Popular Pathways to Immigrate to Canada from Italy

 Roberto has been interested in Canada's job opportunities advertised on social media and plans to move there in a few months. However, he doesn't know how to move from Italy to Canada. Immigrating to Canada from Italy can be a tough decision, especially considering all the paperwork and documentation one must complete before becoming eligible for immigration. Hence, Roberto visits an immigration lawyer, who guides him through all the work he has to do and the information required to file for immigration.

There are numerous questions that come to mind when a person considers immigrating. For Italian citizens, their European passport already poses a strong suit for them to travel around the globe with visa-free access to hundreds of countries, but can this visa-free access also apply to Canada? Second, can they work on their European passport, or do they need to file certain documents to make that possible? Third, how long can Italians stay in Canada, and what requirements must they fulfil for an extended stay? Lastly, can Italians earn in Canada if the purpose of their stated visit is holiday or leisure? LegaMart has all these questions covered.

Can I work in Canada as an Italian citizen?

Canada as an Italian

Immigrating to Canada from Italy entails many reasons. People may consider migration due to work opportunities, business opportunities, the fact that their spouse might be living there, or a general change of environment. But, let's suppose an Italian citizen's primary reason for immigrating to Canada from Italy is work, then is it even possible for them? The short answer is yes, working in Canada as an Italian citizen is possible.

The main aim of every immigrant is to receive Canadian Permanent Residence (PR). Attaining the PR is the most difficult part and requires several requisites before applying. The particular entry system to apply to is called the Express Entry System, which has four categories of work application programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW).

If the applicant has worked in Canada for at least a year in the last three years, they must apply through the CEC. If the skill they want to work in has been listed in the NOC and they have had at least 2 years of recent Canadian experience in the preceding 5 years, they may apply through the FSTC program. If they want to settle in a province or city, they may apply through the PNP; if none of these fit the applicant's case, they may apply through the FSW.

Immigrating to Canada to work from Italy would require you to apply for one of the aforementioned programs.

Can I move to Canada with an Italian passport?

Some people prefer their European passport over the possibility of applying for a Canadian one – due to the tedious process of applying for Canadian passports, which is why many applicants wonder if they can work in Canada with their Italian passport. The short answer is that yes, they can work in Canada with a European passport without having to apply for a work permit or fulfilling a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a multilateral trade deal between Canada and the EU. This agreement went into effect on September 21, 2017, and it allows EU citizens to move to Canada from Italy to work without having to apply for work permits, wait for them, or meet any LMIA requirements. However, this privilege only applies to four categories of people: mainly CETA business visitors, CETA intra-company transferees, CETA investors, CETA Contractual Service Suppliers and independent professionals. 

CETA Business visitors are authorised for 90 days within six months and are allowed for multiple entries in those six months about specific projects. This category of persons is divided into two subcategories: business visitors for investment purposes, which refers to employees responsible for setting up an enterprise, and short-term business visitors entering Canada to perform any of the permissible business activities, including, but not limited to, purchasing, sales, commercial transactions, research, design, etc.

CETA Intra-company transferees are all those applicants who have been employed in an EU enterprise for at least a year and are being transferred to work in an enterprise in Canada temporarily. For these transferees, a work permit is required, but they are exempt from requiring an LMIA. These transferees are also divided into 3 subcategories, namely senior personnel who are granted a work permit of up to 3 years with an extension of 18 months (also known as the executives). Some specialists are eligible for a work permit of three years and an 18-month extension, and the graduate trainees are eligible for a work permit of up to 1 year without extension.

Can I move to Canada

CETA investors can only get a work permit in Canada if they meet the requirements set out by CETA. The criteria require applicants to be involved with an investment in a supervisory or executive capacity; the applicant must be an investor employed by an enterprise that has previously invested a substantial amount of capital in Canada.

CETA Contractual Service Suppliers and Independent Professionals are EU citizens eligible for the Canadian work permit required to fulfil criteria in which they have to prove that they are engaged in the temporary supply of any service for a year. The service must be per the National Occupation Classification Code included in the CETA. Independent Professionals, on the other hand, are self-employed professionals who have provided a service to Canadian consumers and have been self-employed for at least six years in the skill they are providing.

