How to immigrate to Canada from Saudi Arabia

It’s really easy to make mistakes in your immigration application. You shouldn’t have to struggle, which is why we put together a handy guide to avoid those silly errors. Discover how to immigrate to Canada from Saudi Arabia here.

First, you must know which immigration category you want to apply under. There are over 60 immigration programs and streams to choose from. We recommend looking at your needs and then matching them with the appropriate program, for example, if you want to study in Canada, you will need to apply for a study visa.

You should also have an idea about which of the 13 provinces or territories you wish to live in because not all immigration programs are the same for each part of Canada.

Should You Choose Express Entry?

Express Entry, one of the most popular programs, lets you apply and qualify in six to eight months. Not only is this program one of the fastest ways to become a permanent resident of Canada, it also gives you the chance to assist the rest of your family into the land of the maple leaf. Six new changes to the program have also made it easier to qualify.

There are three main programs under this system:

  • Skilled Federal Worker Stream
  • Skilled Trade Worker Stream; and
  • Canadian Experience Class

Here are the steps you need to take to qualify for this program:

  1. Find out which program you can qualify with our Online Evaluation;
  2. Complete your Language Tests for English and French;
  3. Get an Educational Credential Assessment;
  4. Get your biometrics;
  5. Find out which job NOC (National Occupation Classification) code you have;
  6. Create an Express Entry Profile;
  7. Register on the job bank (this is voluntary)
  8. Enter the Express Entry pool;
  9. Get an ITA (Invitation to Apply);
  10. Apply for permanent residency within two months of your ITA
  11. Pay for application fees and for permanent residency fee;
  12. Provide proof of funds, Police Clearance and Health Certificate; and
  13. Ask your current employer for job letters to prove your work experience for your program

What Do You Need?

In most cases, if you want to immigrate to Canada you will need your:

  • ID and Passport;
  • Language Tests;
  • Education Credential Assessment;
  • Your NOC (National Occupational Classification) code;
  • Biometrics;
  • Provincial Nomination (if you have one);
  • Job offer (if you have one);
  • Police Clearance; and
  • Doctor’s Certificate

ID and Passport

When you apply for any document or application you will need a valid ID and passport on hand. Always make sure that your documents will not expire before or during your application process, or you might need to reapply.

Language Results for English and French

If you plan to apply, you will need to prove that you have the right language skills in French and English. You can do this through several tests that are accepted by the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).

First, you must choose which of the two, English or French, is your first language.

What Language Tests Does the IRCC Accept

English language tests that are accepted by the program are:

  • CELPIP General Test (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program); and
  • IELTS General Training (International English Language Testing System)

The French language test accepted by the program is the:

  • TEF (Test d’évaluation de français)

What Scores Do You Need For The Three Programs?

First Language Speakers for the FSWP must score:

  • 7s in the CLB for English; or
  • 7s in the NCL for French

Second Language Speakers must score:

  • Minimum of 5 in the CLB for English; or
  • 5 in the NCLC for French

For the CEC you must score:

  • 7 for CLB and NCL if your job NOC code is 0 or A; or
  • 5 for CLD and NCL if your job NOC code is B

For the FSTP you must score:

  • 5 in CLB for Speaking and Listening;
  • 4 in CLB for Reading and Writing;
  • 5 in NCLC for Speaking and Listening; and
  • 4 in NCLC for Reading and Writing

Educational Credential Assessment

First of all, you must know what an ECA is. It is a document that evaluates your education if you were taught outside of Canada. It is a way to prove that your qualifications, like a degree, diploma, certificate and PhD are equal to Canadian standards.

You will need to have an ECA if you:

  • Apply for the Federal Skilled Workers program; or
  • Want to score more points for Express Entry

You must include these results in your applications

Where Can I get my ECA?

You can apply for an ECA on the WES website. This website also includes an option for professionals to get their credentials licenced, for example doctors, nurses and other skilled professionals. Most ECA for immigration will take around 20 business days to be processed and completed.

Here is an example of an ECA.

Because of new changes to immigration law, if you are from Saudi Arabia, you will need to join the Canadian biometrics system.

What Are Biometrics

Biometrics are pieces of information that is stored on Canada’s database that links to your identity through fingerprints and facial recognition. It was introduced by Canada to help ensure that no one can use or abuse your personal identity, because of the increasing amount of online identity fraud around the world.

You must include a photo and fingerprints for identification purposes if you are between the ages of 14 and 79.

Registration for this program is needed if you plan to study, work or live in the province.

Where To Apply

There are only certain places that you can apply for biometrics. In Saudi Arabia, you can apply in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar. Just make sure you book an appoint at their registration offices before you arrive.

