Immigrate to Canada from Pakistan

Last updated: 13 June 2023

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Canada is home to over 300,000 people of Pakistani origin. If you are looking to immigrate to Canada from Pakistan, you have come to the right place. This CanadaVisa page provides an overview of Canadian immigration options available to Pakistanis. 

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Table of Contents

Overview: Why immigrate from Pakistan to Canada?

Canada is a destination of choice for Pakistani nationals because of the economic opportunities it offers. Despite its relatively small population, Canada boasts a vibrant South Asian diaspora who make significant economic contributions as skilled workers and entrepreneurs. 

Canada offers many other advantages, such as being a safe and politically stable country, a highly developed healthcare system and an internationally recognized education system. Canada boasts excellent public elementary school education. At the post-secondary level, Canada also has some of the leading universities in the world as well as many excellent colleges and skilled trades institutions. 

There are now over 300,000 people of Pakistani origin who live in Canada. They comprise some of the most prominent members of Canadian society including as elected members of Parliament and as Senators. This number continues to grow each year due to more Pakistanis moving to Canada to immigrate, work, and study. The vast majority of Canada's permanent residents go on to become citizens, and get to enjoy the benefits of one of the world's strongest passports that provides visa free access to over 180 countries.

Most Pakistanis move to Canada as economic class immigrants. Looking ahead, there will be more opportunity for Pakistanis to immigrate to Canada due to Canada's commitment to increase its immigration levels.

How can you immigrate from Pakistan to Canada?

Pakistanis are in strong position to immigrate to Canada due to their high levels of English language proficiency, education, and professional work experience. These are among the key factors that Canada considers when selecting economic class immigrants.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) may be the best option for you if you are a Pakistani living overseas. The FSWP allows candidates with work experience and no connection to Canada or job offer to apply for permanent residence.

The program targets skilled workers who will be able to use their foreign work experience, education, language skills and other human capital factors to become economically established in Canada. More specifically, candidates must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • 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
  • Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign credential and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
  • FSWP applicants must get at least 67 points on IRCC’s six immigration selection factors.
  • Show that you have enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada.

What to do if you are eligible for the FSWP

The FSWP is among the three programs managed under the Canadian government’s Express Entry application management system.

Once you confirm you are eligible for the FSWP, you may upload your Express Entry profile onto the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Upon uploading their Express Entry profiles, candidates from Pakistan receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their human capital factors such as age, education, work experience, and official language ability among others.

Every two weeks, IRCC sends out invitations to apply for permanent residence to the highest scoring candidates in the pool. In addition, IRCC sets a 6-month processing service standard under Express Entry.

The target is for more than 110,000 permanent residents to be admitted through Express Entry per year. Together, these elements make Express Entry one of the most attractive options and the fastest way for economic class candidates to obtain permanent residence in Canada.

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is the other major option for Pakistani immigration candidates.

Canada is a federal country with 10 provinces and three territories, the majority of which administer the PNP. The program allows each province and territory, with its own population and economy, to design immigration pathways based on its economic and demographic needs.

Through the PNP, provinces and territories can nominate skilled worker candidates for immigration to their respective jurisdictions.

Pakistani candidates may be able to apply to immigrate to Canada directly through a PNP, provided they meet eligibility criteria. They may also enter the Express Entry pool and be invited to apply for nomination by a province that will select candidates from the federal pool. If they are nominated through an Express Entry-linked stream, they will receive an additional 600 CRS points. This means they are virtually guaranteed to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence (ITA) in a subsequent Express Entry draw.

About CanadaVisa and Cohen Immigration Law

Cohen Immigration Law is a leading Canadian immigration law firm with over 45 years of experience. Cohen Immigration Law features over 60 immigration lawyers, paralegals, and professionals who are dedicated to helping you immigrate to Canada. was founded as the online presence of Cohen Immigration Law. Since its launch in 1994, CanadaVisa has grown into one of the globe's most trusted resources on Canadian immigration. If you want to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry or another skilled worker pathway such as the PNP, the first step is to complete a free CanadaVisa assessment form. If you are eligible for Canadian immigration, a member of the Cohen Immigration Law team will reach out to provide you with as much assistance as possible.

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