Filipinos are well represented among the Canadian immigrant population. The IRCC’s Permanent Residents Data showed the Philippines had the third largest number of Permanent residents admitted in 2020, after India and China.
The Philippines contributed a total of 10,969 immigrants, which accounts for almost 6% of all permanent residents. According to the Embassy of the Philippines, there were 837,130 people of Filipino origin in Canada in 2016. They constitute the 4th largest minority after South Asians, Chinese, and black minorities.
The current trend is unlikely to shift soon. The Canadian Government has already committed to taking in more immigrants in its New Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024. The plan is for Canada to progressively welcome 431,645 permanent residents in 2022, 447,055 in 2023 and 451,000 in 2024. The increased numbers are meant to supplement Canada’s economic recovery and growth and respond to Afghanistan’s humanitarian needs after the allied departure.
Given these favourable conditions, it is safe to assume that immigration from the Philippines will continue to grow in the coming years.
What are the benefits of moving from the Philippines to Canada?
There are many advantages of moving to Canada. The most obvious reason is that Canada is a highly developed country. It was placed 16 out of 189 in the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI), with a score of 0.929 and a very high human development designation. The HDI measures a country’s life expectancy, education and Gross National Income per capita and is an accurate way to determine the living conditions in a country. Canada is ahead of many countries in its social services, healthcare and immigration policies and attitudes. We’ll look into them here:
Social services: The Canadian Government provides Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) and Old Age Security (OAS).
Free Healthcare: Canada is known for its effective and accessible healthcare system. Canadian health insurance is tax-funded and covers all Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Provinces have separate health plans for different services and products.
Free education: Another perk of living in Canada is access to free and quality education. Many permanent residents prefer the Canadian education system for their child’s upbringing as Canadian schools have access to better facilities and opportunities than in most developing nations.
Healthy job market: The Canadian job market offers many opportunities for immigrants with the right skills and talent. Canada is facing rising job vacancies in the first quarter of 2022, and the Canadian Government will be looking to welcome more immigrants to fill in these gaps. Filipinos with professional skills and experience, caregivers, students and entrepreneurs can join the Canadian workforce through facilities like the Express Entry program, Provincial Nominee program, Study permits and Startup Visas.
What are the most popular Canadian cities for Filipino immigrants?
Based on the Embassy of Philippines report in 2016, the cities with the largest Filipino population in Canada are:
- Toronto, with approximately 254,480
- Vancouver- 123,170
- Winnipeg- 73,880
- Calgary- 70,660
- Montreal- 33,050 and
- Ottawa- Gatineau- 12,715
You can also find lots of smaller Filipino communities in most Canadian cities.
How much are the Immigration fees?
There are several options to immigrate from the Philippines to Canada. If you have work experience and are willing to settle permanently, you can apply under the Canadian Express Entry program or the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). A student permit will allow you to study in Canada and make it easier to get Permanent Residence in the future. Then there’s the Startup Visa for entrepreneurs and a Caregiver program if you have the qualifications to work as a caregiver in Canada.
- The Express Entry method allows you to immigrate to Canada from the Philippines as a skilled professional. Candidates can apply online on the Canadian Government’s website. All candidates are ranked on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score that is based on the person’s age, education, qualifications and language proficiency. Candidates with scores above a cut-off will receive an Invitation to apply (ITA) for Permanent Residency. The Express Entry system is further divided into three programs.
- Federal Skilled worker Program: Caters to candidates with skilled work experience in Managerial, Professional and Technical jobs. The program requires you to have a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7, along with proof of funds, if you don’t have a job offer from a Canadian employer.
- Federal Skilled Trades Program- You need to be a qualified worker in a skilled trade with two years of work experience in a skilled trade. You must also have a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 5 and 4 for speaking and writing. You will also need proof of funds unless you have a valid Canadian job offer.
- Canadian Experience Class- You can apply through this program if you have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada- within the last three years. Depending on your job, you also need a minimum Canadian language benchmark of 7 or 5.
