How to move to Canada from Kenya: the basics

Learn about your different options on how to move to Canada from Kenya, including the process of application and eligibilities
How to move to Canada from Kenya: the basics

According to Statistics Canada, 3,475 immigrants arrived from Kenya between 2016 and 2021. In a statement issued in 2023, Canada said that it "values its close ties to Kenya and recognizes the tremendous economic, cultural and social benefits that Kenyans bring when they choose to immigrate to Canada.” 

If you’re looking for ways on how to move to Canada from Kenya, this article is for you. While there are many options that you can consider, this will still depend on a lot of factors and your circumstances.

This article will also discuss how a Canadian immigration lawyer can help you. While you can learn on your own, it’s still best to ask a lawyer so that things can go smoothly according to plan.

Best ways to move to Canada from Kenya

Canada offers several options for immigrants who want to settle here. As an immigrant who want to move to Canada from Kenya, here are the best options that you may want to consider:

  • through family sponsorships
  • by working in Canada
  • by studying in Canada

These options will depend on your interests, your eligibility, and the resources you have. There are also other options that an immigration lawyer can help you with if you do not fit in any of these.

To check if can use any of these options, here’s a brief discussion of each option:

Family sponsorships

Your family member who is already living in Canada can sponsor you to immigrate in the country. For this, there are specific eligibility requirements both for the sponsors and the sponsored family member.

Family sponsorships can be divided into the following categories:

  • spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner
  • dependent children
  • adopted child
  • parents and grandparents
  • relatives

All categories have the same eligibility as for the sponsors. However, the eligibility of each sponsored family member will differ from one another.

Common requirements to be a sponsor

Your Canadian sponsor must meet the following requirements set by Canada’s immigration laws:

  • they must be at least 18 years old
  • they must be:
    • a Canadian citizen
    • a Canadian permanent resident (PR)
    • a registered Indian under Canada’s Indian Act

There will also be more requirements for the sponsors, depending on who they’re sponsoring.

Process of sponsorships

You and your Canadian sponsor must both apply online:

  • the Canadian must apply to become a sponsor
  • the foreigner must apply for PR

Everything is mostly done online for these applications. You can also ask for the help of a lawyer when applying for PR so that you will not miss any important step along the way.

Moving to Canada from Kenya includes adjusting to the country’s official languages. Here’s a video to learn more about your available resources for language training:

To know more about these options on how to move to Canada from Kenya, consult with an immigration lawyer. If you’re interested to move to British Columbia (BC), hear it straight from the best immigration lawyers in British Columbia.

Working in Canada

If you’re a skilled worker, you can also consider moving to Canada from Kenya through the Express Entry system or the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Your eligibility will depend on your previous work experience and the current skills you have.

Express Entry system

Applying through Express Entry system is one of the easiest options for moving to Canada from Kenya.

This system allows you to register online to get a job invitation and a PR visa if you qualify.

Applicants will be pooled and ranked according to their eligibility. The higher your rating, the greater your chances of getting approved.

There are three programs to choose from under the Express Entry:

1. Canadian Experience Class (CEC):

  • must have at least 1 year of work experience in Canada
  • work experience must be gained within the last 3 years before application
  • take and pass the approved language tests

2. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP):

  • must have 1 year of continuous foreign work experience
  • applied job must be the same with the foreign work experience
  • work experience must be gained within the last 10 years before application
  • take and pass the approved language tests
  • must have an educational credential

3. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP):

  • must have 2 years of full-time work experience
  • work experience must be in a skilled trade set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC)
  • work experience must be gained within the last 5 years before application
  • must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or a certificate of qualification

Initially, the documents that you will need when creating your Express Entry profile are:

  • passport
  • language test results
  • educational credential assessment report (for FSWP)
  • proof of work experience
  • proof of funds

If you’re eligible, you will receive an invitation to apply for PR through the Express Entry. They will also include the added documents you may need to send related to your PR application.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Each province and territory of Canada – except for Nunavut and Québec – has its own PNP. This program is not just for skilled workers (like the CEC, FSWP, FSTP), but also for students.

Every PNP has immigration programs that target certain groups called “streams”. These streams would then have their specific set for requirements. Generally, these streams would target:

  • students
  • businesspeople
  • skilled workers

When interested, you must first choose a province you’re interested to work or study in. Then, applying for a PNP can either be:

  • through the Express Entry system
  • through the process of the province or territory

For instance, British Columbia’s PNP have the following streams:

  • Skills Immigration: for workers and recent graduates who want to work in BC
  • Entrepreneur Immigration: for businesspeople who want to open a business in BC

Studying in Canada

Foreign students can also move to Canada from Kenya by studying in a Canadian college or university.

First, you must get an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI). Then you will have to apply for a student permit.

If your learning institution allows for post-graduation work permits (PGWP), you can continue residing in Canada by finding a job and apply for PR.

How to get a job offer in Canada from Kenya

As discussed above, getting a job offer is one of the options to move to Canada from Kenya.

In most cases, your job offer must come from an employer with a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Once you get a job offer, you must update your Express Entry profile to increase your chances of being approved under the program you’re applying for.

Each Express Entry program will have its own requirements when deciding if your job offer is valid. For details on these requirements, contact a Canadian immigration lawyer.

If you’re looking for further guidance on how to move to Canada from Kenya, check out our list of the Lexpert-Ranked best immigration lawyers in Canada.