Canada has a proud and rich tradition of welcoming immigrants from Lebanon.
Lebanese immigration to Canada began in 1882 and today there are up to 400,000 people of Lebanese origin estimated to live in Canada. Lebanese-Canadians have gone on to hold prominent roles in many jobs, such as politicians, business people, athletes, academics, and actors.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Canada was welcoming an average of 1,800 new immigrants from Lebanon each year. Canada is now looking to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants per year, mainly as skilled workers. The following is an overview of the main ways you can pursue immigration to Canada as a Lebanese skilled worker.
Express Entry is your main option if you are looking to immigrate from Lebanon to Canada as a skilled worker. Under its Immigration Levels Plan, Canada is looking to welcome around 110,000 new immigrants annually through Express Entry.
There are two steps to Express Entry.
The first step entails confirming you meet the eligibility criteria of one of these programs:
The FSWP tends to be the most viable option for those who have not lived in Canada before.
If you confirm your eligibility for Express Entry, you can proceed to step two.
Step two entails uploading your profile onto the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC will evaluate your human capital characteristics. This includes evaluating your age, language skills, work experience, and education. IRCC also evaluates other factors such as your Canadian experience, if you have a Canadian job offer, and whether a Canadian province or territory has invited you to immigrate to their jurisdiction.
After considering all these factors, IRCC issues a score to you through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Your CRS score will determine the competitiveness of your application.
Every two weeks or so, IRCC holds Express Entry draws. Generally speaking, IRCC invites candidates with the highest CRS scores to apply for permanent residence. Those that get an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence have 60 days to submit their application to IRCC. You can move to Canada once IRCC approves your permanent residence application.
It is beneficial to enter the Express Entry pool shortly after confirming you are eligible. Being in the Express Entry pool gives you a chance of getting an ITA. Express Entry is designed to be unpredictable since IRCC adjusts draws based on Canada’s various policy goals. You never know when you might get an ITA so it is better to be in the pool to have at least some chance, rather than zero chance by excluding yourself from entering the pool. Second, being in the pool gives you a chance to get a job offer. A valid job offer can lead to an additional 50 or 200 CRS points. Third, you can gain 600 extra CRS points if you receive a provincial nomination while you are in the pool. Getting these 600 points almost guarantees you will receive an ITA for permanent residence.
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is the second main way Lebanese nationals can pursue immigration to Canada as skilled workers.
The PNP allows Canada’s provinces and territories to recruit skilled workers that meet their jurisdiction’s labour market needs. If you meet a PNP’s selection criteria and your application is approved, the province or territory will provide you with a provincial nomination certificate. The provincial nomination certificate will support your permanent residence application to IRCC.
The largest PNP streams are operated by Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. The provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba also have large PNP streams. If you want to immigrate to Canada through the PNP, the best way is by conducting research on the various streams and then applying directly to the jurisdiction of your choice. You can also earn consideration for the PNP simply by entering IRCC’s Express Entry pool. Provinces regularly invite Express Entry candidates to apply directly to their PNP. If you accept this invitation, as noted above, you will get 600 extra CRS points and become much closer to immigrating to Canada.
Many Lebanese nationals that speak French choose to immigrate to Canada’s only Francophone province, Quebec.
Quebec operates its own immigration system and has Canada’s third largest immigration pathway for skilled workers. Applicants to Quebec need to demonstrate they have French-language skills.
The Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) is probably your best option if you have not lived in Quebec before. It operates like Express Entry’s Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). Once you confirm your eligibility for the QSWP, you receive points based on your profile, and then Quebec invites the highest-scoring candidates to proceed with the immigration process. Once approved by Quebec, you can go ahead and submit your permanent residence application to IRCC.
Also keep in mind that beyond Express Entry, the PNP, and Quebec’s streams, there are other Canadian immigration options available to skilled workers. These are more targeted in nature, such as if you want to move to Canada’s Atlantic provinces, or if you want to work in a particular sector, such as the agri-food sector.
Overall, Canada operates over 100 different economic class immigration pathways.
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