How to Apply for a Canadian Visa from the Philippines

Canada has over 100 visas and immigration programs for foreigners who wish to live and work there or make a more permanent move. So if you're looking to move to the Great White North, there's bound to be a visa or immigration solution that suits your profile. In this blog, we take a look at how to apply for a Canadian Visa from the Philippines.

Filipinos in Canada

Filipinos first immigrated to the Great White North in the early 1930s. It was, however, in the early nineties that saw a dramatic influx of People from the Philippines entering the country to help bridge significant labour gaps. According to Statistics Canada Census 2021 data, there are now 960,000 people of Philippine origin in this beautiful land of maple leaves. In fact, 11.4% of newcomers are from the Philippines.

You'll find Filipino communities across Canada in places like:

On March 3, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the opening of a new application processing centre in Manila, Philippines. According to Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, the opening of the new centre, which 37 new employees in the Philippines will support, is part of the country's efforts toward boosting immigration processing in a bid to keep up with the promotion of increased greater diversity of foreign nationals who would like to work, study, travel or settle in the Great White North.

With Canada's Immigration Levels Plan set to welcome 65,000 permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 newcomers in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025, there's no reason you can't get from the Philippines to the Great White North.

Why Choose Canada?

Employment Opportunities

The need for workers to fill gaps in Canada is dire due to a decline in births and an increase in the number of people retiring. And apart from the thousands of existing vacancies, many jobs are also created yearly. The country is, therefore in need of not only skilled and semi-skilled workers but also low- and unskilled ones.

Permanent Residency Benefits

Gaining Canadian permanent residency comes with many benefits. You will have the same benefits that come with being a citizen of the country. This includes having access to free universal healthcare and free schooling for all children up to the high school level.

Top Level Universities

Canada's colleges are amongst the highest-ranked post-secondary schooling systems globally and with hundreds of world-class universities, the opportunities for yourself and your loved ones are endless. Canada values post-secondary studies highly. It may even require you to obtain permanent residency, depending on the program you choose to apply through. Some visa programs, such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, have dedicated streams for foreigners who complete studies at Canadian institutions. So by simply completing a qualification at a Canadian post-secondary school, you could be eligible for permanent residency.

Canada is a real democracy

The rights of Canadians are protected by a liberal government that values freedom above all else. In Canada, people are free to be who they want, news broadcasters can report on interesting events without restrictions, and human rights are respected with complete dignity.

You Don't Have to Leave Family Behind

Canada is serious about keeping families together. You can bring your family if you meet the minimum settlement fund requirements.

You Can Join Canada's Melting Pot

The big concern about immigration often comes down to how well you think you will adjust to a new country. Because Canada is such a multicultural hub, welcoming thousands of new immigrants every month, it is one of the easiest societies to integrate into. Asian immigrants from all over are settling and making Canada their home and are warmly welcomed by Canadians and other immigrants alike.

Canadian Visas

Take a look at some of the Canadian visas available from the Philippines.

Canadian Work Visa

You will need a work permit to work legally in Canada. There are two types - the open work permit and the employer-specific work permit. An Open work permit will allow you to be employed anywhere in Canada and by any employer as long as it is within the legal limitations set by the country's federal law.

An employer-specific work permit is more limiting. You will have to work for a specific employer, in a specific location, for a set period. Note that before you can apply for this type of work permit, your employer must provide you with it.

  • A copy of your employment contract, or
  • A copy of a labour market impact assessment (LMIA)
  • Offer of employment number (for LMIA-exempt workers)

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program was created to fill labour gaps for Canadian employers. Employers need a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire you in Canada. Temporary foreign workers usually work as caregivers, agriculture workers and even academics. You can apply for permanent residency if you gain enough Canadian work experience.

Student Visa

Canada is home to many highly-ranked universities. Tuition fees here are also more affordable than that of other first-world countries. Because Canadians welcome foreigners, thousands of international students choose this country as their study-abroad destination. To study in Canada, you must have a Canadian study permit.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution(DLI)
  • Prove that you can cover your tuition and living expenses, as well as a return ticket home
  • Obtain a police clearance certificate
  • Obtain a medical certificate
  • Prove that you will exit the country once your student permit expires

Canadian Visitor visa

You'll need a Canadian Visitor Visa if you're planning to move to Canada and want to see what it's like living here, visiting Canadian family or simply coming on a vacation. There are two visitor visas available - single entry and multiple entry visitor visas. Each type has specific requirements.

