Permanent residence

Permanent residence in Canada is a legal status that allows you to live and work in Canada permanently. Holders of this status have the right to reside in Canada without restriction of duration and to work for any company or to pursue studies. They also have access to certain public services such as health and education, and can also apply for Canadian citizenship after a certain number of years.

There are several routes to gaining permanent residency in Canada, including:

Express Entry

Express Entry is an online system that Canadian Immigration uses to manage immigration applications submitted by skilled workers to obtain permanent residence. Three immigration programs are managed under Express Entry:

*Canadian Experience Class
*Federal Skilled Worker Program
*Skilled Trades Program (Federal)

Once a candidate submits an online profile, the federal government determines whether the candidate is eligible for a program run by Express Entry.

Provincial nominees

Each province and territory has its own “streams” (immigration programs that cater to certain groups) and criteria within their program. For example, in one program stream, provinces and territories may target: students; business people; skilled workers or semi-skilled workers.

Regular Skilled Worker Program (PRTQ)

This program is intended for people who wish to immigrate to Quebec as a skilled worker, from Quebec or from abroad.


You can sponsor certain members of your family to come to Canada if you are at least 18 years old and are: a Canadian citizen; a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Indian Act; a permanent resident of Canada. If they become permanent residents of Canada, your family members can live, study and work in Canada.

Investors and entrepreneurs

Canada offers the most established and widely used investment-oriented immigration programs conferring permanent resident status. There are two categories of business immigrants: investors in Quebec and; contractors in Quebec.

Quebec Experience Class (PEQ)

This option is intended for any temporary foreign worker or foreign student who has graduated from Quebec and who meets the conditions established by Quebec law.

Refugee and asylum seeker

Canada offers asylum to certain people in its territory who fear persecution or who would be in danger if they were to leave. Among the dangers to which they could be exposed are: torture; a threat to their life; the risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. If you believe you will be in such danger if you return to your country of origin or the country where you usually live, you may be entitled to seek protection in Canada as a refugee.

Permanent residence on humanitarian grounds

Foreign nationals who are inadmissible or who cannot apply in an immigration category may apply for permanent residence or an exemption from a requirement of the Act on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

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