A Permanent Canada Visa is a visa which allows the holder to stay in Canada permanently. It is an immigration visa, just like the Green Card is for the United States. Once you get a Permanent Canada Visa, you can move to any province of Canada, live, work, and study there. You are considered a Canadian Permanent Resident.
Once your visa is approved, you will get a Permanent Resident Card. This card, otherwise known as a Canadian PR Card proves that you have permanent residence in Canada. You must have it with you at all times, especially when you travel.
You must be at least 18 years old to apply and you can apply with your child if they are under 18 years old.
What Are the Benefits of a Canada Permanent Visa?
As a Canada Permanent Resident, you are allowed to do the following:
- You can get most social benefits that Canadians get such as health care coverage;
- You can live, study, or work anywhere in Canada;
- You get protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
- You can apply for a Canadian citizenship once you are eligible;
To get these benefits though, you must regularly pay Canadian taxes and respect the laws. Even if you are a permanent resident of Canada, you are not allowed to vote or run for political office as well as hold jobs that need high-level security clearance.
What are the Types of the Permanent Canada Visas?
Depending on your situation, there are different ways to get an immigration visa for Canada. There are four categories which have their own visas for permanent residence, so you can get the status through the following:
- Finding a permanent job in Canada
- Getting sponsored by your family
- Opening a business or investing in Canada
- Other permanent visas
Finding a Permanent Job in Canada
The most attainable way to get a Permanent Canada Visa is to find a job in the country. There are different programs which will lead to such a visa, as described in the table below.
Federal Skilled Trades Program
The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) visa is given to qualified tradespeople in different occupations such as:
- Aircraft Mechanics
- Crane Operators
- Heavy-duty Equipment Mechanics
- Plumbers, etc.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) visa is given to those who have occupations which are required in Canada. You must check the types of occupations Canada needs when you start planning to apply and obtain the necessary points.
Provincial Nomination Programs
The Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP) visa is for semi or low-skilled workers who can contribute to the Canadian economy though their work. The workers get placement in different provinces of Canada where the demand for their work is higher.
Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program
If you have one of the occupations required in the Canadian province of Quebec and you are fluent in French, then you can apply for the Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) visa which will allow you to move and work permanently there.
Getting sponsored by your family
If you have close family in Canada such as a spouse, parents, or children who are Canadian Permanent Residents or Citizens, then you can get sponsored through them and call for family union. Through this, you can get on the Family Sponsorship Program which allows you to become a Permanent Resident of Canada.
Opening a business or investing in Canada
The Canadian economy is continuously developing and if you are a businessperson who can contribute to it with resources, then you can get one of the Canadian Permanent Visas as follows.
Immigrant Investor Program
The Immigrant Investor Program visa is given to people with a net worth of at least CAD$800,000 who will make investments in the Canadian economy.
They must invest at least CAD$400,000 and the government will return the investment to them in 5 years without any interest.
Immigrant Investor Program –Entrepreneur Program
The Entrepreneur Program visa is given to people with a net worth of at least CAD$300,000 who will be individually involved in contributing to the Canadian economy.
These investors must commit to owning and managing at least one third of a Canadian business as well as create and maintain employment within 3 years of being in the country.
Self-employed Persons Program
The Self-employed Persons Program visa is given to people who have skills in business, athletics, culture, or farming and can start their own businesses.
These people must demonstrate how they will finance the business and prove their skills in those particular areas.
Other permanent visas
Other permanent visas are those that do not necessarily fit within the categories above but are valid ways to get permanent residence in Canada.
Live-in Caregiver Program
This visa is given to caregivers that are qualified to care for elderly, disabled people, or children and live in a private home in Canada.
Canadian Experience Class
This visa is given to those who have a temporary student visa or a temporary workers visa and want to switch to a permanent resident status.
They either have a Canadian education or work experience and have settled into Canadian society.
What are the requirements of the Permanent Canada Visas?
All Canadian Visas have general requirements and visa specific requirements. The general requirements for the Permanent Canada Visas are as follows:
- A valid government-issued passport with at least one blank page that is not the last page.
- If you have application documents in a language other than English or French, you must translate them through an authorized and verified translator.
- Two (2) photos following the Canada Photo Requirements.
- Have a clean criminal history and prove it through court documents.
- Proof of paid visa and processing fees.
- Signed and filled out a Visa Application Center (VAC) consent form.
- Medical exam certificate.
If you fulfill these requirements, then you will have visa specific requirements.
How to apply for a Permanent Canada Visa?
Each Permanent Canada Visa has their own application process, but they have some similarities. In general, you will have to go through the following steps to apply.
