Best options for moving from Colombia to Canada

Canada By Serra Pinto Avimlah September 12, 2023

Thinking about making the big move from Colombia to the Great White North? Getting accustomed to a new place, let alone an entirely new country, may take some time. Thankfully, Canada is a diverse and welcoming country that accepts immigrants from all corners of the world, including Colombia. Before starting the moving process, it’s good to have a pre-arrival plan and look into getting a temporary visa or citizenship. Learn what the best options are for moving to Canada so you can tackle the process one step at a time.

Getting a temporary visa in Canada

If you’re only looking to live in Canada short term, you can explore your options for getting a temporary visa. Immigrants with temporary visas may apply for permanent residency if they choose to relocate for good. Here are your options for finding temporary residency in Canada:

Temporary work visa

The Canadian government has no set maximum amount of time for temporary work visas.[1] If you need to extend your work visa, you can do so within 30 days before your current visa expires. The two options you can explore for temporary work visas are employer-specific work permits and open-work permits.[2] Immigrants who are looking to get an employer-specific work permit can only work for one employer, while open-work permits allow you to work anywhere. Employer-specific work permits and open-work permits can be obtained through the same application, which can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.

Some workers may benefit from the Canada-Columbia Free Trade Agreement, which was enacted to help businesspeople enter Canada on a temporary basis. Research the Canada-Columbia Free Trade Agreement to see if it can help in your situation.

Temporary student visa

Canada is also a popular destination for students looking to study internationally. In most cases, students who are looking to study in Canada will need a student permit. Students who are accepted into a learning institution in Canada can apply for a student permit, and applications must be submitted before entering the country.[3] You can find detailed instructions on how to apply for a student permit online from the Government website.

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Obtaining permanent residency in Canada

Temporary visa holders can move up to permanent residency if they meet the specific requirements. Permanent residents can travel in and out of the country and may work and live in all parts of Canada. The quickest way to obtain permanent residency in Canada is to go through Express Entry, which is a system that determines whether skilled workers can qualify for a permanent resident card. Other methods of getting permanent residency include the Provincial Nominee Program and sponsorship from family members living in Canada. After getting a permanent residency card and meeting all of the necessary requirements, you may be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Preparing for life in Canada

Immigrating from Colombia to Canada means you’ll need to transfer your Colombian pesos to Canadian dollars. Temporary visas and permanent residency cards require application fees, so it helps to get the money as soon as possible. Check the exchange rate between CAD and COP and use the Western Union app or our online website to make quick money transfers.

Aside from applying for temporary or permanent residency in Canada, it helps to know what to expect in Canada as a Colombian immigrant. Use our guide for immigrating to Canada to learn more about how to get adjusted with your new life here.