Canadian Immigration for UK Citizens

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Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) allows any UK citizen to visit Canada without a visa for up to 6 months, be it a work trip or a visit with a tourism point of view. If someone wishes to stay in Canada for more than this time, they will have to apply for one of the permanent visa routes offered by the Canadian government. 


If you opt for permanent visa routes for Canadian immigration, it allows you to live, study or earn a living in Canada without any constraints of time. 


The visa routes you can apply for are:

  • Family Sponsorship 
  • The Express Entry system 
  • Business Immigration


Family Sponsorship

Sponsoring your family then has two further subcategories that have different requirements. One is, sponsoring your parents and grandparents and the other is sponsoring your partner, spouse, dependent children. For your relatives to become permanent residents there are two stages, i.e., you give an application for sponsoring your relatives and your family members living in the UK apply for permanent residence. For reliable immigration advice regarding Family Sponsorship, it is recommended to discuss your case with a reliable immigration attorney.


To become a sponsor, you must be over 18 years of age. Another thing that is mandatory is the state of your residence. You can only apply to become a sponsor if you’re a Canadian citizen, or you’re a permanent resident of Canada, or you are an Indian living in Canada registered under Canadian Indian Act. Once your application is submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as a sponsor, you can acquire permanent residence in Canada. 


The Express Entry System 

To gain the status of permanent resident of Canada while being a UK citizen you can choose the pathway of Express Entry. The demand of Express Entry is that you have to prove to be a skilled worker. The processing time of Express Entry is fast as compared to other options as it takes six months or less to become a permanent resident but it has a condition of being a potential skilled UK worker. A Canadian Immigration Lawyer can help you determine which program would be best for you according to your current skill set.

The number of federal economic immigration programs is three.  Under these three the Express Entry system manages permanent residence applications. The programs are:

  • The Canadian Experience Class
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program

It is necessary to fulfil the requirements of any one of the federal economic immigration programs in order to qualify for the Express Entry pool. The Provincial Nominee Program is a local initiative where the recruitment of candidates can be done by provinces from the Express Entry pool.

You have to fill an online application to submit your profile for Express Entry. After that, with the use of the Comprehensive Ranking System you will receive a score that will allow you to know your position in the pool. The major factors that are considered by the ranking system are education, work experience, language ability, skills, and other factors. Some examples of these factors are, having a command over a European language other than English such as French, having an employed sibling who has a stable job in Canada, or having a job offer. You can have higher ranking if you prove that you have the potential of having economic success in Canada as an immigrant. 

Business Immigration

As a UK citizen, you can also immigrate to Canada by showing your interest in building a business in Canada. It is very important to the Canadian government that whoever migrates to Canada, they give some profit to the country. 

In order to migrate to Canada from the UK under Business Immigration, you need to meet a set criterion depending on your education, your age, work experience, entrepreneurial history and net worth. You must show an intention of opening a business in Canada or buy an already set business in Canada. The immigration programs of Canada are divided into two different categories: Provincial programs and Federal programs.

Each province or territory runs provincial programs independently, which are specifically generated to meet the needs of that area. In Canada, provinces have the authority of bringing in new immigrants that they see as a perfect fit into the relevant field they require the skilled worker to be in. If someone wants to apply to these programs, they have to put forward their intention to live in that province to be able to run a business. The Canadian Federal Government runs Federal Programs. The individuals applying to these programs are permitted to work anywhere in Canada. The Start-Up Visa and Self-employed Program are included in Federal Programs. 


Canada allows those individuals to immigrate who show a potential to provide economic growth in their country. Remember, even if you’re applying for Family Sponsorship or through the Express Entry Program or Business Immigration, anyone who wishes to move from the UK to Canada must provide proof of economic self-sufficiency.