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4 Ways To Migrate From America to Toronto

4 Ways To Migrate From America to Toronto
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4 Ways To Migrate From America to Toronto

Migrating can be an exciting idea if you're searching for a new city to live in. However, it can also be pretty complicated and stressful, especially if you're not familiar with the process.

If you're an American citizen, there are several ways in which you can migrate to Toronto. Let's discover them below.

Can an American move to Toronto easily?

An American can move to Toronto easily by applying for Canadian immigration through the Canadian government's express entry system. 

The Canadian government can issue permanent residency to successful applicants within six months.

The Express Entry is Canada’s fastest and most popular immigration programme, with over 400,000 immigrants accepted yearly. 

However, if Express Entry isn’t a way to go, there are also other ways you can move to Toronto. Read on below to find out more! 

Can an American move to Toronto easily
Photo by Adam Khan on Unsplash

4 Ways to Migrate to Toronto

4 Ways to Migrate to Toronto
Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

If you’re an American and are thinking about moving to Toronto, here are possible ways to do it.

1. Express Entry

Express Entry is a system of the Canadian government for attracting skilled workers to Toronto with the opportunity of permanent residency.

It’s a points-based system that assesses your eligibility based on your educational background, work experience, and language skills.

There are two major steps to acquiring Express Entry:

  1. Express your interest in becoming a Canadian permanent resident to the Canadian government
  2. Wait for the Canadian government to issue the top-scored applicants with the Invitation to Apply (ITA)

To qualify to apply for Express Entry you need to meet the following criteria:

  • At least one year of full-time employment in a skilled occupation
  • Score of at least seven in English or French on an approved language test (Canadian Language Benchmark)
  • Completed post-secondary education that has been evaluated under Canadian criteria

Note that these are just the minimum requirements to apply for Express Entry. Meeting these requirements does not immediately guarantee receiving an Invitation to Apply.

Below are some important pieces of information that you must know about the Express Entry programme in Toronto. 

1. Immigration Programmes through Express Entry

ProgrammeTarget individuals
Canadian Express Class• Skilled workers with Canadian work experience

• Work experience must have been acquired in the three years prior to applying

Federal Skilled Worker Programme• Skilled workers with foreign work experience

• Must meet criteria for education and other factors such as age, language, adaptability etc.

Federal Skilled Trades Programme• Skilled workers qualified in a skilled trade

• Must possess a legitimate employment offer or a certificate of qualification

Data from

For more detailed information on the Express Entry programmes and the qualifications for each, check out

2. Express Entry Factors and Corresponding Points

FactorsPoints (maximum)
Language skills160 points
Education150 points
Work experience80 points
Age100 points
Proficiency160 points
Skill transferability100 points
Additional factors600 points

Data from

As mentioned earlier, the Express Entry programme relies on a points-based system. This means that applicants are being evaluated on the factors above with corresponding points. 

The points scale has a maximum score of 1,200. So, the higher your points, the greater your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply.

Additional factors take the most points in the process. Applicants will be scored based on the following:

  • Sister or brother living in Canada either as a citizen or permanent resident
  • French language skills
  • Post-secondary education in Canada
  • Arranged employment 
  • PN Nomination (provincial nominee)

3. Express Entry Cost Breakdown

ProcessAverage Cost
Language test$300
Education credential assessment$200
Government fees$1,325 (adult) $225 (child)
Medical examination$450 (adult) $250 (child)
Police clearance certificates$100

Data from Canadim

The process for Express Entry application depends on which programme you are qualified for. The general details of the application process can be found on the Government of Canada website.

The government of Canada does not provide any financial aid or subsidy for applicants of the Express Entry programme. 

In fact, the applicants are required to show their financial capability when applying for Express Entry so the government would know that they are able to support themselves. 

2. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Programme (OINP)

The OINP is another immigration channel that opens the door for foreign people to 

settle permanently in Canada.

This programme is designed to attract immigrants in the fields that will benefit the province. It’s divided into three categories:

1. Ontario Human Capital

This programme includes several immigration streams that aim to attract applicants for Ontario’s labour force.

This program places a focus on knowledge, proficiency, and experience.

You may find success in this stream if you meet the minimum requirements:

  • Work or education experience in Ontario
  • Proficiency in both English and French languages
  • A competitive Express Entry profile
  • Intent to live in Toronto

Below are the additional requirements for every stream under the Ontario Human Capital Programme.

CategoryAdditional requirements
Human Capital Priorities Stream• Valid Express Entry profile

• At least one year of full-time paid work experience

• Bachelor’s, Master's, or Ph.D. degree

• Language requirement: CLB level 7 or higher (English or French)

French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream• Valid Express Entry profile

• At least one year of full-time paid work experience

• Bachelor’s, Master's, or Ph.D. degree

• Language requirement: CLB level 7 or higher (French).

Skilled Trades Stream• Valid Express Entry profile

• At least one year of full-time paid work experience

• Valid certificate or licence (if applicable)

• Living in Ontario and holding a valid work permit at the time of application

• Language requirement: CLB level 5 or higher (English or French)

Data from

These streams do not necessarily require a job offer to apply.

2. Ontario Employer Job Offer

The Ontario Employer Job Offer programme is directed at foreign nationals who have accepted legitimate employment offers from qualified companies.

Foreign nationals with job offers in occupations such as agriculture, construction, and other specific occupations will have the chance to apply for permanent residency.

