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How to immigrate to Canada?

If you wish to immigrate to Canada, you must apply through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

There are different permanent residence programs that allow you to immigrate to Canada and the path to your Canadian immigration is unique to each person.

How to apply?

Immigration applications must be sent to IRCC offices either inside or outside Canada, along with applicable processing fees. An immigration officer will evaluate your file based on specific requirements and regulations. If your application is likely to be approved, you will then be required to meet health and security checks.

Express Entry (Skilled Workers)

Express Entry attracts and admits the largest number of economic immigrants. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched in January 2015 a system called Express Entry in order to manage immigration applications for permanent residence under the following economic programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

  • A portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)


Expression of interest (EOI) and Invitation to Apply (ITA)

If you meet the eligibility criteria of one of these immigration programs, you must first create an Express Entry profile (EOI) in order to declare your interest in applying for Canadian permanent residence. In general, the selection criteria in any of the Express Entry programs are based on age, ability to communicate in English or French, work experience, level of education, and if any, validated job offer, relatives in Canada and spouse's language ability. 

If eligible, your Express Entry (EE) profile will be placed in a pool of applications where potential candidates are ranked according to points awarded for their personal and professional qualities such as age, level of education, official languages proficiency in English or French, work experience in Canada or overseas as well as factors such as valid job offer, spouse or CL partner credentials, siblings in Canada, provincial nomination, Canadian diploma etc. After being ranked against others in the pool, you will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. About every two weeks, IRCC conducts Express Entry draws from the pool to invite the highest ranking candidates to apply for permanent residence. The CRS score is used as a cut-off point in Express Entry draws. If you receive an Invitation to Apply, you will be able to apply for permanent residence online.

Provincial Nominee Programs

If you know which Canadian province you want to settle in, you can apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system or directly in one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP).

Some provinces may also use Express Entry to select candidates from the Express Entry Pool and invite them to apply for a provincial nomination from one of the provincial nominee programs. If you obtain a provincial nomination, you will receive 600 additional CRS points and an ITA at a subsequent draw from the pool.

Family sponsorship

This program allows a Canadian or permanent resident of Canada to bring family members living abroad by sponsoring their applications for permanent residence. Family members who can be sponsored include the spouse, de facto or Common-Law spouse, dependent children, parents, grandparents and adopted children. 

Some other family members can be sponsored under special circumstances, such as the ''lonely Canadian''who has no other relative in Canada, and no other relative living abroad who is eligible to be sponsored.


Self-employed program

This program is aimed at workers who intend to create their own employment in Canada. Depending on the province in which the self-employed worker wishes to establish (Quebec or elsewhere in Canada), the selection criteria differs. 

If applying through the federal selection process, you must have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics or have experience in farm management, and intend and be able to buy and manage a farm in Canada.


Caregivers program

This program is addressed to individuals who are qualified to provide care for children, elderly persons or persons with disabilities in private homes. If approved, you will initially receive a work permit. Some caregivers are also able to apply for permanent residence.


Entrepreneur program

This program is addressed to business managers or owners who intend to become active owners or managers of a Canadian company or contribute to job creation and prosperity of the Canadian economy. Selection processes exist through the provincial nominee programs or the Quebec program.




Quebec immigration is a popular choice for foreign nationals who wish to live in Quebec and obtain Canadian Permanent Residency. Similarly to its federal counterpart, the province of Quebec offers various immigration programs.



Quebec Skilled Worker program (QSW via ARRIMA portal)

In order to qualify under QSWP, you must earn the pass mark points based on selection factors such as education, work experience, age, French and English language proficiency, your spouse or CL spouse`s attributes and dependent children, if any. You are not required to have a job offer from a Quebec employer to apply.

The minimum passmark for single applicants is 50 points and 59 points for a married or common law couple. Your spouse, common-law partner, and any dependent children may be included in your application.  

Since September 2018, applicants wishing to immigrate under the Quebec Skilled Worker program must complete an Expression of Interest online profile via the Arrima portal.   Similarly to the federal Express Entry system, applicants must wait to receive an Invitation to Apply in order to be able to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).


