Are you considering migrating to Canada? If so, you may be thinking about applying for permanent residency. Becoming a permanent resident of Canada allows you to live, work and study in the country without the worry of having to renew your status every year or two. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about applying for and obtaining permanent residency in Canada.
We’ll look at who is eligible, what documents you will need, the cost of applying, and what rights and responsibilities come with being a citizen of Canada. We’ll also look at the application process itself and how long it takes. By the end of this guide, you should have a clear understanding of all that is required to become a Canadian permanent resident—and have one foot on the path towards achieving this milestone!
What Is Permanent Residency in Canada?
Permanent residency in Canada is a status that grants individuals the rights and privileges to live, work and study in Canada as a legal permanent resident (PR). In other words, it’s a way to gain access to all of the economic, social, and educational benefits available to Canadian citizens.
To become a permanent citizen of Canada, you must first complete the eligibility requirements. There are several pathways to becoming a PR including through the Express Entry System, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), business immigration programs, and family sponsorship. It is important to understand the different requirements for each program to determine which one is best for your situation.
Once you have chosen an appropriate pathway for yourself, you will be required to submit an application package that fulfills certain criteria such as medical exams, criminal background checks, and language tests. Once deemed eligible by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), your application will move forward for further review.
Successful applicants typically receive their Canadian Permanent Residence (PR) card within about 6-8 months after submitting the online application form. After receiving your PR card, you can start living and working in Canada as a legal PR!
Eligibility to Apply for Canada Permanent Residency
Prepared to make the move to Canada? Then you’ll want to know whether you’re eligible to apply for permanent residency.
Fortunately, the Canadian Government has created the Express Entry system, allowing you to easily assess your eligibility. If you meet any of the criteria below, then you may be a good fit for Canada’s Permanent Residency Program:
- Are aged 18-35
- Have a valid job offer in Canada
- Have at least one year of work experience in a skilled profession
- Have strong language skills in either French or English
- Have received a Canadian degree, diploma, or certificate
- Can demonstrate enough funds to successfully settle in Canada
- Have family members living and working in Canada
Remember that this list is not exhaustive and there are several ways to qualify. Check out our full guide on eligibility requirements for more information on how you can be accepted into Canada so that you can make your dream of living there come true!
Different Types of Canada Permanent Residency Programs
Canada permanent residency comes in many forms – each with its requirements, benefits, and timeframes. The different types of Canadian permanent residency programs include economic, family sponsorship, and humanitarian programs. Let’s take a closer look at each one:
Economic programs are designed for skilled workers who want to move to and work in Canada. These programs usually require applicants to meet labor market needs or demonstrate an investment that will contribute to the Canadian economy. Programs like Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) fall into this category, as do various business immigration pathways.
Family Sponsorship Programs
These programs allow citizens or permanent residents of Canada to sponsor family members for Canadian permanent residence status. Different provinces have their own rules around sponsorship eligibility, but most require that sponsors have a certain income level and meet other criteria.
These programs are designed to provide refuge and resettlement options for those fleeing persecution or other forms of hardship in their home countries. They are often linked with Canada’s commitment to helping refugees around the world through United Nations organizations or private sponsorships. The various refugee streams in Canada may involve a medical examination, security screening, language proficiency testing, and proof of identity.
Benefits of Having a Permanent Resident Status in Canada
In case you’re wondering, here are some of the many benefits of having permanent resident status in Canada:
- Live and work anywhere in Canada
A permanent resident is free to live, work, and travel anywhere in Canada. You can move from one province to another without any restrictions or special permission. This flexibility is not available to most foreign citizens who are often restricted to certain areas or provinces by their visa terms.
- Access to public healthcare and education benefits
As a permanent resident of Canada, you will be eligible for public healthcare, which includes medical services for both physical and mental health issues. You also have access to public education benefits that help cover the costs of tuition fees or educational activities at primary and secondary levels in Canada.
- Easily sponsor family members
Another big advantage of being a Canadian permanent resident is that you can easily sponsor family members who want to move to Canada. This includes your spouse, children, parents, and grandparents, as well as other family members such as siblings and cousins.
Ability to apply for Canadian citizenship after 3 years
After living in Canada as a permanent resident for at least three out of four years, then you can apply for Canadian citizenship — which comes with even more benefits including the right to vote in federal elections and run for office. Being a Canadian citizen also has many cultural advantages such as being able to access cultural grants and join with others who understand the country’s values on certain matters.
- Supporting Documents Needed for Canada PR Application
When applying for your permanent residency in Canada, you’ll need to support your application with several documents to prove that you are eligible for the process. Here are some of the main documents that you’ll have to have on hand:
Authentication of educational credentials: You must provide proof that any educational credentials or diplomas obtained outside of Canada are equivalent to comparable Canadian benchmarks, as determined by an accredited organization.
