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Immigration to Canada: How to Immigrate from Pakistan

Canada is attracting immigrants from all over the world to contribute to its diverse and vibrant society. Canada offers a high quality of life, a welcoming society, diverse culture, and abundant opportunities for personal and professional growth. In Canada, you can find immigrants from different parts of the world. One of the larger communities in Canada is the Pakistani diaspora. There are about 200,000 Canadians with Pakistani ancestry living in Canada. Pakistani immigrants are one of the top sources of immigrants to Canada. In 2022, nearly 12,000 permanent residents admitted to the country came from Pakistan.

There are a number of immigration policies Canada offers for Pakistani citizens to immigrate to Canada, but it can be complex and overwhelming to understand. In this blog, we will break down the most popular options for an individual to immigrate from Pakistan to Canada. It is important to remember there are hundreds of immigration paths to Canada and to have a personalized assessment of your situation, it is best to meet with a consultant and have a one-on-one consultation regarding your immigration options.

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How Can I Get Canadian Immigration from Pakistan?

Express Entry

Express Entry is the most efficient pathway to immigrate to Canada. It is the path most immigrants come to Canada. Express Entry was created to help economic migrants that can help the Canadian economy avoid long processing times and settle quickly. The process takes under one year and in some cases a few months from applying to receiving an invitation for permanent residency. Express Entry is not a program itself but rather an online system used by the Canadian government to manage applications for permanent residency from skilled workers.


From 2019 to 2021 2,749 Pakistani residents were invited to apply for Permanent Residency in Canada through the Express Entry system. 


Skilled workers can apply to one of three programs:


  • Canada Experience Class: The Canadian Experience Class is an immigration program that allows individuals who have gained professional work experience in Canada to apply for permanent residency.


  • Federal Skilled Worker: The Federal Skilled Worker Program is an immigration program that allows skilled workers with work experience in a designated occupation to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.


  • Federal Skilled Trades: The Federal Skilled Trades Program is an immigration program that allows skilled tradespeople with work experience in a specific trade to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.


Applicants will be determined on a point-based system that ranks applicants based on factors such as age, education, language proficiency, and work experience. The Canadian government holds draws periodically and the highest-ranking applicants are invited to apply for permanent residency through regular draws from the pool of candidates.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The second most popular economic immigration pathway is Provincial Nominee Program. Similar to the Express Entry programs, PNPs are designed to attract economic talent to provinces to meet their labour shortages.

Depending on the PNP stream, Candidates who are in the Express Entry system can apply for a Provincial Nominee Program, if selected by the province, the applicant will gain points toward their Express Entry score increasing their chance of being invited to apply for permanent residency. If applying for PNP via Express Entry, the process to permanent residency can take under a year. If the PNP does not operate within the Express Entry system, it may take longer than a year and will depend on the processing time of both the province in nominating and the federal government inviting you for a permanent residency.

It should be noted that immigrants who arrive in Canada with a PNP, will need to be a resident of the province for a minimum amount of time, typically two years before relocating to another province in Canada.

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Temporary Residence Options For Pakistani Citizens In Canada

Student Visa

Canada is a top global destination for international students. Canada offers a high standard of education, potential for employment during and after studies, and the prospect of obtaining permanent residency through various immigration pathways available to international student graduates.


To apply for a student visa, firstly you need a letter of approval from a college or university. The institution must be a designated learning institution (ask us if your school of interest is a DLI (Designated Learning Institution) in Canada. Before you can be fully enrolled, you will need to prepay your tuition and provide proof that you are financially secure enough to cover your living expenses while you study. You will also need a valid passport or travel document for each family member that allows you to return to the country that issued it. 

After completing a study program, you can apply for a post-graduate work permit, of up to three years. Once you have acquired enough Canadian work experience you can apply for the Canadian Experience Class program through Express Entry, a pathway to permanent residency.


Work Visas

To obtain a Canadian work permit from Pakistan, there are several steps you can follow. You must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. The employer must obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to demonstrate that there are no Canadians available to fill the job. Once the LMIA is approved, the employer will provide a copy of the LMIA along with a job offer letter to you. You will then need to apply for a work permit through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office. 

As part of the application process, you may need to undergo a medical examination and obtain a police certificate. You will also need to pay the necessary application fees and provide supporting documents, such as your passport, job offer letter, and proof of financial support. Once your application is approved, you will receive a work permit that allows you to work in Canada for a specific period of time.


Intra-Company Transfers


Intra Company Transfers (ICT) can be a viable option for Pakistani citizens who work for multi-national companies with locations in Pakistan and Canada. This is a visa issued to executives, managers, and specialized staff to relocate from Pakistan to work at a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada. ICT work permits are valid for one year but can be renewed on a yearly basis, should the company and employee meet the criteria of an ICT visa.


Business Immigration 

If you have the capital to invest in Canada, the Business Immigration route might be an easy route for you. You can apply through a Federal or Provincial (PNP) business immigration program. 


Whether you are self-employed or are looking to establish a business in Canada you can apply for the Start-Up Visa. To qualify for the Start-Up Visa, you will need to have a letter of support from a designated angel investor group, venture capital fund, or business incubator. You have to meet the ownership requirements for a qualifying business. You have to meet the language requirement by getting a score (CLB) of 5 in all four categories for either English or French. You need to have an adequate amount of money to settle and provide for the cost of living before earning an income. 


Alternatively, several Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) cater to foreign applicants who wish to start a business in a particular province. Many PNPs offer regional entrepreneur programs that require a lower investment to apply.




This path may be the easiest for those who have a family member who currently holds a permanent residency or is a Canadian citizen and is over the age of 18. Types of sponsorships include Spousal, Common-law, Conjugal Partner, Dependent Children, Parents, and Grandparents. With a sponsorship, the sponsored individual can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents of Canada. However, before receiving their permanent residency, they can acquire a work permit allowing them to work in Canada as they wait for their permanent residency application.

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How Much Money is Needed to Immigrate to Canada from Pakistan?


The amount of money required to immigrate to Canada from Pakistan will depend on the immigration program you are applying for. For example, if you apply through the Express Entry, Federal Skilled Worker program, you must provide proof of funds of at least $12,300, showing that you are able to support yourself and your family. Each program has its own criteria. To have a better understanding of how much money you will need to immigrate from Pakistan to Canada, book a one-on-one consultation and one of our members can walk you through your specific situation.

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How Can I Immigrate to Canada From Pakistan Without IELTS?


If you are interested in immigrating to Canada from Pakistan, you may be able to do so without providing IELTS scores if you meet certain criteria. One option is to apply for a provincial nomination through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that does not require language test results as part of the eligibility criteria. 


It’s best to speak with a professional consultant on the specific requirements of the immigration program you are interested in. You can book a one-on-one consultation with one of our consultants to address any questions you may regarding Canadian immigration.


Immigrating to Canada from Pakistan can be a long process with various options and requirements to consider. Seeking the guidance of an experienced immigration consultant can help simplify the process and increase your chances of success. We advise booking a consultation with one of our members to discuss your immigration goals and explore the best path forward for you and your family.

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The information in this blog is not to be interpreted or construed as legal advice. Everyone’s immigration goals, objectives and situations are different. Please contact us to speak to a consultant for advice.

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