Canada is a top immigration destination for many Saudis. Apart from being an advanced country with many opportunities, it is immigrant-friendly and culturally diverse.
Interestingly, there are many immigration pathways that Saudis have been using to immigrate to Canada for either temporary stay or permanent residency.
These pathways are still open and knowing about them will help you pick one that’s right for you. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to apply for a Canadian visa from Saudi Arabia. Let’s get started!
How to Apply For Canada Visa from KSA
1. Express Entry Programs
The Express Entry programs allow skilled workers in Saudi Arabia to move to Canada. It is one of the best Canadian immigration programs because it grants permanent residency.
That is, not only will you be able to live and work in Canada for as long as you please, but you’ll also be able to leave and re-enter the country without needing to obtain visas.
There are three Express Entry Programs to choose from:
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – This is for Saudis that have lived and worked in Canada before. To apply under the CEC program, you need to have at least 1-year work experience in Canada within the last three years before you apply.
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) – This program is for skilled Saudis that may not have traveled to Canada before. If you have at least 1-year work experience in Saudi Arabia or any other country, the FSWP is a pathway to moving to Canada and settling as a permanent resident. However, you need to be a college graduate, and your work experience must be obtained within the last three years before you apply.
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) – This program is for those who may not have traveled to Canada before and do not have college degrees. If you are an electrician, carpenter, chef, or skilled in any other approved trades, the FSTP is your pathway to permanent residency in Canada. However, you need at least 2-years of experience in the skilled trade within the last 5 years before you apply.
Because Express Entry is open to the world, it is usually very competitive. Candidates in the Express Entry pool are assessed using a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The system considers many factors including age, education, skills and work experience, language competency, and Canadian connections.
Thus, you can take steps to boost your CRS points and increase your chances of being successful and being invited to apply for permanent residency. These include:
Apply as soon as possible – The younger you are, the more CRS points you’ll get for age
Get a higher degree – You get more CRS points for higher college degrees. If your education was outside Canada, you’ll need to get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
Get relevant work experience – Having the expertise required for an opportunity in Canada will always give you a higher chance of success.
Take a language proficiency test – Score as high as possible on the test to get more CRS points
Get a Canadian job offer – Getting a job offer in Canada significantly increases your CRS points.
2. Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
PNP allows you to apply for Express Entry through a particular province in Canada.
It is perfect for Saudi skilled workers who do not have enough CRS points, and as such, have little to no chance of being invited to apply for permanent residency.
Most Canadian provinces have their nomination program for picking foreign skilled workers to fill their labor needs.
To use the PNP pathway, you need to apply to a Nomination Program of a particular province. If you get a nomination, you then need to apply for an Express Entry Program and submit the provincial nomination document along with other documents.
The provincial nomination can be thought of as the province telling the national immigration authority that it needs you. Provincial nomination boosts your CRS points by 600, automatically turning you into a very strong candidate in the EE pool.
3. Student Permit
The Student Permit is another popular Canadian immigration option for Saudis. This pathway gives you a visa, allowing you to study in designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada. To apply for a student permit, you need to have a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution.
The student visa is only for a temporary Canada stay. It’s usually for as long as your study, though an extension is possible if you need more time to finish your study.
However, in our opinion, the Student Permit is one of the easiest pathways to settling in Canada for these four reasons:
- It is not as competitive as some of the other Canadian immigration pathways. If you have minimum secondary education and can pay your fees, you should get a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution, which would get you a study permit.
- It allows you to get a Canadian education. Canadian education is a prized asset when applying for permanent residency
- It is an easier path to Canadian work experience. After your studies in Canada, you can apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) which allows you to work in the country.
- It is an easier path to permanent residency. A Canadian education + Canada work experience + being physically in Canada when applying = a faster route to permanent residency in the EE programs. Interestingly, a Study Permit gives you all those three elements.
4. Family Sponsorship
If you have family in Canada, immigrating to Canada just got easier for you. The Family Sponsorship pathway was created to promote family unification. It allows someone who’s a citizen or permanent resident of Canada to sponsor a foreign national.
Family members who can sponsor you to Canada include:
- Children above 18 years
- Spouse or common-law partner
Are you among the many Saudis that have the Canadian dream? You can be among the many Saudis that have made their dream a reality by successfully moving from the Land of the Two Holy Mosques to the Great White North.
The Express Entry Programs and the Provincial Nomination Program are great pathways to permanent residency if you are a skilled worker.
The Student Permit is an easier pathway, allowing you to live in Canada before gunning for permanent residency. If you have relatives in Canada, the Family Sponsorship Class can smoothen your immigration.
We wish you success in whichever of these options you choose.