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Permanent Immigration

There are many ways to immigrate to Canada. The most suitable option depends on your particular circumstances. As a precondition to immigration, an applicant must be able to meet the regulatory requirements and must not be a danger to public health or safety, or cause excessive demand on health and social services in Canada.

There are more than 100 distinct categories in which an applicant might qualify for admission to Canada as a permanent resident under Federal and Provincial immigration programs. We will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your qualifications to determine the best category for your particular circumstance.

The most common path to permanent residence is the economic stream, which can be further subdivided into three categories:

  • Skilled and Employment Based Immigrants
  • Business Immigrants
  • Family Class/Sponsorship

In addition, we can provide aid with regards to:

  • Permanent Residence (PR) Card Renewal

Skilled and Employment Based Immigrants (Federal and Provincial)

The most common path to permanent residence is as a Skilled Immigrant. There are three categories of skilled immigrants through the federal government, all of which are processed via the Express Entry system: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC).

Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) offer additional options to prospective skilled immigrants. The following is a summary of each category:

 

Federal Skilled Worker

Applicants must demonstrate at least one (1) year of continuous work experience within the last ten (10) years, in a Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B occupation, as defined by the Canadian National Occupational Classification.

Applicants are also assessed based upon a number of factors used by the Canadian Government to determine whether the applicant has a strong likelihood of becoming economically established in Canada. These factors include: age, education, work experience, language ability, and adaptability. Applicants are awarded points under each factor. They must attain at least 67 points out of 100 to qualify. A job offer in Canada (approved by Service Canada) will also strengthen the application.

Federal Skilled Workers may be required to attend a selection interview with an immigration officer. Such interviews are designed to ensure that the information and documentation in the application is accurate, and to obtain clarification of any questions on the application or supporting documentation. Interview waivers are granted at the discretion of the visa officer.

 

Canadian Experience Class

Applicants must demonstrate at least one (1) year of continuous work experience in Canada, within the last three (3) years, in a Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B occupation, as defined by the Canadian National Occupational Classification.

Applicants must also demonstrate minimum language proficiency in either English or French.

 

Federal Skilled Trades Class

Applicants must have at least two (2) years of work experience in one of the eligible skilled trades within the five (5) years preceding the application, and meet the job requirements for their trade, as set out in the Canadian National Occupational Classification.

In addition, applicants must have an offer of full-time employment for at least one year, or a certificate of qualification issued by a Canadian trade authority.

Applicants must also demonstrate minimum language proficiency in either English or French.

* Please note that qualification under one of the above-noted Skilled Immigrant categories does automatically lead to permanent residence. It simply allows an applicant to initiate the application process. Applicants who meet the Skilled Immigrant categories must initiate the application process through the federal government’s online Express Entry system.

In order to apply under the Express Entry system, applicants must first submit an online Profile. This Profile is used to assess the applicant’s qualifications against the government’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).  The government hosts draws on a regular basis (typically twice per month) in order to select the highest ranking applicants from the pool.

Applicants must also achieve a sufficiently high CRS score in order to be selected from the pool of candidates. The factors that will be assessed under the CRS include age, education, work experience, language ability, and if applicable, their spouse’s qualifications.  Once ranked, applicants are placed in a pool to await selection.

If selected from the pool, applicants will only have sixty (60) days to submit a complete application for permanent residence. These applications are comprised of extensive documentation including application forms, evidence of education and work experience, and other supporting documentation.  Applications that are not received within the sixty (60) deadline will be rejected.

While the online Express Entry system appears innocuous, without extensive immigration planning, in most cases, it can result in the immediate disqualification of an applicant. Any inconsistencies in information could render the applicant subject to a 5 year ban from Canada, if determined as ‘misrepresentation’ by the government. The Express Entry system is neither transparent nor facile, and therefore it is essential that applicants have a carefully planned immigration strategy before initiating their application.

If you require assistance in determining whether you qualify as a Skilled Immigrant, please contact us.

 

Provincial Nomination Programs

Canada is also actively encouraging provinces to devise their own skilled immigrant programs. These Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) work in conjunction with the federal immigration system, thus creating a substantial number of subcategories, and offering many more options than ever before to prospective skilled immigrants.

Each PNP is unique, and has its own eligibility criteria. Please contact us should you require an assessment of your eligibility under one of the PNPs.

 

Business Immigrants (Federal and Provincial)

The Canadian business immigration and business relocation programs are designed to promote economic development and employment by attracting people with venture capital, business acumen and entrepreneurial skills.

Prospective business immigrants to Canada can choose from a number of different business-related categories, all of which are distinct and have advantages and disadvantages, depending on an applicant’s personal circumstances and business relocation needs.

The three main business categories are: Investors, Start-Up Visa, and Self-Employed Persons

In all three business immigration categories, applicants must demonstrate financial acumen and financial resources which will benefit Canada. Providing the necessary proof concerning the immigrant’s business and/or business relocation to Canada and documenting the application are the keys to success.

Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) offer additional options to prospective skilled immigrants. The following is a summary of each category:

 

Investors

Applicants must have a minimum net worth of at least CAD$10 million, and be willing to make an at-risk investment of CAD$2 million.

Applicants will be required to obtain a due diligence report through a designated service provider to validate their past business or investment experience, source of funds and personal net worth.

Applicants must have a post-secondary credential of at least one year, and demonstrate minimum language proficiency in either English or French. Applicants with a minimum personal net worth of at least CAD$50 million are exempt from the post-secondary requirement.

 

Start Up Visa

This program is designed for entrepreneurs who wish to build an innovative business in Canada that can create jobs for Canadians, and compete on a global scale. Applicants must have support from a Canadian designated organization to qualify. In most cases, eligible businesses include those in the technology, sustainability, energy, health and science industries.

In addition, applicants must meet a minimum language requirement, and demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members.

 

Self Employed Persons

This business immigration category is available to applicants who have relevant experience, the intention and the ability to be self-employed in Canada in specific economic sectors such as the following:

  • Self-employment in cultural activities or in athletics
  • Participation at a world class level in cultural activities or athletics
  • Farm management (experience required)

This category may also include management experience in the world of art and culture, where there is an artistic or cultural component to the job. Business relocation is obviously a requirement of this particular business immigration category and the business immigrant must demonstrate that the business relocation is likely to be successful.

 

Provincial Nomination Programs

As it has done with skilled immigrant programs, the federal government is also actively encouraging the provinces to devise their own business immigration and business relocation programs which will work in conjunction with the federal immigration system. These Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) create a substantial number of subcategories under the business immigration system, thus offering many more options than ever before to prospective business immigrants with respect to their immigration and their possible business relocation. Each PNP is unique, and has its own eligibility criteria. Please contact us should you require an assessment of your eligibility under one of the PNPs.

Family Class/Sponsorship (Federal)

Canadian citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18 may sponsor their close and immediate family members for Canadian immigration. The sponsor is responsible for supporting his or her relative financially upon arrival. The sponsor’s financial responsibility varies depending on his or her relationship to the applicant.

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor:

  • Spouse
  • Common Law partner
  • Conjugal partner
  • Dependent children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship
  • Persons under the age of 18 who the sponsor intends to adopt, if the adoption is genuine, the person is legally available for adoption, and the competent authority in the applicant’s country and province has approved the adoption
  • Any person, given that the sponsor does not have a Canadian, aboriginal or permanent resident family member

Additional conditions and restrictions apply to all of the above categories.

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner while they are living in Canada or abroad. The applicant may also be eligible for a Canadian work permit within four months of applying for permanent residence if certain conditions are fulfilled.

All sponsors are required to sign an undertaking to provide the sponsored person with the basic requirements from the day they enter Canada until the term of the undertaking ends. The undertaking is a contract between the sponsor(s) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. In it, the sponsor agrees to repay the government if the sponsored person resorts to social assistance. The period of the undertaking will vary depending on who is sponsored. Sponsors remain bound to the undertaking agreement for the entire term of the contract, even in cases of relationship breakdown, divorce or deterioration of financial circumstance.

Permanent Residence (PR) Card Renewal

A permanent resident (PR) card is a permanent resident’s proof of that status in Canada. Permanent residents of Canada may renew their PR card if: they meet their residency requirements, have not been ordered to leave Canada, have not been convicted of a crime related to the misuse of PR card, and are not yet Canadian citizens.

A permanent resident meets his or her residency obligations if he or she:

  • Has been physically present in Canada for 2 of the 5 years immediately preceding the renewal applications;
  • Has been outside Canada accompanying a Canadian spouse, common-law partner or parent (if the permanent resident is a child);
  • Has been outside Canada and employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business, in the public service of a province or the federal public administration; or
  • Has been outside Canada accompanying a permanent resident who is their spouse, common-law partner or parent (in the case of a child), and who is employed on a full time basis by a Canadian business, or in the public service of a province of the federal public administration;

Permanent residents are required to provide proof that they have met their residency requirements. Such evidence may include proof of filed taxes in Canada, school records, identity documents with Canadian addresses, employment letters, etc.

Permanent residents who travel outside of Canada must present their valid permanent resident cards or obtain a permanent resident travel document when boarding a flight, bus, train or boat to Canada. Failure to do so may prevent re-entry to Canada. This is especially important for permanent residents from visa-exempt countries who are not eligible for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

A permanent resident does not lose permanent resident status when his or her PR card expires. However, status may be lost if he or she:

  • Does not meet the residency requirements;
  • Are convicted of a serious crime and ordered to leave Canada;
  • Becomes a Canadian citizen; or
  • If following an inquiry, it is determined that he or she is not a permanent resident.

For further information regarding how to maintain permanent resident status, or to renew a permanent resident card, please contact our office for assistance.