates - Nominees must have satisfied the requirements for an eligible degree or diploma conferred by a recognized post-secondary institution in BC before accepting an offer of employment. For official information, guides and applications, click here.

2. Business Categories:

To access official information, guides and applications, click here

Business Skills - You have extensive resources and business experience and want to be actively involved in a BC business undertaking that will make a significant contribution to the economy. To be eligible you must have: successful business experience; a minimum net worth of $2 million CAD; a minimum investment of $1 million CAD; a minimum of 50% equity; a business plan; intent to create a minimum of 5 new jobs; an active management role.

Regional Business - You have proven skills and financial resources to rapidly implement plans for business establishment or expansion contributing to the regional development of British Columbia. Some qualifying criteria include: the Project must be located outside the Greater Vancouver Area; the Project must have local community support; you have a minimum net worth of $600,000 CAD; you have a minimum investment of $300,000 CAD excluding real estate component; you have a minimum of 50% equity; intent to create a minimum of 2 new jobs; an active management role.

Projects - This category is designed to assist companies with the timely entry of skilled, key managers and technical professionals essential to the success of a business expected to generate significant economic benefits to British Columbia. To be eligible the company must: have a proven record of successful experience in an area relevant to the proposed business; be a new investment or business expansion of at least $1 million CAD; demonstrate that key staff presence is essential to the success of the project.

6. Quebec-Selected Immigration

Under the Canada-Quebec Accord on Immigration, Quebec has established its own immigration requirements and selects immigrants who will adapt well to living in the province. After you have been selected by Quebec, you have to make a separate application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for permanent residence. 

Extensive Immigration Assistance

The Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISS) is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides settlement, community, English-language, training and employment services to immigrants, refugees and students in Canada.

Settlement services include Orientation, a Welcome House – Temporary Accommodation for Immigrants & Refugees, Community Settlement Counsellors and Community Bridging (assistance from a volunteer host from the community).

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