What Do I Need for Canadian Immigration from Sri Lanka?

31 Aug 2022

With the recent economic woes of Sri Lanka, many Sri Lankans are immigrating from the country to Canada in search of a better life. What do you need to immigrate from Sri Lanka to Canada? This article will answer all your questions. Let’s get started.

Popular Immigration programs for Sri Lanka to Canada

Canada has over 80 immigration programs, with some offering permanent residency and others offering temporary stay in the country. Each program has unique requirements, so when immigrating from Sri Lanka to Canada what you need will depend on the immigration program you target.

Programs for Permanent Residency and What You Need

The most popular immigration programs for Sri Lankans seeking permanent residency in Canada are:


It is open to educated Sri Lankans who are skilled workers and have at least one year of work experience.

Thus, some of the most important application documents for the Federal Skilled Worker Program include proof of education and proof of work experience.


This is open to Sri Lankans who may not have an education but have at least two years of work experience in a skilled trade.

Thus, the most important documents when applying for the Federal Skilled Trade Program include proof of work experience and a certificate of qualification for the skilled trade.


There are several streams of Provincial Nominee Programs, and they target different categories of immigrants, including recent graduates, skilled workers, and entrepreneurs.

The most important application documents for PNP differ. It could be a college degree (if recent graduates are the target), proof of work experience (if skilled workers are the target), or proof of capacity to start a business in Canada (if entrepreneurs are the target).

However, PNPs are linked to the Express Entry programs, which include the FSWP, the FSTP, and the Canadian Experience Class (which target Sri Lankans that have Canadian work experience). So, apart from meeting the unique requirement of a PNP stream, you must also meet the requirements of the FSWP or the FSTP.

skilled workers

Immigration Programs for Temporary Stays and What You Need

The most popular immigration programs for Sri Lankans seeking temporary stays in Canada are:


The Canadian Study Permit is a temporary visa to live and study in Canada, so it’s open to Sri Lankan students who want to further their education in Canada.

The single most important application document for the Study Permit is an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution.


A Canadian Work Permit is a visa allowing foreigners to live and work in Canada on a temporary basis. It is open to Sri Lankans who successfully get Canadian employment.

That said, the most important application document for a work permit is an offer of employment in Canada.


A Canadian Visitor Visa allows a foreigner to enter Canada and stay in the country temporarily. The visitor visa is open to Sri Lankans who go to Canada as tourists, for a family visit, for business, or for compassionate reasons.

Some important application documents for every Canada Visitor Visa are an itinerary (to show what you will do in Canada), account statement (to show proof of funds), and travel history (to show how well you travel out and return to Sri Lanka).

You may need other documents depending on your reason for wanting to visit Canada. For example, if you’re visiting for a family visit, you’ll also need a letter of invitation (from the family member in Canada) and proof of relationship (to show how you are related to the person).

visitor visa

What you Need for Canadian Immigration from Sri Lanka

To immigrate from Sri Lanka to Canada, you’ll need some of the following:

Identity Documents – You need a valid international passport, which you will use to prove your identity.

A valid passport isn’t necessarily one that has not expired. When applying for permanent residency programs, your passport should not expire within 6 months. When applying for any of the temporary visas, your passport should be valid past the duration of your stay in Canada.

That is, a passport that will expire in 18 months is invalid when applying for a Study Visa to stay in Canada for two years.

Language Test Result – You need to show that you are proficient in at least one of the two Canadian official languages (English and French). You need to take an approved English or French test.

While proficiency in one language is sufficient, you get more points for being proficient in both languages.

Work Experience – Canada seeks immigrants to boost their labor supply, so most of the immigration programs require work experience. The minimum work experience required is one or two years, but the more years of work experience you have, the more points you’ll get.

Educational Certificate – Most Canadian immigration programs require an educational certificate. Even when an educational qualification is not a requirement (like when applying for FSTP) having an educational certificate makes you a stronger candidate. Also, the higher your certificate, the more points you get.

If you did not obtain your educational certificate in Canada, you’ll need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report, to verify that your foreign certificate meets Canadian standards.

Offer of Employment – Having an offer of employment is only mandatory for Work Permits and FSTP candidates that do not have a certificate of qualification for their skilled trade. However, even when an offer of employment is not required (like the FSWP), having one earns you additional points and makes you a stronger candidate.

Proof of Funds – You need to show that you have enough money to take care of yourself while in Canada.

Police Clearance Certificate – You need to show that you do not have any criminal record that’ll make you a threat in Canada.

Medical Exam Certificate – You need a medical clearance showing that your health will not be a danger to Canada’s public health or safety, nor will it cause too much demand on Canada’s health or social services.

Proof of Relationship to a Relative in Canada – When visiting Canada for a family visit, you must show proof of your relationship. For most of the other programs, it is not a requirement. However, even when it is not a requirement, having a relative in Canada earns you additional points. This is because it makes settling in easier.

work experience

Immigration Program Checklist

All the above is a lot of information to take in so we thought we’d make a table to make it a little easier to process.

FSWP FSTP PNP Study Permit Work Permit Visitor Visa
Identity document
Language test result
Proof of work experience
Educational certificate

(But having it gives extra points)

Offer of employment in Canada

(But having it gives extra points)

(If without a certificate of qualification)


(May be needed, depending on the PNP stream)

Proof of funds
Police clearance certificate
Medical exam certificate
Proof of relationship

(But having it gives extra points)

(But having it gives extra points)

(But having it gives extra points)

(If going for a family visit)

Letter of invitation

(If going for a family visit)

Acceptance letter

language test result

Final Thoughts

What you need for Canadian Immigration from Sri Lanka depends on the immigration program you want to use.

However, having a particular document is sometimes advisable even if it is not a mandatory requirement for the program you target, as having it would earn you extra points and make you a stronger candidate.

Before applying for one of Canada’s immigration programs, make sure you have everything you need.

Take the assessment form 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.

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