How to Immigrate from Pakistan to Canada in 2023
In 2019, Pakistan was the fifth-largest source of permanent residents for Canada and the two countries share a close relationship.
Pakistani nationals first began immigrating to Canada in the 1900s and it still remains a top destination for Pakistanis looking to start a new chapter of their life.
The Express Entry online system for immigrating to Canada processes applications as quickly as six months. The applicant creates a profile to apply for Permanent Residence (PR) status and completes the sections, resulting in points being awarded to each category of the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
The goal of the point system is to forecast the likelihood of the applicant succeeding in their life in Canada if they were to be granted permanent resident status. Factors taken into consideration for the evaluation are: the applicant’s previous work experience, training, knowledge, and what they have to offer socially and economically. The Government of Canada extends an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent resident status to candidates scoring the highest number of total points.
Pakistani nationals wishing to immigrate to Canada may want to consider the following Express Entry programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Class
- Canadian Experience Class
- Provincial Nomination Program
- Family Class
Pakistani Community in Canada
Immigration from Pakistan to Canada began in the early 1900s, and continued in small numbers throughout the 20th century. Following the 1976 revision of the Immigration Act, immigration from Pakistan increased, and between 2001 and 2011 the Pakistani immigrant population increased from 79,315 to 156,860. Pakistanis are now one of the largest foreign-born population groups in Canada, most being Punjabis, Kashmiris, Sindhis, Balochis, or Muhajirs.
Pakistani immigrants are one of the biggest immigrant groups in Canada, with large Pakistani populations being found in British Colombia to Quebec to Toronto, Ontario. The commercial centre of Toronto's Pakistani community can be found on Gerrard Street East in East York. A Sizable Pakistani population resides in this area, and is home to couple of Pakistani restaurants and stores. Popular days to visit the street are during Easter, Christmas, Halloween and Hanukkah.
From 2015 to 2019, a total of 50,580 Pakistani permanent residents were admitted in Canada.
Visa Office in Islamabad, Pakistan
The Islamabad Visa Passport Immigration Office is the best embassy to submit your immigration applications to in order to immigrate to Canada from Pakistan. It is located inIslamabad, Pakistan.
How Can I Immigrate to Canada from Pakistan?
If you are looking to immigrate from Pakistan to Canada, there are a lot of ways, fortunately.
Some of those include:
- Parental Sponsorship
- Spousal Sponsorship
- Federal Skilled Worker
- Provincial Nominee Program
- Federal Immigrant Self-Employed Program
- Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program
- Quebec Investor Program
- Student Direct Stream
- Startup Visa Program
To become a Canadian permanent resident, one must choose and submit an application based on eligibility. An applicant may be eligible to immigrate as worker, as a refugee, or be sponsored by family members already in Canada. Depending on your eligibility and reason for moving to Canada, you may choose to immigrate through a variety of programs.
The Best Ways to Move to Canada From Pakistan
Nationals from Pakistan enjoy coming to Canada as visitors and to apply to become permanent residents, whether to see family, friends, or view the country’s great landscapes and friendly people.
If you need help during the difficult application process to immigrate to Canada, My Visa Source is always here for you, whether you want to call us toll-free or take our one minute Online Assessment.
If you have any skills and a professional background, you might want to have a closer look at the programs that are processed under the express entry system. These programs include:
- Canadian Experience Class – if you have at least a year of full-time Canadian work experience in the last 3 years;
- Federal Skilled Trades Class – if you are skilled in a trade listed in the NOC & have at least 2 years of recent full-time Canadian experience in the last 5 years;
- Provincial Nominee Program – if you want to settle in a certain province or city;
- Federal Skilled Worker Program – if none of the above fit your case.
Provincial Nominee Program
The PNP or Provincial Nominee Program is just like the Federal Skilled Worker Program but is controlled by the provinces.
Each province chooses the candidates based on their own PNP requirements, criteria, and parameters. So the program of one province differs from another in many aspects.
Each year, Canadian provinces set a target on the number of immigrants they will allow under the PNP program. If you are selected under PNP by a province, you can start living and working there. You may also relocate with your spouse and family to Canada under PNP.
Allowing provinces and territories to select their own immigration candidates based on their own economic needs, the Federal Government allocates an immigration quota to each province and territory. The Provincial Nominee Program gives applicants an opportunity to apply through the province rather than through a federal program (such as the FSW, FST or CEC).
There are 12 provinces/territories offering their own, independent, immigration programs and streams. The criteria and eligibility requirements vary for each, depending on their economic needs and the industries in which they need to fill shortages. Each province/territory offers anywhere from 3-8 immigration streams.
