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Immigration and Citizenship

How to immigrate from Philippines to Canada

Moving from Philippines to Canada

On this page we will provide you the information, requirements, guidelines and costs to immigrate from Philippines to Canada. The accuracy and completeness of you application is crucial to ensure the best possible chances of success. But there is also something else you should be keeping track of us as you put together your application. And that is: how much will it cost you to immigrate to Canada? What sort of a budget should you have planned out in order to successfully immigrate? And have you thought of all the expenses you will incur in the immigration process?


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Choosing a Canada Immigration Program

There are over 80 Canada immigration programs that candidates from Philippines may qualify for. So where and how does one start?

The answer is really quite simple. First choose the Canadian province or territory that you think best meets your needs (you can always move to another once you are settled). Canada has 13 provinces and territories each with vast differences in cultures, job industries and even climates.

Some Canadian provinces and territories have unique immigration requirements and programs that may not exist in other provinces and territories. For example, the Quebec Skilled Worker program is an exclusively Quebec based program where all applicants are expected to have a high level of French fluency and a specific set of job skills.

Other provinces like Prince Edward Island have a booming construction industry, due to its increasingly high population growth over the past five years. Alberta is the oil and gas king of Canada.


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Other people choose to immigrate to cities like Toronto (Ontario) or Vancouver (British Columbia) because of the high ethnic/cultural diversity, urban cosmopolitan nature, and their abundance and variety of job opportunities.

Canadian Immigration Options for Filipinos

Canada has more than 80 immigration programs. Which Canadian immigration program is right for you will depend on your goals and your particular situation.

The programs are not only multifarious but some tend to be quite complex with various categories and sub-categories. For example, there are many different categories for professionals and workers under which you might qualify for your Canada Immigration permanent resident visa. These include:

Canada also offers a number of Family Class Sponsorship programs. These programs allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor family members and loved ones for Canadian immigration.

Of course there are also similarities among the federal and provincial immigration programs. These similarities have to do with the following factors:


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  • Most visa programs, unless they are study oriented programs or holiday visas will need you to have a set amount of work experience in a certain occupation to qualify;
  • You must have passed some sort of relevant English or French language tests to prove your Canadian language abilities; and
  • A clean criminal background is mandatory. All applicants must have zero charges against them either in Canada or in any other countries;

Which Canadian immigration program is best for you?

The following factors may help you to begin to narrow down your options according to your situation and goals.

1. Do you have a post-secondary education from Philippines?

Education is a major factor for eligibility for many Canadian immigration programs. Programs like the Skilled Worker and Provincial Nominee Programs, assign a point value to your education. Take the free assessment to see if your education helps you to be eligible for one of Canada’s immigration programs.

2. Do you have a minimum of one year of skilled work experience in Philippines?

Canada encourages immigrants who are able to settle and sustain themselves economically and contribute to the economy. If you have at least one year of skilled work experience in the Philippines you are deemed more likely to be able to assimilate into the Canadian labour market. Many Canadian immigration programs assign a point value for skilled work experience.

3. Do you have a valid Canadian job offer?

A Canadian job offer may enhance your eligibility for certain immigration programs. But read the general requirements for working in Canada here Working in Canada.

4. Do you have friends or relatives in Canada?

If you have a friend or close relative in Canada, you might be able to obtain Canadian permanent residence under the federal Family Class Sponsorship program. As well you will get points from the Provincial Nominee Programs available in the province where you choose to be resident.

5. Have you previously studied or worked in Canada or doing so now?

Filipinos who have previously worked/studied, or are currently working/studying, in Canada have a path to becoming Canadian permanent residents via the Canadian Experience Class and Quebec Experience Class programs. These are very popular among Canada immigration applicants from the Philippines.


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6. Do you have a high net worth or significant financial resources?

The federal and Quebec governments operate a number of business investor and entrepreneur immigration programs that offer excellent opportunities for obtaining Canadian permanent resident status. In addition many provinces offer business or investment streams under their Provincial Nominee Programs. Some of the popular ones include Canada Start-up Visa Program and Quebec Immigrant Investor Program”.

7. Do you own and/or manage a business?

Your business ownership or managerial experience while in the Philippines or other country may enhance your eligibility for federal and provincial governments business investor and entrepreneur immigration programs. Examples are:

  • Entrepreneur Start-up Visa Program: Start-Up Visa Entrepreneurs must secure funding and support from a designated Canadian investment organization. To do so, they must have a plan for a unique business that will be created in Canada.
  • Self-Employed Persons Program: To qualify as a self-employed person, an individual must be willing and able to support him/herself and any dependents with self-employed income as a farmer, athlete, or artisan.

Documents You Will Need

In most cases, you will need to produce at least the following during some stage of your application process.

1. A valid form of identification like your:

  • ID:
  • Birth Certificate;
  • Drivers License; or
  • Passport

2. Medical Examination results which you can get from an approved doctor on Canada’s panel of physicians;

3. Valid language results that are not older than two years;

4. Police clearance records approved by the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police); and

5. Biometrics

More Information About Your Language Tests

As an applicant from Philippines your language abilities in French and English are vital to your Canada immigration application.

