Permanent Residency in Canada

Understand the different options when applying for a permanent visa in Canada...

There are a number of different ways to apply for permanent residency through the Canadian immigration process. For example, it is possible to apply through the following programmes:

Skilled Worker Express Entry

Express Entry covers three economic immigration programmes

Applicants must have:

  • Proficient English or French skills
  • At least one year's full time employment in the last ten years in one of the qualifying National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes, or have an Arranged Employment offer under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

There is a limit to the total number of applications accepted each year and an annual limit to the total number of applications per class of NOC code.

To immigrate as a skilled worker to Quebec, a person must satisfy the Quebec Skilled Worker Category. Quebec has a special agreement with the Government of Canada on immigration and its own rules for choosing immigrants.

To apply as a skilled worker in Quebec:

  • apply to the Quebec government for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ)
  • apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to become a permanent resident of Canada.

More information is available in the Angloinfo Work Permits section.

The Provincial Nominee Programme

Applicants wishing to apply under the provincial nominee programme must be nominated by the Province or Territory where they wish to reside. Applicants must first apply to the province or territory that they wish to nominate them. Applicants are accepted on their ability to make an economic contribution to the area through their experience, skills or knowledge. Each province and territory differs in its requirements for immigration so it is necessary to consult individual provincial immigration programmes for details.

Protected Persons and Convention Refugees

Protected persons or those given refugee status in Canada who wish to remain in Canada permanently may apply for permanent residency under this category. It is not for refugees outside of Canada.

Investors, Start-ups and Self-employed

People classed as investors or self-employed may qualify for immigration to Canada under the Canadian Business Immigration Programme. Applications for each class must be made separately as there are different eligibility requirements for each category, as well as immigration caps.

Sponsoring a Person's Family

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident is able to sponsor their immediate family to immigrate to Canada. Immigrants wishing to use this process can only sponsor a family who satisfies immigration criteria known as the 'Family Sponsorship'.

Applying for Permanent Residency

The documents required for permanent resident visa applications depend on which immigration programme is applied for.

For example, when applying for a permanent resident visa through Express Entry category it is necessary to:

  • Pay an application fee
  • Complete a detailed application process
  • Pass a medical examination
  • Provide supporting documents in relation to language proficiency, education, work experience and civil status
  • Provide police clearance certificates
  • Attend interviews with immigration officials

Check individual category application details for specific requirements.

Application times and processing centres

It is usual for applications to immigrate to Canada under the Skilled Workers class to take up to six months.

Applications in Canada are handled by the Case Processing Centres, which are located in Vegreville, Sydney and Mississauga. The centralised intake office in Sydney receives all Skilled Worker Applications.