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Exploring Pros and Cons: A Comparison of Single-Step and Two-Step Immigration Methods in Canada

By February 17, 2024 March 21st, 2024 No Comments

Canada has a reputation for welcoming immigrants and valuing multiculturalism. Over the past few years, Canadian post-secondary institutions have witnessed a notable rise in international student enrollment. According to the Canadian government, the number of study visa holders surged from 145,950 to over 807,750 between 2021 and 2022, marking a considerable growth. 

The Canadian Immigration System plays a vital role in this process, establishing criteria that allow individuals to obtain their residency, whether temporary or permanent. Among these criteria, single-step and two-step Immigration methods have evolved over the years, offering pathways for temporary residents to apply for permanent status through federal and provincial programs. This blog post will discuss the pros and cons of single-step and two-step immigration methods in Canada, allowing immigrants to make an informed decision.

Understanding the Types of Immigration Methods in Canada

Canadian Immigration management is widely recognized for its success in terms of policy endurance, processes, and programs. The two primary methods include single-step and two-step immigration, each recognized for its unique characteristics and catering to different types of immigrants and their specific situations. Here’s an in-depth overview of the types of immigration methods available in Canada: 

  • Single-Step Immigration Method 

In the single-step immigration method, the applicants can directly apply for permanent residency. The single-step immigration approach is considered a straightforward approach as it eliminates the need for intermediate status, including study or work permit. Single-step immigration is typically used in various programs, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class, and specific Provincial Nominee Programs. 

Pros of the Single-Step Immigration Method

The following are the potential pros of the single-step immigration method: 

  • Straightforward Approach 

As mentioned, single-step immigration offers a direct route for eligible individuals to apply for permanent residency, eliminating the need for intermediate status. As a result, this reduces the timeline to attain the resident phase, leading to a streamlined process. 

  • Less Paperwork

Unlike a multi-step process that requires individuals to meet specific criteria to obtain a temporary residency, the single-step immigration method provides a direct approach by reducing paperwork and facilitating a faster and more efficient application process. 

Cons of Single-Step Immigration Method

Here are the cons of the single-step immigration method

  • Competitive

Due to the increased demand for the single-step immigration method, greater competition exists among individuals. 

  • High Eligibility Criteria 

It is imperative for the applicants to meet the eligibility criteria, which can be challenging for many individuals. 

  • Two-Step Immigration Method

In the two-step immigration method, applicants, including temporary foreign workers (TFWs) and international students with Canadian work experience, are selected for permanent residency. Given its phased approach, the multi-step immigration method is more time-consuming than the single-step immigration method. 

Pros of the Two-Step Immigration Method

The following are the potential pros of the two-step immigration method: 

  • Increased Flexibility

The two-step immigration method not only facilitates temporary residents’ assimilation into Canadian society but also helps upgrade their language skills, enhancing their eligibility for permanent residency. This advantage positions them more favorably compared to one-step immigrants without prior Canadian work exposure. 

  • Pathway for Lower-Skilled Workers

The two-step immigration method fine-tunes the match between immigrant skills and the labor market’s demands, offering a pathway for individuals to eventually achieve direct permanent residency, even for those initially considered lower-skilled workers.

Cons of Two-Step Immigration Method

The following are the cons of the two-step immigration method: 

  • Complex 

The two-step immigration method can be considered as complex as the transition to permanent residency is not guaranteed. In addition, research proves that Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) with low-skilled or low-paying jobs may experience slower earnings growth.

  • Time and Cost

The two-step immigration method requires time and money, making it an expensive affair. The individuals must qualify for temporary status before applying for permanent residency, adding layers of financial demands. 


Single-step and two-step immigration methods are crucial in obtaining Canadian residency, whether temporary or permanent. Each is recognized for its unique characteristics and for catering to different types of immigrants and their situations. Single-step immigration is a straightforward method that simplifies the entire application process. On the other hand, the two-step immigration method is complex as it requires individuals to navigate multiple stages, which can also lead to a costly and time-consuming process. At Immigrationway, we understand the complexities of single and two-step immigration methods. Our team is committed to delivering tailored guidance and ensuring a smooth application process for you. Contact us, and let’s discuss your immigration goals today.