Canada has become an attractive option for skilled workers and their family members interested in migrating from India. It’s a multicultural country with a strong economy and a high standard of living. Plus, the online immigration portal makes it easy to submit an application.
Of course, Canada is a big country and there are many things to consider before you make your move. Let’s look at some of the factors that you may want to take into account.
Why Immigrate to Canada from India?
Canada is considered one of the most immigrant-friendly countries in the world and welcomes around 300,000 new permanent residents each year. In 1967, it eliminated all quotas based on race and nationality, and instead developed a points system to rank skilled workers.
Canada is a particularly popular destination for immigrants from India. There are over 1,300,000 Indo-Canadians living in the country, according to the most recent census. Over half live in the Toronto area, with others living in Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary.
Canada is actively seeking skilled workers in technology and other industries, so many Indian immigrants choose Canada to further their educational and career goals. If you speak English and have a degree in an in-demand industry, then moving to Canada may be less of a culture shock than many other countries.
What Canada Provides for Indian Immigrants
Canada offers many benefits to immigrants to make your life in the country easier. Permanent residents can take free language courses (in-person or online) in French or in English that are paid for by the government. You’ll also have access to Canada’s health care system, although you may have to wait 3 or more months before you’re eligible to enroll.
In addition to the official benefits of being a permanent resident, you’ll also get to enjoy Canada’s climate, culture, and quality of life, including low unemployment and low crime rates.
Canada’s climate may be one of the most challenging things for immigrants from India to adjust to. It certainly has lower temperatures and longer winters than Indians are used to. Toronto gets around 15 hours of daylight in the summer, but only around 9 in the winter.
But not all cities in Canada are the same, and you may be surprised at how diverse Canada’s climate can be. The eastern parts of Canada, including Toronto and Montreal, are known for their snowy winters and freezing temperatures. But Canadian buildings are built for cold weather. Montreal even has an Underground City so you don’t have to go outside in the winter!
The western parts of Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria, BC, have much milder winters and far more rain than snow. No matter where you live in Canada, you can expect sunny summers with long days and temperatures reaching 25℃/77℉ in the hottest months.
Quality of Life
Canada ranks highly on many quality of life scales and came in at #1 on a 2019 ranking by U.S. News & World Report. It received a 10 out of 10 based on its political stability, affordability, public health care, and education systems, income equality, and more.
Canada’s cities are considered some of the most liveable in the world, with Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary all ranking in the top 10. What makes them so liveable? In general, Canada’s cities have good urban infrastructure, including public transit and bike lanes, plenty of parks and open spaces, and easy access to nature and outdoor activities.
Canada also has one of the top 10 public health care systems in the world. Although health care is typically provided by the private sector, it’s paid for by the government, and you can get dental and prescription drug coverage through private plans or employer-sponsored coverage.
Canada has a fairly good work/life balance, with a standard work week of 40 hours and a total of 19 paid vacation days each year. The minimum wage varies from province to province, with the lowest ($10.96) in Saskatchewan and the highest ($14.00) in Ontario. You can take a look at the Job Bank to see what you can expect to earn in your field in different cities in Canada.
Taxes rates in Canada also vary from province to province. The federal income tax is 15% on the first $47,630 you earn and increases to 33% for income over $210,371. You can use this calculator to estimate how much you can expect to pay in taxes based on your income.
Canada has a very progressive culture, primarily influenced by British and French traditions, but increasingly incorporating ideas from immigrant and indigenous communities. Canada has had a multicultural policy since 1971 and is committed to cultural diversity and social equality.
In fact, Toronto may be the “most multicultural city in the world,” according to the BBC, with over 230 nationalities and 140 languages represented there. Neighborhoods include Chinatown, Little Italy, Little India, and Greektown, providing the city with diverse culinary and music scenes.
Canada has two official languages, English and French, although the province of Quebec is the only one with a majority of French speakers, and understanding French is not necessary to live and work in most of Canada. Many cities have their own sports teams, with winter sports such as hockey drawing the most loyal followings.
Canada ranks highly in terms of personal safety. With a low crime rate and strict gun laws, 84 percent of Canadians feel safe walking alone at night, and 82 percent trust the police. Canada has very strict DUI laws, and you may be ineligible for entry if you’ve ever been convinced of driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.
Life expectancy in Canada is 82.3 years, higher than the United States (78.69 years) and India (68.56 years). Air pollution is becoming an issue in some cities, particularly in British Columbia, which experiences frequent wildfires during the summer months.
How to Apply to Immigrate to Canada from India
If you’re interested in relocating to Canada from India, there are several visas that you may be eligible for. If you have already a spouse who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, then you may be able to apply for a visa with them as your sponsor.
Otherwise, you can apply for a visa through one of several skilled worker programs. The federal government offers visas to skilled workers through the Express Entry system, while some other provinces, such as Quebec, have their own skilled worker nomination programs.
If you apply as a skilled worker, you’ll have to have at least one year of work experience in any of 347 skilled occupations. You can apply through the Canadian Experience Class if you have one year of work experience within Canada, such as during a year working abroad.
You don’t have to have a job offer or family members in Canada to apply for the skilled worker program, although you will get additional “points” if you do. You’ll also get points for education and work experience, language ability, and age, so make sure you have the highest possible number of points when you apply. You’ll lose points for every year of age over 35.
When you apply for this visa, you can also apply to bring along a spouse and any dependent children, so there’s no waiting period during which you’ll have to live in Canada without them. Once you’re granted the visa, you’ll be eligible to move to Canada with your family for life.
Qualifying for Express Entry To Canada from India
The Express Entry system is easy to use and the entire process can be done online. Before you apply for the visa, you’ll have to meet certain minimum requirements:
- Education: secondary diploma or equivalent
- Work experience: 1 year of full-time work experience (or 2 years part-time)
- Language ability: CLB 7 skills in English or French
You’ll also need a minimum of 67 points out of 100 according to the 6 selection criteria. If you meet these requirements, you can submit a profile to the Express Entry system.
Once you submit your profile, you’ll be added to the candidate pool and ranked alongside other candidates. The highest-ranking candidates will be invited to apply for the visa first.
If you’re invited, you’ll have 60 days to submit your application. If not, you’ll be removed from the pool after a year, although you are welcome to try again.
If you want to increase your chances of getting selected, you can improve your language skills or educational qualifications before you re-submit your profile.
Most applications are processed within 6 months, and you can check your status at any time through the Express Entry system. You may also have to submit other documents, including a medical and police check, and proof of fund to settle in Canada.
Once your visa is granted, you’ll be ready to travel to Canada and begin your new life in Toronto, Vancouver, or any other city you choose!