Immigrate to Canada From Portugal

Canada's welcoming immigration policies and reputation for multiculturalism and high quality of life make it an attractive destination for individuals seeking a fresh start. From the bustling cities of Toronto and Vancouver to the serene landscapes of the Canadian Rockies, there is something for everyone in this vast and diverse country.

Whether you're drawn to Canada's economic stability, world-class education system, or natural beauty, immigrating from Portugal to Canada offers a chance to build a prosperous and fulfilling future.

Gain a better understanding of the promising pathways and abundant opportunities for immigrating from Portugal to Canada, where approximately 482,610 Portuguese immigrants live according to Statistics Canada.

How to Immigrate to Canada From Portugal

how to immigrate to canada from portugal

Here are the various immigration visa programs you can use to provide a streamlined process and essential steps to immigrate from Portugal to Canada.

Express Entry System (FSWP, FSTP, CEC)

The Express Entry System is a popular pathway for skilled workers looking to immigrate to Canada. It consists of three main programs:

Under the FSWP, individuals with skilled work experience in occupations that are in demand in Canada can apply for permanent residency. The FSTP is designed for individuals with experience in skilled trades, while the CEC is for those with Canadian work experience.

The Express Entry System uses a points-based system to rank candidates based on:

  • Age,
  • Education,
  • Work experience,
  • Language proficiency, and
  • Adaptability.

The highest-ranking candidates receiving invitations to apply (ITA) for permanent residency. Find out which Express Entry program is best for you.

Provincial Nominee Programs

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) allow Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals with the skills, education, and work experience needed to contribute to the local provincial or territorial economy. Each province and territory has its own PNP, with specific eligibility criteria and streams tailored to meet the unique needs of their labor markets.

PNPs offer a pathway to permanent residency for individuals with a job offer in a specific province or territory and those with the skills or experience needed in key sectors such as healthcare, technology, and agriculture. Applying through a PNP can be a faster and more direct route to Canadian permanent residency for eligible candidates.

Find out about Provincial Nominee Programs that don’t require a job offer.

Canada Immigration Pilots

Canada offers various immigration pilot programs to address specific regional and labor market needs. Notable examples include:

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

Designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in one of the 15 participating communities. Eligible communities must meet certain criteria, including having a population of 50,000 people or less and being located in specific provinces like Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) was designed to attract skilled workers and international graduates to the Atlantic Provinces of:

The program includes three streams: High-Skilled Workers, International Graduates, and Intermediate-Skilled Workers.

Agri-Food Pilot

The Agri-food Pilot aims to address labor shortages in the Canadian agri-food sector by providing a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal foreign farm workers in specific industries and occupations.

Homecare Provider Pilots

Created to replace the former Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilots, the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilots, collectively, the Homecare Provider Pilot facilitates the entry of foreign home child care providers and home support workers into Canada. This provides critical services to Canadian families who need caregiving services for their aging, child, or ill family members.

Business Immigration (Start-up Visa, Self-employed Program)

For entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals looking to immigrate to Canada, the country offers several business immigration programs, including the Start-up Visa Program and the Self-employed Program.

Start-up Visa Program

The Start-up Visa Program is designed to attract innovative entrepreneurs with the skills and experience to build successful businesses in Canada. To qualify, applicants must have the support of a designated organization and meet certain criteria related to their business venture.

Self-employed Program

The Self-employed Program is for individuals with relevant experience in cultural/artistic or athletic activities or farm management who can contribute to the Canadian economy in these fields. Both programs offer a pathway to permanent residency for eligible candidates who can demonstrate their ability to contribute to Canada's economy and society.

Family Sponsorship

Family Sponsorship is another important pathway for immigrants to Canada, allowing Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members for immigration. Eligible family members may include:

  • Spouses,
  • Partners,
  • Dependent children,
  • Parents, and
  • Grandparents.

The process involves submitting an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and meeting specific eligibility criteria related to relationship status, financial stability, and residency status. Family Sponsorship is a compassionate way for families to reunite and build a life together in Canada, strengthening bonds and fostering a sense of belonging.

Learn more about Canada’s Family Sponsorship program.

Canada’s Work Permits

If you’re currently ineligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada, you can gain valuable Canadian work experience by applying for a temporary work permit. Canada offers primarily two types of work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits.

Employer-specific work permits allow individuals to work for a specific employer in Canada for a specified period. In contrast, open work permits allow individuals to work for any employer in Canada. The experience gained with a work permit can boost your future permanent residency application by applying for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Find out how to make sure your Canadian work permit application is complete.

Study Permit

To study in Canada, you typically need a study permit unless you fall under one of the exemption categories, such as short-term programs less than six months long or minors attending elementary or secondary school.

