FAQs: What Are the Cheapest Ways to Immigrate to Canada?

When it comes to Canadian immigration, one of the most common questions that our clients ask is, “How much does it cost to immigrate to Canada?”.

This is an extremely important question, in fact, probably just 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.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most budget-savvy immigration options for Canada in 2021 to help you find the best option.

Most Affordable Immigration Options to Move to Canada

Finding the right immigration visa or program can be tricky, especially when you’re not only trying to juggle your day-to-day expenses but are looking toward the future and how that may affect your financial circumstances in a positive way. Starting a new life abroad has become extremely popular over the past few years. More than 20% of the Canadian population are foreign-born, and it’s growing!

Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have already released its new immigration targets for the next three years and is planning to invite 1.23 million newcomers to join its community by 2023. The process of moving abroad, however, does not come cheap. Besides the 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. Other additional costs include:

  • Medical Examinations;
  • Police Clearance;
  • Educational Credential Assessments;
  • Language Testing;
  • Net Worth verification;
  • Document translation.

So what are some of the cheapest ways to immigrate to Canada? Let's take a look.

Free Canadian Immigration Programs

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Now before you jump at the opportunity to start your visa application, it’s important to note that the following programs do not charge application processing fees however you may encounter federal fees for visas or permits such as work permits or permanent residency applications.

Yukon Provincial Nominee Program (YPNP)

The Yukon PNP has various programs to choose from, 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
StreamRequirements
Critical Impact Worker Stream
  • at least 6 months of full-time relevant work experience;
  • a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 in English and/or French
  • at minimum a high school education, or Canadian equivalency; and
  • any higher education required for the position or NOC C or D
Skilled Worker Stream
  • at least 12 months of full-time relevant work experience
  • a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in English and/or French for NOC B and CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A
  • at minimum a high school education, or Canadian equivalency; and
  • any higher education required for the position or NOC 0 A or B
Yukon Community Program
  • Only employers in one of the following communities can nominate a foreign employee.
    • Carcross;
    • Carmacks
    • Dawson City;
    • haines Junction;
    • Watson lake; and
    • Whitehorse.

    Critical impact worker and skilled worker stream applicants are eligible to be nominated.

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
StreamRequirements
Physician Stream
  • General practitioners and family physicians and specialist physicians with signed/approved job offer at Nova Scotia Health Authority or the IWK Health Centre;
Skilled Worker Stream
  • have a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer;
  • have 1 year of work experience related to the job. (Semi-skilled and low-skilled workers must already have six months’ experience with the employer.);
  • be 21 to 55 years old;
  • have a high school diploma;
  • have the appropriate training, skills and/or accreditation for the job;
  • prove language ability equal to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 5 if you are a skilled worker. If your first language is English or French, that is enough proof. Semi-skilled and low-skilled workers must have test results to prove they meet CLB 4 even if their first language is English or French;
  • show enough financial resources to successfully settle in Nova Scotia.
Occupations In Demand Stream
  • have a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer in either NOC 3413 (Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates) or NOC 7511 (Transport truck drivers);
  • have 1 year of work experience related to the job;
  • be 21 to 55 years old;
  • have a high school diploma; have the appropriate training, skills and/or accreditation for the job;
  • prove language ability equal to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4 even if your first language is English or French;
  • show enough financial resources to successfully settle in Nova Scotia.

    Northwest Territories Provincial Nominee Program (NWT PNP)

    The Northwest Territories Provincial Nominee Program is designed to help NWT employers employ foreign workers on a permanent basis. Only employers are able to apply for foreign workers to receive a nomination from the territory to apply for permanent residency. These streams include:


    Eligibility for NSNP
    StreamRequirements
    Entry-level/Semi-Skilled Stream
    • have worked full time in the same position with the employer for six months;
    • be in good standing with the requirements of their temporary foreign work permit
    • minimum language requirement that ensures the foreign national is able to communicate in English or French
    • Must have a full-time job offer in the territory
    Skilled Worker Stream
    • must be able to demonstrate they have the training, experience and education to fulfill the needs of the job description;
    • have one year of full-time experience in the relevant occupation;
    • minimum language requirement to ensure the foreign national is able to communicate in English or French;
    • Must have a full-time job offer in the territory

