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Permanent Residency


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Permanent Residency

Permanent residence of Canada is the status of a person who is not a Canadian citizen but who has been granted permission to live and work in Canada without any time limit on their stay.

A foreign national must make an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to become a permanent residence. As a permanent resident you must live in Canada for two years out of every five, or risk losing that status. 

Permanent residency status has a number of benefits:

  • The right to live, study and work, anywhere in Canada
  • Obtain medical, social benefits, employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan payments
  • Protections under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • The right to sponsor relatives for permanent residence, subject to fulfilling residence criteria and assurance of support requirements.
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship after three years (1095 days) in Canada.

There are a number of programs that you can apply for permanent residence under; they fall under Economic classes and non-economic classes:

The Economic classes allow the applicants to be selected on the basis of their ability to become economically established in Canada. These programs include the following:

Non-economic classes allow applicants to be selected for permanent residence on the basis of family-reunification, social, and humanitarian objectives .These programs include the following:

  • Members of the family class
  • Adoptions
  • Spouse or common-law partner in Canada class
  • Humanitarian and compassionate consideration
  • Protected persons
  • Temporary resident permit holders

Once you have successful received permanent residence, you will need to apply for the permanent resident card (PR card); this is the official proof of permanent resident status in Canada. There are residency requirements and obligations to obtain and maintain permanent resident status.

For assistance finding the best pathway to permanent residence, complete one of our free assessments or contact us for consultation to discuss the best options for you.

Express Entry

The Express Entry system is a new program that became effective as of January 2015. It is a new way of filing immigration applications online.  Applicants first enter into a pool of potential applicants and wait to be invited to apply before they may submit their application.

There are three categories of applications for permanent residence under the Express Entry system:

  1. Federal Skilled Workers
  2. Federal Skilled Trades
  3. Canadian Experience Class

There are two steps to apply to the Express Entry system:


If you qualify less than one of the three categories and wish to apply to immigration to Canada an online Express Entry Profile must be completed first. This is an online form that will require details of skills, work experience, language ability, education, and related information. Those who meet the criteria of one of the three federal immigration categories will then be placed into a pool of candidates.


Candidates within the Express Entry system will be ranked against each other based on a point system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS will measure factors such as work experience, language skills, education, and whether or not the candidate has a job offer. To demonstrate language skills a language test result must be provided and foreign educational credentials must be supported by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to determine their Canadian equivalency. Points will be awarded based on the information provided in the Profile.

Those with the highest CRS scores will be invited to apply for permanent residence. Once the invitation to apply is provided, the candidate will have 90 days to submit an online application for permanent residence.

Candidates can stay in the Express Entry pool for up to 12 months. If they have not received an invitation within 12 months they can re-register as long as they continue to qualify less than one of the three categories.

There is no deadline to complete a profile and there are no caps on the number of candidates that will be accepted to the pool.

How we can help:

  • Determine your eligibility under the Express Entry
  • Conduct a detailed review of your background and help you improve your ranking
  • Submit an Express Entry profile, ensuring accuracy of information and maximizing your points
  • Submit a Permanent Residency Application once you receive an Invitation to Apply
  • Submit your job profile on the Job Bank
  • Advise you and your family throughout the process

If you are qualified under the Skilled Worker, Skilled Trades, or Canadian Experience Class, and would like assistance to register for express entry, please contact us for a free assessment.

Federal Skilled Workers

The Federal Skilled Workers program is now managed under the new expedited electronic management system called Express Entry. 

Applicants  in addition to qualifying for the Federal Skilled Worker program (with a minimum of 67 points), must create a profile in Step 1 of the Express Entry process, and be ranked through the Comprehensive Ranking  System (CRS) according to their personal qualifications.  Step 2 is to submit your application and supporting documentation to CIC for the permanent residence approval process.

There are no longer any caps on the Federal Skilled Worker class for permanent residency status, and only those applicants with the highest CRS totals for each draw will receive an invitation to apply from CIC.

The minimum requirements to qualify under the Federal Skilled Workers program include:

  • At least one year (1,560 hours total/30 hours per week) continuous full-time or an equivalent in part time within the last 10 years, and be at NOC skill type 0, A or B
  • Employment must be paid work (volunteer work, unpaid internships do not count)
  • Take an approved language test and obtain a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four abilities, reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • Have a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, OR
    • A completed foreign credential, AND
    • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC showing your foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree
  • Meet all the conditions set out in the six selection factors (language proficiency in English/French, education, work experience, age, valid job offer, and adaptability)
  • Proof of settlement funds, unless you are currently able to legally work in Canada AND you have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada;
  • You must be admissible to Canada;
  • You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

Canada is continually seeking qualified skilled workers as immigrants, to fill chronic shortages in many skilled worker categories across the country.

Contact us to book a consultation and find out how you may qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker program, for permanent residency status in Canada.

