Immigrating from Pakistan to Canada

by | Aug 2, 2021

If you are in Pakistan and you want to move to Canada, there are a number of Canadian immigration options that may be available to eligible Pakistani nationals that could help you make the transition from Pakistan to Canada.

Temporary Immigration Option

To begin with, a Pakistani national has the option of immigrating to Canada temporarily. Essentially, you have the option of travelling to Canada as a visitor or moving on a work permit or as a student on a study permit. For the temporary immigration options, you would need a visa in addition to the permits. This is because Pakistani nationals are required to apply for a Canadian visa. 

The visa allows you to travel to Canada but it does not allow you to remain inside Canada. In order for you to remain in Canada you would need a separate status document. The status document can either be the study permit if you plan to study in Canada, a work permit for work purposes or a visitors record that allows you to remain in Canada as a general visitor or tourist. A Canadian immigration officer may simply stamp it on your passport or not, but ultimately you must be allowed to remain in Canada after you have landed at the airport. 

Study Permit Option

One of the temporary immigration options is moving to Canada as a student. This option also allows you to move together with your family if you choose to. A Pakistani national who wishes to study at a Canadian college or university may apply for a study permit after applying and gaining admission to the particular college or university.

In your study permit application, you could also include an application for an open spousal work permit for your accompanying spouse, assuming that you will be moving with a family. If you have dependent children, that is children under the age of 18, you may also apply for study permits for those children. Also, depending on how young your children are, they may be able to accompany you to Canada under visitors’ records. 

But ultimately, you may be able to take your family with you from Pakistan to Canada on a study permit. Once you arrive in Canada and start studying, your partner would be working on an open spousal work permit, and your children studying on their study permits. After you are done studying, you then would become eligible for a post-graduate work permit. The post-graduate work permit allows you to continue working in Canada and ultimately to apply for Canadian permanent residency. 

Work Permit Option

Another viable temporary immigration option for Pakistani nationals is the work permit option. If you are able to identify a Canadian employer who is willing to provide you with a valid job offer, then you may be able to use that job offer to apply for a work permit. 

Depending on the type of work that you will be moving to Canada to do, you may be able to be accompanied by your family while you work in Canada. Your spouse may be able to apply for an open spousal work permit and accompany you to Canada. You may also be able to take your children with you. 

Visitor Option- The third temporary immigration option available to Pakistani nationals is traveling to Canada as visitors. 

Permanent Residency Option

Pakistani nationals also have the option of applying for Canadian permanent residency directly from Pakistan. This option is viable for you provided that you meet the necessary eligibility requirements. It is possible for you to apply for permanent residency through a system managed by the Canadian government known as the Express Entry system. 

Once you submit your application through the Express Entry system, your application would be under one of the immigration streams. The immigration streams under the system are either the federal skilled worker immigration stream or the federal skills trade immigration stream. Both streams operate on the basis of a points system. 

Under this system, the government assigns points based on certain factors. Some of the factors considered include your level of education, your work experience in certain identified professions, your age, and your English or French language ability. Depending on how well you score, you may be issued an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residency. The application you make ultimately leads to permanent residency provided that you meet all of the requirements that would be stipulated under that particular program.


In a nutshell, Pakistani nationals have the option of immigrating to Canada temporarily on a student permit or work permit or as visitors. Alternatively, they have the option of applying for Canadian permanent residency under one of the Express Entry programs. 

The options discussed are not exhaustive but are the most commonly utilized options. However, there are a number of other options available such as the investor option and provincially managed immigration options that we are always available to discuss with you should you be interested.


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