While there are over 50 PNP streams, they can be broken down into the following categories.
International Student Streams – This category of streams allows nationals from Pakistan, who have recently graduated from a Canadian college/university, to apply to permanently reside in the province. Please note that most International Student Streams candidates require a job offer post-graduation.
Express Entry Streams – This category of streams is for applicants from Pakistan who have already created an Express Entry profile. The applicant must approach the province or territory where they wish to immigrate to, expressing their interest. If the province or territory approves the application, the application will be allocated an additional 600 CRS points, improving the overall ranking significantly. Based on the score compared to other applicants, the province or territory then sends the top-scoring applicants an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for PR status, nominating them to be a “Candidate” of their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
Semi-Skilled Streams – This category of streams allows for the province or territory to bring foreign nationals to Canada who are semi-skilled in occupations that fall under NOC Levels C and D. While Level C jobs usually require completion of high school and job-specific training (i.e., industrial butchers, long-haul truck drivers, and food/beverage servers), Level D jobs usually provide on-the-job training (i.e., fruit pickers, cleaning staff, oil field workers). This helps the province fill shortages in semi-skilled occupations.
Entrepreneur/Business Streams – This category of streams is for entrepreneurs or investors from Pakistan, looking to create a new business or invest into one of Canada’s provincial or territorial businesses. The eligibility criteria require:
- A minimum net worth
- A minimum investment
- Creation of a minimum amount of full-time Canadian jobs
The amounts for each criterion vary according to the province or territory being applied to.
After the Pakistani national has been nominated by the province or territory, they become “Candidates” and can apply for permanent residency with IRCC. This application must be submitted online or by paper depending on the immigration stream.
Other Federal Immigration Programs
Other federal immigration options for Pakistani immigrants include:
Parental Sponsorship is a program designed for allowing parents or grandparents to get permanent residence in Canada.
To do that, you need to have a sponsor (child or grandchild) who is living in Canada and is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident as well.
Your sponsor also needs to be at least 18 years old.
Also, it is required that your sponsor will financially support you and that you would not need any type of social assistance from the Canadian government.
This program is designed to sponsor your spouse, partner, or dependent child to get Canadian citizenship.
The requirements for this, again, are the same.
You need to:
- be at least 18 years of old
- financially support the people you are sponsoring
- make sure the people you are sponsoring will need no assistance from the Canadian government
Some of the things you need to financially help the people you’re sponsoring with include food, clothing, shelter and other needs for everyday living.
Federal Skilled Worker
The Federal Skilled Worker program is designed to allow professionals from all over the world to become Canadian permanent residents.
It is done using the Express Entry route, a draw system that manages the applications of people from all over the world who are looking to immigrate to Canada.
It is using this way that a lot of our Pakistanis immigrate to Canada from Pakistan.
If you are unaware of the system and how it works then know that it is a points-based system that assigns points to the profiles of applicants.
Points are assigned based on several factors that include age, education, working experience, language proficiency, and adaptability.
Applicants with more points are invited first for immigration, followed by applicants with lower points.
Federal Immigrant Self-Employed Program
If you are looking to move to Canada as a self-employed person, you can do so using their Federal Immigrant Self-Employed Program.
To be able to qualify for this program, you must:
- have at least 2 years of relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics
- be able to contribute to the cultural activities or athletics life of Canada
Your 2 years of relevant experience must be during the 5 years before your application for the Federal Immigrant Self-Employed Program.
You also need to have passed your medical exams.
Police certificates are also required for you to apply.
Also, you need to pass the selection criteria of this program as well, in order to qualify.
Selection is made based on:
- language abilities
It is also required to show that you have enough money to support yourself in Canada.
Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program
If you are looking to own and manage a business in Quebec, the Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program can help.
However, you need to have at least 5 years of business experience in a profitable business.
Also, you need to have a minimum net worth of CAD 900,000.
If you are selected for the program, you will need to make a security deposit of CAD 200,000, serving as insurance that the business will be created when you move to Quebec.
Your application will take into account other important factors as well, such as age, language proficiency, education, and financial self-sufficiency.
Quebec Immigrant Investor Program
This program allows investors from all over the world looking to move to Quebec. To qualify, you need to have a net worth of CAD 2 million including the assets of your spouse (if applicable).
You must give a one-time non-refundable cost of CAD 320,000 to the Quebec Government.
Last but not least, you need to have 2 years of management or business experience.
Study in Canada
Canada is one of the world’s leading destinations for international students, hosting more than 600,000 students from all over the world. International students are attracted to Canadian schools for their high quality of education; opportunities to work during the school year, academic breaks, and after graduation; as well as the pathways to permanent residency that become available to international student graduates.
