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Skilled Workers, Startup Founders, Entrepreneurs, Foreign Students—Options Galore for Canada Immigration

More and more developed countries are realizing the importance of having a meritocratic, transparent, and predictable immigration system, especially for skilled workers and other economic immigrants.

A chaotic immigration system with arbitrary rule changes and frequent controversial proposals pushes not just skilled workers but even internationals students to other more immigration-friendly destinations.

It’s safe to say that Canada is the most-popular immigration destination among all the developed countries of the world. Some countries like Australia and the UK have multiple programs for entrepreneurs and investors. Others like the US has multiple programs for permanent residence i.e. the US green card.

However, Canada is the only country that has multiple programs for each and every category of economic immigrants—skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and even international students who are likely to become economic immigrants after graduation.

Have a Job Offer from a Canadian Employer—What are My Options?


If your employer has an approved Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), then you just need to apply for the work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. If you work in one of the occupations covered under the Global Talent Stream, then your work permit may be processed and approved in in as little as 14 days.

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If yours is an Intra-Company Transfer, then you can apply for the LMIA-exempt ICT visa under the International Mobility Program. The IMP has a number of LMIA-exempt work permit options. If you are eligible under any such option, then getting the work permit will be a lot easier than the LMIA-required TFWP route.

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Have Graduated from a Canadian College/University—What are My Options?

If you studied in a Designated Learning Institute, then you are probably already eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. The PGWP will be valid for the duration of your study course up to a maximum of three years.

This is an open work permit, which means you have the option of switching jobs without having to reapply for the work permit. You become eligible to apply under the FSWP or the CEC once you have at least one year of Canadian work experience.

Check whether your province has any stream for skilled workers and/or international graduates already working there in its Provincial Nomination Program. Plus, you can apply the province’s Skilled Worker stream. Also, you may receive a nomination under the province’s Express Entry stream since provinces can select and nominate candidates in the Express Entry pool.

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Have a Great Startup Idea—What are My Options?

The Federal Startup Visa is the obvious choice for you. Your idea must be good enough to convince venture capitalist or angel investors to invest in your business. Or you must be admitted into a Business Incubator Program.

You must have at least ten percent stake in the business and no other person or entity must have majority stake in the venture. There is no minimum investment or net worth requirement applicable to you.

As long as you can convince designated investors to put in money into your business and have enough settlement funds to provide for yourself and your family, you can qualify for Canadian permanent residence.

There are additional options open for you if you are an international graduate. Your province may have a stream for international graduate entrepreneurs. This is a good option if you have a conventional business idea or can afford to invest and start your own business.

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You will be in Canada on a work permit and then qualify for permanent residence after fulfilling the terms of the Business Performance Agreement.

Am a Skilled Worker and Want Direct Permanent Residence—What Are My Options?

You don’t need to have a job in Canada to become a permanent resident. Of course, it would be ideal if you had a job, but it is not a compulsory requirement.

    • For direct PR, you need to be eligible under FSWP, CEC, or FSTP under the Express Entry application system.
    • Next, your CRS score must be high enough for you to qualify for an Invitation to Apply.
    • Then, you must have adequate settlement funds and fulfill all requirements related to settlement funds, medical fitness, character and criminal history, and inadmissibility.

More and more countries are offering work permits without employer sponsorship, startup visas, faster processing PR applications, and easy study-work-settle options for international students.

Canada has already ticked all the boxes and has become the first choice for skilled workers, skilled trades workers, entrepreneurs, and international students from across the world.

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