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Migrate to Canada: The Key Requirements for Families and Students

February 24, 2024

Migrate to Canada

Thinking about Moving to Canada? A Simple Guide for Families and Students

Are you considering a move to Canada? That’s a great decision! It doesn’t matter where you’re from; living in a different country can be a wonderful experience. Currently, Canada is one of the top choices for immigrants, closely followed by the UK.

Canada has become a popular destination for both international students and job seekers. With its friendly atmosphere, diverse culture, and numerous opportunities, it provides a promising future for individuals and their families. In this guide, we will explore the essential requirements and processes for families and students planning to move to Canada.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve gathered information from individuals who have lived in both Canada and the UK.

According to Wikipedia, Canada is the 8th largest country globally, with over 21% of its population being foreign nationals. Statista reports that more than 300,000 immigrants move to Canada every year, and Ontario is the most preferred province.

If Ontario is not in your plans, no worries! There are several other provinces to choose from. In this guide, we’ll explore the best and fastest ways to move to Canada, whether you’re a family or a student.

Canada is known for its high standard of living, excellent educational institutions, and thriving job market. It is home to world-class universities and colleges that attract students from all over the world. The country also boasts a strong economy with numerous job opportunities in various sectors, making it an attractive destination for many people.

Options for Immigrating to Canada

The Canadian government has made it easier for people to move from their home country and settle in Canada permanently. There are over fourteen programs designed to simplify the immigration process. Here are the options:

6.1 Programs for Immigration to Canada

Sponsorship Programs for Parents/Grandparents

One of the most popular ways for families to immigrate to Canada is through the sponsorship programs for parents and grandparents. These programs allow Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their parents or grandparents to become permanent residents of Canada. The sponsorship process involves:

  1. Invitation to apply
  2. Online application
  3. Fee payment
  4. Document submission

It’s important to note that these programs have limited intake periods and a cap on the number of applications accepted each year.

Express Entry

For families who do not meet the requirements for the sponsorship programs or are looking for alternative pathways, Express Entry is another option to consider. Express Entry is a points-based system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage applications for permanent residency. It is designed for skilled workers who have work experience and meet certain criteria.

Through Express Entry, candidates:

  • Create a profile
  • Are placed in a pool where they are ranked based on factors such as age, education, work experience, and language proficiency
  • The highest-ranked candidates are then invited to apply for permanent residency

Express Entry is also known as the “Federal Economic Class Program.” If you qualify, you can live and work in Canada. You might even get Permanent Residency (PR).

There are different types of Express Entry programs:

  1. Canadian Express Class (CEC)
  2. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

FSWP and FSTP are popular. For FSWP, you need at least ten years of work experience in a skilled trade, management, or professional job. Technical jobs count too.

For FSTP, you need at least two years of experience in a skilled trade. You also need to meet language requirements in listening, writing, reading, and speaking.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is another pathway for families to immigrate to specific provinces in Canada. Each province has its own PNP with different eligibility criteria and streams tailored to their specific labor market needs.

The PNP allows provinces and territories to nominate individuals who have the skills and experience needed in their region. Once nominated by a province or territory, candidates can apply for permanent residency through IRCC.

Caregivers Program

Do you like helping kids or older people? In Canada, more and more seniors need assistance because they’re getting older. But often, their children are busy with work and can’t always be there for them.

That’s where the Caregivers Program comes in. It lets you move to Canada to take care of:

  • Older Canadians who need extra help
  • Children

You can even live with the people you’re caring for, instead of just visiting them during the day.

Family Class Sponsorship

Do you want to move to Canada with your family or bring them over? The Family Class Sponsorship program allows you to do just that.

With this program, you can sponsor or “bring over” your relatives to Canada. By relatives, I mean your:

  • Parents
  • Spouse (if you are married)
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings

However, the Canadian Family Class Sponsorship has a couple of conditions. For instance, sponsors (those wanting to bring their family members to the country) must be Permanent Residents. Also, you might not be able to sponsor your parents and grandparents, as this option is now exclusive to the Canadian Super Visa program.

Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers

Quebec, one of Canada’s provinces, has the authority to set its immigration policies and decide who qualifies or not.

Individuals interested in the Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers program are usually “high net worth individuals” aiming to invest in the province.

Through this program, you can settle in Quebec, run a business, and even bring your family along.

