The pathways to immigrate to Canada in 2021

Immigrate to Canada in 2021

As immigration is all set to come back to normal globally in 2021 after over a year of restrictions imposed on travel across the world, it’s time to consider the pathways to Canada in 2021 under Canada immigration.

Canada is eager to increase its immigration levels with very ambitious levels set for 2021 to 2023. In 2021, the Canadian government is aiming at welcoming 401,000 new immigrants and 411,000 more in 2022. In 2023, Canada expects 421,000 new immigrants to have a Canada PR visa.

To meet these targets, Canada has taken a few immigration programs and streamlined them along with striking new deals with other countries.

In October 2020, Canada opened its borders to international students to come and study in Canada in approved DLIs with a COVID-19 readiness plan. Canada has kept on issuing ITAs via the Express Entry system even when the travel restrictions were implemented due to the pandemic. Over 100,000 ITAs were issued in 2020 to skilled workers immigrating to work in Canada.

Quebec introduced the Arrima portal for EOI employers in 2020 and made hiring highly-skilled workers easy for the employers in Quebec.

Now with all these and more developments in Canadian immigration, it will be worthwhile to learn the different pathways for immigration to Canada that are available in 2021.

Express Entry

The Express Entry system of Canada is accepting applications for immigration online. The applicants who meet eligibility criteria only need to submit a profile online which is known as EOI. This can be made under any of the 3 federal immigration programs. This could also be via participation in a provincial immigration program that chooses candidates from the Express Entry pool.

The CRS ranks every Express Entry candidate’s profile based on several factors and the highest-ranking candidates get considered for ITA for Canada PR. Candidates receiving an ITA must submit an application in full within 90 days.


Ottawa, Canada’s capital, shares jurisdiction with all Canadian provinces and Canada offers programs for skilled foreign workers; both at provincial and federal levels.

Most of the Canadian provinces and territories have the power to nominate candidates who are skilled in different areas. These candidates can arrive in Canada via PNP immigration draws wherein they are called in for their specific skills that are required in the provinces.

The nominated candidates can apply for a Canada PR visa through federal immigration authorities.

Start-up Visa Program

This program is meant for foreign investors who can arrive in Canada earning a Canada PR. Innovative entrepreneurs can get connected to private sector businesses in Canada. These could include venture capital funds, angel investor groups, or business incubators.

These foreign investors will get all the assistance required to establish their business in Canada. A designated venture capital must invest $200,000 in one or more than one qualified business combined. A designated angel investor must invest a minimum of $75,000 into a qualifying business.

Canada Study Permit

Canada Study Permit is a way for international students to get Canada PR. They arrive in Canada on a study permit, then apply for a post-graduation Work Permit. Then they can apply for PR via the Express Entry system.

The eligible candidates must show that they:

  • have got acceptance from a school, university, college, or any other educational institution in Canada
  • have sufficient money to meet their living expenses, tuition fees, and return transportation
  • are citizens without criminal records and are law-abiding
  • are healthy and willing to take up a medical examination
  • can convince an immigration officer that they will leave Canada once the tenure of their authorized stays expires

After getting a study permit, they can do a job in Canada under the following categories:

  • off the campus holding a work permit
  • on the campus without holding a work permit
  • in internship and co-op programs, holding a work permit, where work experience forms a part of the curriculum

Once the graduation is complete, the foreign student is eligible to apply for a work permit under the PGWP program which is valid for up to 3 years.


International students who complete their graduation in Canada can use the PGWP to gain work experience in Canada. The PGWP has a 3-year validity and can help them attempt for a Canada PR in time via Canada Express Entry system.

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PR – Permanent Residence

DLI – Designated Learning Institutions

ITA – Invitation to Apply

EOI – Expression of Interest

CRS – Comprehensive Ranking System

PNP – Provincial Nominee Program

PGWP – Post Graduate Work Permit

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Anshul Singhal

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