Canada is proud of being a free, open and multicultural society that actively welcomes immigration – including from those of ethnic minority backgrounds. A land with space to grow blessed with a breathtaking physical landscape, Canada is rich in natural resources and offers a wide range of dynamic occupational and investment opportunities.
As a result Canada is one of the world’s most sought after countries to immigrate to, and for many a Canadian Visa is a gateway to a new and better life.
The Canadian government has made available more than 60 Canadian Visa programs which may be applied for, with institutions to facilitate the process of immigration and mechanisms to support new immigrants as they settle into their new communities and the wider society as a whole. What follows is an introduction to some of the main Canadian Visa programs currently available.
Express Entry is the fast-track system introduced to enable potential immigrants with a particular skill or background to complete the immigration process in about six months through the Federal Economic Programs.
The Skilled Worker Visa is designed to allow immigration to Canada as permanent residents without the prior requirement of a sponsor or employer
Business Visas allow foreign business people to visit Canada for a short period of time for the purpose of developing their business by investment or the creation of short or long term business relationships with Canadian counterparts.
The Family Visa is designed to enable Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their immediate family and relatives to live, work and study in Canada.
A Working Holiday Visa enables people to work and travel in Canada for a period of up to 24 months.
A Visitor or Tourist Visa allows people to enter Canada for a period of up to 6 months, for a holiday, work or family visit
The Temporary Visa was created to allow people to visit Canada for holiday, work or study for a short period of time.
Student Visas enables international students to enrol in a Canadian institute of higher education with the option of applying for permanent residence after graduation.
Today, Express Entry is the most sought after pathway for Canadian Visa application.
Not a particular visa program itself, Express Entry is the new fast-track system introduced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in January 2015 to enable potential immigrants with desired skills and backgrounds to complete the immigration process in the shortest time possible.
The Express Entry process, as well as all the other Canadian Visa application processes, can often seem like an impossible mountain to climb. Here at UIS we’ve ‘been there and done this’ hundreds of times. That’s how we can promise to provide the very best professional expertise and our years of experience to ensure that this complex process will be as simple as possible for you and your family.
Your personal immigration account managers will be with you every step of the way to make sure that everything that can help maximize your point score will be taken into account – giving you the best possible opportunity to realize your Canadian dream.
How it Works
Express Entry is a multi-factored ‘pool and points’ system that the IRCC uses to select the most suitable candidates for immigration to Canada.
To be eligible to enter the Express Entry pool, applications are measured according to a whole range of personal information that is required to be provided. This builds what is called an ‘Applicant’s Profile’.
To build this profile you will be asked about your educational and/or professional qualifications as well as those of your spouse/partner if relevant, your work experience, language abilities, age, and family situation, if you are being nominated, whether you already have a specific job offer in Canada from a qualifying employer, as well as other factors.
Based on your answers, the system awards points according to what is called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and your total score will be calculated. The score is calculated out of a possible maximum of 1200.
Canada’s immigration authorities then select the most suitable candidates from the pool and offer them an official ‘Invitation to Apply’ for one of those immigration programs. The higher your score the better your chances of being selected. Once you receive an ITA, you have a maximum 90 day period during which to submit the full online application for permanent residence.
The Canadian government through Citizenship and Immigration Canada is committed to processing complete applications within 6 months of submission. Candidates can remain in the Express Entry pool for up to 12 months and if they do not receive an invitation within this period, they may submit a new profile.
Programs covered by Express Entry
Express Entry is applicable for the following groups of applicants:
- Federal Skilled Worker Class which includes doctors and engineers etc.
- Federal Skilled Trades Class designed for welders and plumbers etc.
- Canadian Experience Class, for people who have already lived, worked, or studied in Canada.
- Provincial Nominee Programs – these are run by some but not all Provinces.
Once you register with UIS your personal immigration account manager will answer all your questions on this and all the other Canadian Visa options, and begin to guide you towards your exciting new life in Canada.
Skilled Worker Visa
Boasting a standard of living that is the envy of the world, a thriving economy, and unemployment among the lowest in the world, Canada offers a wealth of opportunities to Skilled Workers who wish to immigrate. Skilled Workers – meaning qualified professionals as well as experienced tradespeople – and their families are invited to settle permanently in Canada if their immigration application is successful.
Canada is keen to welcome Skilled Workers, and a wide variety of both Federal and Provincial visa programs exist to facilitate their immigration. These include the Express Entry Program, Federal Skilled Worker Programs, as well as Provincial Nominee Programs. Your UIS personal immigration account manager will help guide you toward the visa program best suited to your professional skill and your desired destination in Canada.
In-demand professions currently include those in the fields of banking, insurance, and finance, all aspects of engineering, elementary, high school teachers and lecturers in higher education, medical doctors, nurses, and other health care workers, business people including sales and marketing professionals as well as a whole host of tradespeople, and many many more. Your UIS personal immigration account manager will help you discover if your background makes you eligible for any of these various programs.