Here are the conditions:

  • Immigrants need to invest up to $1.2 million in a government-approved business.
  • The business must be interest-free.
  • Immigrants, who are also investors, must let the investment run for 5 years.

Atlantic Immigration Program

This immigration program welcomes newcomers to live in the Atlantic part of Canada. You can choose to settle in:

  • Labrador
  • New Brunswick
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Newfoundland
  • Nova Scotia

These provinces are seeking skilled immigrants to address labor gaps.

Permanent Residence Options

There are three (3) pathways to Permanent Residence (PR) for immigrants in Canada:

  • Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot: Designed for eligible skilled immigrants migrating for economic reasons.
  • Permanent Residence Pathways for Hong Kong Residents: Specifically for Hong Kong residents currently living in the country, offering two-way immigration programs.
  • Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident: If you’ve been residing in Canada temporarily, it’s time to transition to Permanent Residency (PR). This program is exclusive to temporary residents currently employed in the country, extending to both individual residents and their families.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

This initiative is for immigrants interested in residing in specific rural areas of Canada.

Refugee Claims

Feeling unsafe in your home country? Canada may consider you as a refugee. By providing essential information about your plea for asylum, the immigration service may grant you refugee status in Canada.

Start Up Visa Program

The Start Up Visa Program is a unique immigration program that targets entrepreneurs who want to establish a start-up business in Canada. To be eligible for this program, applicants must:

  • Have a qualifying business idea
  • Obtain support from a designated organization (such as an angel investor group, venture capital fund, or business incubator)
  • Meet other requirements

Successful applicants will receive a work permit and can eventually apply for permanent residency.

These are just some of the options available for families looking to immigrate to Canada. Each program has its own set of requirements and application processes, so it’s important to thoroughly research and understand the specific details before proceeding with an immigration application.

By exploring these various programs, families can find the immigration pathway that best suits their needs and aspirations. Whether it’s through sponsorship programs, Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program, or the Start Up Visa Program, Canada offers opportunities for families to build a new life and create lasting memories in this diverse and welcoming country.

Significance of Migrating to Canada for Families and Students

Migrating to Canada as a family or student can have numerous benefits:

  • For families, it provides an opportunity to ensure parental supervision and emotional support during the study period.
  • Having family members accompany the student also helps in creating a sense of familiarity and comfort in a new environment.
  • For students, studying in Canada opens doors to quality education and exposure to diverse cultures.
  • It allows them to gain valuable skills that can enhance their future career prospects.
  • Additionally, Canadian institutions provide ample support services for international students, ensuring a smooth transition into academic life.

In the following sections, we will delve into the specific requirements and processes involved in:

  1. Bringing family members to Canada as a student
  2. Obtaining study permits for dependent children
  3. Spouse/partner work permit opportunities
  4. Health insurance requirements
  5. Immigration options for families

So let’s dive in!

1. Bringing Family to Canada as a Student

Bringing your family to Canada while you pursue your education can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Not only will it provide emotional support and parental supervision during your study period, but it also allows your loved ones to explore the opportunities that Canada has to offer. In this section, we will discuss the process and advantages of bringing your family to Canada as a student.

1.1 Applying for Family Members’ Permits Simultaneously

When applying for your student visa, it is advantageous to apply for work or visitor permits for your family members at the same time. This will ensure that their permits are processed concurrently with your visa application, saving you time and effort in the long run. By including their applications in your submission, you can streamline the process and avoid any delays or complications.

Advantage of applying for work or visitor permits for family members at the same time as the student’s visa application

  • Streamlined process: Applying for permits simultaneously reduces paperwork and administrative burden.
  • Time savings: Processing all applications together can expedite the overall approval timeline.
  • Unified travel plans: Coordinating travel arrangements becomes easier when everyone receives their permits at the same time.
  • Smooth transition: Having your family with you from the start allows for a seamless integration into Canadian life.

By taking advantage of this opportunity, you can ensure that your family members are able to accompany you to Canada without any unnecessary delays or complications.

Bringing your family to Canada as a student offers numerous benefits and can enhance your overall experience. In the next section, we will explore some of these advantages in more detail.

1.2 Reasons to Bring Family

Bringing your family to Canada while you study can have many benefits and provide support for both you and your loved ones. Here are some reasons why you might consider bringing your family with you:

Parental Supervision

Having your family in Canada can be helpful, especially if you’re a younger student who could use some guidance and support along the way.

