Permanent Residence in Canada

Got Your Permanent Residence Application Approved? Congratulations!

Learn what it means to be a Canadian PR, how it’s different from being a Canadian citizen and many other things. Read on to find out more!

Edmonton Immigration Consultants

Being certified Canadian Immigration Consultants in Edmonton, we know how complex and nuanced getting your Canadian permanent residence can be. For some clients, it’s a quick and easy 7-month wait (i.e. Express Entry participants), while for others becoming lawful permanent residents is a journey that takes years (e.g. from visitor/student visa to PR). Read on to find the path that applies best to you, and feel free to request a consultation if you need help.

From a bird’s eye view, receiving permanent residency in Canada is an important milestone in the process of becoming a naturalized Canadian. Permanent residents are currently required to have lived for at least 1095 days in Canada before applying for citizenship. 

For those looking to apply for permanent residence in Canada, there are quite a few options. Currently, there are more than 80 different Immigration Pathways and programs that can lead you to Permanent Residency in Canada.

Now let’s take a closer look at what it exactly means to be a permanent resident and how being a legal resident of Canada is different from being a Canadian citizen. For the sake of greater convenience, use navigate through the article using the menu below:

Article Navigation: 

  1. What is permanent residence?
  2. Permanent Resident vs. Citizen. What’s the difference?
  3. Permanent residence in Canada requirements
  4. Permanent resident status outside of Canada: eligibility requirements
  5. Applying for permanent residence from Pakistan
  6. Applying for permanent residence from Nigeria
  7. Express Entry Canada PR points calculator
  8. Permanent resident Canada processing time
  9. Permanent Residence in Canada as an entrepreneur
  10. Renewing your permanent residency card
  11. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Permanent Residence?

Permanent residence is a status given to the person who is a foreign national but is legally allowed to live and work in Canada. As a Canadian permanent resident, your rights and obligations are nearly identical to Canadian citizens, with certain limitations (read on to find out the details).

The document that proves your permanent residency is a Permanent Residence Card (or PR Card for short). This document is needed for travels outside of the country and to prove your legal immigration status in Canada.

When you need to travel internationally, make sure you have your PR card or else you might not be allowed to enter Canada. When boarding a plane you will have to show your national passport as well as your Canadian PR card.

If you don’t have your PR card yet, but meet all the legal requirements, make sure you finalize the process to receive one. You should never leave Canada without your permanent residence card, otherwise you run the risk of being denied entry.

Once you get your permanent residency, you have a right to get the following benefits:

  • You can work and study legitimately in the country
  • You will get security privileges under the law
  • You are eligible to get your social benefits just as Canadian citizens, including healthcare coverage
  • You can apply for Canadian citizenship when you reach the 3-year residency milestone as a Permanent Resident 

At the same time, permanent residents are by law not allowed to do the following:

  • You cannot hold any government employment status that requires security clearance
  • You have no right to vote or run for political office 

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Permanent resident vs. Citizen of Canada

In short, a permanent resident is a national of some other country who lives in Canada permanently. The key difference is that permanent residents retain their original citizenship while being allowed to live permanently in Canada. 

Canadian citizens, in turn – whether naturalized or born – hold national Canadian passports, have the right to vote, can be elected, and can have access to classified information.

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Permanent Residence in Canada Requirements 

Once you get your Canadian permanent residency, you are officially allowed to travel outside of the country, but you need to meet several requirements to sustain your PR status. To be able to maintain your permanent residency, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be living in Canada for 2 years every 5 years (730 days, to be accurate).
  • Consequently, if you have been outside the country for more than three years in a row, you will not be able to renew your Canadian PR status since your residency obligations will not be met

In case you lose your permanent residence card, you can apply for a new one. Again, make sure you don’t leave the country without your PR card or your original landing document, or else you can be denied entry to Canada.

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Applying for a Permanent Resident Status Outside of Canada: Eligibility Requirements

Express Entry is one of the ways to apply for Canadian permanent residency. Once you have received your invitation to apply under Express Entry, it will be valid for 60 days. Within this period, you need to fill the electronic PR application and submit it before the invitation expires.

The application for a permanent resident card is an automatic process after your permanent residency process is finalized and you are deemed as a landed permanent resident of Canada. 

It usually takes about 60 days to receive your PR card via snail mail. Sometimes it happens much faster.

If you would like to renew or replace your Permanent Resident card by submitting paper documents, this option is also available. Should you choose this option, the processing time is about 130 days. Processing time may vary based on the below factors:

  • Type of submitted application
  • If the application passes completeness check
  • How quickly and easily officers can verify your information
  • How long you will reply to requests and concerns

Note: LIVIN Immigration Consultants specializes in filling out all the paperwork required to apply for Permanent Residency in Canada as well as to renew/replace your PR card. Please reach out to us for a free assessment of your case as well as professional support during the application process.

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Need help with PR-related paperwork?

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Permanent Residence in Canada from Pakistan

If you live in Pakistan and want to move to Canada, you will be able to apply for different immigration programs as any other foreign national. Some of the programs include Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), and family sponsorship etc. You may also want to apply for a study permit if your plan is to continue your education in Canada. Express Entry – Federal Skilled Worker category  lets the Pakistani nationals like any other to create their profile and if invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada based on age, experience, educational level and other relevant factors.  