Created for the purpose of promoting Canada’s economic development and fostering domestic employment, a Business Visa enables potential investors, entrepreneurs, and/or self-employed people with the desired business abilities to immigrate to Canada.
Successful people with knowledge and experience of foreign markets can find new and exciting frontiers in Canada – a country that is still developing commercial opportunities throughout the world’s emerging markets. Individuals with the relevant backgrounds and sufficient net worth are invited to apply for permanent residence through one of a number of different Visa Programs. These include Canada’s three federal programs: Entrepreneur Start-up Visa program, Self-Employed Persons program, Immigrant Investor Program – as well as Quebec and British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program’s Entrepreneur Immigration categories.
Your personal immigration account manager will be able to direct you to the most suitable program according to your background and your desired final location.
Family Visas are designed to enable Canadian citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18 to sponsor their immediate family and relatives to join them to live, work, and study in Canada; This includes your spouse or common-law partner, dependent children, parents, and grandparents, orphaned siblings, nephews and nieces, grandsons and granddaughters (under the age of 18 and not married or in common-law partnership), as well children in process of international adoption.
The Canadian immigration authorities have created a number of different Family Sponsorship Visa options to enable families to reunite and build a new life in a safe and welcoming country. When successful, family members will then enjoy the social services afforded to all Canadian residents, such as those in the areas of education and healthcare.
Your UIS personal immigration account manager is available to answer all your questions regarding the criteria of eligibility and guide you through the intricacies of application for Family Visas.
Working Holiday Visa
Created as part of the International Experience Canada (IEC) immigration program, a Working Holiday Visa enables young people from the 32 countries with bilateral youth agreements with Canada, who are between the ages 18 and 35, to work and travel in Canada for a period of up to 2 years.
Working Holiday Visa holders are able to work for any Canadian employer in any part of the country, and you will not need a specific job offer prior to making your application.
On the other hand, not all jobs are open to Working Holiday Visa holders, particularly those which require specific certification such as education, health, and others.
Your personal application account manager will guide you through all the requirements of eligibility.
A Visitor or Tourist Visa enables you to enter Canada on a temporary basis for a period of up to 6 months, for the purpose of a holiday, work, or family visit.
You must have a valid Visitor Visa before you enter Canada unless arriving by air from visa-exempt countries. In such cases, you are required to have a valid Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) before entering the country. Your Visitor Visa may be issued to cover single or multiple entries to Canada.
The single entry visa is valid for 6 months and may be used on just one occasion. Therefore if you leave the country – even before the end of the 6 month period – you will need to apply for a new visa before you can re-enter Canada.
A Multiple Entry visa is issued valid for a period of up to 10 years. This may be used for re-entry up to 1 month before your passport or Multiple Entry visa expires (whichever is the earlier).
If you wish to apply for a Visitor or Tourist Visa, we will assign you a personal account manager who will explain to you all the basic requirements as laid down by the Canadian authorities.
The Temporary Visa was designed to enable people to visit Canada for holiday, work, or study for a short period of time for an extended visit but not to work or study.
The requirements for eligibility and the possible length of stay are dependent upon each individual’s particular circumstances as well as their country of origin.
Higher education in Canada’s universities
Each year Canada issues more than 130,000 Student Visas for foreign nationals to study at its world-renowned centers of higher education.
In a recent study by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, out of 1,000 universities, Canada had 4 universities ranked in the top 100, 10 in the top 250, and 19 in the top 500. Also, Canadian universities have some of the lowest tuition fee rates in the world (starting as low as CAN $6,000 per year).
According to the International Student Survey conducted by the Canadian Bureau for International Education, over 90% of those in higher education were satisfied or very satisfied with their studies in Canada, and 95% would recommend Canada as a place to study.
If you wish to join them, we at UIS can help you apply for a Visa that allows international students to stay in Canada while pursuing a specific course or program at an approved institute of higher education.
Upon graduating, international students may apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program.
To be eligible foreign students wishing to study in Canada need to fulfill the following criteria:
- They must have already been accepted to study at an approved Canadian institution.
- They must prove that they have sufficient funds to pay for tuition fees, living expenses, and return transport after the completion of their study program
- They must provide proof (a valid police certificate) stating that they are law-abiding citizens with no criminal record and that therefore they are not a security risk to Canada.
- They must be in good health and be willing to undertake a medical examination should that be deemed to be necessary.
- They must satisfy immigration authorities that they will indeed leave Canada upon completion of the study program and their authorized stay.
In some cases, a Student Visa is not required. This is true if the course program lasts less than two months; if you are a family member or staff of a foreign representative to Canada; if you are a member of a foreign armed force.