5 Ways to Immigrate to Canada from Afghanistan

There are several immigration options to Canada from Afghanistan. Find out more about them here!

Did you know before now that about a hundred thousand persons who are now Canadians were from Afghanistan? This data has been revealed from the different population censuses conducted in Canada. As of 2016, more than 80,000 persons had immigrated from Afghanistan to Canada and were now registered Canadians.

You can also become a resident of Canada even if you do not wish to become a citizen. The statistics show how easy it is for Afghans to move into Canada. In this article, you will find popular and easy ways to immigrate to Canada from Afghanistan.

A little about Afghan Canadians and other Afghan Immigrants in Canada

Afghan Canadians are most concentrated in Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa. These persons have ethnic origins that include Pashtun, Hazara, Uzbek, Tajik, and Turkmen, with most of them being of the Sunni Islam group. Afghans in Canada have learnt to speak Canadian English and/or French alongside native languages like Dari, Pashto, and Uzbek.

There is an Afghanistan Embassy in Canada for the benefit of Afghan immigrants. The office provides both embassy and consular services.

How Much does it Cost to Immigrate to Canada from Afghanistan?

Immigration costs to Canada from Afghanistan may differ based on the immigration pathway. However, the average cost of immigration process is usually around $15,500 for an individual. This is equivalent to about 1,098,445 Afghan Afghani (Af).

Couples should expect to spend $20,000 to $21,000 (1,417,533 to 1,488,458 Afghan Afghani [Af]) on immigration processes while, families with children will spend around $25,000 to $30,000 (1,771,974 to 2,126,502 Afghani) depending on the family size.

5 Ways to Immigrate to Canada from Afghanistan

Thinking of moving into Canada from Afghanistan? There are several options available for you. Most people who immigrate to Canada aim at becoming permanent residents immediately or later on. Whether you are thinking of temporary relocation or want to become a permanent resident in Canada, these are the top immigration pathways we advise you to follow:

3 Routes to Canada Permanent Residence from Afghanistan

In Canada, Permanent residents are next to citizens in terms of the residential rights they enjoy. This is why most immigrants from Afghanistan and other countries strive to become permanent residents of Canada.

There are several ways to apply for Canadian Permanente Residence (PR). Below, we have highlighted the top three permanent resident pathways for Afghans considering immigrating to Canada.

#1. Express Entry System

Express Entry is the most popular and definite way to immigrate to Canada. This immigration pathway is particularly favourable for skilled workers. In Canada, skilled workers possess the educational qualification, certification, experience, and other qualifications needed to work jobs classified under Skill Type 0, A, or B.

There are three distinct programs under Express Entry, each with its requirements. These are:

  1. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  2. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

To immigrate to Canada through Express Entry, prospective immigrants will select an Express Entry immigration program they are most qualified for. If you qualify for any of these programs, then you can create an Express Entry profile. All profiles will go into the Express Entry pool, where they will be accessed and graded using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

An Express Entry draw is conducted every fortnight to select the most eligible candidates. Candidates who are chosen receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). With the ITA, you can officially apply for PR in Canada.

Asides from eligibility for an Express Entry program, there are a couple of things that will increase your chances of getting an ITA by granting you a high CRS score. These include: proof of proficiency in English or French, work experience, Educational Credential Assessment, and provincial nomination.

You can get a provincial nomination in two ways: Either by applying directly to a Provincial Nominee Program or by getting a nomination from a province after you submit your profile. Since the latter is usually a place of chance, you can always apply to the nominee program of a province you are interested in. Of course, you must meet the requirements of such a province to qualify.

#2. Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers

Records have it that most Afghan immigrants in Canada reside in Quebec. This could imply how comfortable Afghans seem to find the province of Quebec. You may also be willing to immigrate to this Province as you will readily find immigrants from Afghanistan like you there. If you can communicate fluently in French, you will find living in Quebec more interesting.

