Permanent Residency in Canada

Canadian house

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.

PR card is attainted via immigration to Canada, and the permanent resident status can be maintained by meeting certain obligations under the residency requirements.

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!   

Toronto view
courtesy of Vincent Albos

Permanent Residence Eligibility

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

You can also check your eligibility online :

How to Obtain a Canadian Permanent Residence?

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

Express Entry – Most Popular

Express entry is by far the most common method of immigration to Canada. Through this process, the permanent resident applications are managed and selected to fill labor gaps, and skilled workers are allowed to live and work in Canada for their economic growth.

Most express entry systems process the permanent resident application in less than 6 months. We strongly recommend contact an RCIC before beginning the process.

Express entry is by far the most common method of immigration to Canada. Through this process, the permanent resident applications are managed and selected to fill labor gaps, and skilled workers are allowed to live and work in Canada for their economic growth.

Most express entry systems process the permanent resident application in less than 6 months. We strongly recommend contact an RCIC before beginning the process.

Business Immigration (Start-up Visa)

If you are in a position to invest and start new businesses in Canada, you can apply for PR status by means of business immigration. Business immigrants can either be self-employed, or enter the country with a start-up visa. You must have an adequate amount of money in order to economically establish yourself while contributing towards the growth of Canadian economy.

Family Class Immigration (Sponsorship)

Family Class immigration (sponsorship) process is for a dependent child, spouse, parents and grandparents, common-law or conjugal partner of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident. As a Canadian PR or citizen, you can also sponsor a sibling, grandchild, niece and nephew, provided that they are unmarried and under 18 years of age.

Federal Skilled Worker Class (Work)

All skilled workers can obtain Canadian permanent residency status if they have the ability to economically establish themselves in the country, and intend to live in a province other than Quebec. 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.

Canadian Experience Class/ Trades Class

This immigration (CEC) program is for those skilled workers who have already obtained work experience in Canada and want to apply for permanent residency. You must have at least one years of skilled work experience in either managerial jobs (Skill level 0), professional jobs (skill type A) or technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B).

Be one step closer to Canda by Finding out your eligibility score using the CRS score calculator:

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

According to the provincial nominee programs, you can apply for a nomination under an express entry stream in a province or territory in Canada. Each territory or province has its own stream and can target skilled workers, semi-skilled workers, business people and students. You must have the work experience, education and skills to help with the economic growth of the given province or territory.

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.

Contact a Local RCIC

There are many ways, programs and strategies to obtain a 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!

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, including the right to work, study and live in any territory of province of Canada without any time limit or restrictions. 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 the 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. 


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

night time in Toronto
courtesy of Snapwire

Canadian Citizen VS Permanent Resident

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.

  • 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.
  • Some jobs require high level security clearance and are only available for Canadian citizen, not permanent residents. These jobs can be in both private and public sectors.
  • Permanent residents are not issued Canadian passports and must travel with the passports of their current nationality along with the PR card at all times when they are traveling.
  • 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.

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 traveling with a Canadian citizen (spouse), or a business trip for Canadian business, or working abroad for 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 of 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 of Canada, after which you won’t need a PR card anymore.

Renewal of 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 from 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.

Bottom Line

Becoming a Canadian permanent resident is quite a difficult process. Once you obtain your PR status, you can enjoy life almost the same way as a Canadian citizen in the Great White North, and have access to a number of health and security benefits to make your life easy. It’s a long road, that’s the truth, however, reaching the goal of PR compensate for the trouble.

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