Century21 Logo



+1 (902) 436-2265

A Guide to Moving to Canada

Flag of Canada

Canada, known for its diverse culture and welcoming attitude towards those arriving from other countries, offers a variety of immigration programs to cater to different needs and qualifications of individuals seeking a new life in this vibrant country. From skilled workers and entrepreneurs to family reunification, these programs are designed to facilitate the smooth transition of newcomers into Canadian society and the workforce.

For newcomers arriving in Prince Edward Island, the journey of buying their first home in Canada can be both exciting and daunting. Century21, your local real estate company can play a pivotal role in easing this transition. Our team has an in-depth knowledge of the local housing market. Real estate agents can provide invaluable guidance to newcomers who are unfamiliar with the nuances of Canadian real estate. We can assist in navigating the diverse neighborhoods of PEI, helping newcomers find a community that best suits their lifestyle and budgetary needs.

Real estate companies in PEI are equipped to offer personalized services that go beyond just finding the right property. They can educate newcomers about the home buying process in Canada, which may include understanding mortgage qualification, property taxes, and legal requirements unique to PEI. Moreover, they can connect buyers with essential local resources such as mortgage advisors, home inspectors, and legal professionals, ensuring a smooth and informed purchasing experience. For those unfamiliar with English or French, Century21 Northumberland Realty can provide real estate services in 9 languages, further simplifying communication and making the complex process of buying a home more accessible and less intimidating. By leveraging the expertise of our real estate team, new immigrants can make more informed decisions, reduce the stress of relocation, and find a home that serves as a foundation for their new life in Canada.

As well as understanding the PEI real estate market, understanding the nuances of each Canadian immigration program is crucial for a successful entry. Below is an overview of some of the key immigration programs available in Canada, detailing their purpose and the steps involved in each, to help prospective immigrants navigate the process with ease. At Century21 Northumberland Realty we are here to help – contact any of our realtors for further information. Check here. Check out this https://ircc.canada.ca/explore-programs/index.asp?reset”> quiz from the Government of Canada.

1. Express Entry

Overview: The Express Entry system is a cornerstone of Canadian immigration, designed to facilitate the swift and efficient processing of applications for permanent residency. It primarily targets skilled workers, aligning their abilities and experience with Canada’s labor market needs. Express Entry manages applications for three key federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. By employing a comprehensive ranking system (CRS), Express Entry evaluates candidates based on factors such as age, education, work experience, and language proficiency in English or French. This points-based approach ensures a meritocratic, transparent, and fair process for those seeking to contribute to Canada’s diverse and dynamic economy.

Upon creating an online profile and entering the Express Entry pool, candidates are ranked against one another in the pool. Those with the highest scores are then periodically invited to apply for permanent residency through regular draws. This system not only expedites the selection process but also tailors it to the fluctuating demands of Canada’s workforce. Additionally, candidates in the pool may increase their chances of being selected by obtaining a provincial nomination, securing a valid job offer, or improving their core human capital factors. Express Entry, with its responsive and adaptive approach, exemplifies Canada’s commitment to inviting skilled individuals to become integral parts of its society and economy, fostering growth and multiculturalism.

  • Step 1: Determine eligibility.
  • Step 2: Complete language testing and get an educational credential assessment (if needed).
  • Step 3: Create an Express Entry profile and enter the pool.
  • Step 4: Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if you meet the cut-off score.
  • Step 5: Submit a complete application for permanent residence within 60 days of receiving the ITA.
  • Step 6: Application processing, including background checks and possibly an interview.
  • Step 7: Receive a decision. If successful, complete landing formalities.

2. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Overview:The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a critical component of Canada’s immigration policy, designed to address specific labor and demographic needs within the country’s various provinces and territories. Unlike the federal Express Entry system, which operates under a uniform set of criteria across Canada, the PNP allows individual provinces and territories to nominate immigrants who meet their specific economic and labor market requirements. This program acknowledges the diverse needs of different regions, enabling them to tailor their immigrant selection criteria according to local priorities and development strategies.

Each participating province and territory under the PNP has its own unique set of streams (immigration programs that target certain groups) and criteria for selecting nominees. These streams can be broadly categorized into those targeting skilled workers, semi-skilled workers, business people, students, and even specific sectors such as healthcare, technology, and others. Some streams align with the federal Express Entry system, allowing provinces to select candidates from the Express Entry pool. These candidates, upon receiving a provincial nomination, are awarded additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), significantly increasing their chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

The application process for the PNP varies depending on the specific requirements of each province or territory. Generally, it involves a two-step process: first, the applicant must apply for and receive a nomination from a province or territory; then, with this nomination, they can apply for permanent residence through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This pathway not only benefits the provinces by filling gaps in the local labor market but also provides immigrants with an opportunity to establish themselves in regions that might be more aligned with their skills, experiences, and career aspirations. The PNP stands as a testament to Canada’s decentralized approach to immigration, recognizing the unique characteristics and needs of its varied regions while contributing to the overall economic and cultural fabric of the country.

