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Permanent Immigration

There are many ways to immigrate to Canada and the most suitable option will depend on your particular circumstances. As a precondition to immigration, an applicant must meet specific 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 circumstances.

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-Based Immigrants

In addition, once you become a permanent resident, we can provide aid with regard to Permanent Resident Card applications and renewals.

Skilled and Employment-Based Immigrants (Federal and Provincial)

The most common path to permanent residence is as a Skilled Immigrant.

The federal Express Entry system processes three categories of skilled immigrants: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC). Additionally, Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) offer additional options to prospective skilled immigrants.


Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

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

Applicants are also assessed based on a number of factors used by the Canadian government to determine whether the applicant is likely to become economically established in Canada. These factors include: age, education, work experience, language ability, and adaptability. Applicants are awarded points under each factor and 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 are accurate, and to obtain clarification on any questions the officer may have regarding the application and supporting documentation. Interview waivers may be granted at the discretion of the visa officer.


Canadian Experience Class

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

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


Federal Skilled Trades Class

Applicants must have at least two (2) years of work experience in the last five (5) years in an eligible skilled trade occupation, and must meet the job requirements for their trade as set out in the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC).

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

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


Qualifying under one of the above-noted Skilled Immigrant categories does not automatically lead to permanent residence. It simply allows an applicant to initiate the application process through the federal government’s online Express Entry system.

In order to apply under the Express Entry system, an applicant must first create an online Profile. This Profile is used to assess the applicant’s qualifications against the government’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The factors assessed under the CRS include age, education, work experience, language ability, and if applicable, their spouse’s qualifications. The federal government conducts draws on a regular basis (typically twice per month) to select the applicants with the highest CRS scores from the candidate pool.

Once selected from the pool, applicants are given ninety (90) days to submit a complete application for permanent residence. These applications must include extensive documentation such as application forms, evidence of education and work experience, criminal record checks, and other supporting documentation.  Applications that are not received within the ninety (90) day deadline will be rejected.

While the online Express Entry system is straightforward in design, it is challenging to navigate without experience. The consequences that can result from inadequate immigration planning of a permanent residence application are severe and can result in the immediate disqualification of an applicant. Any inconsistencies in information could also be considered “misrepresentation” and could render the applicant subject to a 5-year ban from Canada. 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 actively encourages provinces to devise their own skilled immigrant programs to attract immigrants to fill their specific needs. These Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) work in conjunction with the federal immigration system, 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 any 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 immigrants 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 federal business immigration categories are: Investors, Start-Ups, and Self-Employed Persons

In all three federal business immigration categories, applicants must demonstrate financial acumen and financial resources which will benefit Canada. Providing the necessary documentation concerning the applicant’s business and/or the business’s relocation to Canada are the keys to success for these types of applications.

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



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 in the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Fund for approximately 15 years.

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


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 personal net worth of at least CAD$50 million are exempt from the post-secondary education requirement.


Start Up Business Class

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 certain immediate family members for Canadian permanent residence. The sponsor is responsible for financially supporting the sponsored person upon their arrival. The sponsor’s financial responsibility varies depending on the relationship to the sponsored person.

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor:

  • A spouse;
  • A common-Law partner;
  • A 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; or
  • Any relative, if and only if the sponsor does not have a Canadian, Indigenous Peoples, or permanent resident family member.

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

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor their spouse or common-law partner while they are living in Canada or abroad. The sponsored person may also be eligible for a Canadian work permit if certain conditions are fulfilled.

All sponsors are required to sign an undertaking that they will provide the sponsored person with their 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 applies for social assistance. The period of the undertaking will vary depending on the relationship of the sponsor to the sponsored person. Sponsors remain bound to the sponsorship undertaking for the entire term of the agreement, even in cases of relationship breakdown, divorce, or deterioration of financial circumstances.

Permanent Residence (PR) Card Renewal

A permanent resident card (PR card) is a permanent resident’s proof of that status in Canada. Canadian permanent residents  may renew their PR card if they: meet their Canadian residency obligations(see below), 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 is physically present in Canada for 2 of the 5 years immediately preceding the renewal application. For the purpose of PR card renewals, a permanent resident is also deemed to be physically in Canada if they are:

  • Outside Canada accompanying a Canadian spouse, common-law partner, or parent (in the case of a minor);
  • Outside Canada and employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the public service of a province or the federal public administration; or
  • Outside Canada accompanying a permanent resident who is their spouse, common-law partner, or parent (in the case of a minor), 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 obligations. Such evidence may include proof of that they 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 PR cards or must apply for and obtain a Permanent Resident Travel Document before 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, permanent resident status may be lost if he or she:

  • Does not meet the residency obligations;
  • Is 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.