The Ultimate Guide for Permanent Residency in Canada

11 Dec 2019 - Category: Blog /
The Ultimate Guide for Canadian Permanent Residency

With so many of us nervous about Brexit and its potential impact on our careers, it is not uncommon to explore career options elsewhere. If you are in the middle of this heart-wrenching turmoil then one viable option is to head up North, to Canada. Besides being a first-world economy, Canada is also known for extending several social benefits not just its citizens but also to its permanent residents. Now that along with the climate and the flexible immigration laws make Canada one of the most sought-after countries by anyone desirous of a better lifestyle. So, if you have been wondering how to get yourself a Canadian permanent residency, then here’s all that you need to know about it.

What is Canadian Permanent Residency?

Canadian Permanent Residency or the Canadian Permanent Resident Card is given to applicants who hold the citizenship of another nation but wish to permanently reside in Canada. This does not include those immigrants who are in Canada for a pre-defined period such as students or employees on deputation for a particular period. However, over time those individuals may transition from their temporary residency status to that of permanent residency by fulfilling certain conditions. As a Canadian Permanent Resident, the individual pays taxes to the Canadian government and therefore avails the numerous social benefits. However, in order to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency, there is a set of eligibility criteria that the individual needs to fulfill.

How long does it take to get Canadian Permanent Residency?

Once applied, the process typically requires a minimum of 45 days processing time, from the day when the Canadian Immigration Department receives a complete application. Therefore, if your PR card seems to be taking longer than expected, then this could be due to two factors — number of applications or incomplete application. While there is nothing you can do about the number of applications received by the Canadian immigration department, it may help to confirm if your application was complete. So, you need to confirm whether your immigration attorney or agent has submitted a complete application.

The best way to ensure that you are submitting a complete application is by filling it online. This helps minimize the time lost due to incomplete applications as the mandatory fields are highlighted in red when left empty. Also, make sure to answer all the questions in the application as leaving any of them blank could result in an incomplete application. If a particular question is inapplicable, remember to mark it as ‘NA’ which indicates ‘not applicable’. However, for the questions that you answer, make it a point to be very specific and avoid giving vague or ambiguous answers. Along with that, you need to submit a photograph that meets very specific requirements and must provide the necessary enclosures and signatures.

How to get a Canadian Permanent Residency?

The number of days that the applicant has spent in Canada during the five years preceding the date of application is critical to determine his or her eligibility. The Canadian Immigration Department requires the applicant to have resided in Canada for at least 730 days during those five years, either continuously or otherwise. Besides that, the applicant’s criminal record, physical presence in Canada, medical fitness, and other relevant documents would be required.

If the application is accepted, the Permanent Resident (PR) card is issued and sent through the mail to the applicant’s address. Once issued, the PR card is valid for a period of five years and after that, the individual may either choose to apply for citizenship or for the renewal of the PR card.  If you are wondering how to get your foot into the door, then there are five ways of applying for Canadian permanent residency. These include Express Entry, Business immigration, Family class immigration, Canadian experience class, and Provincial nominee programs. Let us now discuss each of them to figure out the most feasible of the five routes to transition from temporary residency status to permanent residency.

Express Entry

The Express Entry program basically aims at offering permanent residency to immigrants, in order to meet the requirements of the Canadian labor market. So, the Express Entry Visa applications are evaluated on the basis of the individual’s age, linguistic skills, qualification, and professional skills. Also, in-hand job offers from a Canadian employer are taken into account.

Business Immigration

To sustain and promote the economic interests of the nation, the Canadian Immigration Department encourages self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs and investors to obtain permanent residency in Canada. However, there is a minimum financial threshold specified for each of the three categories of business immigration visas.


If you have a certain class of relative living in Canada who is a citizen, permanent resident or an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, then that relative would be able to sponsor a family class immigration visa for you.

Canadian Experience Class

This route allows students and immigrants on temporary work visas, with a work experience of at least one year to transition from temporary residency status to permanent residency in Canada. To avail permanent residency in Canada through this route, it is critical that the applicant meets the minimum language proficiency either in French or English, which are the official languages in Canada. Another point to note is that you can apply for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) visa only if you are involved in professions classified as ‘Skill type 0’ according to the concerned authorities.  Also, you do not qualify for the CEC program if you wish to reside or work in Quebec.

Provincial Nominee Programs

This visa is issued to applicants nominated by one of the eleven Canadian provinces that currently run this program. Each of them has their own set of prerequisites that you need to refer to in order to determine whether you qualify for it. Once the province nominates you, then your permanent residency is evaluated under this program.

While applying for your Canadian permanent residency, it is important that you pay the necessary fees and enclose the receipts. You can consider saving up on transaction fees and get the best exchange rates by using reliable intermediaries such as Small World to make the transfers. As a permanent resident of Canada, the immigrant qualifies for social benefits such as free healthcare, free schooling, and subsidized college education. Besides that, the individual also qualifies for a host of other benefits that are exclusively available to the Canadian citizens, with the exception of voting rights. In Canada, the right to vote is solely reserved for its citizens.

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