  • Step 1: Choose a province/territory and apply for their PNP.
  • Step 2: If nominated, create an Express Entry profile (if applicable) and link it to the nomination.
  • Step 3: Receive an ITA for permanent residence through Express Entry (if applicable).
  • Step 4: Submit a complete application for permanent residence.
  • Step 5: Processing and decision.

3. Family Sponsorship

Overview:The Family Sponsorship program is a vital component of Canada’s immigration system, underlining the country’s commitment to family reunification. This program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their relatives, including spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents, to become permanent residents of Canada. This pathway not only strengthens family bonds but also supports the social and cultural integration of immigrants into Canadian society.

For those looking to sponsor a family member, the process involves several key steps. Firstly, the sponsor must meet certain eligibility criteria, such as being at least 18 years old, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and having the financial means to support the family member they are sponsoring. The sponsored individual must also meet specific eligibility requirements, including passing medical examinations and security checks. The sponsor needs to sign an undertaking agreement, committing to providing financial support for the sponsored family member, if necessary, for a period that varies depending on the relation and age of the sponsored person.

The Family Sponsorship program is characterized by its rigorous application process, which requires detailed documentation to prove the legitimacy of the relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored individual. This is particularly relevant in spousal or partnership sponsorships, where the authenticity of the relationship is carefully scrutinized. Once the application is approved, the sponsored family member becomes a permanent resident of Canada and enjoys many of the same rights and responsibilities as other residents, including access to healthcare, the right to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada, and protection under Canadian law.

Through the Family Sponsorship program, Canada reinforces its image as a nation that values and supports family unity. This program not only enriches the multicultural mosaic of Canadian society but also provides a supportive environment for new immigrants to adapt and thrive in their new home. By enabling families to reunite and live together in Canada, the program plays a crucial role in the social and emotional well-being of immigrants, contributing positively to their settlement and integration.

  • Step 1: Ensure both sponsor and sponsored relative meet eligibility requirements.
  • Step 2: Submit a sponsorship application and a permanent residence application.
  • Step 3: Application processing, including verification of relationship and background checks.
  • Step 4: Decision and completion of landing formalities.

4. Start-Up Visa Program

Overview:The Start-Up Visa Program is an innovative pathway to Canadian permanent residence for entrepreneurs globally. Specifically designed for individuals possessing a unique business idea, the program aims to attract entrepreneurial talent that can contribute to Canada’s growing economy, particularly in the technology and innovation sectors. It provides a platform for entrepreneurs to establish their start-up businesses in Canada, while also securing permanent residency for themselves and their families.

To be eligible for this program, entrepreneurs must secure support from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or a business incubator. This endorsement not only validates the viability of the start-up idea but also provides the entrepreneur with essential resources and guidance to successfully launch and grow their business in Canada. Applicants must also meet certain language proficiency requirements and prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependents upon arrival in Canada. Once these criteria are met, entrepreneurs can apply for the Start-Up Visa. The program is known for its efficiency, with a commitment to processing applications within a relatively short time frame. Successful applicants gain permanent residence status, offering them the opportunity to develop their businesses while enjoying the benefits of living in Canada. This includes access to a stable and welcoming business environment, a highly skilled workforce, and a quality of life that is among the best in the world.

  • Step 1: Secure a commitment from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator.
  • Step 2: Meet language requirements and have enough funds to settle.
  • Step 3: Apply for the Start-Up Visa.
  • Step 4: Application processing, including background checks.
  • Step 5: Decision and landing.

5. Atlantic Immigration Pilot

Overview:The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a unique Canadian immigration program, launched to address the specific labor market challenges faced by the Atlantic provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. This pilot program is part of a collaborative effort between the federal government and the provinces to attract and retain skilled immigrants in the Atlantic region, which is essential for promoting economic growth and offsetting demographic challenges in these areas.

The pilot program is divided into three main streams: the Atlantic High-Skilled Program, the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, and the Atlantic International Graduate Program. Each stream caters to different categories of applicants based on their skill level, work experience, and educational background. For instance, the High-Skilled Program is for candidates with managerial, professional, or technical/skilled job offers, while the Intermediate-Skilled Program is for those with job offers requiring a high school education and/or job-specific training. The International Graduate Program, on the other hand, targets recent graduates from recognized Atlantic educational institutions.

