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Canada has set a target of welcoming 500,000 new permanent residents annually by 2025. Among the countries contributing to this goal, India stands out with over 120,000 Indians gaining permanent residency in Canada every year. With one of the largest Indian diasporas in the world, Canada offers favorable immigration pathways for Indians due to factors like high English proficiency, education level, and work experience. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada data reveals a significant increase in the number of Indians becoming permanent residents in Canada, rising from 32,828 in 2013 to 118,095 in 2022—a remarkable 260% increase.
The process of immigrating to Canada from India can take several months or even years. It is essential to explore your options and determine the most suitable pathway that aligns with your eligibility and maximizes your chances of successful immigration.
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Here are some of the most popular skilled worker options for Indian immigrants:
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): As an overseas Indian immigration candidate, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is a viable option. This program allows candidates with work experience to apply for permanent residence, even without any prior connection to Canada or a job offer. The FSWP targets skilled workers who can leverage their foreign work experience, education, language skills, and other human capital factors to succeed in Canada. To qualify for the FSWP, candidates must meet the following criteria:
- One year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3.
- Validated language ability equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French across all abilities (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).
- Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or a foreign credential with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
- Achieve a minimum of 67 points on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) six immigration selection factors.
- Demonstrate sufficient funds to settle in Canada for yourself and your family.
The FSWP is one of the programs managed under the Canadian government’s Express Entry application system. Upon uploading your Express Entry profile on the IRCC website, you will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on factors such as age, education, work experience, language skills, and more. The highest-scoring candidates receive Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
IRCC has recently announced the introduction of new category-based selections for Express Entry candidates, focusing on specific areas such as healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transport, agriculture and agri-food, and French language proficiency. These targeted draws are expected to begin in the summer.
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP):
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is another significant option for Indian immigration candidates. With the exception of Quebec and Nunavut, most provinces and territories in Canada have their own PNP, allowing them to design immigration pathways based on their economic, labor market, and demographic needs. Through the PNP, provinces and territories can nominate skilled worker candidates for immigration. Each province has its own eligibility criteria that candidates must meet. Express Entry candidates may also receive invitations to apply for nomination by a province, which grants an additional 600 CRS points and virtually guarantees an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
Study in Canada:
Canada is a leading destination for international students due to factors like the high quality of education, work opportunities during and after their programs, and affordability. In 2022, India topped the list as the largest source country of international students in Canada, with a total of 319,130 students. Studying in Canada offers the advantage of extending your stay and transitioning to permanent residence. After completing your education, you can obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) based on the duration of your academic program, allowing you to work in Canada for up to three years. Canadian education and work experience can enhance your eligibility for federal and provincial immigration programs, as they value candidates with Canadian credentials.
If you are originally from India and aspire to settle in Canada, numerous immigration options are available to you. It is advisable to seek guidance from an experienced immigration lawyer who can outline the available programs and assist you throughout the application process.