By: Jason Wood

A Guide to Immigrating to Vancouver, Canada

Tags: Immigrating to BC Canada, Canada Immigration, How to immigrate to BC, BC PNP, BC Business Immigration

Thinking of making the move to Vancouver? If you’re planning on immigrating to Canada or you’re already here and you’re wondering if you can become a permanent resident, this guide is for you. Learn more about the immigration process, how and where to apply, what fees to expect, and more.

Looking for Presale development opportunities in Metro Vancouver? Look HERE

Main Types of Immigration
Canada and the Province of British Columbia have several immigration programs, most of which fall under either the family or economy class. Below are brief overviews of each so you can get an idea about your options:
 
BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
 
Operated by the Province in conjunction with the federal government (Citizenship and Immigration Canada), this economic immigration program aims to attract foreign workers who can meet B.C. employers’ critical employment needs as well as entrepreneurs who want to invest in and actively manage a business here. If you’re eligible for either the Skills or Business Immigration streams and your application is successful, the Province will nominate you for permanent residence and thus accelerate the processing time. Note that it’s still CIC that will be making the final decision.
 
Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
 
This is for foreign nationals who’ve studied or worked in Canada and wish to become permanent residents. Eligible applicants can benefit from speedier processing times and can remain in the country while their applications are being processed.
 
Start-Up Visa Program
 
A relatively new program, it’s aimed towards immigrant entrepreneurs with unique business ideas and connects them with designated angel investors, business incubators, and venture capitalists.
 
Immigrant Investor Program and Federal Entrepreneur Program
 
CIC has temporarily paused accepting applications under both of these programs though it will continue to process those received before the suspension.
 
Self-Employed Persons Program
 
This program is for those who have relevant experience in cultural activities, athletics or farm management, which will enable them to be self-employed and to make a significant contribution to Canadian culture and sports. Those with farm management experience must intend and be able to purchase and manage a farm here.
 
Family Sponsorship
 
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their spouse, partner, dependent child or other eligible relative to come to the country as permanent residents.
 
Canada’s other immigration programs are:
 
Federal Skilled Worker Program
Federal Skilled Trades Worker Program
Live-in Caregiver Program
Refugee Programs
Application and Processing
 
Applications and processing times vary greatly, depending on the chosen program, the Canadian visa office in your country, and the application method. Below are the most recent estimates from CIC. Note that the estimates for some visa offices and programs are unavailable and you should contact CIC if you don’t find the information you need.
 
For Provincial Nominee Applications:
 
 
 
Asia and Pacific
 
Visa Office
 
Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)
 
Beijing – China  
20
 
Colombo – Sri Lanka       
12
 
Hong Kong – China         
14
 
Manila – Philippines       
12
 
New Delhi – India            
15
 
Singapore – Singapore  
27
 
Sydney – Australia          
12
 
Africa and Middle East
 
Visa Office
 
Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)
 
Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates           
28
 
Accra – Ghana  
16
 
Ankara – Turkey              
48
 
Cairo – Egypt     
11
 
Dakar – Senegal
22
 
Nairobi – Kenya
11
 
Pretoria – South Africa  
14
 
Rabat – Morocco             
9
 
Tel Aviv – Israel
14
 
 
 
Americas
 
Visa Office
 
Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)
 
Bogota – Colombia         
20
 
Buenos Aires – Argentina            
10
 
Guatemala City – Guatemala     
22
 
Kingston – Jamaica         
15
 
Los Angeles – United States        
30
 
Mexico City – Mexico    
15
 
New York – United States            
31
 
Ottawa (Case Processing Pilot) – Canada
17
 
Port of Spain – Trinidad and Tobago        
15
 
Sao Paulo – Brazil            
18
 
 
 
Europe
 
Visa Office
 
Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)
 
Bucharest – Romania     
16
 
Kyiv – Ukraine  
16
 
London – United Kingdom           
27
 
Moscow – Russia             
14
 
Paris – France   
7
 
Rome – Italy      
21
 
Vienna – Austria              
17
 
Warsaw – Poland            
9
 
 
 
For Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – 13 Months
 
For Start-Up Visa – Still Unavailable
 
For Self-Employed Persons
 
Asia and Pacific
 
Visa Office
 
Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)
 
Hong Kong – China         
70
 
New Delhi – India            
97
 
 
 
Europe
 
Visa Office
 
Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)
 
Paris – France   
39
 
 
 
Americas
 
Visa Office
 
Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)
 
Bogota – Colombia         
55
 
Ottawa (Case Processing Pilot) – Canada
23
 
Sao Paulo – Brazil            
38
 
For Family Sponsorship
 
These applications are processed in two (2) steps and the time estimate for step 1 is updated weekly and quarterly for step 2. The most recent time approximates can be found on the CIC website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/perm-fc.asp.
 
