Permanent residence in Canada refers to those who are not Canadian citizens but have been granted permission to live and work in the country without restriction. The Canada PR visa is valid for five years and can be renewed after that. A permanent resident must spend two years in Canada out of every five years or risk losing their PR status.
To gain permanent residence, a person must apply for the visa and show that he fits the requirements for permanent residence.
Canada offers many immigration programs, each of which have their own criteria and requirements. The popular immigration programs are – Express Entry program, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), Quebec Skilled worker Program (QSWP), Startup visa program etc.
Given below is information on the eligibility requirements, steps in the application process and the documents required for each program.
Application for Canada PR through Express Entry program
Step 1: Create your Express Entry profile
As a first step you will have to create your online Express Entry profile. The profile should include credentials that include age, work experience, education, language skills etc.
If you want to qualify for the Canada PR as a skilled worker, you should score 67 points to meet the eligibility criteria. Check your score in the Canada immigration points calculator. If you qualify, you can submit your profile. This will be added to the other profiles in the Express Entry pool.
Step 2: Complete your ECA
If you have done your education outside Canada, you should complete an Educational Credentials Assessment or ECA. This is to prove that your educational qualifications are equal to those awarded by the Canadian educational system.
Step 3: Complete your language ability tests
As the next step in the Express Entry program, you should take the required English language proficiency tests. The recommendation is a score of 6 bands in each section of the IELTS. Your test score should be less than 2 years old at the time of application.
You will gain extra points if you know French. To prove your proficiency in French, you can give a French language like the Test de evaluation de Francians (TEF).
Step 4: Calculate your CRS score
The profiles in the Express Entry pool are ranked based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Based on the profile of applicants a CRS score is given which will help to provide a ranking in the Express Entry pool. The assessment fields for the score include:
- Language ability
- Work experience
- Other factors
Your profile gets selected for the Express Entry draw if you have the required CRS score for that draw.
One of the best ways to increase your CRS score is to get a job offer from a Canadian employer, this can add anywhere between 50 to 200 points to your score depending on the skill level.
Another option to improve CRS is to get a provincial nomination. Several of Canada’s provinces have PNPs linked to Express Entry streams. A provincial nomination adds 600 points which can definitely get you an ITA.
Step 5: Get your Invitation to Apply (ITA)
If your profile gets selected from the Express Entry pool, you will get an ITA from the Canadian government after which you can start the documentation for your PR visa.
Application through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for PR visa
The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) was started by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to help the different provinces and territories in Canada to select immigration candidates who are willing to settle down in a particular province or territory in the country and have the skills and expertise to contribute to the economic development of the province or territory.
Some popular PNP programs are Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia. But not all of Canada’s provinces and territories participate in the PNP. Nunavut and Quebec are not part of the PNP. While Quebec has its own separate program – Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) – for inducting immigrants to the province.
Steps to apply for the PNP
- You must apply in the province or region where you desire to settle.
- If your profile is attractive and meets the eligibility criteria, you could be nominated by the province to apply for a PR visa.
- You can apply for your PR visa after you are nominated by a province.
The criteria for evaluating the PR application differs in each province but the eligibility criteria are similar to the Express Entry Program.
After you receive your ITA you must submit the required documents to get your PR visa.
Other immigration programs
The Canadian government runs certain pilot programs for helping immigrants enter the country as permanent residents.
These include the Atlantic Immigration Pilot [AIP], the Agri-Food Pilot [AFP], and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot [RNIP].
PR visa holders in Canada enjoy the following benefits:
- They can apply for Canadian citizenship in the future.
- They have the freedom to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada.
- They are eligible for healthcare and other social benefits.
- Children are eligible for free education.
- They have the option to start a business in Canada.
- They are eligible for tax benefits.
- They have legal protection in Canada.
Apart from that, if you have a PR visa, you can change companies, travel across provinces, and bring your family with you, or you can subsequently sponsor your spouse, partner, or dependent children to come to the country with you. Your PR status is indefinite. If you want to stay on a PR visa, you must live in the nation for at least two years in a five-year period to keep your status.
Renewing your PR visa
You must establish that you were physically present in Canada for at least 730 days (approximately two years) over the five-year period while renewing your Canada PR visa. The 730 days do not have to be consecutive; you can enter and quit the nation as many times as you choose.
Permanent residents can petition for citizenship after meeting specific residency conditions.
You can apply for a Canadian passport and run for political office if you have earned Canadian citizenship.
Permanent residents can petition for citizenship after meeting specific residency conditions. Renewing your PR visa.
The majority of PR cards have a five-year validity period; however, some only have a one-year validity period. The card’s expiration date is written on it. When your PR card expires, you won’t be able to use it as a travel document. If your PR card is about to expire in the next six months, you can request to have it reissued. When renewing your PR visa, you must be in Canada. If you’re returning to Canada with an expired PR card, you’ll need to obtain a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) before travelling to Canada. You may not be able to board a commercial mode of transportation to enter Canada if you don’t have one.
You will need to apply for a new PR visa when your current one expires. You’ll still be a permanent resident even if it expires.
Here are the renewal charges for your PR visa:
Fees for PR card: 50 CAD
Renewal or replacement- 97days
New PR card-130 days.
Permanent residents in Canada have certain rights and also obligations which they have to fulfil if they want to stay permanently in Canada.