People immigrate for many reasons. Some for career development, others for a more peaceful setting where they can thrive. One of the most common questions that Canadian Immigration hopefuls ask is, "How much does it cost to immigrate to Canada?"
Now, this is a critical question. In fact, it is as important as whether or not you qualify to move to Canada or which programs you are eligible for. No one wants to start the immigration application process only to find out halfway through that you do not have enough funds. So In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the most budget-savvy immigration options for Canada in 2023 to help you find the best option.
The Costs That Come With Immigrating to Canada
Hundreds of thousands move to the Great White North each year. According to Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) latest immigration targets, the country plans to welcome 465,000 newcomers this year alone. 2024, on the other hand, will see 485,000 newcomers, while 500,000 newbies will touch down on Canadian soil in 2025.
If you plan on becoming one of the many newcomers to Canada soon, you should be aware that finding the right immigration visa or program can be tricky. This is especially so when you're not only trying to juggle your day-to-day expenses but also looking toward the future and how that may positively affect your financial circumstances.
Moving abroad, however, is costly. Apart from government application fees and mandatory settlement funds required for most economic immigration programs, there's the cost of flights, accommodation, shipping costs, and, if you choose to use an immigration professional, legal fees too. Additional costs include:
- Medical Examinations
- Police clearance
- Educational Credential Assessments (ECA)
- Language testing
- Net Worth verification
- Document translation
What are some of the cheapest ways to immigrate to Canada? Let's take a look.
PNPs With Zero Application Processing Fees
Yes, there are Provincial Nominee programs that do not charge for applications to be processed. But before you get too excited, you should note that you will still have to pay federal fees for visas, work permits, or permanent residency applications.
Yukon Provincial Nominee Program (YPNP)
The Yukon PNP has various programs, namely the Critical Impact Worker Stream, Skilled Worker Stream, Express Entry, and Yukon Community Program. These immigration programs are based on skill level, and all but Express Entry candidates do not have to pay a fee to submit their applications to move to Canada. Below are some of the Canadian immigration requirements for Yukon's PNP programs.
|Eligibility for YPNP|
|Critical Impact Worker Stream|
|Skilled Worker Stream|
|Yukon Community Program|
Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP)
The Nova Scotia PNP is another Canadian immigration program that does not charge application fees. There are various immigration programs under the NSNP, each with its own set of requirements. The following streams do not have any processing fees:
|Eligibility for NSNP|
|Skilled Worker Stream|
|Occupations In Demand Stream|
Northwest Territories Provincial Nominee Program (NWT PNP)
The Northwest Territories Provincial Nominee Program is designed to permanently help NWT employers employ foreign workers. Only employers can apply for foreign workers to receive a nomination from the territory to apply for permanent residency. These streams include:
|Eligibility for NSNP|
|Skilled Worker Stream|
The PNPs below also no longer require processing fees.
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
The Province of New Brunswick doesn't charge any fees for applications to the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP). You will, however, have to pay fees charged by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
Following the release of its 2022 Budget 2022, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has eliminated fees under its Provincial Nominee Program. Provincial Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism staff will provide an array of free services to newcomers to the provinces, as well as employers.
Fees that no longer need to be paid are the 250 CAD application fees for skilled workers, along with the 1,000 CAD application fee for entrepreneurs.
Cheapest Canadian Immigration Programs
Some of the cheapest immigration programs available fall under Provincial Nominee Programs. Although the federal economic immigration application option for provincial nominees costs 1,365 CAD for processing and permanent residency, sometimes applying directly to the province or territory of your choice is much cheaper. Below are some of the costs of different PNPs for 2021 from the most affordable to the most expensive when applying directly to a province or territory.
|Application Processing Costs for PNPs||CAD|
|Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) INB System||300 CAD|
|Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)||350 CAD|
|Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)||500 CAD|
|Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)||500 CAD (excludes Self-Employed Farmer Stream)|
|British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)||1,150 CAD (excludes Entrepreneur Immigration and Strategic Projects)|
|Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)||1,500- 2,000 CAD|
Other Affordable Canadian Immigration Options
The next most affordable way to move to Canada is through Family Sponsorship. You can apply for family sponsorship if you have a family member living in Canada who is either a Canadian Citizen or a Canadian permanent resident. The person sponsoring you must be 18 years or older and have enough funds to support you without social assistance from the government. Processing your application will cost between 155 CAD (sponsor a child) and 1,080 CAD (spouse or partner, parent or grandparent). You may also sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild.
Canada has two Caregiver programs - the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot - aimed at helping skilled and experienced home child care providers and home support workers immigrate to Canada. Application processing fees are 1,085 CAD plus 155 CAD for a work permit. All candidates must:
- Have a valid Canadian job offer
- Have language test results showing they can communicate effectively in English or French
- Have a Canadian post-secondary diploma or certificate of at least one year or an ECA showing that their qualification meets Canadian standards
- Have work experience related to occupation
Federal Economic Immigration Programs
Most federal immigration program processing fees cost CAD1,365. These programs include:
- The Agri-food Pilot
- The Atlantic Immigration Program
- Express Entry (Federal Skilled Worker Program; Federal Skilled Trade Program; Canadian Experience Class
- Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot
- Quebec Skilled Workers program
Financially Prepare For Your Move to Canada
Moving to another country will always involve multiple sets of fees, which is why you need to do your homework when it comes to finding a province to settle in. You'll, of course, have to choose the province that best matches your career needs. Still, it's also important to think of affordability in terms of daily costs, as well as the costs that will directly impact your pocket in the beginning of your journey to Canada.
Applying directly to a PNP is probably the cheapest way to immigrate to Canada, of which Ontario and British Columbia are the most expensive. Luckily, some provinces do not charge application processing fees, but remember, you may have to apply for a work permit or permanent residency, which will be an additional fee.
If you need help making these big decisions, remember that our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) are qualified to guide you through every step of the way.
What Are the Requirements to Immigrate to Canada?
The requirements to be met before moving to Canada depend on the program or visa you apply for. All applicants, however, are required to meet the general admissibility criteria.
How Much Money Do You Need to Immigrate to Canada?
This, once again, depends on the immigration program of your choice. However, you will need to have sufficient settlement funds for most programs.