The Best Pathways to Canadian Permanent Residency For Filipinos

Express Entry

The Express Entry system is extremely popular amongst most immigrants not only for its ease and accessibility but because of its fast processing times of 6 months! You could qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trade Program and the Canada Experience Class. Express Entry candidates are scored and ranked, and those with the highest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores will be invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

British Columbia PNP (BC PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Program is another popular immigration program, especially if you can land a job in Canada. The BC PNP, in particular, is popular among foreign workers not only because it offers great immigration opportunities for tech professionals (BC Tech Pilot), but it has one of the fastest processing times of 2 to 3 months! So if you're considering applying for your Canadian Visa from the Philippines and are a tech talent, this may be a good option.

Home Care Provider Pilots

If you are an experienced caregiver with at least two years of work experience or a job offer in Canada and proof that you can perform your required duties, you could immigrate to Canada from the Philippines through one of two home care provider pilots:

  • The Home Child Care Provider Pilot; or
  • The Home Support Worker Pilot

These immigration programs have replaced the Live-in Caregiver Programs and have one added benefit that the previous program did not have. It allows you to choose whether or not you would like to take a live-in position (in other words, live with your employer).

Family Sponsorship

Did you know that as a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, you could sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, dependent, parents or grandparents to come and live with you in Canada? As we mentioned earlier, Canada values family reunification and has made provisions for you so your loved ones can live the life they've always dreamt of by your side.

How to Start the Visa Application Process to Move to Canada

Applying for a Canadian visa from the Philippines can be daunting and take up a lot of time, especially if you're new to the process, but with these five easy steps, it doesn't have to be. Let's take a look at how to get started on your Canadian journey.

Step 1: Assess Your Eligibility

To be able to apply for a Canadian visa, you will first have to find out if you:

  • Are eligible to enter Canada; and
  • Qualify for any immigration programs

This is extremely important as it will save you time and money in the long run. With over 100 different Canadian immigration programs and visas to choose from, each with its own set of criteria, the selection process can be quite overwhelming. Having a licensed and knowledgeable professional to guide you through the process makes things much easier, and you could be presented with options you never knew you had.

Step 2: Choose Your Destination

Choosing where you want to move to Canada is not necessary for all immigration programs and visas, but it will help you narrow down your options when deciding which immigration options are best for you. For example, programs such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilots are specific to certain provinces in Canada. It is also good to research provinces and territories that suit your specific needs, particularly which places will be most affordable for you and your family in Canada.

Step 3: Choose Your Immigration Program

Choosing the right program is also essential because it will be rejected if you don't meet one of the requirements and submit your application anyway. For example, Express Entry is one of the most popular ways to immigrate to Canada, but did you know that if you express interest in a particular province or territory or apply through an Express Entry-linked PNP, you could get a Provincial Nomination (PN), which is worth 600 extra points? As the average Express Entry draw cut-off score is 470, having a PN will boost your Express Entry profile way above other applicants and almost guarantee you'll receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residency.

Step 4: Gather Your Supporting Documentation

Although you will only need your supporting documents when you start the visa application process, it's always a good idea to gather everything you need as early as possible so that they can be verified and ready to submit when you eventually start the application process for your Canadian visa. The Canadian government has strict deadlines that must be met if you want your application to be considered.

Step 5: Start Your Canada Visa Application

Once all your forms and supporting documents are in order, you can apply for your Canadian visa from the Philippines. Ensure you've completed each section accurately and have not left any unanswered sections. Any mistake or omission could result in your application being returned, ultimately delaying the entire process.

Costs Involved With Moving From the Philippines to Canada

The application prices will depend on the visa or immigration program you apply to. You will also be required to have a certain amount of settlement funds to move to Canada, which depends on how many people will be immigrating with you.

Below are some of the visa application fees for the programs mentioned above:

  • Express Entry processing - $1,365
  • BC PNP processing - $1,150
  • Home Care Provide Pilot processing - $1,085
  • Student Direct Stream processing - $150
  • Family Sponsorship processing - Sponsorship fee ($75), principal applicant processing fee ($490) and right of permanent residence fee ($515). You can include any dependent child on an application with your spouse or partner for $155

Please note that these prices are Government processing fees which do not include your immigration agency fees or additional supporting documentation fees such as your language tests, medical exam, police clearance certificate or education verification.

Get Ready to Start Your Canadian journey From the Philippines

With several temporary and permanent options for moving to Canada, nothing should be holding you back from making your Canadian dreams a reality - if you are eligible. Now that you know the possibilities better, it's time to apply for that Canadian Visa. And if it all sounds too daunting, fret not! Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) are here, waiting to guide you through every step.

Unsure if an RCIC can help you? To help you decide, here is one of our clients, Charlene Bagio, explaining how working with immigration professionals massively improved her experience with the Canadian immigration system.


What Are Settlement Funds?

Settlement funds are the money you will need to support yourself and any dependents once you settle in Canada. You must provide proof of these funds to demonstrate that you can live independently without government assistance.

Can Someone Sponsor Someone in Canada if They Don't Live in Canada?

No. You can only sponsor someone in Canada if you live here.