Quebec experience program (PEQ)

If you are at least 18 years old, have worked for at least 12 months or studied full-time in Quebec for an eligible Quebec diploma, you may qualify for the Quebec Experience program. It gets priority processing from the Ministère de l'Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion (MIDI) and its posted processing time does not exceed one month to obtain CSQ. Of all the Quebec immigration programs, this program is the fastest and the simplest provided that you meet its program requirements.


Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)

This program is addressed to business managers or owners who intend to become permanent residents of Canada by investing a considerable amount into the Quebec economy. You must have a net worth of $2,000,000 Canadian dollars obtained legally and have business or management experience of at least two years in the five years preceding the application for a Quebec selection certificate. You must intend to settle in Québec and sign an agreement to invest $C1,200,000 with a financial intermediary (broker or trust company)for a period of 5 years, after which your investment is refunded to you without interest. Brokers and trust companies offer the possibility of financing the investment of $C1,200,000.

Quebec immigration process

To immigrate to Quebec, you must go through the following two-step immigration process:

1- Firstly, you must be selected by the Quebec immigration authorities (Ministère de l'immigration, diversité et de l'inclusion culturelles (MIDI). 

A Quebec Certificat de Sélection (CSQ) will be issued to selected applicants.

2- Secondly, once a CSQ is obtained, you must file an application for permanent residence to the Government of Canada.


The visa office will evaluate medical records and conduct security checks before issuing permanent residence visas.
We strongly suggest that candidates wishing to be selected by the Quebec immigration authorities consider learning French language as it would not only improve their immigration applications but also increase their chances of finding adequate employment in Quebec.

French courses are offered in many major cities in the world mainly at French language institutes of the “Alliance Francaise”.


Since our immigration law firm is based in Montreal (Quebec), we are ideally located to process Quebec immigration applications.

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Our services include:

  • Visitor visa

  • Super Visa

  • Canadian Study Permit

  • Post Graduation Work Permit

  • LMIA-based work permit

  • Open work permit

  • LMIA-exempt work permit (Mobilité francophone, Intra-company transfers ICT, business visitors, Working Holiday Visa (WHV), Young Professionals, International Coop Internship etc. )

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In general, Citizenship and Immigration Canada as well as its immigration agencies do not provide immigration counseling services to prospective immigrants.

In some instances, you may apply on your own for simple Canadian immigration matters but even in such cases, seeking advices from an experienced immigration attorney is advisable. 

Indeed, even relatively simple matters involving immigration issues can become problematic. Many people erroneously think that applying for Canadian immigration is simple and is just a matter of completing some forms. However, some people who attempted to file their applications themselves discovered that even simple mistakes in the completion of the immigration forms or an error in the interpretation of the law by an immigration officer may result in serious consequences. 

Nowadays Canadian immigration law is quite intricate and changes frequently. Under the current rules, Canada imposes quotas on the number of people allowed in the country, the type of individuals who are welcome, the length and conditions of their stay, and when they can be forcibly removed. 


Immigration lawyers, like all lawyers, must adhere to high ethical and professional standards. An immigration lawyer must stay abreast with the latest immigration news development. Your immigration attorney can advise you on all aspects of the immigration laws and explain all options available to you while assisting you in making the right choices. Immigration is a life changing decision, make sure you choose the right attorney to help you through the process. 

Our firm practice rigorous professional standards and when preparing an immigration application, we strongly believe that it is crucial to do it right the first time.



Do you want to immigrate or work/study in Canada? Immigrating to a new country is a life-changing decision and we are committed to finding the solutions you need in order to make your transition to Canada stress-free. Our law firm, based in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) has extensive experience in helping thousands of clients obtaining the results they want for their immigration needs, whether it is permanent residence or temporary residence in Canada.


In addition to providing immigration services to individuals, we also offer our services to immigration firms and law firms in the following context:

  • For immigration firms that are overloaded with work and seek our contribution or additional expertise; 

  • For firms who hold little or no expertise in Canadian immigration law and who seek our assistance in the execution of their immigration cases.

At all times, we preserve the confidentiality of information transmitted to us and we ensure compliance with the privileged relationship between the firm and its clients with respect to all legal services provided. We do not place ourselves in conflicts of interest nor in competition with our collaborators.

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" I worked with Sue on Quebec Immigrant Investor files. She was always very professional, hard working and dedicated to the success of my investor files. She provided outstanding services which resulted in the acceptance and success of all my files. "

L. Xie, Immigration Consultant

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