Proof of employment/experience: If you have full-time work experience in your home country or other countries, you will need to provide proof of this experience in the form of pay stubs and/or relevant letters from employers.
Proof of funds: You’ll need to show the Canadian government that you have enough money saved up to finance your stay in Canada, such as through bank statements or financial records.
Language proficiency tests: Most PR programs require applicants to prove their language proficiency in either English or French, and certain programs may come with additional language requirements that must be met. Provide evidence of language proficiency testing such as IELTS and TEF scores if available.
Police clearance certificates: You will likely be asked for police clearance certificates from each country that you lived in for more than six months since the age of 18, including any countries where you held citizenship and/or permanent residence status. This applies even if these countries were not included in your travel itinerary when first immigrating to Canada.
Medical examination: All Canada PR applicants (including those who apply under Express Entry) must take a medical exam performed by an approved panel physician before becoming an official permanent resident of Canada.
How to Apply for a Canadian Permanent Resident Card
Once you have decided to become a permanent resident of Canada, it is time to apply for a Canadian Permanent Resident card. Depending on the program you are applying through, the process of applying for permanent residence may vary. But, here is what you will need to do in general.
The first step is to gather all the documents that are required for your application. Here’s a general checklist of documents you will need to submit with your application:
- Valid passport or travel document
- A copy of a birth certificate or other proof of identity
- Canadian medical exam results and police reports (as applicable)
- Proof of language proficiency such as an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report
- Evidence of financial support (e.g., bank statements, employment contract)
- A completed application form with photos
Any other documents (e.g., additional forms or declarations) as requested by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Apply Online/By Post/In Person
Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and completed the application form, you will be ready to submit your application either online using CIC’s webform, by post directly to IRCC, or through their visa office in your country of residence, depending on their requirements and the program that you are applying for. You may also be required to attend an interview at a visa office as part of your application process before being approved for permanent residency in Canada.
Common Reasons for Canada Permanent Residency Application Rejection
Have you been thinking of applying for permanent residency in Canada? Here’s an important thing to keep in mind: Your application could be rejected for several reasons.
It’s important to understand the common reasons you may not get accepted into the Country so that you can try to avoid it. Here are some of the most common reasons why your PR application may be rejected:
You have to demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself while living in Canada. If your financial documents don’t prove this, your application can be rejected.
If too many people are listed as dependents in your application, it can result in a rejection. Make sure all family members included in applications meet the eligibility criteria outlined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
Ensure that all documents submitted with your application are valid, up-to-date, and accurate. If any information provided is incomplete or incorrect, it could lead to the rejection of your application
Poor English Language Skills
If English isn’t your first language, you will need to take a language test administered by CIC (such as IELTS or CELPIP). If the results show you don’t meet the necessary language level required for Canadian permanent residency, then your application will be refused.
Knowing these common reasons why PR applications get rejected can help prevent you from making mistakes on yours and being denied entry into Canada as a permanent resident.
Tips for a Successful Canada Permanent Residency Application
Applying for permanent residency in Canada is a long and complicated process. Even if you meet all the requirements, there’s no guarantee of success—which can make it nerve-wracking for applicants. To give your application the best chance of success, here are some tips to consider:
Gather complete information
Make sure that your application is thorough and complete. This means collecting pertinent documents like a birth certificate, valid passport or travel document, proof of language proficiency, education credentials, and reference letters from employers and potential sponsors from within Canada (if applicable).
You’ll need to prove that you have enough money to support yourself for at least three months after arriving in Canada. The amount you need will vary depending on the number of people coming with you. Make sure to include financial documents like bank statements and pay slips with your application.
Learn about Canadian culture
Familiarize yourself with Canadian history and values so that you can answer questions intelligently during an interview as part of the application process. Knowing what life is like in Canada and having a plan for settling into society upon arrival can help expedite the process.
These tips can help give your application to Canada permanent residency the best chance at success. However, getting advice from a licensed immigration professional can also be beneficial. An experienced lawyer or consultant will be able to provide tailored advice on preparing a successful permanent residency application for Canada that meets all applicable requirements.
Becoming a permanent resident of Canada is a great opportunity to experience a different culture, start a new job, or be closer to family. But before you start your journey, it’s important to do some research and understand the process.
Do your research on the different visa options, studying the requirements and requirements timelines. Then, make sure you have all the documents required, and that you submit your application correctly. Finally, know your rights, stay informed, and make sure any questions you have are answered.
Once you do your research, take the time to apply, and have all the documents and information ready, you can start your journey toward becoming a permanent resident of Canada. Good luck!