As a foreign immigrant, you cannot apply for a study permit at a port of entry; you must apply from outside Canada. You can work part-time or full-time as an international student in Canada, enabling you to gain the experience needed to apply for permanent residency via the CEC.

Find out how to get a Canada study permit.

What is The Cost of Emigrating to Canada From Portugal?

what is the cost of immigrating to canada from portugal

The cost of emigrating to Canada from Portugal can vary depending on various factors, including the immigration pathway chosen, the number of family members accompanying you, and additional expenses such as language tests, medical examinations, and legal fees. Generally, most permanent residency immigration pathways cost 2,140 CAD for single applicants, according to the Canadian government.

Find out more about how much it costs to move to Canada.

What Are The Benefits of Moving From Portugal To Canada?

what are the benefits of moving to canada from portugal

Canada’s Enhanced Economic Opportunities

Canada boasts a robust, diversified economy with low unemployment rates. This translates to ample job opportunities across various sectors, potentially offering higher salaries than in Portugal. This is reflected below in Canada’s higher average monthly net salary than Portugal's, with figures from Numbeo.

Countries Average Monthly Net Salary After Tax (CAD)
Canada 3,922.11
Portugal 1,521.60

Canada actively seeks skilled professionals in several areas, making it easier for qualified Portuguese individuals to find employment. Canada fosters a thriving startup scene, attracting entrepreneurs and offering resources like the Start-Up Visa Program.

Find out more about Canada’s Economy.

High-Quality Universal Healthcare

Canada's universal healthcare system provides access to essential medical services at little to no cost to residents, a significant advantage over Portugal's mixed public-private system. Called Medicare, this system covers doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and prescribed medications, ensuring peace of mind regarding healthcare costs. Compared to some other countries, wait times for specialist consultations and procedures are generally shorter in Canada.

Find out more about healthcare in Canada.

Canada’s Exceptional Education System

Public schools in Canada offer a high-quality education from elementary to post-secondary, with affordable tuition fees for residents. While education in Portugal, a European Union member state is well regarded, Canada’s education system has made it the most educated country in the world, according to the World Population Review.

Canadian universities and colleges hold international prestige, preparing graduates for successful careers worldwide. This includes QS World University ranked:

Many educational institutions also offer French-English bilingual programs, enriching students' language skills and cultural understanding.

Learn more about what you need to know about Canada’s education system.

Canada’s Natural Beauty and Diverse Landscapes

Portugal's Mediterranean climate contrasts Canada's four distinct seasons, providing a fresh perspective and opportunities for new experiences. From majestic mountains and sprawling forests to pristine lakes and rugged coastlines, Canada offers a bounty of natural beauty waiting to be explored. Hiking, skiing, camping, and water sports are readily available, allowing you to embrace an active lifestyle in stunning surroundings.

Find out more about Canada’s natural beauty via its National Parks.

Diverse and Inclusive Canadian Communities

Canada proudly celebrates its cultural diversity, welcoming people from different backgrounds with open arms. This creates vibrant communities where you can connect with others who share your heritage or discover new cultures.

Canada promotes inclusion and equality, fostering a respectful and welcoming environment for all new immigrant residents or citizens. Many Portuguese communities exist across Canada, offering comfort and connection to your home country's culture and traditions. The largest Portuguese community in Canada is in Ontario, with 324,930 people of Portuguese origin, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

Accommodating Immigration Policies (Visa Application Centre in Portugal)

The path to Canadian residency for prospective Portuguese immigrants has been made easier. Visa application centers conveniently located within Portugal eliminate geographical hurdles. Friendly, Portuguese-speaking staff offer invaluable support, guiding applicants through the intricacies of the process and easing language anxieties.

This readily available assistance, coupled with resources specifically tailored to Portuguese immigration needs, empowers individuals to navigate their Canadian immigration journey confidently. From initial inquiries to application submissions, these dedicated centers ensure a welcoming and informed experience, paving the way for a successful transition to their new Canadian life.


Do I Need a Job Offer to Immigrate to Canada From Portugal?

No, a job offer is not always required to immigrate to Canada from Portugal. While some immigration programs may require a job offer to qualify, others, such as the Express Entry system and Provincial Nominee Programs, assess candidates based on education, work experience, and language proficiency.

How Long Does it Take to Immigrate to Canada From Portugal?

The timeline to immigrate to Canada from Portugal varies depending on the immigration pathway chosen and individual circumstances. Processing times vary depending on the program selected but generally range from 6 months to 2 years.

How Can I Prepare For Canada's Cold Weather As a Portuguese Immigrant?

As a Portuguese immigrant preparing for Canada's cold weather, it's essential to invest in warm clothing, including insulated jackets, waterproof boots, and thermal layers, to stay comfortable in chilly temperatures.

Additionally, familiarize yourself with winter safety practices, such as driving in snow and ice and stocking up on essential supplies like blankets and emergency kits.