Sri Lankans started immigrating to Canada in the early 1950s, right after the island country gained independence from Britain in 1948.
Given the current political and economic crisis plaguing the country, an unprecedented number of Sri Lankans are getting ready to immigrate to Canada in search of a better life for themselves and their families.
However, Sri Lankans have to obtain a Canadian visa to be allowed entry into Canada. Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Canadian Visa eligibility for Sri Lanka immigrants.
Canadian Visa Eligibility
Canada has several immigration programs, and each of them has unique requirements. Canadian Visa eligibility requirements vary depending on the immigration program that a Sri Lankan immigrant targets.
Visa Eligibility for Popular Immigration Programs for Sri Lankans
While Canada has over 80 immigration programs, some are more popular than others in helping Sri Lankans successfully immigrate to Canada. These immigration programs and their eligibility requirements are:
1. FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER PROGRAM (FSWP)
The FSWP is one of three Express Entry programs for skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada and settle as permanent residents.
The FSWP is actually the most popular Express Entry program for Sri Lankans immigrating to Canada. It targets foreigners who have a high school or college degree and at least one-year of work experience (in professional, managerial, or technical jobs).
To be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker program, Sri Lankan immigrants must have at least 67 on a 100-point grid. You’ll be assessed on:
Age – You get points for age if you’re between 18 and 46 years. Candidates between 18 and 35 get maximum age points. The higher your age after 35 years, the lower your age points
Education – A minimum of a secondary school degree is required. You get more points for higher post-secondary school degrees.
Work experience – A minimum of one year of work experience is required, but you get more points for more years of work experience. For maximum experience points, you need 6 or more years of experience.
English or French language skills – You must score CLB level 7 or above in all 4 abilities.
Arranged employment in Canada – You get points if you can get a job offer of at least 1 year from a Canadian employer. However, getting a Canadian job before applying is not mandatory.
Adaptability – You earn points if you have relatives in Canada that can help with your settling in.
After submitting your Express Entry (EE) profile, you are entered into the FSWP pool. Every candidate in the pool is ranked using a comprehensive ranking system (CRS), and the highest-ranking candidates are selected from the pool and invited to apply for permanent residence.
Note that will be required to show that they have money to settle in Canada. The funds required depends on the traveling contingent.
2. FEDERAL SKILLED TRADES PROGRAM (FSTP)
The FSTP is another Express Entry program. It targets foreigners with at least two years of experience in a skilled trade such as maintenance and equipment operation trades, processing and manufacturing trades, and chefs.
Sri Lankans that do not have educational qualifications but are experienced in skilled trades can become permanent residents in Canada via the FSTP.
The minimum requirements of the FSTP are:
Work experience – You must have at least two years of full-time experience in a skilled trade, which is obtained within five years of applying.
Language proficiency – In your English proficiency test, you must score a minimum of CLB 5 in speaking and listening and a minimum of CLB 4 in reading and writing.
Job offer – You must have a valid job offer that will last at least one year.
Proof of funds – You’ll need to show that you have enough money to settle in Canada. The required funds depend on how many people will immigrate to Canada with you. If you travel alone, it is $13,310, and if you travel with one other person, it is $16,570.
After submitting your profile, you are placed in the FSTP pool where all candidates are ranked using CRS scores. The highest-ranking candidates are then invited to apply for permanent residence.
3. PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAM (PNP)
PNP allows Canadian provinces and territories to select candidates (from the Express Entry pool) who will fill their peculiar labor needs. A common PNP criterion is a willingness to live and work in the nominating province.
PNP is the second most popular Canadian immigration program (after Express Entry). This is because getting a provincial nomination all but guarantees being invited to apply for permanent residence.
Each province or territory has its own PNP streams, which target different categories of immigrants. A PNP stream could target:
- Skilled workers
- Semi-skilled workers
- Business people (entrepreneurs or investors)
The eligibility criteria for PNP programs vary depending on the province. Candidates must meet the eligibility criteria of the province for the PNP stream they apply to. However, since the Provincial Nominee programs are linked to the Express Entry system, candidates must also be eligible for one of the Express Entry programs and meet its minimum criteria.
For example, consider the provincial nominee program of Alberta, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). It currently has seven streams targeting different categories of workers and entrepreneurs.
One AAIP stream that Sri Lankans can take advantage of is the Rural Renewal Stream.
Immigrants must meet the eligibility criteria of the Rural Renewal Stream, which include:
Job offer – You must obtain a full-time job offer of at least 12 months from an employer in a rural community in Alberta.
Job type – The job offer must not be among the Stream’s ineligible occupations such as legislators, artisans, and performers.
Education – You must have a minimum of high school education.
In addition, candidates must also meet the requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
4. STUDENT PERMIT
Sri Lankans can also apply for a student permit to study in Canada, then find ways to work in the country after graduating.
The eligibility criteria for a Student Permit are:
- You must be enrolled at a designated learning institution in Canada.
- You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees and living expenses
- You must get a police certificate to show you do not have a criminal record
- You must get a medical exam certificate to show that you are in good health
5. WORK PERMIT
Sri Lankan can get Canadian Work Permit which is a visa that allows immigrants to temporarily live and work in Canada.
To apply for a work permit, you must:
- Have a job offer in Canada?
- Prove that you will leave Canada when the job permit expires
- Show that you have rough money to take care of yourself and your family members
- Have no criminal record
- The job must not be one that is ineligible or for an employer that is listed as ineligible
- Show a medical exam certificate to prove that you are in good health
Do not have a job offer from Canada? We can help! Green Light Immigration has a wide network of 400+ Canadian employers to give you the best opportunity to fulfill your Canadian dream. You can fill in the application form here.
6. VISITOR VISA
Sri Lankans can also apply for Visitor Visa which allows them to visit Canada temporarily. Most Visitor Visas will let you stay in Canada for up to 6 months.
Eligibility criteria for a Canadian Visitor visa include:
- You must show that you have strong ties to Sri Lanka (such as a job, home, financial asset, or family) that will make you return
- You must show that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
- You must show that you have enough money to take care of yourself for the duration of your visit
- You must not have any criminal or immigration-related conviction
- You may need a medical certificate to show that you are in good health
- You may need a letter of invitation from someone living in Canada
Sri Lankans have several visa options when immigrating to Canada. For a temporary stay, you may pursue a Student Permit, a Work Permit, or a Visitor Visa, depending on the purpose of your visit.
To settle permanently in Canada, you may go for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Provincial Nominee Program. Thankfully we have over 24 years of experience to give you all the information you need.
Take the assessment test on our website Assessment Forms to find out what immigration program will be best for you and one of our specialists will call you shortly to further discuss your options.