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How to Immigrate to Canada from India as a Skilled Worker Canada has over 100 different economic class pathways available to Indian immigrants.

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Under its Immigration Levels Plan, the Canadian government aims to welcome over 400,000 new permanent residents to the country each year.

As Canada’s greatest source of new permanent residents, India continues to be an important partner in reaching this goal.

In 2019, before COVID-19 disrupted immigration, one-quarter of all new Canadian immigrants arrived from India. If immigration patterns return to normal following flight suspensions and other COVID-19 travel restrictions, Canada could expect to welcome over 100,000 new permanent residents from India per year.

Travel from India to Canada

Direct flights from India have resumed since September 27, 2021. The government has updated its requirements for COVID screening at the port of entry. Please review the latest government guidelines before your departure.

As of July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers may qualify for some exemptions to quarantine and testing by meeting the following criteria:

The Government of Canada website provides a complete checklist of requirements that must be met before entering Canada. Up to date travel information is also provided here.

Immigration programs

Those looking to immigrate from India have several different programs available to gain permanent residency in Canada. Some of the most popular programs include:

Express Entry

Express Entry is an application management system for skilled workers with foreign work experience who want to immigrate to Canada permanently. In 2019, 46% of all invitations through the Express Entry program went to Indian nationals. The process for gaining permanent residence through Express Entry includes:

  • Find out if you are eligible. Candidates for this program must meet minimum requirements including skilled work experience, language ability, and educational requirements.
  • Prepare your documents. You will need to provide a series of documents including your passport, a written job offer, proof of funds, and language test results to prove proficiency in English or French. For more information on the accepted language tests and how to register click here.
  • Submit your profile. Upon submission of your information, you will be added to a pool of candidates. Express Entry rates candidates using a points-based system based on skills, educations, language ability and other factors.
  • Receive invitation. Candidates with the highest scores will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency. You will have 60 days to submit your application.


Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The PNP is another program available for skilled workers who want to immigrate to a province in Canada and become permanent residents. Each province has requirements and different “streams” in which provinces target particular groups including students, business people, skilled workers or semi-skilled workers.

How you apply for PNP will depend on the stream of interest. Some streams require a paper-based application while others use an online process through Express Entry. As part of the PNP application process, you will have to pass a medical exam and police check.

Be aware that in most cases, you will need to provide your biometrics (fingerprint and photograph) as part of the application program. Visit this Government of Canada website for assistance in finding a Biometrics site near you.

Other programs

Overall Canada has over 100 different economic class pathways, plus a range of other options including family sponsorship streams available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who want to bring their loved ones to Canada from India.

For more information on how to immigrate to Canada and the programs and services available, visit the Government of Canada’s website here.

How to prepare financially for life in Canada

Before moving to Canada, it’s important to prepare yourself financially. If you are applying for Express Entry, you will need to provide proof of funds. This is to demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself and your family when you arrive in Canada.

Opening an international bank account in Canada can help demonstrate proof of funds. Through Scotiabank’s StartRight Program[1], you can apply for an International Account and transfer funds up to $50,000 CAD before immigrating. You will be emailed a confirmation for funds deposited to show as Proof of Funds upon arrival in Canada. Once in Canada, you can book an appointment at a Scotiabank branch and set up a chequing account to assist with your everyday banking needs. The StartRight program[1] can also help you to access credit, savings, no-fee international money transfers, as well as help from a financial advisor.

Indian students can apply through the Student Direct Stream from India and avail Scotiabank’s Student Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) Program to support their application. This program can be used to show proof of funds and also provide you with access to money to help pay for living expenses while studying in Canada.

With the StartRight Program[1], students can open an account that offers no monthly fees, unlimited debit and Interact e-transfers, and unlimited international money transfers.

Helping newcomers feel at home faster

Immigrating to a new country comes with exciting new opportunities as well as challenges. Scotiabank shows its dedication to supporting newcomers to Canada through ScotiaRISE, a 10-year, $500 million initiative to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups. For example, Scotiabank recently donated $2.5 million to Windmill Microlending to support programs that provide career mentoring and financial support to professionally skilled women immigrants. Scotiabank is also targeting a $10 Billion commitment in support of affordable housing in Canada, which is aligned to ScotiaRISE.

Launched in 2008, the Scotiabank StartRight Program is designed to simplify banking for Canadian Permanent residents, International Students and Foreign Workers who have recently landed in Canada. We can help ease your transition to Canada by getting you started with a Scotiabank International Account that allows you to transfer up to $50,000 before you arrive to help you feel more prepared knowing you have proof of funds ready. We can even help fast track your study permit with the Scotiabank Student GIC Program.

Our Scotiabank StartRight program can also help you start banking in Canada with 12 months of free banking, access to credit with no credit history, unlimited no-fee international money transfers, and expert help from Financial Advisors.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as investment advice or guarantees about the future, nor should it be considered a recommendation to buy or sell. Information contained in this article, including information relating to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors, are subject to change without notice, and The Bank of Nova Scotia is not responsible to update this information. All third-party sources are believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date of publication, and The Bank of Nova Scotia does not guarantee its accuracy or reliability. Readers should consult their own professional advisor for specific investment and or tax advice tailored to their needs to ensure that individual circumstances are considered properly and action is taken based on the latest available information.

1 Scotiabank StartRight Program, created for Canadian Permanent residents from 0–3 years in Canada, International Students and Foreign Workers

1 Scotiabank cannot accept more than one wire payment per family and such payment cannot exceed CAD $50,000. You are responsible to ensure that your wire payment to Scotiabank in Canada, including the amount, is in compliance with the local laws of your country. This is not intended to solicit transactions that are not permitted in the applicable jurisdictions.

2 The 1-Year No Monthly Account Fee Offer (the “Offer”) is available to eligible clients who open a new Preferred Package account under the StartRight® Program (the “Account”). Employees of The Bank of Nova Scotia (“Scotiabank”) and individuals who are currently or were previously holders/ joint holders of a Scotiabank chequing account within the last 2 years are not eligible for this Offer. If you are eligible for the Offer, during the first 12 months, your monthly Account fee will be waived and will not appear as a charge on your Account. The Account must be open and in good standing at the time of the waiver. All applicable service charges on the Account will continue to be applied monthly. After the first 12 months, you will begin to see the monthly Account fee charged to your Account unless you maintain a minimum daily closing balance of $4,000, in which case the monthly Account fee will be waived per the Account terms and conditions. This Offer is non-transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. Maximum one Offer per customer. All rates, fees, features and benefits are subject to change. Offer may be changed, cancelled, or extended at any time without notice.

3 Foreign currency exchange rates apply. A transfer needs to be made from an eligible Scotiabank Chequing or Savings account

4 Additional fees apply for shared ABM services, cross-border debit transactions and other banking services not included in the Student Banking Advantage Plan account package. Qualifying students are full-time students enrolled at a Canadian university, community college, CEGEP or other recognized post-secondary institution. To take advantage of the Student Banking Advantage Plan account benefits, you will need to provide your branch with proof that you are enrolled full-time at a qualifying postsecondary institution each academic year prior to November 30th. When you are no longer enrolled full-time or you have not presented proof of enrolment, the plan will be removed and the account will automatically be converted to an account that is suitable to you based on your recent transaction behaviour.