A new ranking says Canada is the 22nd best country in the world for those who want to enjoy the good life upon retirement.
“The planet’s second-largest country is also one of its most popular, particularly for those looking to retire,” notes EnjoyTravel.com.
“Between its jaw-dropping (glaciers), remote beaches, sky-high mountains and buzzing cities, it’s easy to see why. There’s something for everyone.”
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The country’s progressive immigration programs were considered a major plus in determining Canada’s enviable ranking in the top 50 best countries for retirees. But its relatively high cost of living, particularly for dining out and housing was deemed to be definite drawbacks.
“Canada offers easy access to visas and residency permits and high quality of living,” notes EnjoyTravel. . “Just watch your wallet when it comes to eating out and renting apartments, as prices for both are at the higher end of the spectrum.”
The country’s open arms to immigrants from all over the world are drawing increasing attention throughout the world.
In the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan unveiled earlier this month, Ottawa set its sights on welcoming 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.
That’s a total of 1.45 million immigrants to Canada over the coming three years.
Foreign nationals eyeing Canada as a retirement destination and who have children or grandchildren who have already immigrated to the country will be particularly interested the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP).
Through the PGP, sponsors can bring to Canada their own parents and grandparents, related by blood or adoption. In cases of divorce or separation, the spouses or common-law partners of parents and grandparents are also eligible.
Canada’s immigration department operates a lottery system for the PGP with citizens and permanent residents submitting an Interest to Sponsor form before being placed in a pool.
PGP Is A Good Way For Foreign Nationals To Retire In Canada
The IRCC makes random draws from the pool and issues Invitations to Apply (ITA). The sponsors and their parents and grandparents then have 60 days to submit a full application.
The sponsors must:
- be at least 18 years old;
- live in Canada;
- be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, and;
- have enough money to support those they want to sponsor by meeting minimum income requirements for the previous three years. Candidates can include a co-signer in their application, allowing the combined income to be considered.
Sponsors must also:
- agree to financially support the parent or grandparent for 20 years from the date they are approved for permanent residence, and;
- reimburse the government for any social assistance paid out to the parent or grandparent during that time.
Sponsors who live in Quebec must meet the Quebec immigration sponsorship requirements after being approved as a sponsor by IRCC. The Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI) also assess the sponsor’s income and requires an undertaking to be signed.
There are five main ways foreign nationals can come to Canada to seek permanent residence.
Under the Express Entry system, Canada receives immigration applications online. Applicants who meet eligibility criteria submit an online profile known as an Expression of interest (EOI), under one of three federal immigration programs or a participating provincial immigration program, to the Express Entry Pool.
Express Entry Candidates For Immigration Need To Complete A Profile Online
Candidates’ profiles then are ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates will be considered for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay processing fees, within a delay of 90-days.
Under a shared jurisdiction between Ottawa and the provinces, Canada operates a two-tiered immigration system, offering programs for skilled workers, at both federal and provincial levels.
Through a network of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), almost all of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories can nominate skilled worker candidates for admission to Canada with the specific skills required by their local economies. Successful candidates who receive a provincial or territorial nomination can then apply for Canadian permanent residence through federal immigration authorities.
Immigrant investors can also come to Canada under the Start-up Visa (SUV) program which can grant them Canadian permanent residence.
The program aims to recruit innovative entrepreneurs to Canada and link them with Canadian private sector businesses, such as angel investor groups, venture capital funds or business incubators, and facilitate the establishment of their start-up business in Canada.
A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totalling $200,000. A designated angel investor group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business.
Students Coming To Canadian Colleges And Universities Can Then Apply For A PGWP
International students can also eventually get their permanent residence in Canada by first coming under a Study Permit, then applying for a Post-graduation Work Permit (PGWP), and finally seeking their permanent residents by applying through the Express Entry system.
Canada welcomes more than 350,000 international students every year. To be eligible to study in Canada these students must demonstrate that they:
- have been accepted by a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada;
- have enough money to pay for their tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation;
- are law-abiding citizens with no criminal records;
- are in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, and;
- can satisfy an immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stays.
Once issued a study permit, these students can work in Canada under the following categories:
- on campus without a work permit;
- off-campus with a work permit;
- in co-op and internship programs, where work experience is part of the curriculum, with a work permit.
Upon graduation, a foreign student may apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. Under this program, the work permit may be issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years.
The valuable work experience gained while an international grad works in Canada under a PGWP can count towards a permanent residence application through Canada Express Entry system.
Under the CRS used by Express Entry system programs, applicants for immigration are assigned points based on:
- work experience;
- language ability;
- language ability and education of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner;
- possession of a job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment;
- possession of a provincial government nomination for permanent residence, and;
- certain combinations of language skills, education and work experience that result in a higher chance of the applicant becoming employed (skill transferability).