Canada v New Zealand. Which is easier to migrate to?

A comparison between Canadian and New Zealand immigration policies
by Shiv Deepak, Licensed Immigration Adviser (NZ)

Today, I would like to share with you some differences between Immigration Canada and Immigration New Zealand as well as the prospect of both governments towards immigrants. Our Senior Immigration Adviser Mr David Fisher, recently got a chance to speak with a specialist Canadian Immigration Consultant on this matter.

As usual, Immigration Canada and the Canadian Government appear to always open their arms to welcome migrants. Even during lockdown and the pandemic they haven’t tightened their rules, unlike New Zealand. To meet their migration targets Immigration Canada has recently introduced six different resident streams, which aren’t only comparatively easy to meet the conditions and requirements, but also have streamlined processing. Immigration Canada has a target to give residence to over 90,000 people in the next few months.

However, Immigration NZ has the opposite approach and they have tightened their rules so much that even the migrants who are in the country are feeling insecure about their future. If we compare the time taken by both countries to process resident applications, Immigration NZ is on the higher side which is taking up to 25 months, whereas Canada is taking 3-12 months, which includes processing those applicants who applied from overseas. 

We are all well aware that New Zealand has shut its borders for Temporary Visa holders including Student Visa and Work Visa holders, but conversely Canada has the opposite approach. To boost their economy they have opened their border for Temporary Visa holders. If we talk about the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, Immigration New Zealand has paused the EOI selection process until further notice. However, Immigration Canada is still selecting EOI’s from their pool. To meet their target, sometimes they are running the EOI selection process up to four times per month.

In the media we see stories of how New Zealand has separated families and doesn’t allow entry for partners who are stranded overseas due to lockdown to reunite, even if they are in a genuine and stable relationship. On the other hand, Immigration Canada appears to have a comparatively very soft approach towards couples. Immigration Canada is giving the visa to separated partners to reunite who were stranded due to lockdown. Not only that, Immigration Canada is also giving temporary visas to those couples who haven’t lived together in a genuine and stable relationship. Immigration Canada is approving these type of applications as long as they meet the minimum requirements of being together as a couple for a year and also meet at least once during this time.

At the moment, Canada needs people in all streams from low skilled to highly skilled. In comparison to New Zealand it appears to be easy to get a Canadian Resident Visa as long as you meet the minimum requirements. It also appears that the chances of obtaining residence becomes particularly high if you are less than 35 years of age, have a Masters degree, a minimum of three years of skilled experience, 7.5 in IELTS general and B2 level of French. Please note this is only based on a general overview of immigration requirements in Canada, and should not be taken as legal advice. For professional advice, you should consult with a licensed professional.

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