There are more than 1,500 Designated Learning Institutions in Canada, which accept international students. Graduates of these institutions may be able to go on to get an open work permit, and stay in Canada for up to three years after graduation.
In order to study in Canada, you first need to be accepted to a Canadian school. Once you get your letter of acceptance, you can then apply for a study permit.
After graduation, international students may be able to stay in Canada for up to three years (depending on the length of the study program) on a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). To be eligible, international students must have studied full time in person for at least eight months. Those who studied online between the spring of 2020 and August 2022 can still use that time toward PGWP eligibility.
Student Direct Stream
Students from Pakistan who wish to study in Canada may be eligible to get a study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream (SDS).
Canada aims to process all SDS study permit applications in 20 days.
To submit an application for a Canadian study permit through the SDS, you must:
- provide a copy of a letter of acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution;
- present a confirmation document for your upfront medical exam;
- prove that you have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000
- prove that tuition fees for the first year of study are paid;
- show proof that you either completed studies at a Canadian curriculum high school or show proof of a language test results demonstrating an IELTS score of 6 in English or NCLC 7 for French; and
- submit the application at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).
If you are approved, you will get a letter of introduction and a temporary resident visa to come to Canada. You will then present it to a visa officer upon arrival in Canada.
Pakistani citizens cannot be residing in another country at the time of applying for a study permit through the SDS program.
Canadian Work Permits
In order to work in Canada, you usually need a work permit. Certain people who are coming to Canada for work but not enter the labour market may be eligible to work without a work permit, but these are special circumstances.
Canadian work permits are divided into two broad programs: the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). The main difference from the worker’s perspective is that TFWP permits require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) whereas IMP work permits do not. It is the employer’s responsibility to complete the LMIA, as it shows the federal government that hiring a certain foreign worker will have a neutral or positive impact on the Canadian labour market. IMP work permits do not require LMIAs as the work that the employees do through them adds a significant benefit to the country, or is part of a reciprocal agreement between Canada and another country.
An example of an LMIA-exempt work permit would be an Intra Company Transfer for those who work in multi-national companies. For the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, one example might be the Global Talent Stream.
Intra-Company Transfers may be an option for companies that have a location in Pakistan and Canada. Executives, managers, and staff with specialized knowledge who work for multi-national companies may be able to move from Pakistan to work at a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada.
ICT work permits are initially valid for one year and may be eligible for renewal. Both the company and the transferee must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the ICT. For example, employees must have been continuously employed (via payroll or a contract) by the company that plans to transfer them to Canada in a similar full-time position for at least one year in the three-year period immediately preceding the date of the initial application. The company itself must already be doing business in Canada.
There are separate criteria for start-ups. Namely, start ups need to demonstrate the company can financially support the start-up costs of the operation and has the ability to compensate employees, among other criteria.
Global Talent Stream
Tech workers may be eligible for two-week work permit processing through the Global Talent Stream. In order to be eligible, workers either need to be hired by a Canadian employer that has a designated referral partner, or going to work in an in-demand tech occupation.
Eligible tech occupations include computer information systems managers, computer engineers, mathematicians, information systems analysts and consultants, among others.
How to Apply for Canadian Immigration From Pakistan
The best way to immigrate to Canada will entirely depend on your goals. There are more than 100 immigration pathways available. Choosing one is like finding the right key to a lock. We are going to focus on some of the most popular permanent residence pathways, and a few temporary residence options that help you get to Canada while increasing your chances of a successful immigration story.
To apply, you will need to go to your nearest embassy and fill out the necessary paperwork. My Visa Source can help guide you through this process.
How My Visa Source Can Help with Canadian Immigration For Pakistani Citizens
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Canadian Immigration For Pakistani Citizens FAQs
To be able to apply for a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa through the Express Entry program, you must be able to clear the 67 points eligibility system. In this system, you will be awarded points out of a total of 100 points based on your credentials like age, educational qualifications, adaptability, etc. If you get a minimum of 67 points, you can then create your profile in the express entry program.
Yes, if a Pakistani citizen applies for permanent residence in Canada, you can apply for Canadian citizenship later on.
The amount of money you need to immigrate to Canada from Pakistan is entirely dependent on the immigration pathway you choose. For example, if you are looking to immigrate as a self-employed person to Canada from Pakistan, you will need to pay your application processing fee ($1,050) and right of permanent residence fee ($490).
To find out which immigration pathway is best for your needs, call My Visa Source toll-free at 1-866-797-6102 or take less than a minute to fill out our Online Assessment for Your Visa Options.