Lebanese immigration to Canada began in 1882.
There are now an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 people of Lebanese origin living in Canada, according to the Canadian government.
Over the past five years, about 1,800 Lebanese citizens have immigrated to Canada each year.
The main way for Lebanese nationals to immigrate to Canada is as skilled workers.
Under Canada’s current Immigration Levels Plan 2020-2022, the country is targeting the admissions of at least 340,000 new immigrants per year. The coronavirus pandemic makes it unlikely that Canada will achieve this target in 2020. However, Canada has continued to select new skilled workers throughout the pandemic.
About 60 per cent of new immigrants arrive to Canada as skilled workers.
Canada evaluates skilled workers based on criteria such as their age, education, language skills, and work experience.
Due to their high levels of human capital, Lebanese citizens have an advantage when submitting skilled worker applications.
One such reason is the strong English and/or French language proficiency of Lebanese citizens. English and French are Canada’s two official languages.
Under Express Entry, immigration candidates can earn up to 290 points for their official language skills. This is more than 50 per cent of the points that a candidate typically needs to successfully obtain a permanent residence invitation through Express Entry.
Express Entry is Canada’s main program for skilled workers. Interested candidates need to be eligible for one of the three programs operated under Express Entry. If you have not worked or studied in Canada before, you will most likely need to be eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
If you are eligible for the FSWP, you can submit your Express Entry profile onto the Canadian government’s website. Submitting a profile is free, but candidates need to incur some expenses to take an English and/or French language test, and also to get their educational credentials assessed.
Every two weeks, the Canadian government invites Express Entry candidates with the highest scores to apply for permanent residence. The Canadian government then aims to process completed permanent residence applications within six months.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has maintained its bi-weekly Express Entry draws and has been inviting successful immigration candidates who currently live overseas. This is due to the Canadian government’s recognition that immigration will be critical to Canada’s economy after the pandemic.
The PNP and Quebec
There are two other major skilled worker options for Lebanese skilled workers.
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) enables Canada’s provinces and territories to nominate skilled workers that meet their economic needs. If you have the occupational profile and/or strong French-language skills, you can obtain a permanent residence nomination from one of the nine provinces and two territories that operate the PNP. You can apply to a PNP stream directly. The best thing to do is to submit an Express Entry profile (if you are eligible) since this gives you more options. While in the Express Entry pool, you can either get a permanent residence invitation from the Canadian government directly, or from a province or territory under the PNP.
Provinces such as Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia look to select skilled workers who speak French, and successful Lebanese applicants will find strong Lebanese communities in such provinces.
The third major option for Lebanese nationals to consider is Quebec’s skilled worker system. Unlike the other options, Lebanese candidates who apply to immigrate to Quebec need to speak French.
When you add all of Canada’s skilled worker options together, Lebanese citizens have over 100 immigration programs that are available to help them obtain Canadian permanent residence.
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