- Visit the Government of Canada website and go to Immigrate and then to “Find out if you can apply”. Take the questionnaire and wait for the results.
- If you qualify for any of the permanent visas, you will get a reference code and instructions on how to apply.
- Create an account using your bank information or the Government of Canada login (GCKey)/\.
- Start and submit your application by inputting your reference code and completing the necessary documents.
- When you submit your application, you will have to also pay the application fees.
- Wait for processing and if necessary, attend a visa interview and give your biometrics information.
- Check your account frequently for any notifications on the status of your visa processing.
- If your visa is approved, mail in your passport according to the instructions that the Canadian Consulate sends you with the processing fees.
- The Consulate will stamp the visa on your passport and send you a Permanent Resident Travel Card (PRTC) with your passport via mail.
- You can then travel to Canada and wait for your Canada PR Card to be mailed to you.
- Congratulations! You are a Canadian Permanent Resident.
How to Immigrate to Canada?
Immigration in Canada is highly desirable and there are many people who are continuously looking for opportunities to permanently move there. There are several ways on how to immigrate to Canada such as:
- Finding a permanent job in Canada
- Getting sponsored by your family
- Opening a business or investing in Canada
- Other methods of getting a permanent visa (refugees, caretakers, etc.)
In order to move to Canada, you will have to fulfill Canada immigration requirements which include the application process and filling out various forms.
The ways through you which you can emigrate to Canada depend on the type of permanent Canada visa that you choose to apply for. This can include a form of direct application or indirect application.
Direct applications include sending out your documents and application forms to the Canadian Government so they can evaluate it and decide whether they will give you the visa or not based on different factors.
An indirect application works on a points based system which is calculated on various factors outlined in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Calculator. When you apply indirectly, you must first submit a profile with your qualifications that show you are eligible for that visa and if you get enough points, the Canadian Government will then invite you to send in more documents and apply for permanent residence.
Whichever method you will have to use to move to Canada, you must fill out several forms depending on the type of visa.
What Forms Should You Fill to Immigrate to Canada?
In order to start the immigration process to Canada, the applicant must first become familiar with the process. One of the ways to become more familiar is knowing what kind of forms you will have to fill out in case you are selected or invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
The types of forms you will have to complete depend on what kind of status you have and what type of permanent residence you want. Some of these include refugees, people who want to work in Canada, business investors and entrepreneurs, family sponsorships, and so on. The following forms are organized depending on their starting reference numbers in the Canadian Immigration Website. The immigration officials will instruct you which ones to fill depending on these numbers.
- IMM 0008 SCH2 – Schedule 2: Refugees Outside Canada
- IMM 0008 SCH3 – Schedule 3: Economic Classes
- IMM 0008 SCH4 – Schedule 4: Economic Classes: Provincial Nominees
- IMM 0008 SCH4a – Schedule 4a: Economic Classes: Provincial Nominees – Business Nominees
- IMM 0008 SCH5 – Schedule 5: Economic Classes – Declaration of Intent to Reside in Quebec (Oct 2002)
- IMM 0008 SCH6 – Schedule 6: Business Immigrants – Investors and Entrepreneurs
- IMM 0008 SCH6a – Schedule 6a: Business Immigrants – Self-Employed Persons
- IMM 0008 SCH9 – Schedule 9: Economic Classes – Declaration of Intent to Reside in Quebec (Apr 2010)
- IMM 0008 SCH12 – Schedule 12: Additional Information – Refugee Claimants Inside Canada
- IMM 0008 SCH13 – Schedule 13: Business Immigration Programs – Start Up Business Class
- IMM 0008 SCH14 – Schedule 14: Protected Persons and Convention Refugees
- IMM 0008 SCH15 – Schedule 15: Caring for children class
- IMM 0008 SCH16 – Schedule 16: High Medical Needs Caregiver Class
- IMM 0008 DEP – Additional Dependents / Declaration
- IMM 1294 – Financial Evaluation
- IMM 1295 – Application for Work Permit Made Outside Canada
- IMM 1324 – Undertaking / Application for a Joint Assistance Sponsorship
- IMM 1344 – Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking
- IMM 5349 – Right of Permanent Residence Fee Loan Application
- IMM 5373 – Undertaking / Application to Sponsor
- IMM 5373A – Settlement Plan and Financial Assessment
- IMM 5373B – Financial Profile for a Group of Five
- IMM 5373PP – Undertaking / Application to Sponsor Under a Public Policy
- IMM 5406 – Additional Family Information
- IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union
- IMM 5476 – Use of a Representative
- IMM 5494 – Settlement plan – Joint Assistance Sponsorship
- IMM 5501 – Economic Classes: Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
- IMM 5768 – Financial Evaluation for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship
- IMM 5444 – Application for a Permanent Resident Card
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Canada Immigration
Even though applicants read and go through different documents to immigrate to Canada, there are still many questions that need to be clarified. Below, we have answers to some of the most asked questions on immigrating to Canada.