Emotional Support

Being in a new country can be tough, but having your family by your side can make it easier. They can help you adjust to your new surroundings, deal with homesickness, and navigate any challenges that come up.

Financial Considerations

Bringing your family with you will involve some costs, so it’s important to plan ahead. This includes things like visa fees for both you and your family members, as well as the documents you’ll need to support their visa applications.

Eligibility Criteria

Before you decide to bring your family, it’s important to know who is eligible to come with you. In Canada, immediate family members like spouses or dependent children may be able to join you. Understanding the rules around this can help you make an informed decision.

Work Opportunities

If your family members want to work while you study, there may be options available to them. It’s worth looking into how they can get a work permit and what kind of jobs they might be able to find.

Overall, bringing your family to Canada as a student is something that requires careful thought and planning. It’s important to consider things like their well-being, the financial impact, and what needs to be done legally before making a decision.

2. Student Visa Process and Costs

When considering studying abroad, it’s important to understand the visa process and associated costs. Let’s compare the expenses involved in obtaining a student visa for the UK and Canada.

Student Visa Cost: UK

In the United Kingdom, the cost of a Tier 4 (General) student visa is £363. This fee covers the application and processing of your visa. It’s worth noting that additional costs may arise, such as healthcare surcharges or biometric appointments, which can vary depending on individual circumstances.

Student Visa Cost: Canada

On the other hand, Canada has a slightly higher fee for its study permit. The cost of a Canadian student visa is £490. This fee covers the application itself, as well as processing fees. It’s important to note that this fee is subject to change, so it’s best to check with the official Canadian immigration website for the most up-to-date information.

Comparing the costs between the two countries, it’s clear that there is a difference in terms of visa fees. However, it’s also essential to consider other factors such as living expenses, tuition fees, and potential job opportunities when making a decision about where to study.

Understanding the financial implications of obtaining a student visa is crucial in planning your educational journey abroad. It’s advisable to thoroughly research and budget for all associated costs to ensure a smooth transition and avoid any financial surprises along the way.

3. Travel Documents and Requirements for Family Members

Different types of travel documents that family members may need when accompanying a student to Canada include:

  1. Temporary Residency Permits: These permits are required for family members who will be residing in Canada temporarily. They allow individuals to stay in the country for a specific period and are often necessary for extended visits.
  2. Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): This is a requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals who are flying to or transiting through Canada. It is electronically linked to an individual’s passport and is valid for up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.

Ensuring that family members have the appropriate travel documents is crucial to avoid any issues or delays when entering Canada. It’s essential to carefully review the specific requirements based on the family members’ citizenship and intended duration of stay in Canada.

4. Study Permits for Dependent Children

When migrating to Canada as a student, it’s important to consider the study permits for dependent children. The Canadian government recognizes the importance of education for children and provides exemptions for child study permits at different levels of schooling.

Exemptions at Different School Levels

Children who are attending pre-school, primary school, or secondary school in Canada are exempt from requiring a study permit. This means that if you are bringing your family to Canada and your child is enrolled in any of these levels of schooling, they do not need a separate study permit. This exemption makes the process simpler and more convenient for families.

Specific Documentation Requirements

While a study permit may not be necessary for children at the pre-school, primary school, and secondary school levels, there are still specific documentation requirements that you need to fulfill:

  • Immunization Records: It is essential to provide up-to-date immunization records for your child. These records ensure that your child meets the health and safety standards set by Canadian authorities. Keeping immunization records handy will facilitate the enrollment process for your child.
  • Birth Certificate: You will also need to provide a copy of your child’s birth certificate as proof of their age and identity. This document is crucial in confirming your child’s eligibility for enrollment in Canadian schools.

By understanding the exemptions and documentation requirements for dependent children, you can ensure a smooth transition for your family when moving to Canada as a student. However, it’s important to note that if your child is planning to attend post-secondary education in Canada, they will require their own study permit.

5. Spouse/Partner’s Work Permit Duration and Opportunities

The duration of the work permit for spouses/partners is the same as the student’s study period. This means they can work for the entire time that the student is studying. It’s a great opportunity for full-time students to help their spouse/partner get a work permit, which can help support the family financially while they’re in Canada.