 Fee Schedule
 
The majority of CIC applications will have processing fees. As of this writing, the latest required fees (in Canadian dollars) are below.
 
 
 
For Citizenship
 
Right of Citizenship            $100
 
Grant of Citizenship           $100
 
 
 
For Family Class Applicants
 
Sponsorship application (per application)
 
$75
 
Principal applicant
 
$475
 
Principal applicant, if less than 22 years of age and not a spouse or common-law partner (including a dependent child of the sponsor, a child to be adopted and an orphaned brother, sister, niece, nephew or grandchild)
 
$75
 
A family member of the principal applicant who is 22 years of age or older, or is less than 22 years of age and is a spouse or common-law partner
 
$550
 
A family member of the principal applicant who is less than 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner
 
$150
 
For Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Provincial Nominees
 
 
 
Principal applicant
 
$550
 
Each family member age 22 or older
 
$550
 
Each family member under age 22 who is married or in a common-law relationship
 
$550
 
Each family member under age 22 who is unmarried and not in a common-law relationship
 
$150
 
 
 
For Self-Employed Persons Class
 
 
 
Principal applicant
 
$1,050
 
A family member of the principal applicant who is 22 years of age or older, or is less than 22 years of age and is a spouse or common-law partner
 
$550
 
A family member of the principal applicant who is less than 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner
 
$150
 
 
 
For Start-Up Business Class
 
 
 
Principal applicant
 
$1,050
 
Each family member age 22 or older
 
$550
 
Each family member under age 22 who is married or in a common-law relationship
 
$550
 
Each family member under age 22 who is unmarried and not in a common-law relationship
 
$150
 
 
 
Other Fees
 
Once your application is approved, you will need to pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee. Dependent children are exempt.
 
 
 
Principal applicant
 
$490
 
Spouse or common-law partner
 
$490
 
More Info on Permanent Residency
 
What does it mean to be a permanent resident? If you have been granted permanent resident status, this means that you have the right to:
 
apply for citizenship
live, study or work anywhere in the country
enjoy most of the social benefits that citizens receive such as health care
be protected by Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
You cannot vote or run for any political office, however, nor hold particular jobs that require high-level security clearance. As a permanent resident, your responsibilities include paying taxes and respecting Canadian laws at all levels.
 
Your status also comes with residency obligations – you must reside in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. Not meeting this obligation may result in your losing your status.
 
You will also get a permanent resident card, also known as the PR card, which you will need if you plan to travel outside the country. This is the official proof of your status and it will need to be shown upon re-entry if you are onboard a commercial vehicle.
 
More on Sponsoring Parents and Grandparents
 
Are you thinking about having your parents and/or grandparents join you in Vancouver? The Parent and Grandparent stream of the Family Sponsorship program, which has been on hold for two years, has just reopened, but before you send in an application it’s important that you become aware of your responsibilities as a sponsor and that your parents understand the benefits and drawbacks of immigrating here.
 
The advantages of moving to Canada – and B.C. in particular – are manifold:
 
The standard of living and quality of life are topnotch. Vancouver has been ranked among the world’s best cities to live for years.
The natural setting is beautiful and offers plenty of options for outdoor recreation.
The healthcare and education system are excellent and there are plenty of seniors’ programs and centres to help seniors make the most of life here.
Those moving to a new country will always face challenges, however, and you must also weigh the disadvantages when making your decision. These include:
 
Language – English is B.C.’s official language and immigrants who don’t speak it can have a difficult time settling in and becoming part of the community.
Culture – Adjusting to a new place with different cultural norms will always be challenging, especially for older individuals who are used to a different way of life.
Climate – While the climate in B.C. is more temperate than most other parts of the country, it can still get pretty cold here and those unused to dealing with winter might get a shock if they aren’t prepared.
Social support network – For many immigrants, immigrating means leaving behind an extensive social network. Your parents and/or grandparents may feel isolated and this can lead to depression.
To find out if moving to Canada is the right step for them to take, consider testing the waters first, so to speak. Consider applying for a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa instead. A multi-entry visa, it’s valid for up to ten (10) years and will allow them to stay in the country for up to two (2) years without renewal.
 
For more insights and for recommended professionals and service providers who can help you with your immigration needs, get in touch with me anytime. Contact me as well for more information on real estate investment opportunities in BC. I must also note that immigration law is constantly being amended, so it’s always best to check with the appropriate provincial and federal government agencies for the latest updates.

Looking for Presale development opportunities in Metro Vancouver? Look HERE