Canada - Ways to Become a Permanent Resident - 22nd June, 2018

Canada - Ways to Become a Permanent Resident

The pathway to become a permanent resident in Canada can be short for many people. It is possible to achieve it directly from overseas or by staying inside Canada when the candidate applies for various immigration programs. Many people achieving the permanent residence status first arrive in Canada as temporary residents on a Study/Work Permit.

Moreover, the experience in Canada as temporary residents is counted in the permanent residence application.

The immigration programs for becoming permanent residents directly have three main categories:

  • Economic Class
  • Family Class
  • Business Class

Based on the features and qualifications, the initial step is to take a decision regarding the class where they can succeed. There are several immigration programs in each class which aim to bring candidates who can integrate quickly.

Qualifying for Economic Class Immigration

Over the next three years Canada has a plan to welcome Economic Class immigrants. The target for 2018 is 177,500, which goes up to 195,800 by 2020. Candidates must consider the Economic Class for immigration. Federal economic immigration works by using the system of Express Entry.

Express Entry

Express Entry is the system which manages economic immigration programs in Canada.

The federal economic immigration programs are:

  • Federal Skilled Worker
  • Federal Skilled Trades
  • Canada Experience Class

Express Entry also has candidates for some of the provincial immigration programs.

The Process of Express Entry

Candidates enter the Express Entry pool after submitting a self-assessed profile

Each profile in the pool gets a score through the Comprehensive Ranking System

The profiles with the best scores receive the invitation to apply through the Express Entry draws, which happen regularly, usually once in two weeks.

Such Candidates submit a full application within 90-days.

The processing time is six months for 80% of candidates after receiving an invitation.

Scenario when a candidate does Not Qualify for Express Entry

Such Candidates can consider using the provincial immigration program. Moreover, the provinces have programs which attract many specific shortages in labor market. These are technology workers in certain provinces, long-haul truck drivers and medical doctors also. The provincial immigration programs need a job offer for qualifying. Some provinces have certain lists of occupations which have a good demand and programs for them open and close, in less than a day.

Candidates, who do not qualify for a provincial program, can take up the work permit route. They can reach Canada temporarily by using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or Study Permit stream. Subsequently they can make a transition to permanent residence.

Qualifying for the Family Class

Family reunification is a pillar of the immigration system of Canada.

The federal government has a plan to welcome 86,000 immigrants in family sponsorship in 2018, which will increase to 91,000 by 2020.


Beneficiaries who can be sponsored in the Family Class are Spouse, Common law partner, Dependent children, Parents, and Grandparents. Besides them, Brothers, sisters, nephews or nieces, grandchildren who are orphans, and minors below18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship, also make the grade.

Each sponsorship category has specific requirements and a waiting period. Additionally, Candidates not meeting the requirements must enter the Economic Class.

Qualifying for Business Class Immigration

Entrepreneurs and High net worth candidates should consider the Business Class route for seeking permanent residence in federal/provincial immigration programs. Moreover, many provincial programs need a process involving two-step starting with a work permit. Candidates satisfying the conditions get an invitation to apply seeking permanent residence.

Federal business programs are Start-Up Visa, Self-Employed Class, and Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program Quebec operates its own Business Class category which include:

  • Quebec Immigrant Investor Program
  • Quebec Entrepreneur Program
  • Quebec Self-Employed Program

Other provinces of Canada also operate business programs involving the candidates who enter Canada on work permits and achieve permanent residence if they meet the conditions. Such programs are managed by British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick. Additionally Prince Edward Island offers direct permanent residence through a business program. Finally Candidates need to pay a deposit which is paid back after they meet certain conditions.

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