Canada’s Economic Immigration Streams: Which One Is Right For You?

October 16, 20230

Canada has a long history of immigration. Every year, thousands of people come to Canada from all over the world to make it their new home. According to current data, Canada’s economic immigration represents more than one half of all immigrants.

In 2021, around 300k individuals received invitations, and it increased to 492,984 in 2022. The number of Canada’s economic immigration will continue to rise in the coming years. 

Read: 9 Ways To Make A Judge Rule In Your Favor

The growing economy of Canada needs more labor to support its industries and this need cannot be met domestically. So Canada relies on immigration to support its economy. 

Economic immigration is one of the most common categories for people who are looking to become Canadian permanent residents based on their skill, which can be within Canada or overseas. 

The process is quite rigorous and involves many steps that can be overwhelming. The government of Canada designed Canada’s Economic Immigration programs to attract educated and skilled workers who can fulfill the needs of the industries in Canada. 

Canada’s Economic Immigration classes are identified as:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Quebec Skilled Workers
  • Provincial Nominee Program

Canada’s Economic Immigration category is for people who have a certain skill set and experience that meet the needs of the Canadian Labour market.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

This program comes under the federal Express Entry system, which allows people from all over the world to immigrate to Canada. 

Under this program, candidates across 370 eligible occupations who meet the minimum requirement can submit their profile in the Express Entry Pool. 

The highest ranked candidates are called to apply for permanent residence. Candidates who get an invitation must respond with a complete application within 60 days.

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program:

  • Have one year of continuous full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment in one of the 370 qualified occupations specified in the appropriate National Occupational Classification system within the previous ten years.
  • The work experience must fall within the National Occupational Classification’s TEER categories 0 (management occupations), 1 (occupations that usually require a university degree), 2 (occupations that require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of 2 or more years, or are supervisory), or 3 (occupations that require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of less than 2 years, or more than 6 months of on-the-job training).
  • Score enough points on the skilled worker point grid, which includes six selection parameters.
  • Undergo language testing from a certified third party and exhibit intermediate level language skills in English or French equivalent to the Canadian Language Benchmark of 7)
  • Pass a satisfactory security background and medical assessment.

All the qualified candidates are evaluated against 6 factors:

  • Education;
  • Language;
  • Employment experience;
  • Age;
  • Arranged employment;
  • Adaptability.

(“Eligibility to apply as a Federal Skilled Worker (Express Entry)”)

Canadian Experience Class

Canadian Experience Class program is for candidates who have at least 1 year of Canadian work experience. Candidates require a letter from their employer. They don’t have to show proof of funds as required in other categories. Foreign nationals who lived in Canada on temporary basis for work are eligible to apply under the CEC.


  • Have at least 1 year of full time work experience in the last 3 year.
  • Have worked in canada on a valid status.
  • Must perform duties mentioned in the lead statement of the occupation description of the National Occupational Classification.
  • Skilled work experience in TEER 0,1,2,3

(“Eligibility to apply for the Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry)”)

Quebec Skilled Workers

Quebec skilled worker stream is one of the immigration pathways for candidates who want to settle in Quebec. 

The applicants are required to demonstrate minimum skilled work experience. It’s a point based system in which applicants must meet the minimum score requirement to be eligible to consider. 

This program doesn’t require an applicant to be proficient in French, but French proficiency leads to an increase in score. To be considered for this program, eligible candidates must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Arrima web portal. 

Apply to the Government of Quebec for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec [CSQ]).

  • The Province of Quebec will evaluate you based on its own rules.
  • The certificate proves that the Province of Quebec has recognized you as an immigrant.

Provincial Nominee Program

PNP allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals for immigration to their province or territory based on criteria established by the provincial or territorial government. 

Successful applicants will receive a province nomination, allowing them to apply for permanent residence. Every province has its own eligibility criteria and set of rules for their Nominee program, for example, they target in different categories:

  • Students
  • Business People
  • Skilled workers
  • semi-skilled workers

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program

Under its economic immigration program, Alberta nominates people with skills to fill job shortages or planning to buy a business. Alberta has 3 streams under its worker stream.

  1. Alberta opportunity stream: In the applicant must be living in Alberta and must have a valid job offer from an alberta employer
  2. Alberta Express entry stream: Candidates who have a profile in the federal express entry pool are called by the province to apply for the Provincial nomination. This will give you 600 extra points which help you in getting your Permanent residency.
  3. Rural Renewal stream: In this, the rural communities are applying to be designated before they can recruit and endorse candidates. Foreign workers who have a job offer from a rural community can apply for the AAIP nomination.

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

  • International Skilled Worker: This category is for skilled workers who want to work and live in Saskatchewan.
  • Saskatchewan Experience: For foreign nationals who already live and work in Saskatchewan, see Saskatchewan Experience.
  • Entrepreneur and Farm: for Saskatchewan residents who want to start a business or buy and maintain a farm.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Foreign Worker stream

Employer Job Application: If you are a competent foreign worker with a job offer in Ontario, you should apply through the Foreign Worker stream.

International Student stream

Employer Job Application: If you are a recent graduate with a job offer in Ontario, you can apply through the International Student stream.

In-Demand Skills stream

Employer Job Application: If you are a foreign worker in an in-demand occupation with a job offer in Ontario, you should apply through the In Demand Skills stream.

Masters Graduate stream

If you have a master’s degree from an Ontario university, apply for the Masters Graduate stream.

PhD Graduate stream

If you have a PhD from an Ontario university, you can apply for the PhD Graduate stream.

Finally, on Canada’s Economic Immigration Streams

Canada offers a variety of avenues for international students to get permanent residency, including the Post-Graduation Work Permit, the Express Entry system, Provincial Nominee Programs, and special streams such as Quebec’s PEQ. Seeking advice from a Registered Immigration Agent in Canada promotes a simpler path and increases your chances of obtaining permanent status.

Author Profile:

Harinder P Singh

I contribute to, sharing the excitement of immigration’s promise—a chance for individuals, regardless of background, to create a better life abroad. Beyond writing, I find joy in drawing, cooking, baking, and savoring music. Immigration, to me, symbolizes hope for a brighter future for families and loved ones.

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