Canada welcomes applications for permanent residency from African nationals with skills or a profession considered beneficial to the economy. South Africa and Nigeria are among the most popular countries in Africa for immigrants to Canada.
There are currently more than 100 pathways to immigration in Canada. The most popular routes used are those within the Federal Skilled Immigration pathway. These are as follows:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
Additionally, persons wishing to immigrate who have family already permanently resident in Canada can apply via the Family Class Sponsorship route.
Other methods include the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) which are administered by the various provinces of Canada. If a province considers a nominee to be of value to the economy and community, they can nominate that person for permanent residence application in the province.
Note that Quebec is considered separately from all other provinces. Candidates wishing to immigrate to Quebec should do so via the Quebec Experience Class pathway.
Following is a brief outline of each of the three main pathways:
- FSWP – this route is for persons who have a particular skill or profession that Canada considers to be of benefit to the economy.
- CEC – foreigners who are already working in Canada on a temporary work visa, or who have worked in the country in the previous three years for at least a year, may apply via the CNC pathway.
- FSTP – the FSTP pathway is for applicants who have a job offer from a Canadian employer for a year or more of paid work, or who have a relevant certificate of qualification for a recognized skilled position.
Each of the above will be subject to the Express Entry process.
Express Entry Explained
Canada currently has a multi-year immigration plan. Most routes go through the Express Entry process. This is to enable completion as quickly as possible. The first step for a candidate is to establish eligibility for permanent residence. This can be done using a free online assessment form.
Next, the candidate needs to complete a profile for submission to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The profile includes information on work experience, the candidate’s age and marital status, education, and language proficiency.
The profile is scored according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The cut-off score is revised and regularly published by the Canadian Government. As there are a lot of applications each year, the high-scoring profiles are put into the Express Entry Pool. A selection of entries is drawn from the pool every couple of weeks. These applicants will be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and may start the full application process right away.
The application process involves filling in a detailed application and supplying documents including birth certificate, valid passport, recent photographs, and more. Once all have been checked, the application for permanent residence should be completed within 6 months.
Applicants who wish to reside and work in Quebec should apply via the Quebec Government’s own schemes. For this and for PNP’s the federal government still has the final word.
African applicants are advised to check with their local Canadian immigration office for any further official documents that may be necessary to enable the application.