Immigration to Quebec works differently from that of other provinces. Quebec does not follow the Express Entry System nor have a Provincial Nominee Program. Instead, it has its immigration pathway known as Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program. If you qualify for this program, it will grant you permanent residence in Canada, although with the option of residing in Quebec only.

Asides from proficiency in the French language, there are other requirements you will need to meet as specified by the Government of Quebec. Visit the Government of Quebec’s website to apply or view application requirements.

After you apply, you will receive a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de Selection du Quebec [CSQ]). The selection certificate qualifies you to apply for PR through IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada).

#3. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven program that ensures the economic immigration of eligible persons into rural communities in some specific parts of Canada. Some of the participating communities in this immigration program are North Bay, Brandon, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and West Kootenay.

This program ensures that immigrants can come freely into these places. An advantage of applying to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is that it has less competition, unlike Express Entry or the Atlantic Immigration Program.

To immigrate to Canada from Afghanistan through this program, first, check that you qualify for the IRCC’s requirements and other community-specific requirements. Secondly, you should get an eligible job in the region. With a job offer, you can submit an application for recommendation to the specific community.

Finally, you can apply for permanent residence from IRCC after you get recommendation from a community.

Other Immigration Pathways to Canada from Afghanistan

Asides from the economic class immigration programs that grant you immediate permanent residence in Canada, there are several temporary immigration options Afghans can take advantage of. Some of these immigration options may be a link pathway to permanent residence in the long run.

#4. Study Permit

Obtaining a study permit is a popular option for temporary immigration to Canada and is favourable for young persons or others who wish to acquire further educational qualifications.

Studying in Canada as an Afghanistan grants you many opportunities. You can leverage on your Canadian education to land a job within or outside Canada. While schooling in Canada makes it easy to get Canadian jobs, it can also increase your chances of getting a job in other countries. This is because the Canadian standard of education has earned global esteem for its high quality.

A study permit is also a potential pathway to Canadian permanent residence years later. After your studies, you get a work visa or post-graduate works permit (PGWP). Either of these would grant you more years of stay in Canada, during which you will gain the work experience you would use in applying for permanent residence.

Of course, if you are thinking of getting a study permit, it means you must be willing to study in Canada. Therefore, the first step is to apply to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. An admission offer from any of these schools will make you eligible for a study permit.

Studying in Canada is also an interesting endeavour because you will get exposed to financial aid, which can be full or partial funding. You can get financial assistance based on excellent academic performance, participation in extra-curricular activities, or the demonstration of financial need.

#5. Canada Refugees and Asylum Program

Canada has provided a couple of options for persons seeking refugee resident status in Canada. Over the years, Afghans have been able to benefit from this scheme. In fact, Canada recognizes Afghanistan specially and has sponsored prompt response to its national crises for years by bringing the nationals to become residents in Canada.

You could become a refugee in Canada through a government-assisted or privately-sponsored refugee program. The IRCC may also offer fee waivers or grant priority processing to Afghans planning to immigrate to Canada as refugees.

There are also other measures like a special immigration program for Afghanistans and a special family reunification program to help extended family members of Canadian Afghans reunite with their family members.

You will find more information about refugee settlement options in Canada on the IRCC’s website.

Frequentlt Asked Questions

Is Canada Accepting Immigrants from Afghanistan?

Yes. The Government of Canada has created a structure that aims to admit about 4,000 Afghans to Canada. This year alone, about 7,550 Afghan nationals have successfully immigrated to Canada, and more are still to settle in.

Can I Immigrate to Canada from Afghanistan as a Refugee?

Yes. Canada has a special recognition for Afghans who wish to make refugee claims in Canada. These persons can immigrate to Canada through government-assisted or privately-sponsored refugee programs.


With the government seeking active immigrants to contribute to the country’s economy, immigration processes to Canada are now fairly easy. We have mentioned five options you can consider if you want to move to Canada from Afghanistan.

Of course, there are other immigration programs available asides from the ones we have mentioned on this page. The IRCC provides comprehensive information on all of these immigration programs. We advise that you visit the page and explore the pathways available before you choose the one that is most suitable for you.