Which Programs do Americans apply for to move to Canada permanently?

Canada Immigration Programs for Americans

Last Updated On : June 22 , 2024

When applying for permanent residency in Canada, Americans have similar possibilities to those of foreign nationals. The primary programs are as follows:

List Of IRCC Programs to Settle in Canada as a PR

Immigration Program


Express Entry

The federal economic immigration program manages applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class, with the highest-scoring candidates based on the age, education, work experience, language proficiency and adaptability invited for permanent residence.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Canadian provinces and territories have PNPs, which nominate immigrants to meet local labour market needs. These PNPs offer both enhanced and base streams for applicants.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Stream within Express Entry for skilled workers with recent Canadian work experience. Ideal for Americans who have already worked in Canada under a work permit.

Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program

Skilled workers can apply to this program and obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate to apply for permanent residency.

Atlantic Immigration Program

Permits immigration for individuals with job experience from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador and graduates from Atlantic Canadian universities.

Start-Up Visa

To establish a new business in Canada and can secure support from a designated organisation.

Family Sponsorship

Individuals (Canadian Citizens/ Permanent residents) living in Canada can sponsor their blood relatives or partners.

Caregiver Programs

For Child Care, elderly care or those with medical needs.

Refugee and Humanitarian Programs

Through programmes that are funded by the business sector, the government, and blended visa offices, Canada welcomes refugees.

PR Process for Skilled Workers

The Express Entry program is the most popular route for qualified workers to become Permanent Residents (PR) in Canada. Below is the breakdown of the steps.

Step 1: Meet the Requirements

  • Age:18-47 years
  • Education: at least a bachelor's degree
  • Job Experience: Minimum one year and maximum 6+ years
  • Language Test: TEF for French, IELTS or CELPIP for English

Step 2: Make the right choice

  • Express Entry: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class.
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Each province's eligibility criteria and application processes differ.
  • Quebec Skilled Worker Program: A distinct program with its own eligibility criteria and application process.

    Step 3: Create an Express Entry Profile:

    • Visit an (IRCC) Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship website.
    • Fill in the required details
    • Double-check the information and submit it to the pool.

    Step 4: Obtain an Invitation To Apply (ITA)

    Candidates are ranked based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), and the highest-ranking applicants are invited to apply for permanent residence.

    Step 5: Apply for PR

    • Submit all required documents: education, work experience, language proficiency.
    • Pay CAD 1,525 for the principal applicant.
    • Provide biometric data if needed.

    Step 6: Get the verdict

    A permanent resident visa and the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) are the results of the processing, which takes six to twelve months.

    Apply For Canada Express Entry

    Only those who have received an invitation to apply are eligible for Express Entry to apply for permanent residence.

    1. Complete the online application form on the IRCC Website.
    2. Scan and upload the Documents, such as the Language Test Result, Passport, job offer from a Canadian employer, if any, etc.
    3. Pay the processing (CAD 1810) Biometrics fee (CAD 85)
    4. Submit your application and double-check that the information you enter is correct.
    5. Wait for the decision. If your application is approved, be ready to pay your right of permanent residence fee (Around CAD 500) if you still need to.
    6. Check your application status and the actions required from your side.

    Apply For Provincial Nominee Program

    The purpose of the Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP) is to allow skilled, educated and experienced people to live in a province and obtain permanent residency in Canada while also boosting the economy of that province.

    1. Check your eligibility and obtain a nomination from the territory or province where you want to reside.
    2. Choose the provinces and territories you are interested in when creating an Express Entry profile. Reach out to the province or territory and submit an application for a nomination if they send you a "notification of interest" on your account.
    3. Update Your Express Entry Profile to reflect any nominations you may have received to get 600 bonus points, which will increase your chances of being called to apply.
    4. Wait for an invitation to apply for permanent residency from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
    5. Apply online via the IRCC Permanent Residence Portal in the event that you receive an invitation.

    NOTE: The cost is generally $1,525, and the processing time is 11 months.

    Apply As an Entrepreneur

    On The Basis Of

    Benefit for Business Owners

    Program Type

    Permanent Residency

    Target Audience

    Innovative Entrepreneurs

    Key Advantage

    Fast track to permanent residency for you and your team

    Job Offer Requirement

    Not needed

    Government Support

    Access to funding programs, mentorship, and business networks

    Eligibility Criteria

    * Innovative Business Idea with High Growth Potential * Relevant Entrepreneurial Experience * Support from a Designated Canadian Organization (Investor, VC Firm, or Incubator) * Sufficient Financial Resources

    Application Steps

    1. Connect with Designated Organizations 2. Develop a Comprehensive Business Plan 3. Prepare Application and Gather Documents

    Apply For Master's or Phd




    1. Check Eligibility

    Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for the program you want to pursue.

    2. Choose a Program

    Select a graduate program that aligns with your interests and career goals.

    3. Meet Admission Requirements

    Review the admission requirements for your chosen program, including language proficiency, academic background, and other tests.

    4. Apply Online

    Submit your application through the university's online portal.

    5. Provide Supporting Documents

    Upload required documents, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

    6. Pay Application Fees

    Pay the application fee, which varies by university.

    7. Wait for Admission

    Wait for the admission decision, which can take several weeks to several months.

    Work Permit for Skilled Workers



    Duration of Stay


    Work Permit


    Varies (usually up to 4 years)

    Unless exempt, requires a job offer backed by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). could result in permanent residency.



    Processing Time

    Eligibility Requirements

    Federal Skilled Worker Program

    Permanent residence for skilled workers with work experience and language proficiency

    6 months

    1 year of full-time paid work experience, TEER categories 0, 1, 2, or 3, language proficiency, education, age, and settlement funds

    Canadian Experience Class

    Permanent residence for skilled workers with Canadian work experience

    6 months

    12 months of full-time, skilled work experience in Canada within the previous 3 years

    Federal Skilled Trades Program

    Permanent residence for skilled trades workers

    6 months

    2 years of work experience in a skilled trade, offer of full-time employment or certificate of qualification

    Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

    Provincial programs for skilled workers to fill local labour market needs


    Varies by province

    Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program

    Permanent residence for skilled workers in Quebec


    12 months of full-time, skilled work experience in Quebec within the previous 2 years, advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French

    Atlantic Immigration Program

    Permanent residence for skilled workers from Atlantic Canada


    Job experience from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador, or graduates from Atlantic Canadian universities

    Start-Up Visa

    Permanent residence for entrepreneurs establishing a new business in Canada


    Support from a designated organization, business plan, and sufficient funds

    Canada Immigration Programs Cost:

    Now that you have compared all the details about the Canadian immigration program, including eligibility criteria, processing time, and other essential details, it's important to consider the immigration fees for these programs. Understanding the fees can help you take the next step in your immigration journey.



    Federal Skilled Worker Program

    CAD 1500 - 3000

    Canadian Experience Class

    CAD 1000 - 2000

    Federal Skilled Trades Program

    CAD 1000 - 2000

    Provincial Nominee Programs


    CAD 1500 - 4000

    Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker


    CAD 2000 - 4000

    Atlantic Immigration Program

    CAD 1000 - 2000

    Start-Up Visa

    Differs Significantly

    NOTE: The actual cost differs according to individual circumstances.