Most popular options to come to Canada from the United Arab Emirates

Julia Hornstein
Published: September 26, 2023

Canada hopes to welcome 465,000 new permanent residents by the end of 2023 under its Immigration Levels Plan. By 2025, the goal is 500,000 new permanent residents.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the top countries of residence for new immigrants to Canada. Canada is a popular destination for UAE residents because of the country's many economic opportunities in a wide variety of sectors, including the information and technology sector, the health sector and engineering-related fields.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is a very popular option for those coming from the UAE. The FWSP invites applicants with work experience and no job offer or no connection to Canada to apply for permanent residence.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

The FSWP is one of the programs managed by Express Entry, the Canadian federal government’s application system that manages the FWSP, the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

The UAE is among the top countries for Express Entry immigrants to Canada, therefore most UAE residents come to Canada as skilled workers in the economic category.

In order to be eligible for the program, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • One year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3;
  • Validated language ability equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French across all abilities (reading, writing, listening, and speaking); and
  • A Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign credential and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
  • At least 67 points on IRCC’s six immigration selection factors.
  • Enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada.

Once you determine you are eligible for the FSWP, you may apply by creating an Express Entry profile on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. By creating a profile, you will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on human capital factors such as age, education, language ability, work experience and more.

IRCC has also recently launched new category-based Express Entry draws. Candidates are selected through this program if they have a strong French language proficiency or have work experience in the following professions:

  • Healthcare
  • STEM professions
  • Trades, such as carpenters, plumbers and contractors
  • Transport
  • Agriculture and agri-food

The Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is another major option for UAE immigration candidates.

Canada has 10 provinces and three territories, the majority of which have the PNP (except for Quebec and Nunavut). Through the PNP, each province and territory get to design immigration pathways based on their economic, job market and demographic needs.

The provinces and territories will nominate skilled worker candidates for immigration to their respective jurisdictions though the PNP. Each province will have their own eligibility criteria that a candidate must meet in order to be nominated.

Candidates can also enter the Express Entry pool and be nominated through the PNP by a province that will select candidates from the federal pool. If a candidate is nominated through Express Entry, they will receive an additional 600 CRS points, which essentially guarantees an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Work permits

Individuals residing in the UAE come to Canada to work by getting a Canadian work permit, which are divided into two programs: the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). The main difference between the two is that a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required for the TFWP, while it is not for the IMP.

The LMIA’s purpose is to demonstrate that hiring the foreign worker will either have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian job market.

The IMP exists to promote Canada’s economic and social policy objectives, which is why the program does not require an LMIA. Under the IMP, for example, is the Intra-Company Transfer, which allows key personnel of a company or business to transfer from their branch to a location in Canada. Another example is the Significant Benefit stream, which issues work permits to foreign nationals when their proposed benefit to Canada is significant, meaning their work is important or notable.

Applicants usually need a job offer from a Canadian to apply for a work permit. However, there are some situations in which applicants can get an open work permit, which are not tied to a particular employer and allows the individual to work almost anywhere in Canada.

Study permits

Canada is one of the leading destinations for international students due to factors such as the high quality of Canadian education, affordability, and post-graduation benefits.

A massive benefit of studying in Canada for international students completing post-secondary education in Canada is that they may have the opportunity to transition to permanent residence. Canadian education can help when it comes to pursuing Canadian permanent residence, as many federal and provincial immigration programs value candidates with Canadian education and work experience.

In addition, after finishing your studies in Canada, you may get a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) which depending on your academic program, can enable you to work in Canada for up to three years.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

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