Find Your NOC

This is the code needed to find out what visas you can apply for with a specific job. The NOC or National Occupational Classification has five main levels 0, A, B, C and D.

  • Level 0 for management jobs like restaurant or mine managers;
  • Level A is for jobs that are for either management or professional jobs that require university degrees, for example, doctors, dentists and architects;
  • Level B is for jobs that require either a college degree or a completed apprenticeship, for example, plumbers and electricians;
  • Level C is for jobs that need either a high school degree or specific job training, for example, truck drivers and butchers; and
  • Level D is for jobs that need on the job training, like cleaning staff or fruit pickers

All jobs are given a four digit code, for example, if you are an ironworker, your job code will be 7236 B.

If You Have a Provincial Nomination

In most cases, you will not need a PN to apply for certain visa programs. This nomination allows you to apply for permanent residence in one of Canada’s provinces or territories.

How to Get Nominated

You can get nominated when you:

  • Apply for a nomination;
  • Are nominated by a province or territory because you have the skills and experience needed in the area; or
  • Apply to the IRCC for permanent residence

Canadian Job Offer

A Canadian job offer is made by an employer who lives in the country. There are certain requirements that they must meet before they can offer you employment.

Job offers must be full-time, sadly part-time work does not count.

To be honest, you do not need a Canadian job offer to apply for programs like Express Entry, but they do help to market you as a potential applicant.

In some cases, your employer will need to provide you with a LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) to prove that only you have the right work experience, qualifications or skills needed for the job.

Please note that a job offer for a 00 level job will be better for you and may give you an additional 200 points under the CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) for Express Entry and PNP programs, while a normal job offer without an LMIA will only give you around 50 points.

When You Do Not Need An LMIA

There are certain jobs that do not need an LMIA, these include:

  • Investors;
  • Professional trades;
  • Self employed individuals;
  • International Experience Canada; and
  • Charity and religious workers (not volunteers)

Criminal Record Check (CRC)

Next thing you will need is a Criminal Record Check to show that you have a clear background. When you go for a CRS you must bring the following documents:

  • All 10 of your fingerprints from both hands done in black ink;
  • Your full name;
  • Your date of birth;
  • Your sex (male or female);
  • The name and address of the police agency you went to;
  • The signature of the police officer that took your fingerprints;
  • Your reason for applying (visiting family, work etc);
  • Your contact details like your email, mail address, phone number or fax; and
  • Any fees attached to the document

When getting your fingerprints done you may be asked whether you:

  • Are adopted or have adopted anyone in your family that you plan to immigrate with;
  • Have permanent residency in another country;
  • Have a job or job offer (you may need to include your job title and name of your employer);
  • Have plans to do volunteer work (include your job title and the name of the organization);
  • Have any travel documentation like visas, waivers or other relevant paperwork;
  • Have applied for Canadian citizenship or are wanting to apply soon; and if you
  • Have ever changed your legal name

How Long Does It Take

A CRC can take around 120 days if you match any records on police files. On the other hand, if you have no police records, your application will take around three days instead.

When you receive your police check you must send it to the CCRTIS (Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services). You can contact them here ccrtis-scictr@rcmp-grc.gc.ca , if you have any issues.

Medical Exam

You will need to complete a Medical Exam with an approved doctor. Please note that you cannot use any doctor to complete your medical exam, you can only use an approved professional from the panel of physicians.

Here are some of the doctors you can visit in Saudi Arabia for your Medical Exam

City Name Doctor Name Company Contact Details
Dammam Mahmoud Al Hassan Dar Al Afia Medical Group +966 13 8900505
Dammam Hussain Ali Al Nezir Dar Al Afia Medical Group +966 3 805 0101 (314)
Jeddah Nadia Ghannam The First Clinic +966 92002 9090
Jeddah Ashraf Amir The First Clinic +966 557 472 110
Riyadh Sulaiman Al Majed Habib Medical Center (9661) 462-2224
Riyadh Sameh Ibrahim Alwarood Medical Centre +966 1 470 3355

What To Bring To Your Appointment

Things you must bring to your medical exam.

  • Your ID, passport or driver’s licence;
  • Medical reports about any medical condition you have (heart conditions etc);
  • Glasses or contact lenses (if you have them);
  • Medical Report form IMM 1017E; and
  • Four recent photographs if your doctor does not use eMedical

Make sure you request a copy of your medical exam from your doctor. All reports and scans that you apply with, will be held by the Canadian government and not returned.

How Long Does My Medical Exam Results Last

Your medical exam results will be legal for only 12 months. Do not apply to a visa program if your medical results will expire or you will need to go back and do it again.

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