Congratulations on your decision to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence! As an immigrant, you may have many questions about the application process. Our staff is here to help guide you through everything from gathering required documents and submitting an application online or by mail to where it’s processed and how long it will take to process. Canadian Permanent Resident.

What is a Canadian permanent resident?

A Canadian permanent resident has been granted permission to live in Canada permanently. Permanent residents can live, work and study in Canada. If you are a permanent resident of Canada, there are some things that you should know:

  • You may apply for Canadian citizenship if you have been a Permanent Resident for at least three years (or one year if married to a Canadian citizen).
  • If you are under 18, your parents must sign your application form if they have legal custody over you and live in Canada.

How to Become a Canadian Permanent Resident in 2023

The process and requirements for becoming a Canadian permanent resident vary based on your route, so it’s essential to learn more and consider speaking with an immigration professional. Once accepted or invited, you will receive a PR Card (or Permanent Resident card) valid for up to 5 years.

Who Can Apply for Permanent Resident Status?

Anyone can apply for permanent residency in Canada, but only qualified individuals will be accepted. To find out if you are eligible for permanent residence, you will be examined by your:

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) establishes residency requirements and obligations every five years after an individual obtains permanent resident status.

  • physically present in Canada
    • accompanying outside Canada a Canadian citizen who is their
      • spouse
      • common-law partner
      • parent, in the case of a child
    • employed outside Canada on a full-time basis by
      • a Canadian business
      • the federal, provincial or territorial public administration
    • accompanying outside Canada their spouse, common-law partner, or parent (in the case of a child), where the person they attend is a permanent resident and is employed on a full-time basis by
      • a Canadian business
      • the federal, provincial or territorial public administration
    • referred to in regulations providing for other means of compliance

Canadian Permanent Resident Benefits

Becoming a permanent resident of Canada offers many perks, including:

1 – The ability to live and work anywhere in Canada

Permanent residents have the legal right to live and work anywhere in Canada. If a new PR finds a better job in Toronto than their current position, there’s no reason not to uproot and move across the country for a career if that makes sense financially. Additionally, Canadian permanent residents can enter and leave the country using their permanent resident cards or travel documents.

2 – Access to universal healthcare and social services

Canada’s healthcare system is single-payer, in which all residents can access free medical care. Once an individual becomes a permanent resident, they are eligible for Canadian healthcare and social services.

3 – Family sponsorship

If you are a permanent resident, you can apply to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner and dependent children so that they may join you in Canada. However, suppose the family member who wishes to immigrate is within the Express Entry pool with points above their cutoff score. In that case, they can be included in this application without being required as a separate one later (once sufficient funds have been accumulated).

4 – Free education for children

Residents of Canada, including children of permanent residents, are eligible to attend public schools without paying tuition. Once they have completed high school, students may also qualify for reduced rates at public colleges and universities by being considered “out-of-country” students.

5 – Can transition to Canadian citizenship

Becoming a permanent resident is the first step to becoming a Canadian citizen. After residing in Canada for three out of five years, temporary residents are eligible to become citizens. Once a person has transitioned into Canadian citizenship (and thus no longer needs renewal), they can vote, apply for a passport and much more!

6 – Protected rights

The rights of permanent residents are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is a part of Canada’s constitution.

Canada’s Multi-Year Immigration Plan

Canada each year plans to invite and accept thousands of individuals to become permanent residents. As you can see by the chart below, over 1 million permanent residents are being taken to live in Canada.

Canada’s Multi-Year Plan on Immigration 2022-2024.

2022 ———– 431,645
2023 ———– 447,055
2024 ———– 451,000

5 Main Immigration Pathways for Canadian Permanent Residency

The Express Entry system is the Canadian government’s preferred method for managing applications from people who want to become permanent residents.

It was introduced in 2015 to streamline the process of selecting skilled workers from around the world interested in immigrating to Canada. The system for processing applications is designed to be fast and efficient, so most applicants receive a decision on their application within six months or less.

Business Immigration

Business immigration is a program that allows entrepreneurs and business owners worldwide to move to Canada and start or buy businesses in this country. The program is designed to help Canada attract and retain highly skilled individuals who can contribute to the country’s economy by creating jobs for Canadians.

The Canadian government offers several business immigration programs with specific requirements and criteria. Some programs are designed for individuals with a proven track record of business success, while others are designed for those who are just starting out and have a solid business plan.

The family sponsorship program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor close relatives who wish to become permanent residents of Canada. The program is designed to help reunite families and provide a path to permanent residency for those with close ties to Canada.

Under the family sponsorship program, eligible sponsors can sponsor their spouse, common-law partner and dependent children. They may also be able to sponsor other relatives if they meet certain conditions. The sponsor must agree to financially support the sponsored relative for a specified length of time and provide evidence that they can do so.

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration program offered by the Canadian government for individuals who have Canadian work experience and are interested in becoming permanent residents of Canada. The program was introduced to help address Canada’s need for highly skilled workers and make it easier for individuals who have already established a connection to Canada through work experience to become permanent residents.

To be eligible for the CEC, applicants must have at least 12 months of full-time (or equivalent) work experience in Canada in a skilled occupation within the last three years. They must also demonstrate a high level of English or French language proficiency and show that they can succeed economically in Canada.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a Canadian immigration program that allows the provinces and territories of Canada to nominate individuals who are interested in becoming permanent residents of Canada. The program is designed to help meet each province’s and territory’s specific economic needs and attract and retain highly skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and other individuals who can contribute to the local economy.

Under the PNP, each province and territory has specific criteria and requirements for nomination. Some provinces and territories may focus on particular industries or occupations, while others may have programs for entrepreneurs, international students, or semi-skilled workers.

Where do I have my application processed?

Once you have submitted your application, it will be processed at one of two locations. The first is the Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Sydney, Australia. This location processes applicants applying for their PR card and those applying for their permanent resident status after being granted temporary residence based on work or study in Canada. The second location is in Edmonton, Alberta, where all other applications will be processed, including those from people wishing to become Canadian citizens or those applying for a Canadian passport.

The processing time for most applications takes between 6-8 months; however, there are some exceptions, such as applications involving criminal charges, which may take longer than usual due to security checks required before issuing PR cards or passports with new names on them.

Where can I submit my application?

The processing time for an application depends on the type of application you are submitting and how quickly you submit it. If your application is submitted in person at a visa office, it will take longer than if you mail it or courier it. If there are any mistakes on your application form, this will also slow down processing times.

The total processing time can vary anywhere from a few months to several years depending on factors such as:

  • The type of permanent resident card that is being applied for (for example, visitor’s permit vs work permit vs study permit)
  • Whether or not an interview is required with an immigration officer before approval can be given.


If you’re looking to become a permanent Canadian resident, we can help. The process is not as complicated as it seems, and our experienced staff will guide you through every step of the way. If you have any questions or concerns about applying, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Canadian Permanent Resident