Moving to Canada from the UAE: A Guide to Immigration for Skilled Workers

Migrating-to-Canada - Banff, Canada

Thinking about moving to Canada from the UAE? If you are a skilled worker, you’ve got a vast range of options available. Whether you are a doctor, plumber, or restaurant manager, areas across Canada are in urgent need of skilled migrants. To bring in the much-needed help, they have made the migration process relatively simple and fast. 

And it’s more than just a place to work! Canada has one of the highest standards of living in the world (in fact, they’ve got three of the ten most livable cities in the world). Unlike the United Arab Emirates where people often go to save money then move on, Canada is a place that most migrants view as a permanent home

If you’re thinking about moving to Canada from the UAE, keep reading to see all of the potential visa options for skilled workers in Canada.

Express Entry: Permanent Residence for Skilled Workers

One of the most common routes for skilled workers moving to Canada from the UAE is the Express Entry visa. It’s a straightforward and quick process that will help you move quickly. You can get started by doing a simple online questionnaire to see your options.

The Express Entry visa works with the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which looks at your skills, work history, education, and language skill then ranks you against other potential migrants.

If you are considered to be amongst the most skilled potential ex-pats, you will be offered permanent residency for you and your family. In most cases, visas are processed in less than four months.


Finding Visas Options with Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

If you are thinking about moving to Canada and you have a potential destination in mind, look into the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Every province is in need of different types of immigration. Some are looking for skilled workers, while others need entrepreneurs, students, or semi-skilled workers.

Review the possible visa options for the provinces that are the most appealing to you:


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The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP) Visa Option

If you are thinking about moving to Canada and you have a potential destination in mind, look into the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is actually made up of three different visa programs: the Atlantic International Graduate Program, the Atlantic High-skilled Program, and the Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program.

The Atlantic International Graduate Program is designed for students who have already been in living in Canada for at least one and a half years. For those skilled workers looking to move to Canada from the UAE, the Atlantic High-skilled Program or Intermediate-skilled Program are both great options for anyone considering a new life in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island.

To figure out which skilled visa is better for you, get to the know the Canada National Occupational Classification (NOC). For the High-skilled Program visa, you will need to be working at skill level 0, A, or B. For the Intermediate-skilled Program, you will need a job within level C or the nursing field.

Moving-from-Dubai-to-Canada - Rural Canada

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Visa

If you’re living in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, moving to rural Canada can certainly be a massive cultural change. It can also be a breath of fresh air. Renowned for its gorgeous mountainscapes, sparkling lakes, and wide-open spaces, rural Canada is appealing on numerous levels.

Like so many countries, Canada is facing an overwhelming wave of urban migration. Citizens and ex-pats alike are flocking to the cities near the southern border. This leaves formerly thriving communities in urgent need of a population boost. Provinces like Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia are hungry for skilled workers.

Here are a few of the communities currently in the processing of helping skilled worker move to Canada:


  • North Bay, ON
  • Sudbury, ON
  • Timmins, ON
  • Sault Ste. Marie, ON
  • Thunder Bay, ON


  • Brandon, MB
  • Altona/Rhineland, MB


  • Moose Jaw, SK


  • Claresholm, AB

British Colombia 

  • Vernon, BC
  • West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), BC

This list of areas is always changing and bringing in a wide range of workers in different industries. Read all of the details on the official visa programme site.

Is It Worth It to Immigrate to Canada from Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

Immigration is such a personal experiment. While a young single guy might love life in one area, the same area could be a struggle for a family. The best option for you depends greatly on your lifestyle. To get an idea of what to expect of life, it’s virtual to do your research. 

If you’re an urban worker with a family, this video will give you a well-rounded overview of life in Canada vs the UAE.

Think that moving to Canada from the UAE might be right for you? You need our full guide to immigrating to Canada.

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