- The fees you can expect to pay under the Express Entry route, as listed on the Government of Canada’s website, are:
- Application processing fee – 850 $
- Right of permanent residence fee – 515 $. The Application and permanent residence fee remain unchanged with the inclusion of a spouse or partner. A dependent child carries an additional 230 $ per child.
- IELTS Language Test – 319 $
- TEF Language Test – 440 $
- Medical Examination – 100-500 $
- Police Clearance – 20 $ on average
- Education Verification – 160 $ for course-by-course, 100 $ for document-by-document.
- Biometrics per person – 85 $
- Provincial Nominee Program: This program addresses the labour requirements of a particular province. Each province’s requirements and instructions to apply are found on their respective sites:
The Application includes a:
- Processing fee of – $850 and
- right of permanent residence fee – $515.
- Study Permit: Many Filipinos are increasingly choosing to come to Canada as students. According to Applyboard, Canada received just over 20,500 study permit applications from Filipino citizens in 2021. This was an all-time high, representing a 144% increase in applications in just three years.
- To be eligible, you must be a fully vaccinated traveller, have proof of funds, have no criminal record, be in good health, and be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution.
- You can apply online from the Philippines with a letter of acceptance and documents like proof of identity and financial support.
- You are required to submit your fingerprints and biometrics. A letter of introduction will be sent to you (along with an eTA or Visa if needed)- which will allow you to enter Canada.
The Study permit itself costs $150 per person.
- Refugee– You can also enter Canada as a refugee if you face conditions like torture, a risk to life and the threat of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. According to WorldData.info, there were 120 asylum applications from the Philippines to Canada, with 26 being accepted. You can make the refugee claim at a Canadian port of entry or online.
- Startup Visa– You can choose to apply for a Canadian Startup Visa if you are an entrepreneur in the Philippines looking to immigrate to Canada. You will require a qualifying business, a letter of support from a designated organization, meet the language requirements and have the means to support yourself (and any dependents). The funds required to immigrate under this route are listed below:
- Processing fee and right of permanent residence fee – $2140
- Spouse/ partner processing fee and right of permanent residence fee – $1625
- For any dependent child – $230 per child
- Biometrics per person -$85
- Biometrics per family (2 people or more)- $170
- Caregiver– You can immigrate to Canada as a caregiver under two programs, The Home Child Care Provider and the Home Support Worker pilots. To be eligible for permanent residency under these programs, you must have:
- One year of Canadian post-secondary educational credential or foreign equivalent.
- A Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 level.
- Qualifying Canadian work experience. Applicants must have 24 months of relevant work experience.
- Applicants without this experience must apply for an Occupation-restricted open work permit (OROWP) along with their Application for permanent residence. The OROWP grants the applicant 36 months to obtain 24 months of authorized full-time work experience. Applicants without the 24-month of experience also need to provide:
- A job offer from a Canadian employer
- demonstrates an ability to perform the work (NOC 4411- Home Child Care Provider Pilot and NOC 4412- Home Support Worker Pilot).
The applicant will have to pay a work permit processing fee of $155 and an open work permit holder fee of $100.
- Self-employed– You can apply for permanent residence as a Self-employed person if you are experienced in cultural activities or athletics and willing to contribute to the culture of Canada. The application fee under this route is $2,140.
How much money will you need to move from the Philippines to Canada?
Apart from the application fees, you will also need proof of funds if you apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program. The amount required varies based on the number of family members.
- For a single member – $13,310
- For 2 – $16,570
- For 3 – $20,371
- For 4 – $24,733
- For 5 – $28,052
- For 6 – $31,638
- For 7 – $35,224
Other costs you’ll need to factor in are your airline tickets which can run high or low based on the prevailing economic conditions and the season.
The article should give you an idea of the money you’ll need to move from the Philippines to Canada. It is not a cheap venture and will require a lot of money and time investment from your side. On the flip side, you can look forward to the welcoming Canadian culture, job opportunities and a Filipino community waiting for you on the other side of the world.
We welcome you to share your experiences and opinions with us. Our growing community of immigrants would love to learn and benefit from it.