Canadian Permanent Residency
Application & PR Process

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Canadian Permanent Residency Application

Permanent residence is a type of immigration status in Canada. It refers to foreign citizens who have been granted the right to live in Canada permanently, including the right to work, study, and access social services.

Permanent residents have most of the rights of Canadian citizens, except that they cannot vote in political elections and they cannot obtain a Canadian passport. Instead of a passport, permanent residents are issued a permanent residence card that can be used in combination with their existing passport in order to travel to Canada.

Permanent residence can be lost if the immigrant does not comply with the residency requirement of living in Canada for at least two years out of five, or is convicted of a serious crime or misrepresentation. Permanent residents can apply for Canadian citizenship after living physically in Canada for at least four years in a six year period. The previous requirement of living in Canada for three years out of four to qualify for citizenship ended in June 2015.

Permanent residence can be obtained through various immigration programs offered by the Canadian government. Many people obtain permanent residence through the Skilled Worker category, which is a program for those who have skilled work experience needed in Canada’s economy. Others are sponsored for permanent residence by their Canadian family members, including their spouses, partners, parents or children.

Business immigration programs offer permanent residence for immigrants willing to set up businesses in Canada or invest a substantial sum in Canada. The various provincial governments each have nominee programs whereby they can pick a limited number of people each year to immigrate to their province as permanent residents.

There are also humanitarian programs such as the refugee program which allow for people who are in Canada and who are unable to return to their home country to apply for permanent residence.

For general information on the various categories of permanent residence applications, please click on the following links: