Foreign nationals may seek permanent residence for a variety of reasons, such as: they have worked or studied in Canada temporarily and wish to remain; they are seeking new professional opportunities in Canada; or they wish to join family members already in Canada. Corporations may also want to set up a permanent establishment in Canada for a variety of reasons, including tax considerations.
We offer advice on:
In January 2015, the government of Canada transformed the permanent residence application system as it relates to economic class immigrants. The Express Entry program must now be used as a first step to apply under the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker program, Federal Skilled Trades program and some Provincial Nominee programs. It is a points-based system that considers factors such as age, education, language, Canadian experience, skill transferability and possession of a job offer.
Upon completing the initial assessment, all applicants will be placed in a pool. The top-ranked candidates (with most points) and those holding a job offer (with LMIA or provincial nominee certificate) will get first priority to receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Candidates will have 60 days from receiving the ITA to make their application under one of the following categories:
Canadian Experience Class: This category is for foreign nationals who have at least one year of high-skilled work experience in Canada, in the preceding three-year period. Applicants must also meet specific language proficiency requirements.
Federal Skilled Worker: This category is for foreign nationals who have a high level of education and skill sets that can be easily transferred into the Canadian labour market. It is a points-based system that assesses applicants based on age, language, education, work experience, adaptability and arranged employment in Canada.
Federal Skilled Trades: This category is for foreign nationals who have at least two years of full-time work experience within the preceding five-year period in a skilled trade. Applicants must also meet specific language proficiency requirements, possess a full-time job offer or a certificate of qualification.
Provincial Nominee Program: This category is for foreign nationals who want to settle in a specific province outside of Quebec. Category requirements vary by province and by stream (worker, student or investor). PNP applications may be made through the Express Entry program, or through the General Category.
With a view to protecting its language and culture, Quebec has been authorized by the government of Canada to have its own immigrant selection process. As such, applicants who wish to settle in Quebec must apply through the province’s specific categories. The programs generally mirror the federal skilled worker and family sponsorship eligibility requirements, but give emphasis to Francophone culture and French-language ability.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada considers family reunification as one of its core values and program objectives. As such, this category offers Canadian permanent residents and citizens, who are at least 18 years old, the opportunity to sponsor their family members. Eligible family members include spouses (same or opposite sex; married or common-law), dependent children (under 19 years old or financially dependent due to mental or physical disability; biological or adopted), parents/grandparents and select other eligible family members. Sponsorship periods vary depending on which family member was sponsored, but they range from 3 to 20 years.
To become a citizen of Canada, candidates are assessed on a number of factors including age, permanent resident status, Canadian residence, language ability, criminal history and Canadian knowledge. Permanent residents at least 18 years old, who are looking to become Canadian citizens, must have maintained valid PR status and have resided in Canada for at least 1,460 days in the preceding six-year period. Time spent outside of Canada may be counted toward the residency requirement under certain conditions. Language proficiency, criminal history and Canadian knowledge standards are assessed by testing or submitting specific documentation.