How to Obtain Permanent Residence in Canada as an Immigrant

Obtaining permanent residence in Canada as an immigrant allows you to live and work in the country for a minimum of five years.

To qualify for permanent residence, you need to be physically present in Canada for at least 760 days, which is equivalent to about five years.

In this article, I will guide you through the process of getting permanent residence in Canada, including the eligibility criteria, required documents, and the benefits and restrictions of permanent residency.

Choosing the Right Canadian Visa Entry System

The Canadian Residence Permit is open to immigrants from various classes, such as students, working-class individuals, elderly citizens, and verified refugees from other countries.

How to Obtain Permanent Residence in Canada as an Immigrant

It’s important to note that being a permanent resident in Canada is different from being a citizen, which will be discussed later in this article. 

The permanent residence serves as a pathway to Canadian citizenship.

How to Get Permanent Residence in Canada as an Immigrant

Acquiring a permanent residence in Canada may seem challenging, but it is achievable when you follow the necessary steps.

The following are the two primary Canadian Visa Entry Systems you can apply for:

Express Entry Program Visas

The Express Entry Program is an online portal that manages immigrant applications for skilled workers. It consists of three sub-programs which are Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Workers, and Federal Skilled Trades.

To qualify for permanent residence through Express Entry, you need to:

  • Read, understand, and answer eligibility questions.
  • Check your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores and rank in the Express Entry CRS pool.
  • Provide the required documents when requested.
  • Fill out your profile.
  • Receive an invitation and apply for permanent residence.

Provincial Nominee Program Visas

The Provincial Nominee Program is designed for individuals with the required skills, education, and experience to contribute to a specific province’s economy and growth.

The program targets students, business people, skilled workers, and semi-skilled workers, based on provincial nominations.

There are two ways to apply:

  1. a) Non-Express Entry Program:
  • Apply to the province or territory of your choice through a non-Express Entry stream.
  • Meet the requirements of the nominating province.
  • Apply for permanent residence online once nominated.
  • Undergo a medical examination and obtain a police clearance certificate.
  1. b) Express Entry Program:
  • Contact the province or territory and apply for nomination through the Express Entry system.
  • Create or update your Express Entry profile if nominated.
  • Provide evidence of nomination.
  • Alternatively, create an Express Entry profile and wait for a “notification of interest” from a province or territory.
  • Apply to their Express Entry stream if selected.
  • Accept the nomination certificate online.

Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)

The Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program is designed for skilled workers who wish to live and work in Quebec. Quebec has its unique process for assessing qualifications and employment opportunities.

The steps for eligibility are as follows:

  • The Province of Quebec will assess your application based on their standards.
  • If nominated, you will receive the CSQ.
  • Applyto Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada for permanent residence, including the required documents.

Other Methods to Obtain Permanent Residence in Canada

Apart from the mentioned programs, there are other ways to legally obtain Canadian permanent residence, such as:

  • Family or employer company sponsorship to immigrate.
  • Declared and verified refugee status.
  • Start-up Visa and other programs

Benefits of Permanent Residence in Canada

The great white North has possibilities and opportunities jammed. Some of the benefits of taking up permanent residence in Canada are not limited to:

  • Studying and working at your preferred institutions or organizations
  • Eligibility to apply for Canadian citizenship once you meet the requirements.
  • Protection by the Canadian government for lives and properties.
  • Access to social and security services.
  • Quality healthcare facilities.
  • Free education for children and social amenities.
  • Legal access to the USA.


What are the Restrictions for Permanent Residents in Canada?

Truth is you’ll enjoy all the rights and benefits as a citizen, however, you are restricted from privileges such as:

  • Ineligibility to vote or run for political office.
  • Restrictions on certain high-security jobs.

What are the Required Documents for Permanent Residence?

Specific programs may have different document requirements, but generally, you need the following:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) results.
  • Education Credential Assessment (ECA) depends on the program.
  • Sufficient funds to support your application.
  • Educational degrees, certificates, or diplomas.
  • Birth certificate for age verification.
  • Medical and police clearance certificates.
  • Complete travel document indicating permanent residence details.


In this article, we have provided a comprehensive guide on how to obtain permanent residence in Canada as an immigrant.

Keep in mind that the processing time can vary, with the Quebec Immigration program taking up to 20 months.

It’s crucial to conduct thorough research and stay updated on the latest information. Good luck with your journey to Canadian permanent residency!