Have you always imagined a long-term stay in Canada, probably because it’s a beautiful land with really friendly people and good healthcare, or you loved your working holiday in the country and plan to remain to make it your home for the next couple of years?

Whatever valid reason you may have, find hope in the fact that every year Canada allows hundreds of thousands of people like you to enter the country as permanent residents. As expected, you’ll have to apply for that, and if your application is approved, you’ll enjoy most of the rights citizens of Canada are lucky to have.

However, like the majority of immigration procedures, the application process can get quite tiring and involved, which means you need proper preparation. Also, you have to watch out for new changes as the process continues to change due to foreign policy initiatives and other factors.

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Well, below, we’ve gathered the important information on how to get residency in Canada. Keep reading to learn more.

What Are The Requirements?

Before you spend your time learning how to get a permanent resident card in Canada, check to be sure that you are not already a Canadian. For example, if your parent or grandparent was a Canadian citizen, you can qualify as a Canadian citizen. To find out if you do, take a test. Only after it shows you are ineligible should you proceed to apply for permanent resident status.

First on the list of things you should do is to contact the closest consulate, a Canadian embassy, or high commission in order to initiate the application process. Normally, you will be required to:

  • Provide your medical certificate
  • Present a criminal record check
  • Complete a permanent resident visa application
  • Part with an application fee

Additional tests, documents, fees, and other requirements may be required based on the nature and level of your application; i.e.:

  • Copies of your educational degrees, diplomas, and/or certificates (accompanied by the originals and official translations), sponsor letters, personal identification documents, citizenship documents, work records, family records, and so on.
  • Skills assessment test and language test results (English or French). This language test is a compulsory requirement for those from English-or-French-speaking countries as well.
  • Sufficient funds to support your stay in Canada during the initial time
  • Proof of refugee status

Also, you may have to have to take written tests or appear before an interview panel comprising immigration representatives. Thus, besides the basic information on how to get permanent residency in Canada, it would be great if you take time to learn a thing or two about Canada. This includes the history, institutions, values, symbols, and the like.

If you are younger than eighteen years, gaining permanent residency can be really difficult. You’ll be required to have a parent or legal guardian (a permanent resident of Canada who is a Canadian citizen or applying to become one) to complete the application process for you.

What Are The Permanent Resident Visa Categories?

Canada has six different categories under which you can make an application for permanent residency. They include:

1. Skilled Immigrants

In this category, you will be evaluated based on your educational level, work experience, language ability, arranged employment, adaptability, age, among other factors. A score will be given; 67/100 being the minimum you require to apply for permanent residency under this category. There’s a lot to learn on how to get permanent residence in Canada as a skilled worker. Express entry is the most important of all.

2. Business Class Immigration

If you are an entrepreneur, an investor, or a self-employed individual, this is the category you should apply under. You’ll be evaluated based on your network, experience, ability, intention, and other factors.

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3. Provincial nomination

If there’s a specific province you would love to settle in, this category allows you to contact a representative of the immigration office in that target province and apply for nomination. The province usually nominates a few individuals from a list of those who made applications for the same. If you are lucky to be amongst them, you can then apply for permanent resident status.

4. Family Class Immigration

Of all total applicants, an estimated 30% usually apply under family class immigration. If your close family members are permanent residents in Canada, you have a chance to obtain permanent residency. They are obliged by the Canadian government to sponsor a family member coming to the country for a period of 3 -10 years.

5. Quebec-Selected Immigration

The province of Quebec and the federal government have a special arrangement in which the province selects businesspeople, permanent workers, students, families, sponsored refugees, among other individuals who best fit their immigration requirements. Once the selection is done, those selected undergo an evaluation process.

6. International Adoption

Provided you are a permanent resident in Canada, the government permits you to adopt a child/children from a different country.

More information about this categories and how to get permanent resident status in Canada can be found on the Canada immigration website.

What Happens If My Application Is Denied?

If your application is refused, figure out why it wasn’t successful. Once you do, make the necessary adjustments or corrections. If possible, relearn how to get permanent resident status in Canada, and then apply again. You can reapply at any time; there’s no waiting period.

How Do I Maintain My Permanent Resident Status?

As a permanent resident in Canada you have the right to live, work, or study anywhere in Canada, enjoy almost all social benefits that Canadian citizens are entitled to, and apply for Canadian citizenship and protection under the country’s law and charter of Rights and Freedoms.

You may also travel outside of Canada. However, in order to maintain your permanent resident status and be guaranteed of all these rights, you must meet specific residency obligations.

Basically, you must be physically present in the country for at least two years (730 days) within every five-year period. However, it’s not compulsory for the two years to be continuous or be spent within Canada. Should you fail to meet your residency obligations, the only option left will be to give up your status. Other factors that could make you lose your status include committing serious crimes, violating human or international rights, or misrepresentation.

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In Conclusion

Even though the application process sounds complex, tedious, and involving, with no guarantee that you will be granted the permanent residency status, take hope in the fact that thousands of applications get approved every year and yours could be one of them. Just make sure you’ve selected the right category and you meet all the requirements.

Consider this as a starting guide on how to get residency in Canada. And please note that changes in this process could happen anytime. So, visit the Canada immigration site often for up-to-date information.