How do I fill out an application for immigration?
You must answer every question, even when it does not apply to you. If you leave blank questions, the Canadian officials may tell you that your application was incomplete and they may return or refuds it.
If the question is not applicable to you or you do not have an answer to it, write “not applicable” or “N/A” as an answer.
If you are applying on paper and your answer does not fit in the sheet, use a separate piece of paper to answer it and state at the top of the page which question you are answering.
What is my client ID?
If you are applying for a Canadian visa or permanent residence for the first time, you will not have a client ID. Once you apply, the documents that the Canadian officials send you will have a eight to ten-digit number on them that looks like 0000-0000 or 00-0000-0000.
This number will be unique to you and once you get it, you will have to use it on all documents. If you are applying for the first time, then you should write “N/A” on the space which asks you to write the number. If the form does not allow you to write “N/A”, you should just leave it blank.
What is a UCI?
A UCI or Unique Client Identifier is just a different name for a client ID. So the client ID explained in the question above is the same as the UCI. You will not have a UCI the first time you apply, but it will be given to you once the Canadian Immigration sends you any documents accepting or evaluating your application. This number will be eight to ten digits in this format: 0000-0000 or 00-0000-0000.
When you apply for the first time, you must write “N/A” in the space where the UCI is required, or if the form does not allow you to write N/A, then you can leave the space blank.
What do I do if I forgot my client ID/UCI?
If you forgot your UCI or client ID number, do not panic. It is common for people to not be able to remember an eight to ten digit number. To retrieve it, find any documents that the Canadian Immigration has sent to you. Your UCI or client ID is in all the documents that they send. You can also find this number in your Permanent Residence (PR) card, study or work permit documents if you have them.
If you do not have any letters from the Canadian Immigration or any of the documents, then you can leave the field requiring it blank and the officials will fill it out.
What if a question on a form does not apply to me?
If there is a question on an application form that does not apply to you or you cannot answer it, then you must not leave it blank. You must fill it out and write “not applicable” or “N/A” on it. If you leave the space blank, then you risk your application being rejected or returned because it was incomplete.
What languages should I submit my supporting documents?
The Canadian official languages are English and French, so your supporting documents must be in one of these languages. If your documents are in another language, then you must have them translated from a certified translator in one of the two languages. Each translated document should have the certified copy of the original document, the translated documents, and an affidavit from the person who translated it.
Should I submit a blank Use of Representative form if I am not using a representative?
No, if you are using a representative then you do not need to send the “Use of Representative” form with your application documents. Only when you use a representative, it is mandatory to send the form.
How to get faster processing on the immigration application?
The Canadian Immigration officials do not have a set time to process immigration applications. The processing time is different depending on your situation and the documents which you submitted. Because of this, you cannot speed up the processing phase, but you can take steps to avoid delays, such as:
- Fill out the forms correctly without any missing information
- Inform the Canadian Immigration for any changes to your personal information (name, family situation, contact info, etc.)
- Do not submit supporting documents in a different language besides English and French
- Do not provide false information on your application
- Provide information if you had a criminal or security problem
- Provide information if you have issues such as a divorce, child custody problems, incomplete adoptions, etc.
If my immigration application gets refused, can I apply again immediately or do I have to wait?
If the Canadian Immigration has refused your application for permanent residence, they will send you a letter to inform you and let you know about the reasons for the refusal. After they refuse your application, you can immediately apply again at any time, unless the letter says that you cannot.
There could be different reasons why the Canadian Immigration will not allow you to apply again for a certain period of time, but after that time passes, you can apply again, including new information that was not in the previous application. You should not apply to immigrate to Canada if you are using the same documents and information as in your last application.
Is it possible to lose my Permanent Resident status in Canada?
After getting the PR Card, you must live in Canada for two years within a five-year period. If you do not fulfill this condition, you will lose your status. You can also lose your status if the following happens:
- An adjudicator decides that you are not a permanent resident after an inquiry or appeal;
- You renounce your status voluntarily;
- You become deported;
- You become a Canadian citizen.
To prevent losing your status involuntarily, you must abide by all the rules and regulations of your visa as well as the laws of Canada.