How to move to Canada from Pakistan

Interested in options on how to move to Canada from Pakistan? This article will discuss those options and some of their costs
How to move to Canada from Pakistan

According to the 2021 census by StatCan, there were around 234,110 immigrants in Canada whose place of birth was Pakistan. This number of immigrants is expected to increase as Canada continues to offer many opportunities for foreign workers and international students from various countries.

Hopeful Pakistanis who want to work or study in Canada may wonder how to move to Canada from Pakistan. While there are many options available for Pakistanis, these would depend on one’s circumstances.

Moving to Canada from Pakistan

Canada’s immigration laws offer several options when moving to Canada from Pakistan, as with any foreign nationals.

Here are some of the most popular ways to move to Canada from Pakistan:

  1. Family sponsorship
  2. Express Entry
  3. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  4. Study Permit

These options are briefly explained below. For a more detailed explanation and evaluation of one’s case, consult with an immigration lawyer in Canada.

1. Family sponsorship

One can immigrate to Canada from Pakistan through family sponsorships. To become a sponsor, a person must be:

  • at least 18 years old
  • either a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or registered Indian under Canada’s Indian Act

Family members who can be sponsored are:

  • spouse
  • common-law partner
  • conjugal partner
  • dependent children
  • parents or grandparents
  • other relatives

To apply for family sponsorship, the sponsor will have to apply online. At the same time, the sponsored family member/s must also apply for permanent residence. Applicants may also ask for the help of an immigration lawyer for guidance.

This video offers important pointers to anyone moving to Canada, whether from Pakistan or elsewhere:

Before moving to Canada, consult an immigration lawyer in the province you’d like to settle in. If you’re planning to immigrate to Alberta – the 2nd province with the greatest number of Pakistanis - reach out to a Lexpert-Ranked best immigration lawyer in Alberta.

2. Express Entry

Immigration applications from skilled workers are processed by Canada’s government through the Express Entry system.

Workers who want to move to Canada from Pakistan can use this system, which is easier and faster compared to others.

Under Express Entry, there are 3 immigration programs that skilled workers can choose from:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): for foreign workers with foreign work experience
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): for foreign workers who are qualified in a specific skilled trade
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC): for foreign workers who have had work experience in Canada in the last three years

Express Entry is also used by other streams under the PNP. This will be stated by the province or territory on their website.

3. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Except for Nunavut and Quebec (which has a different PNP-like program), every province and territory in Canada has its own PNP.

Whether for studying or for work, the PNP is also another fast and easy way to move to Canada from Pakistan.

PNP streams

Each PNP has its own “streams” that Pakistanis can choose from when applying. It usually targets certain groups and provides specific requirements for that group.

Generally, these streams target groups such as:

  • students
  • businesspeople
  • skilled or semi-skilled workers

For example, in Ontario – where majority of Pakistanis have settled in – its PNP is called the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The OINP offers the following streams:

  • For those who have a job offer from a Canadian employer:
    • Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker
    • Employer Job Offer: International Student
    • Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills
  • For students who graduated from a school or university in Ontario:
    • Master's Graduate
    • PhD Graduate
  • For skilled workers:
    • Human Capital Priorities
    • Skilled Trades
    • French-Speaking Skilled Worker

Each stream has its unique qualifications. For details, check with an immigration lawyer in that province/territory or check the official website of the PNP.

Applying for the PNP

There are two ways that interested immigrants can choose when applying for any PNP:

  • Express Entry process: when applying for any of the three programs managed through Express Entry (FSWP, FSTP, CEC)
  • Non-Express Entry process: when applying for a stream under PNP of a province or territory

4. Study Permit

Pakistanis may also move to Canada by applying to be a student.

First, they will have to get a study permit to do so. After graduating, they can then work in Canada through a work permit and later apply for permanent residency through an immigration lawyer.

Applying for a Study Permit

There’s the regular process of applying for a student permit, which have the following steps:

  • get a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • get an attestation letter from the province or territory of the DLI
  • prepare proof of identity and proof of financial support
  • submit these documents and apply either online or on paper

Pakistanis have an additional option when applying for a student permit, which is through the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

The SDS is a faster process offered to international students who come from specific countries, which include Pakistan. To be eligible, the applicant must be a legal resident living in these countries. Otherwise, they must apply through the regular process.

Under the SDS, the documents required are like the regular process. Pakistanis would have to create and account and submit documents online.

How much money is needed to immigrate to Canada from Pakistan?

The money needed to move to Canada from Pakistan will depend on these factors:

  • cost of living in the province or territory
  • how many family members are coming
  • the option chosen by the individual or family to immigrate to Canada

For example, the proof of funds required for Express Entry for a family of five is $28,994.

Proof of funds (Express Entry)

When applying under the Express Entry, proof of funds is only required when moving to Canada from Pakistan through FSWP and FSTP. Other than these, there’s no need to submit proof of funds when immigrating to Canada, such as through the CEC or when a foreign worker has a valid job offer.

Proof of funds differs from the application fees needed when applying through the other immigration options.

Learn more about how to move to Canada from Pakistan by reaching out to the best immigration lawyers in Canada as ranked by Lexpert.