A distinctive feature of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot is its emphasis on employer involvement. Before candidates can apply, they must have a job offer from a designated employer in one of the Atlantic provinces. These employers do not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which simplifies the hiring process. Furthermore, the program requires both the employer and the candidate to work on a settlement plan, ensuring that newcomers receive the support they need to adapt to their new environment effectively. This collaborative approach ensures that immigrants not only fill immediate job vacancies but also integrate well into their new communities, contributing to the local economy and society.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot represents a proactive and community-focused approach to immigration, reflecting Canada’s commitment to regional development through immigration. By providing a pathway for skilled workers and international graduates to settle in the Atlantic region, the program plays a crucial role in driving the economic and demographic revitalization of these provinces.

  • Step 1: Get a job offer from a designated employer in the Atlantic region.
  • Step 2: Get a referral to the program from the province (if needed).
  • Step 3: Submit an application for permanent residence.
  • Step 4: Application processing and decision.

While the broader landscape of Canadian immigration offers a diverse array of entry options catering to a wide range of individuals, each province and territory has its unique programs tailored to its specific needs and opportunities. Focusing on regional immigration, Prince Edward Island (PEI), with its distinct charm and growing economic sectors, presents specific pathways that align with its local requirements. The following section delves into the particulars of PEI’s immigration programs, highlighting how this beautiful island province uniquely facilitates the entry and settlement of new residents and contributes to Canada’s rich mosaic of immigrant communities.

1. PEI PNP Express Entry

Overview: Linked with the federal Express Entry system, this program is for skilled workers who have a profile in the Express Entry pool and meet the specific criteria set by PEI.

  • Step 1: Create an Express Entry profile and express interest in living in PEI.
  • Step 2: Apply to the PEI Express Entry category if you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Step 3: If selected, receive a provincial nomination from PEI, which adds 600 points to your Express Entry score.
  • Step 4: Receive an ITA for permanent residence via the federal Express Entry system.
  • Step 5: Submit a complete application for permanent residence.
  • Step 6: Processing of application and decision.

2. PEI PNP Labour Impact Category

Overview: For individuals who have a valid job offer in PEI and support from their employer. It’s divided into three streams: Skilled Worker, Critical Worker, and International Graduate.

  • Step 1: Obtain a job offer from a PEI employer.
  • Step 2: Ensure you meet the criteria for one of the Labour Impact streams.
  • Step 3: Submit an application to the PEI PNP under the relevant stream.
  • Step 4: If nominated, apply for permanent residence.
  • Step 5: Application processing and decision.

3. PEI PNP Business Impact Category

Overview: Targeted at experienced business owners or senior managers who wish to invest in and actively manage a business in PEI.

  • Step 1: Meet the minimum eligibility criteria, including net worth, business management experience, and investment amount.
  • Step 2: Submit an Expression of Interest to the PEI PNP.
  • Step 3: If invited, apply to the Business Impact Category.
  • Step 4: Sign a Performance Agreement and receive a work permit to start or invest in a business in PEI.
  • Step 5: Once the terms of the Performance Agreement are met, apply for a provincial nomination.
  • Step 6: Apply for permanent residence.
  • Step 7: Processing of application and decision.

4. Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Overview: Although a federal program, PEI participates in this pilot, designed to attract skilled workers to Atlantic Canada. It includes the Atlantic High-Skilled Program, Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, and Atlantic International Graduate Program.

  • Step 1: Obtain a job offer from a designated employer in PEI.
  • Step 2: Meet the eligibility requirements for one of the AIPP streams.
  • Step 3: Get an endorsement from PEI.
  • Step 4: Submit an application for permanent residence.
  • Step 5: Processing and decision.

In conclusion, Prince Edward Island offers a range of tailored immigration options to suit various needs and aspirations. Whether it’s through the PEI Provincial Nominee Program, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, or business and entrepreneurial pathways, each program is designed to support the island’s unique economic and social landscape. For those looking to call this picturesque and vibrant community home, understanding and navigating these programs is a critical first step. As always, staying informed with the latest guidelines and requirements from both the PEI government and Canadian federal immigration policies is essential for a successful immigration journey.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is sourced from materials believed to be reliable. However, Century21 Northumberland Realty cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. We strongly advise all readers to consult with a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant, or directly contact the appropriate government department, before making any decisions or taking actions related to immigrating to Canada. This article serves as a general guide and should not be considered a definitive guide or an official document. It’s important to refer to official sources for the most current and accurate information regarding Canadian immigration.

Ron Barrett - Century21 Northumberland - PEI Realtor


I am Ron Barrett, co-owner and broker at Century21 Northumberland Realty. I and my team of 30+ professional real estate agents would be pleased to help you with all your Prince Edward Island real estate needs. I can be reached at 902.888.7238 or ron@century21pei.com