Rights and Responsibilities of Immigrants in Canada

Canada is a country known for its diverse culture, welcoming nature, and strong commitment to human rights. As an immigrant in Canada, you have certain rights and responsibilities that are important to understand and uphold. Learning valuable information about the rights and responsibilities of Canadian immigrants will help you navigate your new life in Canada.

Move towards a better understanding of what to expect as an immigrant in Canada by discovering the rights and responsibilities of immigrants in Canada!

Rights of Immigrants in Canada

rights of immigrants in canada

As an immigrant in Canada, you are entitled to certain rights that are protected by law. These rights ensure your safety, dignity, and equality in Canadian society.

Gender Equality in Canada

Canada is a country that prides itself on its commitment to gender equality. As an immigrant in Canada, you have the right to be treated fairly and equally, regardless of your gender. This means that women and men have the same rights and opportunities in all aspects of life, including employment, education, and social interactions.

Canada’s generosity does not extend to tolerating abhorrent cultural practices such as:

  • Spousal abuse
  • Female genital mutilation,
  • Forced marriage, and
  • Various gender-based violence.

Individuals guilty of the above-mentioned crimes are severely punished under Canada’s criminal laws. Canada has implemented various laws and policies to ensure gender equality, such as the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act.

Mobility Rights in Canada

As an immigrant in Canada, you have the right to move freely within the country. This means that you can live and work in any province or territory of your choice, enter and leave the country freely, and apply for a passport. Canada's mobility rights allow you to pursue educational and employment opportunities wherever they may be (unless you immigrated with a PNP or employer-specific work permit).

This freedom of movement is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees every individual the right to move freely and establish residency in any part of Canada.

Right to Freedom of Thought, Belief, Opinion, and Expression in Canada

Canada is known for its commitment to freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression. As an immigrant in Canada, you have the right to hold and express your thoughts, beliefs, and opinions without fear of censorship or persecution.

Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects your right to freedom of expression as long as it does not promote hatred or harm to others. This means that you can openly express your ideas, participate in public discussions, and engage in peaceful protests.

Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion

In Canada, immigrants have the right to freedom of conscience and religion. This means that you have the freedom to hold your own religious beliefs and practice your religion without interference or discrimination.

Canada's commitment to religious freedom is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As an immigrant, you have the right to attend religious services, wear religious attire, and observe religious holidays.

Right to Freedom of Association

As an immigrant in Canada, you have the right to freedom of association. This means that you can join any social, cultural, or professional group of your choice. Whether it's a sports club, community organization, or trade union, you have the right to associate with others and participate in collective activities.

Canada's commitment to freedom of association ensures that immigrants can build social networks, establish connections, and contribute to the diverse fabric of Canada's communities.

Labor Rights in Canada

Canada's Employment Equity Act and the Federal Contractors Program require Canadian employers to take measures to improve employment opportunities for specific demographic groups in Canada.

Furthermore, the Canada Labor Code looks after workers:

  • Industrial relations with their employers,
  • Safety and security in the workplace,
  • Working hours, and
  • Employment standards i.e. layoff procedures, severance pay, annual vacations, minimum wage, etc.

Responsibilities of Immigrants in Canada

responsibilities of immigrants in canada

Alongside these rights, immigrants in Canada also have certain responsibilities. These responsibilities are essential for maintaining a harmonious and inclusive society.

Responsibility to Obey Canada's Laws

As an immigrant in Canada, it is your responsibility to obey the laws of the country. Canada has a legal system that applies to everyone, regardless of their immigration status. This means that you must respect and abide by the laws, regulations, and rules that govern Canadian society.

This includes following traffic regulations, respecting property rights, and refraining from engaging in illegal activities. By obeying the laws, you contribute to the safety, security, and well-being of yourself and the wider community.

Responsibility to Vote in Canadian Elections

As an immigrant in Canada, you are responsible for participating in the democratic process by voting in Canadian federal, provincial, territorial, and local elections. Voting is not only a right but also a civic duty that allows you to have a say in the country's decision-making process. By exercising your right to vote, you contribute to shaping the future of Canada and ensuring that your voice is heard.

Please Note

Only Canadian citizens have the right to vote i.e. not permanent residents.

Responsibility to Take Care of Yourself and Your Family

As an immigrant in Canada, you have the responsibility to take care of yourself and your family. This means providing their basic needs, such as food, shelter, and healthcare. Canadian society views work as a contributor to personal dignity and self-respect and Canada’s prosperity.

It also means ensuring their emotional well-being and supporting their educational and career aspirations. By taking care of yourself and your family, you contribute to their overall happiness and success.

Responsibility to Help Others in Your Community

Canada is known for its strong sense of community and spirit of helping others. As an immigrant in Canada, you have the responsibility to contribute to the well-being of your community.

This can be done through volunteering, participating in community events, or supporting local initiatives. By helping others, you not only make a positive impact on individuals but also contribute to the overall strength and cohesion of Canada's diverse communities.

Responsibility to Enjoy Canada's Heritage and Environment

As an immigrant in Canada, you have the responsibility to appreciate and enjoy Canada's rich heritage and environment. Canada is known for its natural beauty, cultural diversity, and vibrant traditions.

By embracing and engaging with Canada's heritage, culture, and environment, you enrich your own experience as an immigrant and contribute to the preservation and celebration of Canada's unique identity.

How to Become an Immigrant in Canada

how to become an immigrant in canada

Canada provides various pathways for individuals seeking to become immigrants in the country. Among the most common immigration programs is the Express Entry system, an online application management system used by the Canadian government to handle permanent residency applications from qualified foreign candidates.

Within the Express Entry system, there are specific programs such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program, targeting individuals with qualified work experience who aim to immigrate and obtain permanent residency.

The Canadian Experience Class is designed to attract those who have gained skilled work experience in Canada and wish to become permanent residents. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) offer another avenue, allowing individuals to permanently immigrate to a specific province or territory with each region having its own nomination criteria.

Pilot Programs

Canada has implemented several immigration pilot programs to address specific labor market needs in certain industries and regions. Examples include the Agri-food Pilot, addressing labor shortages in the agriculture and agri-food sector, and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), targeting job shortages in smaller rural communities.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a collaboration between the federal government and four Atlantic provinces, aiming to attract and retain skilled foreign immigrants. Additionally, the Home Child Care Provider Pilot is specifically for those with experience in home support work.

Business and Family Programs

For those interested in business aspects, Canada offers business immigration programs such as the Self-Employed program and the Start-up Visa program, providing opportunities for foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

Lastly, family sponsorship is another common pathway, allowing Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members for immigration. The options to become an immigrant in Canada are diverse, and designed to address various situations and individual aspirations. For assistance in pursuing any of these, talk to an RCIC.


Can I Work in Canada While My Application For Permanent Residency is Being Processed?

In most cases, you will need a valid work permit to work in Canada while your application for permanent residency is being processed. However, certain programs allow you to work while your application is in progress.

How Does Canada Promote Multiculturalism?

Canada's commitment to multiculturalism is reflected in its laws and policies, which promote equality and respect for all individuals, regardless of their cultural or ethnic background.