How Much Does Immigrating Really Cost? (5/10)

The Canadian Parliament In Ottawa

The Cana­dian Par­lia­ment In Ottawa

Wel­come to my new series, “How to immi­grate to Canada“!

I recently received quite a lot of emails, ask­ing me ques­tions about the immi­gra­tion process. So I decided to explain the whole process in 10 posts, which will be pub­lished every Saturday.

I also encour­age you to ask any ques­tion you may have. I’m not an immi­gra­tion con­sul­tant, but from expe­ri­ence, I may be able to point you to the right direction!

In the series, we will see the dif­fer­ent options you have to come to Canada, as well as your rights and duties as a Per­ma­nent Res­i­dent, what hap­pens after you arrive etc.

Are you eli­gi­ble to immi­grate to Canada? Are you fill­ing up the paper­work? Awe­some! But wait… do you have enough money?

Sure, you thought of the pro­cess­ing fees. But did you real­ize there were also a lot of fees asso­ci­ated with immi­grat­ing to Canada? In this post, I’m going to try to sum up how much do you really need to pay to immi­grate to Canada.

The pro­cess­ing fees

Depend­ing on the cat­e­gory you applied in, you will be charged dif­fer­ent fees:

Appli­cants who plan to set­tle in Que­bec must apply for a Cer­ti­fi­cat de Selec­tion du Que­bec (CSQ). It costs $390 for the prin­ci­pal appli­cant, $150 for a spouse, and $150 for each child.

All landed immi­grants in Canada must pay the right of per­ma­nent res­i­dence fee, which is $490 per person.

Cit­i­zen­ship and Immi­gra­tion has a handy table to help you cal­cu­late your appli­ca­tion fees.

Fees asso­ci­ated with the application

  • If your doc­u­ments (such a degrees, work doc­u­ments etc.) are not in French or Eng­lish, you must pro­vide a trans­la­tion of these doc­u­ments. This has to be done by an autho­rized translator.
  • You must include sev­eral pho­tographs and the rules are quite spe­cific (yes, Cana­di­ans are weird with pass­port pic­tures!). Depend­ing where you live, it adds up. In Canada, it cost about $12 for two pics — not cheap if you immi­grate as a family!
  • You may need to have your for­eign degrees rec­og­nized in Canada. This is called a cre­den­tial eval­u­a­tion, and it’s done by spe­cific orga­ni­za­tion, such as World Edu­ca­tion Ser­vices. A basic offi­cial eval­u­a­tion cost about $115 and up.
  • If you are from a coun­try where nor Eng­lish nor French is the offi­cial lan­guage, you will have to prove your lan­guage abil­i­ties. This is one of the 6 selec­tion fac­tors for skilled work­ers. The lan­guage pro­fi­ciency test must given by an orga­ni­za­tion that is approved by Cit­i­zen­ship and Immi­gra­tion, for exam­ple IELTS ($265) and CELPIP ($250) for Eng­lish, or the TEF for French ($250). No cheap!
  • A med­ical exam is com­pul­sory for each appli­cant and their depen­dents (spouse, chil­dren) and must be made by a physi­cian on Canada’s list of des­ig­nated med­ical prac­ti­tion­ers. Usu­ally, you paid twice: once for the exam itself, and once for the X-rays that have to be taken. Fees vary by coun­try, and even by geo­graphic loca­tion within a coun­try. Doc­tors’ fees vary, so shop around! I remem­ber pay­ing $100 for the med­ical exam and another $100 for the X-ray, in 2005, in Ottawa.

Don’t for­get to con­sider mis­cel­la­neous fees!

  • Trav­el­ing expenses: you may have to travel from your city to your local Cana­dian visa office (typ­i­cally, in your home country’s cap­i­tal, with some excep­tions). Why would you need to travel? Well, if you need to be inter­viewed for your appli­ca­tion. Some­times, your city won’t have a des­ig­nated med­ical prac­ti­tioner, so may have to travel to another city for your med­ical exam.
  • Pass­port appli­ca­tion: a lot of peo­ple don’t real­ize they need a pass­port from their home coun­try to immi­grate to Canada. You have to apply for one before you start the immi­gra­tion process, and chances are, it will cost some­thing, although it varies by country.

Costs that can be avoided

An immi­gra­tion con­sul­tant! As I explained in Two Immi­gra­tion Myths, you nor­mally do not need an immi­gra­tion lawyer or an immi­gra­tion con­sul­tant to help you immi­grate to Canada.

Immi­gra­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tive typ­i­cally charge from $1000 to $5000 (but the sky is the limit!) for an appli­ca­tion. Save money, Google instead. I will give you a list of use­ful links at the end of this series, and these will all be free!

Don’t for­get…

And don’t for­get the set­tle­ment funds. If you apply in the skilled worker cat­e­gory, you will have to prove that you have enough funds to sup­port your­self and your fam­ily for the first few months fol­low­ing your arrival in Canada. For one per­son, it’s roughly $10,000, and up to almost $23,000 for a fam­ily of five.


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. i will love to come and live in canada but i dnt know how to get a res­i­dence visa here in my coun­try pls help me.Thanks alot

  2. Thanks for the infor­ma­tion!
    Is it pos­si­ble for me to apply for the skilled immi­gra­tion with my brother and his fam­ily or do I have to do mine separately.

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