Have you ever heard the phrase “Canada permanent residency” before? Well, it’s likely you have because everyone is talking about it! Canada is one of the best countries in the world to immigrate to. Over 200,000 people have moved to Canada from 2020 to 2021, and many have become permanent residents.
So what makes Canada such a popular place to live? Canada takes care of its people and has a strong economy, providing free public healthcare and education until grade 12. Canada also has a diverse culture. With people from around the world settling in Canada, the country is truly multicultural.
The Canadian government is proud of this and encourages it. Canada has embraced diversity and shows this in a number of ways, such as recognizing dual citizenship and supporting newspapers being released in a number of different languages such as Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, and Chinese.
Canada even seeks to make immigrating easier by offering help and support for newcomers to the country. For example, offering translation services and immigration advice among others.
So if you’re a newcomer to the country, you can look forward to a good quality of life, feeling welcome in the diverse nation, and perhaps even finding a piece of home in Canada.
Who is a Canadian Permanent Resident?
A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident (PR) status by the Canadian government. If you have PR status, you will be able to legally live in Canada. However, you will not be a Canadian citizen.
Your rights as a Canadian permanent resident
As a Canadian permanent resident, you can:
- Receive free healthcare
- Attend high school, college or university (However, the Canadian government only covers tuition fees up until grade 12)
- Receive financial assistance for university or college students through OSAP
- Live and work in Canada
- Receive protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
As a permanent resident, you’ll need to:
- Pay taxes and
- Respect federal and provincial, and municipal Canadian law
As a permanent resident, you cannot:
- Vote for a political party or
- Run for political office
- Hold certain jobs that have a high-level security clearance requirement
- Remain in Canada if you are convicted of a serious criminal offense and have been told to leave the country
- There is a time limit on how long you can live outside of Canada
- To keep your PR status, you must live in Canada for at least 730 days or two years within a five-year period
You can lose your PR status if:
- You don’t meet the residency obligation:
- for example if you are outside of Canada for more than three years within a five-year period
- You are convicted of a serious crime:
- In addition to losing your status, you also risk being deported from Canada
- You also lose your permanent resident status when you become a Canadian citizen
Your Canadian PR card
- This wallet-sized permanent resident card is the official proof of your status as a permanent resident of Canada
- If you travel outside of Canada, you will need to show your permanent resident card to border authorities when you return to Canada
How to Apply for Canada Permanent Residency
While Express Entry is a popular immigration system because of its rapid processing time of just six months, there are plenty of Canadian immigration programs you can apply through that allow you to obtain permanent residency, which include the following:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Quebec Skilled Workers Program (QSWP)
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
- Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Requirements to Apply for Canada PR Visas
Each program has its own set of criteria. However, there are general requirements you will need to meet to apply for most immigration programs, which include:
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - to provide language test results
- ECA (Education Credential Assessment)- If you apply through the Federal Skilled Workers Program
- Sufficient funds to support your application (Proof of funds)
- Educational degrees or certificates, diploma degrees, sponsor certificates
- Original copies and officially translated documents supporting the application
- Proof of Age - such as birth certificate
- Employment documents - a Job offer, reference letter, payslips
- Medical and Police Clearance Certificate
- Travel document - your passport
Average Permanent Residence processing time
The processing time to get a Canada Permanent Resident Visa differs depending on which immigration program you apply for.
With the Express Entry system, the selection and approval of your visa application depend on your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Once you receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence, the further processing time is generally around six months.
Top 10 Benefits of Being a Canadian Permanent Resident
There are plenty of benefits of becoming a Canadian permanent resident, which includes the following:
1. You can live and work anywhere in Canada
Permanent resident status allows you to legally live and work anywhere in Canada. This allows you to freely move to a different province if you wish, and you don’t have to work in one province or territory for a specific employer.
2. You can start a business in Canada
Not only can you start your own business after you’ve successfully immigrated to Canada, but there are also added benefits of doing so. As a businessman or woman, you can get rewarding opportunities to start your business in Canada. For example, you’ll be able to run your business in one of the most cost-effective places as the cost of operating a business in Canada is low compared to other first-world countries such as the USA.
3. You can bring your family along
Canada values the importance of family and wants to keep you and your loved ones together. Your family members can also live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents.
4. You can sponsor your family members
As a permanent resident of Canada, you are allowed to sponsor certain residents if you are above 18 years of age.