Is Canada visa-free for Italy?

Canada is, per se, not visa-free for Italians. They have to apply for an eTA, the Electronic Travel Authorization system authorising EU citizens to visit Canada. Though, in essence, this is not a "visa", and the visit to Italy is factually visa-free, EU citizens cannot leave for Canada without the eTA.

The grant of an eTA is a relatively simple process that can happen online at any time. It is granted to all citizens looking for a short-term stay in Canada for a maximum of 90 days when attempting to visit Canada by air. It became mandatory in 2016.

Types of Visas

People with Italian citizenship have many different visa options when planning a trip to Canada. The reason for the trip and the length of time spent there will determine the kind of visa that is necessary. The following categories of visas are the most typical:

Temporary Resident Visa:
Italian citizens need this kind of visa to visit Canada briefly, whether for business, tourism, or to see family and friends. The visa may be used only once or many times during its validity period of up to six months.

Italian citizens must show proof of their trip's purpose to get a temporary resident visa. This evidence can take the form of a letter of invitation from a Canadian resident or organisation, a travel itinerary, or evidence that they have sufficient funds to cover their expenses in Canada. They also need to pay the visa application fee, produce a passport that is still valid, and fill out the application form completely.

Permission to Study:


Citizens of Italy who want to study in Canada for more than six months must apply for permission. A person with this type of visa can go to a certain type of educational institution in Canada.

Citizens of Italy who wish to study in Canada are required to get a letter of acceptance from a school in Canada before they can apply for a study permit. Students must also pay the visa application fee, show proof that they have enough money to pay for school and living costs, provide a valid passport, and complete the application form.

Work Permit: 

Citizens of Italy who wish to work in Canada are required to apply for a work permit. A holder of this type of visa is allowed to work in Canada for a certain amount of time for a specific employer.

Before Italian citizens can apply for a work permit, a Canadian company must offer them a job. To prove that no Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available to fill the position, the employer must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Italian citizens are required to show proof of their qualifications and job experience, a valid passport, an application form that has been filled out, and the application fee.

Working Holiday visa for Italian citizens

Italian citizens looking to spend a holiday in Canada can apply for an eTA online at any time, the average time for the application to be accepted is 30 minutes, but it is encouraged for the citizens to at least complete their application 72 hours before departure. This is still, however, not the final documentation since the Canadian immigration services have to approve the visit once the citizen reaches the airport. The eTA application is fully electronic, and no documentation will be brought to the airport as proof of authorisation. Any errors in the eTA filing will render the eTA invalid and must be applied again.

A granted eTA is valid for exactly 5 years from the date it was issued, and citizens can use it to enter Canada for an unlimited number of days before its expiry, provided that they do not spend more than 90 days in Canada. It is quick and accessible and can be filled out from anywhere since it is done online.

How long can Italians stay in Canada?


Depending on the type of permit granted to the Italian citizen, the duration of stay for an Italian citizen is variable. However, for a holiday visit, a maximum of 90 days is allowed in a 5-year period through the eTA, and if a work permit is granted, the stay duration depends on the nature of the work permit, as mentioned above concerning CETA.


Applying for visas can be a tiresome process, but due to the bilateral trade agreements between Canada and the EU and the friendlier relations between Canada and Italy, it has been made rather quick, easy, and simple. EU citizens who want to enjoy the benefits of living and working in Canada can get work permits easily. Because the process is so easy, EU citizens are more likely to apply to Canada than other countries. 

There are many well-known ways for people with Italian roots to move to Canada. These pathways include the Express Entry system, which is a merit-based system that gives priority to skilled workers; the Provincial Nominee Program, which allows provinces to nominate individuals based on their labour market demands; the Family Sponsorship programme, which enables Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their close relatives; and the Start-Up Visa programme, which caters to entrepreneurs who want to establish their businesses in Canada. Italian immigrants in Canada have a wealth of alternatives to achieve their goals and blend in smoothly with Canadian society, thanks to the variety of options available to them.

LegaMart's blog articles already give clients this information, and the company also has the right lawyers to answer their questions. 

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