Why Canada Immigration is Easier Than US Immigration

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Last Updated On : July 04 , 2024

Both Immigration authorities have their own pros and cons. Depending on the individual circumstances, it is recommended to choose the one you are most comfortable with and can live a happy life in a dream destination country. To guide you further, below is the content that will help you understand where to immigrate and why.

Canadian immigration is easier to obtain, more efficient, and less complex than American immigration. North American dreams to immigrate to Canada are increasingly alluring.

Many Americans find the US immigration system cumbersome due to employer-driven laws, but many still apply.

Canada Vs USA Immigration Programs Process, Timing & Cost




Immigration Plan

The country intends to receive 460,000 immigrants in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 , and 500,000 in 2025.

There is a 675,000 permanent immigrant visa cap in the US each year, with no limit on visas for US residents' immediate relatives.

Immigration Pathways

More than 80 routes exist for obtaining permanent residency, including as family sponsorship , provincial nominee programmes, and Express Entry .

Only a few self-sponsored employment green cards, employer and family sponsorship, student visas, and student visas are available for permanent residency in the nation.

Processing Time

Express Entry applications are normally processed in the US in six months , though some programmes may take longer.

The processing time for employment-based green cards is normally 4-6 years .


Depending on the particular programme, the Canada PR fee may change.

Prices differ according to the type of visa. The application fee for an H-1B visa is about $4,000.

Citizenship Criteria

After three or five years, permanent residents of Canada are eligible to seek citizenship and enjoy the freedom to live, work, and study there.

Green card holders, or permanent residents, are permitted to live and work in the US. may file for naturalisation after five years.

Express Entry vs. Employment-Based Green Cards


Express Entry (Canada)

Employment-Based Green Cards (USA)


1. Create an online profile

2. Enter candidate pool

3. Receive Invitation to Apply (ITA) if selected

4. Submit full application

1. Labour certification (for most categories)

2. Employer files I-140 petition

3. Applicant files I-485 or consular processing

Processing Time

6-8 months from ITA to PR approval (pre-COVID average)

Varies by category and country of origin; can range from 1-10+ years


CAD 1,365 for principal applicant (including right of permanent residence fee)

Varies, but typically $1,000-$2,500+ (excluding attorney fees)

Eligibility Criteria

Points-based system considering age, education, work experience, language skills, etc.

Different for each EB category (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, etc.) based on skills, education, and experience.

Selection Method

Express Entry Draws from candidate pool based on Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

Chronological processing based on priority date, subject to annual numerical limits and per-country caps.

Job Offer Requirement

Not necessarily, but adds points.

Generally required (with some exceptions in EB-1 and EB-2 NIW)

Pathway to Citizenship

Eligible to apply after 3 years of permanent residence.

Eligible to apply after 5 years of permanent residence.

Family Inclusion

Spouse and dependent children automatically included.

Spouse and unmarried children under 21 can be included as derivatives.

Provincial Nominee Program Vs State-Specific Labor Certifications


Provincial Nominee Program (Canada)

State-Specific Labor Certifications (USA)


1. Apply to a specific province/territory

2. Obtain nomination

3.Apply to the federal authorities for permanent residence.

1. Employer files labour certification with state workforce agency.

2. Department of Labor reviews application.

3. If approved, employer files immigrant petition.

Processing Time

Depending on the province, it usually takes between six and eight months to apply for federal permanent residence (PR).

Depending on the state, labour certification usually takes two to six months , plus extra time for USCIS processing.


varies by province, but nomination costs typically range from CAD $300 to $1,500 ; extra federal PR expenses apply.

varies by state, but labour certification is usually free; there are expenses for follow-up USCIS filings.

Eligibility Criteria

Determined by each province in accordance with their own economic requirements; may include education, training, and language proficiency.

Based on demonstrating that there are no suitable American candidates for the position; includes prevailing wage standards.

Immigration Authorities: IRCC vs USCIS

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Facilitates immigration to Canada.
  • Provides refugee protection and settlement services.
  • Grants Canadian citizenship and issues travel documents.
  • Promotes multiculturalism in Canada.
  • Previously known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
  • Processes work permits, permanent residence cards, and travel documents.
  • Adjudicates immigrant visa petitions, naturalisation, asylum, and refugee applications.
  • Investigates immigration benefit fraud and denaturalization cases.
  • Previously part of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

Immigration Fees Comparison: Canada Vs USA

Fee Type



Express Entry (Canada) vs Employment-Based Green Card (USA)

Application Processing Fee

$850 CAD

$700 USD

Right of Permanent Residence Fee

$515 CAD


Family Sponsorship

Sponsorship Fee

$85 CAD

$535 USD

Principal Applicant Processing Fee

$545 CAD

$535 USD

Right of Permanent Residence Fee

$575 CAD



Citizenship Certificate

$75 CAD

$1,170 USD


Biometrics Fee

$85 CAD

$85 USD

Comparing Processing Times for Canadian & US Visas



United States

Express Entry vs. Employment-Based Green Card

Processing Time

6-12 months

600+ days


CAD $1,325

USD $2,270

Family Sponsorship

Processing Time

12-36 months

12-48 months


CAD $1,135

USD $535 - $1,760

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) vs. State-Specific Labor Certifications

Processing Time

6-12 months

6-24 months


CAD $1,325

USD $1,225


Processing Time

12-24 months

8-24 months


CAD $630

USD $725

Comparing Immigration Policies : Canada vs USA



United States

Overall Approach

Points-based system (skills-focused)

Employer-driven approach

Main Selection System

Express Entry Pool

Employer Sponsorship

Economic Immigration

Emphasizes human capital factors (age, education, work experience, language skills)

Prioritizes specific job offers and labor market needs

Family Immigration Programs

• Family Class Sponsorship

• Super Visa (for parents and grandparents)

• Family Preference Categories

• Immediate Relative Visas

Programs for PR Family Members

• Spousal/Partner Sponsorship

• Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship

• Dependent Child Sponsorship

• Family-Based Preference Categories

• Immediate Relative Visas for spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens

Temporary Worker Programs

• Temporary Foreign Worker Program

• International Mobility Program

• H-1B Visa

• L-1 Visa

• O-1 Visa

Refugee Programs

• Government-Assisted Refugee Program

• Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program

• U.S. Refugee Admissions Program

• Asylum Program

Provincial/State Involvement

Strong (Provincial Nominee Programs)

Limited (State-specific certifications for some visas)


With the Express Entry system, skilled immigrants can process their applications more quickly and pay less fees because it prioritises human capital factors such as age, education, and work experience.

Thousands of new permanent residents are welcomed with Canada's immigration plan through immigration programs like the Provincial Nominee Program and ambitious immigration goals.

Your own preferences and circumstances ultimately determine whether you should immigrate to Canada or US, however because of its more streamlined immigration processes, Canada is becoming a more popular destination for people wishing to broaden their horizons in North America.