Successful applicants of this programme will receive an official nomination from the province. This will then make you eligible to apply for permanent residency.

The Minimum requirements to be eligible for this program are as follows:

  • Expression of interest and Invitation to Apply (ITA)
  • Work experience
  • Valid licence (if your job requires a mandatory licence) or other authorizations
  • Language
  • Education
  • Intention to live in cities in Ontario
  • Legal status (if applicable)

Below are the additional requirements for different streams under the Ontario Employer Job Offer Programme.

CategoryAdditional requirements
Foreign Worker Stream• Two years of work experience if the occupation does not require a licence or other authorisation

• Pay must be higher than the median wage level for that occupation in Ontario

In-Demand Skills Stream• Current job should be an in-demand occupation

• Nine months of work experience

• Language requirement: CLB 4 or higher (English or French)

• At least a high school diploma

• Pay must be higher than the median wage level for that occupation in Ontario

Skilled Trades Stream• Pay must be higher than the low wage level for that occupation in Ontario

• Two-year degree or diploma from a Canadian institution.

Data from

Note that under this programme regardless of the stream, a job offer is required.

3. Ontario Entrepreneur

The Ontario Entrepreneur Stream is designed to cater to businesspeople who are interested in making investments for the growth of businesses in Ontario.

Entrepreneurs with a track record of success can start new businesses in any city in Ontario under this program including Toronto. Successful participants will then be nominated for permanent residence in Canada.

Below are the criteria for an individual to qualify for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Programme under Ontario Entrepreneur Stream.

Ontario Entrepreneur/Business Category• At least 24 months of business experience in the last 60 months

• Net worth of CAD $800,000 if the business is located in Greater Toronto Area OR CAD $400,000 if outside the GTA

• Minimum personal investment of CAD $600,000 (Greater Toronto Area) OR CAD $200,000 (outside the GTA)

• Controls at least one-third of the business equity

• Actively involved in the management

• Business’ purpose should be to make profit

• Must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents (GTA) or one permanent full-time job (outside the GTA)

Data from

3. Family Sponsorship

If you have a family member in Toronto and you’re considering moving there, then the Family Sponsorship Programme may be for you. This program is designed to help residents move their entire families to Canada.

You can get sponsored by a resident if he/she has met the following basic criteria:

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • At least 18 years old
  • Has the capacity to support the sponsored person for several years

A sponsor is required to sign a Sponsorship Agreement. This is a commitment that they are able to provide the basic needs of their sponsored family members such as food, shelter, and clothing. 

Aside from the sponsorship agreement, the sponsor is also required to sign an Undertaking. This is to make the sponsor legally responsible for the sponsored individual.

This Undertaking is the time frame for which you are financially liable for the individual you are supporting.

Below is the guide for the length of Undertaking for the different family members you sponsor.

Sponsored personLength of undertaking
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner3 years
Dependent child10 years, or until age 25, whichever comes first
Dependent child 22 years of age or older3 years
Parent or grandparent20 years
Other relative10 years

Data from

The process for sponsoring a family member to move to Toronto can be challenging. If you want the process to be as efficient and legal as possible, having your own immigration lawyer can help make the process easier.

4. Start-Up Visa

Entrepreneurs that are considering moving to Canada, specifically to Toronto, can take advantage of  Toronto’s Start-Up Visa Programme.

This programme helps international entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build innovative businesses that can create jobs for Canadians.

To qualify for the Start-Up Visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a qualifying business 
  • Secure a letter of support from the designated organisations under Venture capital funds, Angel investor groups, and business incubators
  • Must have a minimum investment of $75,000 (for Angel investors) and $200 (for Venture capital funds)
  • Meet the language requirements
  • Have enough money to relocate to Canada and support yourself before you start to profit from your business

Note that a qualifying business means you are able to meet the conditions such as:

  • You hold 10% or more voting rights to all shares of the corporation
  • You and the designated organisation jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares
  • Once you receive the permanent residence, you must be an essential part of the operations and your business should be incorporated in Canada

Here’s how you can apply for a Start-Up Visa:

  1. Fill out the application form 
  2. Gather and complete the document checklist
  3. Pay the application fee
  4. Submit the application

Another way to qualify for a Start-Up Visa is by getting into a business incubator. This is essentially an organisation that funds startup businesses and provides management training, mentorship, and even seed funding. 

The difference between this process with the normal Start-Up visa process is that in a business incubator, you don’t need to show investment and funds. 

For as long as there is a confirmation that the applicant has been approved in the incubator programme, your visa will also be approved. 

The process for applying to a business incubator is simple. You just have to submit a proposal to any of the designated business incubators, and if accepted your permanent residency is almost guaranteed. 

Below are additional information that will give you an idea of how much a Start-Up Visa would cost. 

Required Funds Based on the Number of Family Members

Number of family membersRequired funds
For each additional family member$3,492

Data from Canadim

Cost of Application for Different Types of Applicants

Type of applicantCost
Individual$85 CAD
Family$170 CAD (Maximum)
Groups of 3 or more performing artists$255 CAD (Maximum)

Data from Canadim

The current processing time for Start-Up visa is around 31 months to complete, but there are applications that have been approved in as fast as 12-16 months. 

In order for your application to be processed immediately, make sure you have all the needed documents ready. 

FAQs on Migrating to Toronto from America

It’s not an easy undertaking, but it’s definitely worth it. Here’s hoping that you’ll find all that you’re looking for in this lovely city!