Federal Skilled Trades Program

As of January 1, 2015, the Federal Skilled Trades program is now managed under the new expedited electronic management system calledExpress Entry

Applicants must create a profile in Step 1 of the Express Entry process, and be ranked according to their personal qualifications.  Based on this ranking (out of a maximum 1,200 points), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will make regular draws and send invitations to apply for permanent residence, to the highest ranked and most qualified candidates from the Express Entry profile pool.  Step 2 is to submit your application and supporting documentation to CIC for the permanent residence approval process, your qualifications will be verified and you will need to meet other security, medical and admissibility criteria.

The Skilled Trades currently eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program are organized under these major and minor groups of the NOC:

  • Major Group 72: industrial, electrical and construction trades;
  • Major Group 73: maintenance and equipment operation trades;
  • Major Group 82: supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production;
  • Major Group 92: processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators;
  • Minor Group 632: chefs and cooks, and;
  • Minor Group 633: butchers and bakers.

The minimum requirements to be eligible include:

  • Have at least two years of full-time (or an equal amount of part-time) work experience in a skilled trade within the five years before you apply;
  • Meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type B except for needing a certificate of qualification;
  • Meet the required language proficiency levels in English or French for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing, listening);
  • Have an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year, OR
  • A certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority;
  • You must be admissible to Canada;
  • You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

Canada is continually seeking qualified skilled trade workers as immigrants, to fill chronic shortages in many skilled worker categories across the country.

Contact us to book a consultation and find out how you may qualify under the Federal Skilled Trades program, for permanent residency status in Canada.

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is a permanent resident category.  It was developed for temporary foreign workers and foreign graduates with qualifying Canadian skilled work experience.

This fast-track immigration category via express entry was designed to allow people who met a minimum language requirement and obtained at least one year of skilled work experience in the country to transition to permanent residence and eventually Canadian citizenship.

Unlike many other programs, the Canadian Experience Class was created to allow an applicant’s experience in Canada to be considered as a key selection factor when applying for permanent residence.

The first step is to complete an Express Entry profile to immigrate to Canada permanently as a skilled worker under the Canadian Experience Class.

The minimum requirements to qualify under the CEC program include:

  • At least 12 months of skilled work experience in Canada, in the last three years (before you apply), in full-time OR an equal amount in part-time work.
  • Gain your work experience in Canada with the proper legal authorization.
  • Meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability writing, reading, listening and speaking
  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student (such as on a co-op work term) doesn’t count under this program.

Skilled work experience must fall within the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) levels O, A and B.

  • Managerial jobs (NOC skill level 0)
  • Professional jobs (NOC skill type A)
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades (NOC skill type B)

Once your profile is submitted, you wait to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence. You’ll be invited only if you’re among the top ranked in the express entry pool based on your skills and experience.

Contact us to book a consultation and find out how you may qualify under the Canadian Experience Class program, for permanent residency status in Canada.

Family Class Sponsorship (FCS)

One of the most popular immigration programs to Canada is as a member of the Family Class, under the Family Sponsorship program.

A Permanent Resident or Canadian Citizen can sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, dependent children, parents, grandparents and other eligible relatives for permanent residency.

After living in Canada for a period of time as a permanent resident, the family member may qualify for citizenship.

Basic Requirements to Sponsor:

  • Sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada or if outside show  that you plan to live in Canada once  the sponsored resident becomes a permanent resident
  •  Be at least  18 years or older
  • Must promise to support the sponsored family member financially able to prove that you are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • have enough income to provide for basic needs of any grandchildren (dependent children of a dependent child) of the principal applicant

If you have sponsored relatives to come to Canada in the past, and they have later asked the government for financial help, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Your relatives must also agree to try to support themselves.

Due to changes in Canada’s immigration law, if a spouse or partner sponsored you, you now cannot sponsor a new spouse or partner within five years of becoming a permanent resident.

Programs for Parents and Grandparents

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have two main programs to bring a parent or grandparent to Canada:

  • The Parents and Grandparents sponsorship program and
  • The Super Visa Program

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program

This is an annual program for Parents and Grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, who wish to sponsor their parents and grandparents.

If you want to sponsor your parents and grandparents, you must show your interest by submitting your interest online. The current interest to sponsor form is available as of noon EST on January 2, 2018, and will close at noon EST on February 1, 2018.

Submissions will be reviewed and there will be random selection and invitation to potential sponsors to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents. If invited you will have 90 days to submit a full application.

If you do not receive and invitation, you will have the opportunity to show your interest to sponsor your parents and grandparents again next year.

You can sponsor your parents and grandparents if you’re 18 years of age or older, living in Canada and are a:

  • Canadian citizen or
  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
  • permanent resident of Canada

The program only allows you to apply for your own parents and grandparents. You can’t use your invitation to become a co-signer for your spouse or partner’s parents and grandparents. If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after approved as a sponsor.

As a sponsor to a parent or grandparent you will need to meet certain minimum income requirements, support that person and their dependents and sign a sponsorship agreement.

There is a yearly cap on the number of applications that are accepted. The current cap for 2018 is 10,000 complete applications. Once this cap is reached, there is still the Super Visa Program which allows parents and grandparents to come to Canada on extended multi-entry visas that could last up to a total of 10 years.

