How To Get a Canada Permanent Resident Visa

Updated: 7 October 2022

As per many global surveys and reports, Canada is one of the best countries to live and work in. Thanks to this, the country has been attracting a large number of expats who apply for permanent visas in recent years. 

With its welcoming attitude towards new immigrants, Canada has become home to more than 20 percent of people born outside their borders, thereby making it one of the most multicultural societies globally. 

So, if you intend to move to Canada and become a permanent resident, you have a golden opportunity. In this article, we’ll talk about the process of applying for a Canada Permanent Resident Visa and what documents are required. Moreover, we’ve also listed the different types of visas available in Canada, along with their requirements and eligibility criteria.

What Is a Canadian Permanent Resident

The difference between a permanent resident visa and a Canadian citizen is that the former has been permitted to live in Canada for an indefinite amount of time, often their entire life. 

Unlike citizens who are born or naturalized and citizenship at birth, foreigners can be granted this privilege by immigrating there with authorization from Immigration services. For instance, a person staying in Canada as a student or foreign worker is not a permanent resident of the country.

Benefits of Becoming a Canadian Permanent Resident

As a holder of the Canada permanent resident visa, you have the right to:

Live and Work in Canada

Ranked as the second-best destination globally, Canada offers beautiful views and unparalleled quality of life, with sustainable practices contributing mainly to its culture. Allowing for free movement between provinces or territories, this vast nation has plenty of opportunities for sustainability for permanent residents.

Include Your Family Members

Your family members can also enjoy the benefits of Canadian citizenship by becoming a resident. In addition, you can also sponsor particular residents to live, study, and work in Canada if you’re above 18 years of age. 

Access to Education and Healthcare

As permanent residents, your children have access to free education in Canada for up to 12th grade. Moreover, the education system of Canada comprises three levels, namely, primary, secondary, and higher education. Also, the university tuition fee gets reduced for the permanent residents.

Furthermore, Canadian permanent residents are given access to free medical care and prescription drugs paid through taxes. Canada also offers public health insurance.

Renew Your Visa After Five Years

Permanent residence status cards for Canadians are valid for up to five years, and there is no limit as to how many extensions you can get. However, the officer will evaluate your history to see if there’s a good reason they should allow it.

Path to Canadian Citizenship

When you’ve lived in Canada for 1,095 days (three years) out of the five after becoming a permanent resident, you’re eligible to apply and become a Canadian citizen. However, only five years before that date will be considered valid towards citizenship eligibility.

Start Your Own Business

With the Canadian Immigration Program, you can start your enterprise with a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation without being a citizen of the country. 

Becoming a Permanent Resident in Canada

Your permanent resident card is a key to show that you have a Canada permanent resident visa. When traveling outside the country, be sure that your passport and permanent resident card are with you at all times. This is required, especially when entering back into Canada.

What Permanent Residents Can Do

Permanent residents in Canada can enjoy quality work and tax rebates. Immigrants also get to access retirement payments, including disability and survivors’ benefits if the worker has passed away.

In addition to this, The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides protection for permanent residents.

What Permanent Residents Can’t Do

Permanent residents aren’t entitled to vote in Canada’s federal elections. Besides, you’re not allowed to take up a job or position that requires a high-level security clearance.

Time Lived in Canada

If you wish to maintain the status of your Permanent Residency in Canada, you’re required to spend at least 730 days in the country over the past five years. However, you don’t need to be present in the countries for 730 days straight.

Some of your time abroad may count towards this number. For instance, if it’s under 24 hours and happens less than 12 months ago or within four weeks before coming back to Canada as a Permanent Resident Applicant.

To track your time in Canada, you can ask the Canadian border officer when you enter the country. Alternatively, you can get your Canada permanent resident visa card renewed and find out the duration of your stay.

Canada Startup Visa Program

The Startup Visa program is an incredible opportunity for you to as an entrepreneur to achieve your potential in Canada. The startup visa will provide you with permanent residence and connect you with Canadian private sector businesses. These sectors include angel investor groups, venture capital funds, or business incubators.

These, in turn, will offer a better chance of developing successful startups in Canada easier than ever before. 

For Canada startup visa program, you’re required to demonstrate that your business is innovative. In addition, you also need to ensure that the company will create job opportunities for Canadians and compete on a global scale.

How To Qualify for the Startup Visa Program

To qualify for the Startup Visa Program, you’re required to meet all four eligibility requirements and other criteria to be allowed into Canada.

Eligibility Requirements for the Startup Visa Program

Willing to enroll in the startup visa program? Here are the criteria:

  • You need to prove that you own a qualifying business.
  • You’ll need to derive a letter of support from a designated organization to conduct the business.
  • You’re required to meet the language requirements.
  • You’re required to prove that you’ve sufficient funds to settle and live in Canada before your business gets profitable.

For more information, please refer to our Canada Startup Visa article.

Other Routes to Canada Permanent Resident Visa

There are many other categories to get permanent resident status in Canada. Depending on your preference for work and location, you can apply for any of these.

Express Entry

This program is valid throughout the year and has further three subcategories:

  • Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) for qualified and experienced professionals
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) for qualified technical professionals with foreign worker experience
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC) for professionals who have worked in Canada 

Family Class Immigration

Under this category, immigrants with a PR can call their family members to Canada. Here’s the list of relatives you can sponsor:

  • Spouse
  • Dependent children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Brother/Sister*
  • Nephew/Niece*
  • Grandson/Granddaughter*

*Brothers/sisters, nephew/niece, grandson/granddaughter can only be sponsored under specific conditions such as;

  • He/she’s orphaned.
  • He/she’s below 18 years of age and not married yet.
  • He/she’s a relative by common law.

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program is a unique program that has been adopted by most provinces in Canada. This allows skilled workers to immigrate and work within the region, not to have an overpopulation of jobs or skills shortages.

Business Immigration

The Business Immigration program helps business owners and investors with experience can enjoy the many benefits of Canadian PR status.

Atlantic Immigration Program

Atlantic International Student Programs provides a permanent residence for qualified applicants worldwide who wish to work or study in one of four Canadian provinces. 

These four provinces are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Canadian Permanent Resident Visa: How to Apply

There are different pathways to becoming a Canadian permanent resident, but one way is by first coming as a temporary immigrant. This may be through the Study Permit or Work Permits programs in Canada. However, some immigrants also apply for Permanent Residence before they get their temporary status.

The most preferred option is the express entry process.

For the Express Entry Process

  • Submit a self-assessed profile.
  • The profile will be ranked using a Comprehensive Ranking System.
  • The best scoring profiles are invited to apply through regular Express Entry draws every two weeks.
  • The candidates who receive the ITA are required to submit a complete application within 60 days.

For the Business Class Immigration

This one is just a two-step process that begins with a work permit. If you satisfy the conditions, you’ll be given an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

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