Permanent Residency in Canada

In this article, we will highlight the perks of being a permanent resident, how to obtain this status and everything else you need to know before making the move, including tips and tricks on how to quickly become a Canadian citizen!

12 Dec 2021, 11:09 am


min read

canadian permanent residency

Canadian Permanent Residency (PR) is a status granted to individuals as a right to work and live in Canada without any time limit. Permanent residents enjoy almost the same benefits as Canadian citizens, including health care, studies and job opportunities.

Benefits of Having a PR Status in Canada

There are a number of benefits that you can enjoy as a permanent resident in Canada. Most of them are the same as that of a Canadian citizen. Here are some of the key benefits that attract people to immigrate and live in Canada.

Social Benefits

You can get the same social benefits as the Canadian residents. This includes being a member of the Canada Pension Plan and receiving universal health care by the territory or province you live in.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

You can avail the rights, protections and freedoms of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms under Canadian law.


You can live anywhere in Canada and apply for work or study there.


After you’ve been a permanent resident in Canada for five years, and lived in the country for three years (1095 days) out of those five, you can apply for Canadian citizenship. 

Sponsorship Option

You can apply for super visa for your parents and grandparents after meeting certain requirements of financial stability and medical insurance.

Canadian Citizen VS Permanent Resident – Is There Any Difference?

Although the benefits of citizenship and PR are pretty much the same, there are some key differences and restrictions that you have to abide by as a PR. Here they are:

  • As a permanent resident, you don’t have the right to vote in the elections. You can’t be a part of an elected office or run for it in any government level.
  • As a permanent resident, you don’t have the right to vote in the elections. You can’t be a part of an elected office or run for it in any government level.
  • As a permanent resident, you don’t have the right to vote in the elections. You can’t be a part of an elected office or run for it in any government level. If your PR card is expiring or not with you at the time of traveling for some reason, you must have a Permanent Resident Travel Document with you that’s issued by a Canadian diplomatic office.

How Long Does It Take to Get Canadian Permanent Residency?

There is no simple answer. The processing time depends on the program you choose and on your individual case. However, what’s certain is that by the date you sign the application you must have been physically in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) during the last 5 years.

How to Obtain a Canadian Permanent Residence – Most Common Paths

There are many ways to obtain a Canadian PR depending on your purpose of immigration.

Any Immigration Path Starts with the Eligibility Assessment

calculate your eligibility score

There are certain requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to meet the eligibility criteria for Canadian permanent residency status.

These requirements revolve around the applicants’ age, education, work experience, adaptability, language and any pre-arranged employment in the country.

A strict selection criteria works on points systems, where points are allocated based on the requirements mentioned above.


A maximum of 12 points can be gained on the age of applicant. If your age is 18 to 35 years, you are allotted up to 12 points. Each year above 35 reduces the points by 1, so that at 47 you get no point for age while applying.

Work Experience

Depending on your employment experience, you can get 9 – 15 points, with minimum requirement of one year experience.


You have to take a language test (IELTS/CELPIP/TEF/TCF), with a minimum of 16 points and a maximum of 28, depending on the results and level of proficiency of English or French.

Pre-Arranged Employmen

If you already have an employment offer in Canada, you can get a maximum of 10 points to make your case strong.


The degree you hold plays a role in the points you get for education, with a maximum of 25 points (doctorate), and minimum of 5 (secondary school).

Is there a way to check eligibility quickly without any consultations or researches?

Yes, there is a tool called immigration points calculator that will ask you a couple of questions and based on the answers will tell if you are eligible for immigration right away.

You may learn more about this calculator here.

Path 1: Express Entry

The Express Entry is a system designed by the Canadian government to manage permanent residence applications submitted under economic immigration programs. 

Key Facts about the Express Entry:

  • Express entry is by far the most common method of immigration to Canada.
  • Most express entry systems process the permanent resident application in less than 6 months.

Want to learn more about this system?

We have a comprehensive guide about the Express Entry. You may find it here.

Path 2: Business Immigration

If you are in a position to invest or start a businesses in Canada, you can apply for PR status by means of business immigration programs.

Key Facts about the Business Immigration:

  • The most common path for business immigration is Start-Up visa. You may read about it here.
  • If you want to get permanent residency by investment, you may explore the Investor Visa path.

Want to learn more about business immigration?

We have an article with the details about business immigration. You may find it here.

Path 3: Family Class Immigration

Family Class immigration process is for a dependent child, spouse, parents and grandparents, common-law or conjugal partner of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident.

Key Facts about the Family Class Immigration:

  • It works only if you have a relative who is Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident.
  • It is a broad program that enables Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents to sponsor relatives including siblings, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, provided that they are unmarried and under 18 years of age. .

Want to learn more about Family Immigration?

Here we have more details about family sponsorship.

Path 4: Immigration for Experienced Workers

There are many immigration programs for experienced workers. If you meet the requirements, those programs are fast and easy.

Key Facts about Immigration for Experienced Workers:

  • The most common path for experienced workers is the Federal Skilled Worker Class program. To be eligible for it, you must have a job offer from Canada and provide proof that you have enough money to financially support yourself and any dependents at the time of arrival. Candidates are selected based on their skills and work experience. You may learn more about this program here.
  • If you  are skilled in a trade listed in the NOC and have at least 2 years of recent full-time Canadian experience in the last 5 years – then a good choice for you would be the Federal Skilled Trades Program. You may learn more about it here.
  • If you want to settle in a certain province or city?  Then you may explore PNP programs. They allow Canadian provinces to nominate individuals who want to settle in a particular province. 

What Next?

Renewal of a PR Card

PR cards are valid for a period of five years. Occasionally, some PR cards may also be valid for only one year.

The residents must keep track of the expiration date on their PR card and apply for renewal six months in advance of the card’s expiration.

If your PR card has already expired, you still hold permanent residency status in Canada, and get a new PR card by submitting your application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If you are outside Canada during the expiration of your PR Card, you can apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) to re-enter Canada, which allows single entry to permanent residents who don’t have their PR card with them.

Loss of Status

You can lose your PR status in case you voluntarily renounce it for some reason, or a removal order is made against you.

Renouncing the PR card is an official process where you have to submit an application that states your voluntary removal from the PR status.

You can also lose your PR status if you haven’t lived in Canada for at least two out of the five years of your PR card validity.

The time that’s spent while travelling with a Canadian citizen (spouse), or a business trip for Canadian business, or working abroad for the provincial or federal government can be included within this time, but it should still meet the minimum requirement of stay.

You are also at a risk of losing your residency status if you’ve been involved in a serious crime, or being associated with it or posing as a security threat.

Lastly, you lose your residency status if you successfully achieve citizenship in Canada, after which you won’t need a PR card anymore.

Bottom Line

There are many ways, programs and strategies to obtain Canadian permanent residency status. Even if you don’t get accepted into a specific program, you can still continue the process.

As you can see above, Canada offers so many options for immigration, so that’s not a problem. A local RCIC can help you choose and switch between programs, whether you get accepted or not. Get in touch with a local RCIC today!

Get started on the Road to Permanent Residence
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Arriving in Canada as an international student over a decade ago, Rebecca fell in love with the country and the immigration process. she channeled her years of writing and editing experience into her love for immigration.

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Editor’s Note

You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent immigration advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

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