      Cheapest Canadian Immigration Programs

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      Some of the cheapest immigration programs available fall under Provincial Nominee Programs. Although the federal economic immigration application option for provincial nominees costs CAD$1,325 for processing and permanent residency, sometimes applying directly to the province or territory of your choice is a much cheaper option. 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
      PNPCost (CAD)
      New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) INB System
      • $250
        Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
        • $250
          Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) INB System
          • $300
            Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
            • $350 li>
              Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
              • $500
                Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) Online Portal
                • $500 (excludes Self-Employed Farmer Stream)
                British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)
                • $1,150 (excludes Entrepreneur Immigration and Strategic Projects)
                  Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
                  • $1,500- $2,000

                    Other Affordable Canadian Immigration Options

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                    Family Sponsorship

                    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. It will cost between $150 (sponsor a child) and $1,050 (spouse or partner, parent or grandparent) to process your application. You may also sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild.

                    Caregiver Programs

                    Canada has two new Caregiver programs aimed at helping skilled and experienced home child care providers and home support workers immigrate to Canada. Application processing fees are $1,050 plus $155 for a work permit. All candidates must:

                    • Have a 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; and 
                    • Have work experience related to occupation.

                    Federal Economic Immigration Programs

                    Most federal immigration program processing fees cost $1,325. These programs include:

                    • The Agri-food Pilot;
                    • The Atlantic Immigration Pilot;
                    • Express Entry (Federal Skilled Worker Program; Federal Skilled Trade Program; Canadian Experience Class;
                    • Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot
                    • Quebec Skilled Workers program.

                    FAQs: Immigrating to Canada?

                    FAQs Cheapest Ways to Immigrate to Canada Infographic


                    1. What Are the Requirements to Immigrate to Canada?

                    The requirements that need to be met before you can move to Canada depend on the program or visa you choose to apply for. All applicants, however, are required to meet the general admissibility criteria:

                    2. 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.

                    3. What are the Fastest Ways to Immigrate to Canada?

                    Believe it or not, the fastest way to move to Canada is not the Express Entry system! The British Columbia PNP has processing times of two to three months. Programs that are managed by the Express Entry system, as well as Atlantic Immigration Pilot, can look forward to having their applications processed in as little as six months.

                    4. Is it Difficult to Immigrate to Canada?

                    Yes and no. If you know which program or visa you qualify for and will give you the greatest chances of success as well as which supporting documents you need to submit, the process can be quite straightforward. There are, however, over 100 visas and programs to choose from, each with its own set of requirements. Having an immigration professional to guide and support you through the process can make it a lot simpler and less stressful.

                    5. Can I Move to Canada Without a Job?

                    A resounding yes! Programs such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program or Federal Skilled Trades Program managed by the Express Entry System do not require you to have a Canadian job offer. Having a job in Canada, however, could improve your chances of success as you could get additional permanent residency (PR) points and boost your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

                    What’s Your Next Move?

                    Immigrating to Canada is a big decision, one that should not be entered into lightly. Besides all the paperwork and preparation that goes with the task of applying for a Canadian visa comes that added stress of the cost. It is important to choose a program that not only suits your personal needs, qualifications and work experience but your budget too. Applying directly to a PNP is probably the cheapest way to immigrate to Canada, of which Ontario and British Columbia are the most expensive. Nova Scotia, Yukon and The Northwest Territories do not charge application processing fees, but remember, you may have to apply for a work permit or apply for permanent residency, which will be an additional fee.

                    Ready to make the move to Canada? Our immigration professionals are ready to guide you through the entire process; from start to finish. Simply click the link below to start your journey to Canada, in the most cost-effective way.