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Canada is quite generous about offering permanent residency status and provides numerous pathways and programs to help people settle within our borders.

Successfully immigrating to Canada is a matter of ensuring you’re eligible, choosing the right program, and successfully navigating the legal labyrinth between you and permanent residency status. Our Langley, BC immigration attorneys can help.

Here is an overview of permanent residency options in Canada.

What is a Permanent Resident?

Permanent residents can live, work, and study in Canada without restriction. They may receive Canadian public benefits, including health care coverage. They receive protection from the Canadian constitution and have the same rights and privileges as citizens, with a few exceptions.

Permanent residents cannot vote in elections or hold office. They also aren’t eligible for some high-security clearance jobs.

Permanent residents may apply for Canadian citizenship if they meet all the eligibility requirements.

Permanent residents must spend at least 730 days in a 5 year period in Canada or they risk losing their status.

Who is Eligible for Permanent Residency?

You may apply for permanent resident status if you have worked for 12 months in Canada within three years of applying and meet or exceed the required language level for your National Occupation Class. You may also be eligible to apply if a family member sponsors you.

Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs give you the time to get that work experience and then issue an invitation to apply for permanent residency when you have met certain requirements.

If you are willing to live in a specific province for a substantial period of time after coming to Canada then a Provincial Nominee Program is often the easiest route to permanent residency.

What do You Need for Permanent Resident Status in Canada?

Canada also requires you to spend 730 days (2 years) in the nation during the 5 year period before applying. These don’t have to be continuous days, but they must meet the total.

If you work for a Canadian business or organization and they send you overseas to work then that time may count towards your 730 days. Travel with a spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident working for a Canadian business can also count towards your 730 days.

From there, you only need to meet the specific requirements of the program you’re applying under.

What are the Classes of Permanent Residency in Canada?

There are six classes of permanent residency:

  • Family class sponsorship.
  • International adoption.
  • Skilled worker immigration.
  • Provincial nomination.
  • Business class immigration.
  • Quebec-selected immigration.

It is vital to choose the right program for your unique situation.

Family Class

Family Class immigration allows a family member who is a citizen or permanent resident to sponsor you. This family member may be a spouse, a parent, or a child. In certain cases a sponsor may bring over conjugal partners, orphaned unmarried siblings under the age of 18, orphaned unmarried nieces and nephews under the age of 18, or grandchildren.

In order to be a sponsor you must be over the age of 18 and sign a contract stating you will see to the sponsored family member’s support for a period of 3 years after they receive permanent residency. You must prove you have the resources to live up to this promise. Our team can help you determine whether you and your family member are qualified for this class of immigration.

Family class immigration would also cover the steps you’d need to take to successfully complete an international adoption.

Economic Class

“Economic class” permanent residency is another name for the skilled worker immigration program and certain entrepreneur and business owner programs.

Provincial nominee programs cover many of these programs, as do federal express entry programs. Some require you to start businesses in Canada, or invest a certain amount of money in Canadian businesses.

Humanitarian & Compassionate Class

This class of immigration is for refugees who come into Canada seeking asylum, or who apply for asylum while still trapped in their home countries. Refugees whose applications are approved are quickly granted permanent resident status and are given access to certain services.

Unfortunately, making a case for humanitarian residency is not as easy as it looks on paper. Not all applications are approved. Working with an immigration attorney can give you your best chance at success.

Express Entry Program for Permanent Residency

Express entry is a program for skilled workers. Canada has certain labor needs and the Express Entry program exists to help the nation fill those needs.

Several programs fall under the Express Entry umbrella: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades program, and the Canadian Experience class program.

In each case, you need a minimum number of years of experience in the job class and title that you’re using to apply for Express Entry. 

How Long can I Stay Out of Canada as a Permanent Resident?

In any 5-year period you have to spend at least 730 days (2 years) in Canada. That means you can spend up to 3 years traveling anywhere you want.

Our Law Firm Helps With Permanent Residency Status in Canada

The path to permanent residency isn’t one you should try to walk on your own. This is a complex and serious legal process that requires expertise to navigate successfully.

Let our law firm help. We’ll help you choose the right program for your situation. We’ll also help you make your application as strong as possible so as to maximize your chances of success. If something goes wrong, we’re there to fight for you.

Our attorneys have decades of experience and have helped thousands of people attain permanent residency in Canada. We even have attorneys on staff who speak fluent Punjabi and Mandarin.

Call us at  (604) 394-2777 to make an appointment today. We are happy to set up a video chat appointment if you are not currently located near our office in Surrey, BC, very close to the Langley area. Our team is ready to work with you!

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