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Immigration to Canada from India: What You Need to Know

7.25 minute read
"Canada is one of the top immigration destinations for people from India for various reasons. It is a beautiful country to visit during their vacations, offers internationally recognized universities that provide top-quality education to students and also offer 80 immigration pathways for those who wish to permanently settle."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Updated on:  Jun 20, 2021
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Canada is one of the top immigration destinations for people from India for various reasons. It is a beautiful country to visit during their vacations, offers internationally recognized universities that provide top-quality education to students and also offer 80 immigration pathways for those who wish to permanently settle.

East Indians often have high success with obtaining permanent residence in Canada through the vast variety of immigration streams available to them.

Those wishing to work here find it easier to apply through the streams available under the Express Entry system

After graduation, East Indian students can also apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit if they wish to gain Canadian work experience and residency.

Canada offers much more flexibility and potential for East Indian immigrants than the United States. Canada also gives its permanent residents the benefit of living and working freely in the country and access to universal public health care and social services.

Permanent Residency is the most attractive and popular immigration status among East Indian immigrants. Permanent Residency in Canada gives immigrants the freedom to freely change employers and add accompanying family members in their initial application. 

What Are the Different Immigration Pathways Available in Canada?

There are several ways to apply for permanent residency in Canada. The most common and successful among East Indians is the federal Express Entry system. 

In 2019, East Indians received the highest Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency through the Express Entry system.

However, there are other options available to skilled workers in specific occupations. For example, several provincial and territorial immigration streams allow the immigration of foreign workers in targeted occupations in-demand in each region.

Canada has 11 active Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) that help the provinces and territories to nominate eligible candidates for permanent residence. With the exception of Nunavut and Quebec.

East Indians working in the Tech industry can benefit from the Tech Pilot PNP stream offered by British Columbia that has a growing need for skilled tech workers.

If you are fluent in the French language, then you can qualify for Quebec Immigration which operates independently from the federal government.

Canada offers immigration opportunities for semi or low-skilled workers in India too. Through immigration programs like the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, semi-skilled workers can apply for permanent residency in Canada and reside in rural communities.

East Indian entrepreneurs and investors can also qualify through various Business Immigration streams offered at the federal and provincial levels.

However, the first step for any prospective East Indian immigrant remains to identify the immigration program that you would qualify for and apply accordingly. 

This is the evaluation process. Every Canadian immigration program has specific requirements, consequently, applicants must evaluate the criteria carefully to choose the one that suits their situation and background the best. There are general pathways like Family Sponsorship programs and Study Permits that allow you to transition to permanent residency later. Even the study permit has a subset known as the Student Direct Stream (SDS). The SDS is for international students residing in India, China, the Philippines, and Vietnam who meet the eligibility criteria and wish to transition to permanent residence. The SDS offers faster processing of your study permit application.

What Are the Easiest Immigration Pathways for Permanent Residence in Canada?

The easiest pathways for East Indian immigrants who wish to transition to permanent residency in Canada are:

Federal Express Entry System: The federal Express Entry system manages applications for 3 federal economic immigration programs: 

The FSWP is the most famous among Indian foreign workers as it requires only 1 year of full-time skilled work experience. You are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in the form of your Express Entry profile. The system will assess your application based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). East Indian immigrants made up 47% of the ITAs issued through the FSWP in 2019.

What Can Delay a Canadian Immigration Application?

While Canada is known to have a generous immigration policy, there are reasons the IRCC will reject an application. The IRCC could ask for an approved medical exam. 

If an applicant has a medical condition that could put a strain on the healthcare system, then their application could be rejected based on medical inadmissibility.

If an applicant has a criminal record, then the IRCC could reject the application. This fact can surprise applicants, particularly for charges that might have occurred years ago. It’s important to ensure that any offenses have been discharged before you apply to immigrate to Canada or you could be deemed criminally inadmissible.

Incomplete applications and improper documentation can also delay an application or cause one to be rejected. Also, not accumulating sufficient points in the CRS means you will not receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

What Are the Biometric Requirements?

Currently, if you have applied or already have a permanent residence application under process, then you are not required to provide biometric information. You are also exempt if you have submitted biometric information in the last 10 years from the date of your current application.

Usually, if you are applying for a visitor visa, study or work permit, you must provide biometric information. Biometric information includes fingerprints and photographs. This information allows Canadian authorities to confirm your identity upon entering Canada.

If you are not exempt from the requirement of providing biometric information, then you are required to make an appointment at a designated Service Canada office.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) About Immigration to Canada from India

No, Quebec does not offer provincial immigration streams aligned with the Express Entry system. Quebec has a 2 step selection process: Applicants must obtain a certificate of acceptance from the Quebec government. Once you have the certificate, you can apply for permanent residency to the government body of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.


Permanent residents in Canada enjoy the same rights and privileges as Canadian citizens except for voting rights and the right to hold a Canadian passport. Unlike Canadian citizens, permanent residents can be issued a removal order for certain reasons like not meeting residency obligations and being criminally prosecuted.


You can immigrate through certain niche immigration streams such as:
Caregivers: As a professional caregiver, you can apply for permanent residency under the Home Child-Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot. The new caregiver pilot programs are employer-specific. Caregivers are allowed to change employers when necessary and add accompanying spouses, dependent children or parents and grandparents to their application.
Federal Self-Employed Persons Program: The Federal Self-Employed Persons Program is for foreign nationals who wish to work in Canada as self-employed professionals in the farming or cultural or world-class athletic fields. You must have the relevant experience and ability to establish yourself in Canada. There are also several PNP streams available for self-employed foreign nationals.
Agri-Food Immigration Pilot: The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is an industry-specific pilot that encourages economic immigration of high-skilled and semi-skilled foreign temporary non-seasonal workers to fill labor shortages in the Agriculture-Food related sector such as the meat processing and mushroom production industries.


Yes, you can immigrate to Canada without a job offer through immigration programs such as the Federal Express Entry program and certain PNP streams. An employment offer can add extra points to your application but it is not a mandatory requirement for several immigration streams.


You can visit Canada without any requirement of demonstrating language proficiency. However, if you want to immigrate to Canada through immigration streams available under the Economic Class, then you must provide test results of an approved English test like IELTS.


No, a permanent resident card works as an identification card when you are traveling back to Canada. PR cards are valid for 5 years, though they can be issued for 1 year. The expiry of your PR card does not mean the expiry of your permanent residence. You can only lose your permanent residence if you do not meet the residency obligations or are convicted of a crime and issued a removal order or you voluntarily renounce it. If you are going to be traveling abroad, then you must check the validity of your PR card. You must renew your PR card within 6 months of expiration.


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