Why is the work permit duration aligned with the student’s study period?

Canada understands how important it is for international students to have their families with them while they study. That’s why they made this policy. Here are a few reasons why it’s beneficial:

  • No need for extra work permit extensions: By making the work permit duration match the student’s study period, spouses/partners don’t have to worry about applying for extensions.
  • Easier employment opportunities: With a valid work permit, spouses/partners can look for jobs in Canada without any restrictions.

How can students help their spouse/partner with the work permit process?

As a full-time student, you can play an active role in helping your spouse/partner apply for a work permit. Here are some ways you can assist:

  1. Gather necessary documents: Find out what documents are needed for the work permit application and help your spouse/partner gather them.
  2. Understand the requirements: Familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria and legal requirements for obtaining a work permit in Canada.
  3. Provide support during the application: Offer assistance during the application process, such as reviewing forms and double-checking information.

Benefits of spouses/partners working in Canada

When spouses/partners have the opportunity to work while in Canada, it brings several advantages:

  • Personal and professional growth: Working in a new country can be a valuable experience for career development and acquiring new skills.
  • Financial stability: Having an additional source of income can help alleviate financial pressures and enhance the overall well-being of the family.
  • Integration into Canadian society: Employment provides a chance to connect with others, build networks, and become more integrated into the local community.

Canada’s commitment to supporting international students and their families

This policy reflects Canada’s dedication to creating a welcoming environment for international students and their families. By offering practical solutions like aligned work permit durations, the country aims to make the immigration journey smoother for everyone involved.

6. Health Insurance and Financial Requirements for Family Members

The process of migrating to Canada as a family or student involves several important considerations, including the necessity of providing health insurance coverage for accompanying family members and demonstrating proof of sufficient funds to support their stay in the country.

Dependent Health Insurance

When bringing family members to Canada, it is crucial to ensure that they have access to adequate health insurance coverage. This is particularly important during the initial period of settling in a new country, as it provides essential financial protection in the event of unexpected medical expenses.

Proof of Adequate Funds

In addition to health insurance, applicants are typically required to demonstrate that they have the financial means to support their family’s stay in Canada. This may involve providing evidence of savings, income, or other financial resources that can cover living expenses, accommodation, and other essential needs.

By addressing these health insurance and financial requirements for family members, individuals can effectively prepare for the practical aspects of relocating to Canada while ensuring the well-being and stability of their loved ones.

Benefits of Immigrating to Canada

High Living Standards

Canada is renowned for its high quality of life, offering a safe and welcoming environment for families and students. From affordable housing options to a strong education system, Canada provides a conducive atmosphere for personal and professional growth.

Abundant Job Opportunities

As a thriving economy, Canada presents a myriad of career prospects across various industries. Whether you’re an experienced professional or a fresh graduate, the job market in Canada is diverse and dynamic, catering to a wide range of skill sets and expertise.

Medical/Healthcare Facilities

Access to comprehensive healthcare is a fundamental right in Canada. The country boasts a robust healthcare system that ensures individuals and families receive quality medical attention without financial burden. From preventive care to specialized treatments, Canada prioritizes the well-being of its residents with universal healthcare coverage.

By choosing Canada as your new home, you can benefit from these compelling advantages – high living standards, ample job opportunities, and reliable healthcare facilities. This makes Canada an appealing destination for those seeking a prosperous and fulfilling life abroad.


When considering a move to Canada as a student or with your family, it’s important to be well-informed about the process and requirements involved. Thorough research and professional guidance can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth transition and successful application.

Here are some key points to remember:

  • Benefits of moving to Canada: Canada offers significant benefits for families and students alike, including high living standards, abundant job opportunities, and a comprehensive healthcare system.
  • Importance of understanding requirements: From understanding the visa processes to preparing the necessary documentation, every step is crucial in making your migration to Canada a seamless experience.
  • Unique situations: Each family’s situation is unique, so seeking personalized advice and support can greatly contribute to a successful migration process.
  • Exploring immigration programs: Take the time to explore the various immigration programs and opportunities available to you as a student or family looking to make Canada your new home.

By familiarizing yourself with the key requirements and options available for families and students, you can make informed decisions that pave the way for a fulfilling experience in Canada. Remember, thorough research and professional guidance are essential throughout the application process.

Good luck on your journey to Canada!

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