For immigration purposes you must choose the General exams for both of these language tests as the Academic version will not be accepted.

Both tests will mark you on your skills in:

  • Reading;
  • Writing;
  • Listening; and
  • Speaking;

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires applicants under the Federal Skilled Worker ClassCanadian Experience Class (CEC), and some Provincial Nominee Programs to prove language skills by taking a language test approved by IRCC in either English or French. The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is one of the English language tests approved by IRCC.

Candidates have other test choices such as Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP).

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program also requires language tests in French and/or English to gain points for language proficiency.

To prove language proficiency, each applicant must take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, a Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) exam, Test d’Evaluation Français (TEF) exam, or Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada).

Results from one of these exams help IRCC Visa Officers determine whether the applicant has sufficient English or French language proficiency to properly integrate into Canadian society and the Canadian workforce. 

To enroll for an IELTS examination, you will need to contact your local IELTS test centre to find out the dates when you will be able to take your test and what the cost will be. Download and complete the application form and send it the local IELTS centre along with your photos, a copy of your identification and your payment.

Before you enroll for IELTS, you should get tested to find out your current language skills. Visit a language assessment centre in your city and tell them you’re interested in taking language classes.

You can also do a self-assessment test to find out your current language level before doing a formal language test.

Philippines to Canada Immigration Costs

Of course it cost you to immigrate to Canada from Philippines. In this article we can only give you a general idea of what sort of a budget you should plan for Canada immigration application from start to finish. We do advise that you take these calculations only as benchmarks.

Let’s assume you’re applying through the Express Entry online portal under the Federal Skilled Workers program. Here are the official fees that you will be paying to the Canadian authorities as of January 2019.

Government Fees FEderal Skilled WorkerCost in Canadian Dollards ($)
Application Processing Fee$550.00
Right of Permanent Residence Fee$490.00
Spouse’s Application Processing Fee (if applicable)$550.00
Spoue’s Right of Permanent Residence Free (if applicable)$490.00
Dependent Child Fee (per child)$150.00
Total:$1,040
Total for Married Couple$2,080
Total for Married Couple with 2 children (example)$2,380

If instead you apply under the Family Class Sponsorship because your spouse is sponsoring the rest of the family, then the government fees you will be paying to immigration authorities are as follows:

Government Fees Family ClassCost in Canadian Dollars ($)
Sponsorship Fee$75.00
Principal Applicant Processing Fee$475.00
Right of Permanent Residence Fee$490.00
Dependent Child Fee (per child)$150.00

Let’s say you have 2 children and the 3 of you are being sponsored by your Canadian (or permanent resident) spouse, and that you will be paying Permanent Residence fees. The total fees come to CAD$1,340.00.

Other Fees and Expenses

There are also fees or expenses you will be incurring mostly in the Philippines as you gather your documents and book your flight to Canada. Let’s start with language tests and then we’ll move through the other expenses:

Fee DescriptionCost in Canadian Dollars ($)
IELTS$250 (10,270 pesos)
Birth Certificate(s) and Marriage or Death certificates, if applicable$3.50 each (140 pesos each)
Proof of “No Marriage”$5.00 (195 pesos)
ePassport$25.00 (950 pesos)
Adult Medical Exam$415.00 (17,025 pesos)
Child Medical Exam (for each dependent child)$235.00 (9,583 pesos)
Manila-Toronto Economy Class (per person, April 2018)$1,200-$1,800

If we assume a family of 4, with 2 adults and 2 young children, these extra set of expenses adds up to CAD$10,517.50 or about CAD$10,500.00.

Canada Settlement Funds Requirement

So far, we’re around CAD$10,000.00. But the largest expense for a family of 4 from the Philippines (or any other country) that is applying to immigrate to Canada is the amount of funds Canadian immigration authorities require you to have in your bank account in order to be able to support yourself as you establish yourself in your new home.

The fees, also sometimes called Canada settlement “Proof of Funds”, were recently increased and the current fees are shown below.

Size of FamilyFunds in Canadian Dollars ($)
1CAD $12,669
2CAD$15,772
3CAD$19,390
4CAD$23,542
5CAD$26,701
6CAD$30,114
7CAD$33,528
For each additional Family Member addCAD$3,414

In the case of our family of 4, we have a required total for settlement funds of CAD$23,542.00.

You have to either transfer these funds to a Canadian bank account in your name or have acceptable proof of funds and convince immigration authorities that you will deposit those funds in a Canadian bank account.

So for our family of four aspiring to immigrate from Philippines to Canada the grand total for the application will be:

CategoryTotal Required in Canadian Dollars
Government Fees (FSW)$2,380.00
Other fees and expenses (some hypothetical)$10,517.00
Settlement funds in your bank account$23,542.00
Total for hypothetical Family of Four$36,439.00

This means that our family of 4 from the Philippines will need over CAD$36,000 to cover fees, expenses, travel costs, and settlement fund requirements. In Philippine pesos at current exchange rates that’s about 1,384,000 pesos!

Settling in Canada

Get information on settlement help and services available to Canada newcomers: Settlement Help & Services.

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