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Immigration and Settlement

This guide is for people who need information about immigrating to Canada, for themselves, or for family members or friends.

Immigrating to Canada

          Map of Canada

For information about immigrating to Canada, consult the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Immigrate to Canada web page. You can also make an appointment to get in-person assistance at your nearest IRCC office or contact the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Client Support Centre.

Pathways to permanent residency – and to citizenship – available for temporary residents


There are a number of pathways, both at the provincial and federal levels, that can lead to citizenship for temporary residents. The first step is to attain permanent residency.

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) offers a great opportunity for many temporary residents in a wide range of occupations who are already in BC on a temporary basis. As of January 1st, 2015, the BC PNP has introduced a BC Express Entry stream to further expedite the process for some applicants. The BC PNP also has a stream that specifically supports international student graduates of high demand occupations on their pathway to permanency in BC. Contact your nearest BC PNP office or explore the BC government's WelcomeBC site for more information.

You may also wish to consult AMSSA's Migrant Worker Hub, which is a centralized hub of resources and tools aimed at improving the working and living conditions of temporary foreign workers in BC. They provide useful factsheets specifically for Students and Temporary Workers regarding available services as well as steps towards becoming a permanent resident.

Once established in their jobs and communities and with the support of their employers, temporary workers also have a wide range of immigration options with the federal government. Express Entry is the federal government system for expediting the immigration process for people with skilled work experience. There are a number of programs specifically designed to transition temporary workers to permanent status, for example:

Detailed information on other federal pathways to permanent residency is also available online through the IRCC's Immigrate to Canada webpage.

Once permanent residency has been established, newcomers may decide they want to pursue Canadian citizenship. For more information on how to apply for citizenship, see the IRCC webpage on Canadian Citizenship. For resources to help you prepare for the citizenship test, see our Citizenship Test research guide.

Immigration Consultants


Temporary residents and/or any prospective newcomers to British Columbia are free to seek an authorized representative to support them with their immigration efforts. Full details on who can be an authorized representative can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Also, if immigration consultant services are used, prospective immigrants must use a member in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.

Immigrant Advocacy Organizations


The following local organizations advocate for a variety of issues around immigration policy.   Some may provide support for different categories of migrants to Canada including temporary workers, undocumented migrants, and refugees.

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