5. You qualify to receive social benefits
As a Canadian permanent resident, you will be eligible for a number of social security benefits such as pension benefits if you have accumulated 40 work credit points. 40 work credit points are equivalent to 10 years of work in Canada.
6. Freedom to move
Your PR card allows you to move to different provinces within Canada or outside of the country multiple times.
7. You can extend or renew your permanent resident visa
Your PR card will most likely be valid for five years. However, some Canadian permanent residents’ cards are only valid for one year. The good news is, you are able to apply to extend or renew your permanent resident visa.
8. You can apply for Canadian citizenship
You are eligible to apply to become a Canadian citizen after living in Canada for three years during the past five years
9. You get to live in a safe and secure environment
Safety is usually one of the main concerns people have when moving - even just to a new neighbourhood. Moving to a new country can be especially daunting.
Fortunately, safety is one less thing you have to worry about when moving to Canada.
Canada promises secure and peaceful surroundings. The country has low crime rates and the police are trusted, easy to contact, and quick to respond.
Canada was even listed as the sixth safest country in the world by the Global Peace Index in 2019.
10. Your PR status can’t be taken away from you
Your PR status can’t be revoked unless you commit a serious crime.
5 Useful Tips When Applying for Canada Permanent Residency
The main thing you can do to increase the chances of your application for permanent residency if you’re applying through the Express Entry system, is to try and maximize your CRS score. Here are five tips for increasing your CRS score.
#1. Try to gain more working experience in your field
If you are currently working outside of Canada and have three years or more of official work experience, you should consider gaining one or two extra years of work experience. This can contribute to your skills' transferability points.
If you are already working in Canada on a Temporary Work Permit, you should also consider working a little bit longer. If you have five or more years of official work experience, this can add more points to your CRS score.
#2. Apply through available PNPs
PNPs are worth 600 CRS points. The maximum CRS score is 1,200. So you’ll be halfway there just by getting a PNP nomination!
#3. Get another educational qualification
Although obtaining another qualification takes time, if you do so, you can earn two sets of benefits. Not only will you be able to get more human capital points, but can also get more skills transferability points.
#4. Try to secure a job in Canada before applying for your PR visa
Not only is getting a job offer in Canada beneficial for you in many ways (such as having security and being able to rest assured, knowing you will be able to provide for yourself) but it can also earn you more CRS points.
To earn up to 200 CRS points more, the job will have to be:
- Full-time continuous work
- Paid employment
- Job offer must be valid for at least 2 years
- The offer must be in writing from the employer
#5. Your spouse can contribute to your CRS score increase
- Immigrating to Canada with your spouse or common-law partner can earn you more CRS points
Permanent Residency FAQs
1. What is a Permanent Resident card number?
This 13 digit number is printed at the back of your permanent resident card. It is also known as a case number because it refers to your specific immigration case.
2. Can a Canada permanent resident work in the United States of America?
If you are a permanent resident of Canada, you may travel and work in another country, including the USA.
Even with the recent Covid-19 travel restrictions, if you have Canada PR status and your application was approved before 18 March 2020, you can still travel overseas.
3. Can you live in Canada without being a permanent resident?
Yes. There are a number of Canada immigration programs that allow you to live and work here temporarily without getting Canada PR status, as well as programs that can lead to you obtaining Canadian Permanent Residency.
These programs include:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Federal Trade Worker Program
- Temporary Foreign Worker Program
- Live-in Caregiver Program
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
However, to receive more benefits such as receiving free healthcare and education, you would need to stay in the country permanently and this would require Canada PR status.
Top Tips From David Allon
We know that immigration comes with a lot of questions, so we got the answers from you straight from one of the trusted RCICs we work with.
Question: If you obtain PR through a Provincial Nominee Program, can you move to a different province? If so, how long do you have to wait before you can relocate?
"If you receive your PR through a PNP you must reside in that province until you receive your citizenship. You can move but you will have trouble renewing your PR card or applying for citizenship." - David Allon
Question: Can anyone be exempt from doing IELTS?
"It really depends on the program you're applying for, but if a language test is mandatory then there are no exemptions." - David Allon
How Can We Help?
We know the visa application process can be tricky to navigate on your own. Take the stress out of applying for Canadian permanent residency, and let us guide you through each step, so you have less to worry about and increase your chances of success.