The Super Visa

The Super Visa is a multiple entry visa designed for parents and grandparents that remains a fast and convenient option for holders wanting to spend longer periods of time with their families in Canada.

Need assistance, check eligibility and to learn more about the requirements for these programs, contact us today or complete our Family Sponsorship Assessment Form.

Provincial Nominee Programs

A provinces economic growth depends on having enough skilled and qualified people to meet labour market needs. Each province and territory in Canada, with the exception of Quebec, has their own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to help meet these needs.

PNP programs are a way for high-demand foreign workers and experienced entrepreneurs to meet labour needs and gain permanent residency in their chosen province.

The PNP programs offer options for both skilled and semi-skilled workers. You may be able to apply on your own, or with your employer. Each province and territory has its own streams or immigration programs that target certain groups, and criteria for their PNP.  

Greater consideration will be given to those individuals whose employment will fill a skills shortage. For example, Saskatchewan has a Health Professions Category, a Farm Owner/Operator Category and a Long Haul Truck Drivers Project which are all designed to facilitate immigration to their province.

Since January 1, 2015, many provinces and territories have launched new Express Entry streams.

To apply for the PNP you must:

  • Apply to a province or territory for a nomination,
  • Be nominated by that province or territory, then
  • Apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to become a permanent resident.

If you are nominated under a non-Express Entry stream:

  • You will have to apply through the paper-based process, and
  • If the province or territory finds you eligible and nominates you, you will send an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

If you are nominated under a province or territory’s Express Entry stream, you must:

  • Meet their requirements, and
  • Meet the minimum criteria for Express Entry; this includes meeting the requirements of at least one of the immigration programs it covers.

Minimum criteria and programs available within each province are constantly being updated.

Please refer to the links for the province you are interested in, for further information specific to their PNP and the streams they offer:

ALBERTA: Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program

BRITISH COLUMBIA: British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program

MANITOBA: Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program

NEW BRUNSWICK: New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR: Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES: Northwest Territories Nominee Program

NOVA SCOTIA: Nova Scotia Nominee Program

ONTARIO: Ontario’s Pilot Provincial Nominee program

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program

SASKATCHEWAN: Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program

YUKON: Yukon Nominee Program

Contact us to book a consultation and discuss the streams available and how you may qualify under a Provincial Nominee program.

Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

In some situations people who cannot fit into the right program may still need to come to Canada. These are people who would not normally be eligible to become permanent residents of Canada; they may however be able to apply on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Humanitarian and compassionate grounds apply to people with exceptional cases. Each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

Factors that are taken into consideration include:

  • How settled the person is in Canada
  • General family ties to Canada
  • The best interests of any children involved, and
  • What could happen to you if you are not granted the request.

Humanitarian and compassionate grounds are only considered if you are applying for permanent resident status in Canada, or for a permanent resident visa abroad.  Requests are not  considered from temporary resident applicants.

Risk factors such as persecution, risk to life, cruel and unusual treatment or punishment are not assessed.

You cannot apply for humanitarian and compassionate grounds if you have a pending refugee claim. If you want to apply, you must withdraw your refugee claim before your Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) hearing.

If you feel this option may apply to you, please contact us for a more detailed consultation to discuss the option further.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is a brand new program started in 2017. It allows Atlantic provincial governments to choose immigrants according to the economic needs of the province. It is a three-year employer-driven immigration program to attract and retain global talent while supporting population growth and addressing labour shortages.

The pilot will allow 2000 additional immigrants and their families to come to the four Atlantic Provinces:

  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island

Provincial government staff will assist local employers to identify, hire and support foreign workers. In turn, successful candidates will be selected for permanent residency by the Federal government.

Businesses in these provinces can offer jobs to eligible non-Canadians. With a job offer, you can apply for permanent residence in Canada through one of three programs:

  • high-skilled workers
  • intermediate-skilled workers
  • international graduates

Employers interested in participating in the Pilot, must meet the following designation criteria:

  • The employer wants to hire full-time, non-seasonal international candidates;
  • The employer and their business are  well-established and in good standing; and
  • The employer is committed to meet the settlement needs of international candidate(s) and accompanying family members.

Applicants interested in the program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have accumulated at least one year of full-time (or part-time equivalent) work experience in your main occupation at a NOC skill type O, A or B Level within the last three years.
  • Your work experience must be from paid work (
  • You worked overseas or in Canada (as long as you were legally authorized to work in Canada as a temporary resident).
  • You must have a job offer that is from a designated employer in an Atlantic province, full time and non-seasonal.
  • Job offer must be a one year contract, and at type NOC skill type O, A or B level.
  • You must have a high-school diploma, post-secondary certificate or degree that is valid and equal to a Canadian equivalent.
  • If you did not complete your studies in Canada, you’ll need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)   to show that your studies are equal to a Canadian secondary or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree
  • You will need to do mandatory language testing and submit your original results with your application. Minimum level you must have a level 4 in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or the Niveaux de competence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) for listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Contact us to book a consultation and learn more about this new Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, your next steps and its possible pathway to permanent residency status in Canada for you and your family.