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Permanent Residence in Canada from Nigeria

In 2019, Nigeria was ranked second in the top ten countries that received ITA Canada through Express Entry. Canada now offers more than eighty economic-class immigration programs that are also available to  Nigerian nationals. Each program has different requirements and is best to seek professional help to make sure the one you have chosen fits best to your profile and will help you to achieve your dreams of becoming a Permanent Resident of Canada. 

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Request a Free Assessment of Your Case

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Express Entry Canada PR Points Calculator

Your potential eligibility for Canadian Permanent Residency can be determined through the so called ‘Comprehensive Ranking System’ (or CRS for short), commonly known as the ‘Canada PR Points Calculator’. 

This tool aids you in determining your chances for success by asking you several questions only. These questions are related to your education, work experience, language skills, and other personal information. Once you’ve answered these questions, the tool will assess your profile and preview the score.

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Permanent Resident Canada Processing Time

The processing time of the Canadian permanent residency application depends on the program you will apply for. Most PR Express Entry applications are processed in six months or less but for example, Provincial Nominee applications may take 12-19 months.

Some of the factors that can influence the processing time of your application are:

  • The type of submitted permanent residence in Canada application
  • Whether you applied on paper or online
  • Incorrect payments and delaying of payments of required fees
  • Missing information or documents in the application
  • Difficulties in verifying your documents or information  by the authorities;

However, once your application has been processed, you will be able to check your application’s status online. There are different ways to check the online status for several programs:

  • If you’ve applied online, sign in, and review the online application.
  • If you submitted paper documents, you can check the status of your application onlineby using either of the two tools:

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Permanent Residence in Canada as Entrepreneur

If you seek to move to Canada as an entrepreneur or a business owner, there is a program called Start Up Visa, which allows you to move along with your family. This program is introduced for entrepreneurs and those who want to build an innovative business in Canada that will benefit the Canadian labor market and will compete on a global scale. 

Keep in mind; this business program requires support from one of designated organizations; eligibility is also evaluated based on the minimum total assets of the main applicant and his/her spouse (adequate funds to settle in Canada dependable from a family size), along with language skills ( CLB 5 in either English or French).

Once you have met all these requirements and submitted your application for permanent residence, pay the fees ( starting from $2,075 depending on the size of your family) and wait for further steps. The average processing time is 12 to 16 months.

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Renewing Your Permanent Residency Card

If your permanent resident card expired, you can apply for the permanent resident Canada renewal, which will be valid for the next five years. If you are renewing your card, make sure you’re meeting the following requirements:

  • You are currently a permanent resident
  • You submitted your PR renewal application
  • You must have lived in Canada for 2 years within the previous 5 years.

After submitting an application for renewing your PR card , the IRCC will initiate the procedure of renewing your permanent residency card. Currently, it takes around 130 days to renew your PR card. There might be some aspects that may extend or shorten the period for the renewal of your Canadian PR card. Longer processing times, for example, might be caused by the need to perform additional verification of your documents and your presence in Canada.

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Need Help Renewing Your Permanent Residency?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Permanent residence guarantee me a job or a place to live etc?

Not quite. A permanent residence only guarantees you the authorization to live in Canada for the term of your PR status. It is simply evidence that demonstrates that you have a legal immigration status and the right to live, work, study and do business in Canada.

What are the required documents for permanent residence?

It all depends under which programs you have applied for your Permanent Residence. The most common ones are:

  • Provincial nomination (if you have applied under Provincial Nominee Program and you were nominated by a Province)
  • A written job offer letter (if your program required a written job offer and commitment from current employer and is required to support your work permit)
  • Language test results
  • Education documents such as Educational credential assessment (ECA)
  • Travel documents or passport
  • Birth certificates
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Medical exam
  • Marriage certificate (if married)
  • Divorce certificate (if divorced)
  • Adoption certificate (if the dependent child is adopted)
  • Proof of funds
  • Proof of relatives in Canada (if any)
  • Digital pictures
Am I allowed to stay in Canada until I get permanent residency?

Yes, you can stay in Canada during the process of your permanent residency application, but only on the condition that your temporary residence is not expired. You need to ensure that your temporary residence is valid while your PR application is processed. If your temporary permit is going to expire soon, you can apply for an extension.

What IELTS type is required for Canada PR?

To show evidence of your English proficiency, you need to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – General Training Test.

Can I get Canada PR without IELTS?

Most immigration programs require you to provide results of an English or French proficiency language test in order to move to Canada permanently. If you want to move to Canada temporarily, for example as a visitor or on a work permit, you are not obliged to take IELTS.

Is a 6.5 IELTS score enough to get Canada PR?

It depends on the program requirements. The higher the score the better the chances. As a rule, CLB 7 is a good starting point. CLB 7 score band is 6 in each IELTS component – reading, writing, speaking and listening. Thus, it can be said that 6.5 is a good score to get a Canadian PR.

How long can I be out of Canada if I’m a permanent resident?

In order to maintain your Permanent Resident status in Canada, you are allowed to spend a maximum of three years outside Canada during a five-year period. The CBSA officer will evaluate if you met the residency requirements on your entry to Canada.

Which countries can Canadian citizens travel without a visa?

Canadian citizens can travel to 140  countries without requiring a visa. To give you a good perspective there are 195 countries in the world. Interesting fact that according to Visa World Guide Canada has the 9th most powerful passport worldwide.

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