How to Immigrate to Canada from GCC Countries

Immigrating to Canada can mean different things for different people, depending on where you’re moving from. For people living in the GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates), moving to Canada can be a reason as simple as the weather, and unlike the GCC, Canada experiences all four seasons and if you don’t already know, winter in Canada makes for some amazing activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Beyond that, Canada has a wide range of job opportunities, top-tier schooling and one of the best healthcare systems in the world. So let’s have a look at how to immigrate to Canada from GCC countries.

Programs to Immigrate to Canada


Canada has over 100 immigration and visa programs available for you to choose from when making your move to the Great White North. However, there are a few programs that are considered to be top programs. They are:

Express Entry

Express Entry is by far the most popular program and has a goal of inviting over 110,500 new immigrants to move to Canada as permanent residents. The wonderful thing about Express Entry is that you can qualify for one of three programs it manages. The programs are as follows:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program
  2. Federal Skilled Trades Program; and
  3. Canadian Experience Class.

When you submit your online profile, the Immigration, Refugee and Canadian Citizenship (IRCC) will determine which of the three programs you qualify for. It’s therefore important to be as honest and accurate as you can within your profile.

Once your profile is complete you’ll receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) which gives you the opportunity to apply for Canadian permanent residency. The way you receive an ITA is by meeting or exceeding the qualifying Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

So, how do I receive a high CRS score?

You can obtain a score out of a possible 1,200 points. There are several factors that award you points, including:

  • your language proficiency in English, French, or both;
  • your education level;
  • additional factors like having a sibling in Canada; and
  • if you apply with a partner.

Now, if you aren’t selected for an ITA and you would like to improve on your CRS score, there are many ways you can do that. You’ll also have one year to do so as your profile will remain in the Express Entry pool if unsuccessful the first time around.

You can improve your CRS score by increasing your work experience, getting a provincial nomination, receiving a job offer and so much more in order to move to Canada as a permanent resident.

Did you know?

That the average processing time for Express Entry is as short as six months! This is relatively shorter than most Canadian immigration programs and a great way to immigrate to Canada from GCC countries.

Startup Visa Program


The Start-Up Visa Program allows you to start a business anywhere in Canada and immigrate as a permanent resident. If you plan on applying you’ll need to ensure your business is innovative, it creates jobs for Canadian locals and you’re able to compete on an international scale.

To be eligible for the Start-Up Visa Program, you need to:

1. Have a qualifying business

You’ll need to get a commitment from one of the designated organizations. It needs to be as follows:

  • each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time, up to five people can apply as owners; and
  • applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time.

2. You need to obtain a letter of support from the designated organization

The letter of support you obtain must be from the following designated organization list only. You’ll need to:

  • contact the designated organization to find out how to get its support;
  • convince the organization that they have a business idea that is worth supporting; and
  • get a letter of support.

Please note that, depending on the organization, you may be asked to pitch your business idea in person while others may ask you for a detailed business plan. So it would be smart to be fully prepared for both in order to increase your success rate. If you don’t have a letter of support you may be denied a Start-Up Visa.

3. Meet language requirements

Your ability to communicate in English or French will improve your business’s success in Canada. To meet the language requirements you’ll need to take an approved language test and obtain the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all of these four areas:

  • reading;
  • writing;
  • speaking; and
  • listening.

4. Bring enough money to settle

The Canadian government doesn’t give financial support to start-up visa immigrants. The amount you’ll need will depend on the number of people immigrating to Canada with you. The amount is as follows:

Funds to Settle in Canada
Number of Family Members Required Funds CAD
1 $13,213
2 $16,449
3 $20,222
4 $24,553
5 $27,847
6 $31,407
7 $34,967
For each additional family member $3,650

Good to know!

You can apply for a temporary work permit to move to Canada and begin working on your business while waiting for your application to be processed as it can take between 14 to 16 months.

Canadian Study Permit

Getting a Canadian study permit is possibly one of the best things to do because not only do you gain a highly-rated education but you work and eventually immigrate too. When you receive a study visa it’ll be valid for the length of your study programs plus an additional 90 days.

How do I apply for a study permit?

You’ll need to have the following documents to apply for a study permit:

  • an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI);
  • a valid passport or travel document; and
  • proof you can finance yourself and any family members who go with you, while in Canada.

Study Permit Top Tip

Use the additional 90 days to apply for a work visa through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). The PGWPP will allow you to gain an open work visa and therefore gain Canadian work experience. By gaining work experience you’ll qualify for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) that falls under the Express Entry system mentioned above and have the chance of becoming a Canadian permanent resident.

FAQs: Canadian Immigration from GCC Countries


FAQ 1: What is IELTS?

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, which is a proficiency test accepted by the government of Canada whether you are applying to immigrate, work or study. There are two forms of testing available, they are:

  1. General Training Test; and
  2. Academic Test

FAQ 2: Can I apply online for Canadian immigration from any GCC country?

Yes, you can apply online for all of the above-mentioned programs, regardless of which GCC country you reside in. You can find the application on the government website or apply through We work alongside Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who have many years of experience and are experts in Canadian immigration programs.

We also have a Digital Visa Dashboard where you can upload all your documents from the comfort of your home. Not only does this save time but money as well as you won’t have to courier any documents.

FAQ 3: Can I immigrate to Canada without a job offer?

Yes, you can immigrate to Canada without a job offer through programs such as the Provincial Nomination Program. Provinces such as Saskatchewan offer several pathways of immigration to Canada without a job offer via the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). 

Living in Canada as a Foreigner

Many foreigners move to Canada to seek a better life for themselves and their families. The country is known for its diversity and multiculturalism. Canada has over 250 ethnic origins, one of the highest in the world.

Not only will you have the privilege of a wider range of job opportunities but also of a great schooling system known worldwide. On top of this, you’ll have access to one of the best healthcare systems in the world as well. These are just a few of the many reasons why you should immigrate to Canada from GCC countries.