How to Get an Albertan Driver’s License as a Permanent Resident

Alberta is a very large province and although there is public transport in the southern part of the province you may find that you want a car to get around on your own. After you become a Permanent Resident in Canada you can start driving as soon as you obtain an Albertan driver’s license.

Driving in Canada

For all of the provinces and certain countries this can be as easy as exchanging your old license for your new Alberta license. You must surrender your previous license because it is illegal to have two driver’s licenses in Alberta.

If you do not have a driver’s license already you will have to pass both the written and practical driving exams. You will also need documentation that establishes your identity and your right to reside in Alberta.

Any of the following documents will establish your identity for the purpose of obtaining a driver’s license:

  • A driver’s license from another place,
  • A valid passport with your immigration papers,
  • A NEXUX Card (A document that expedites your entry into Canada),
  • Your Permanent Resident Card.

Additional documents will be necessary in order to support your identification that shows your name, birthday, and other identifying data. Any of these documents would be suitable:

  • Birth certificate,
  • Marriage certificate
  • A bill that is regularly mailed to your address such as for gas, power, telephone or cable,
  • Your Permanent Resident card,
  • Your student visa,
  • Your temporary residence visa,
  • A citizenship certificate if it was issued after February 12 of 2012,
  • Income or property tax documents,
  • Insurance policies.

Notes: The Alberta government prefers that you use original documents, but certified copies may also be accepted.

After you have passed the tests, submitted the correct documents and filled out forms you will receive your Alberta driver’s license. This license can also function as a form of quick and reliable identification in many different situations.

Canadian Medicare in Alberta

Canada has a national health care system called Medicare which is administered by each individual province or territory. There is some variation between provinces in terms of coverage. However, nationwide health care coverage is available to Permanent Residents through what is called a Single Payer system. This means that doctors and physicians simply bill the government for services rendered to you. Unless you seek supplementary care you are unlikely to see any medical bills.

Canadian Doctor

Because Medicare is administered on a province level it is important to register with that province’s system. In the case of Alberta you will register with the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan as soon as you become a Permanent Resident. You should do this as soon as possible so that you can receive coverage as soon as possible as well.

Your medical information is private and it is important to maintain your privacy. You should apply in person at one of the many Alberta Health offices throughout the province in order to keep your health information secure.

When applying you must first fill out the AHCIP Coverage Application Form either at home or at the office. You will also have to provide three documents that prove that you are eligible to receive health care in Canada.

To prove your residency in Alberta you will need any one of the below which shows your name and current address:

  • Alberta driver’s license,
  • Alberta registries identity card,
  • A recent utility bill for your residence,
  • Pay stubs, bank account statements, or other documents may be used as long as they have your name and address on them.

A government issued photo ID must also be submitted and it should display your name, date of birth and portrait. These IDs cover this requirement.

  • A passport,
  • A Canadian Citizenship Card,
  • A permanent Resident Card,
  • A Federal identification card,
  • A recent driver’s license from Alberta.

You must also prove that you are allowed to be in Canada. This requirement can be met with any of the below:

  • A Canadian passport,
  • A Canadian citizenship card,
  • Canadian birth certificate,
  • Permanent Resident Card,
  • A Canadian entry document.

After your application has been accepted you will be able to seek healthcare anywhere in Alberta.


What are the Photo Requirements for Permanent Resident Renewal?

When you apply for Permanent Resident Card Renewal you will have to include some photographs with your application forms to prove your identity. Much of the application process is concerned with you identity because the Canadian government wants to ensure that your Permanent Resident Card is not handed over to a fraud.

It is likely that you can find a local photographer who can help you meet the requirement set out for application photos, but you can also do it yourself if you think that you can meet the specifications. Be sure to keep in mind that the specifications for passport photos are different from the specifications for PR Card renewal applications.

Some of the specifications are:

  • You can wear glasses as long as your eyes are visible through the lenses in the photograph.
  • Wigs are allowed as long as it is something that you normally wear. If you don’t wear a wig on a daily basis, don’t wear it in the photograph.
  • Religious headwear is acceptable as long as it does not obscure your face.
  • The photograph must be recent, preferably taken within the past 12 months.
  • Don’t smile or frown in the photograph, simply relax your facial muscles and keep your mouth closed.

A general rule to keep in mind is that the photograph should look like you. If it starts to look different than you normally look it will be incorrect and your application may be rejected.

There are also many very technical requirements for the photograph  such as what kinds of cameras or reproduction techniques may be used to make the photo, the subject of the photo (you) should also be in the center of the frame with a white, well-lit background. A new requirement is that your face should be a little larger than an inch from your chin to the top of your head. The photograph should be 35X45 millimeters.

PR Card Application: What Is a Certified Copy?

Certified copies are necessary in some circumstances when applying for renewal of your Permanent Resident Card. By using the authority of a particular profession you are guaranteeing that the copy that you have made of an original document has not been altered in any way and that you are not trying to defraud Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

CIC has recently been very diligent in uncovering immigration frauds, so it is very important that you follow their application instructions very closely so that you are not mistaken for a fraud.

Certified copies must have the following written on them. Make sure that the writing does not obscure any of the original text of the document.

  • The words “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document” must be written on the photocopy by a person who can certify a document (see below).
  • The name of the original document is to be written out on the photocopy.
  • The official’s name, position, signature and date must also appear on the photocopy.

Below is a list of professions and titles of people who can create certified documents

Chiropractor Medical Doctor Police
Commissioner of oaths Member of a Provincial Legislature Postmaster
Dentist Member of parliament Teacher or Professor
Funeral director Minister of religion Professional accountant
Justice of the peace Municipal clerk Professional engineer
Lawyer Notary Social worker
Manager of a financial institution Pharmacist Veterinarian

An Official of an embassy, consulate or high commission who is allowed to certify documents in their own country can also sign certified copies.

This blog is a part of a series on how to renew your Permanent Resident Card and is related to an article about which documents are needed in order to complete you renewal application. Check back to Immigration Direct frequently for more information about the application process.

How Do I Get Proof of My Canadian Citizenship

Recently Citizenship and Immigration Canada made some minor changes to the Application for Proof of Citizenship (CIT0001E). Proof of citizenship is necessary to do many things in Canada including voting, getting a driver’s license or a job.

Getting proof of citizenship is available only to those who already have citizenship and Canada and have either lost their citizenship certificate or the information on the form is outdated. If you would like to apply for citizenship find help with the application process at Immigration Direct’s website.

The primary change made to the Application for Proof of Citizenship is on the second page where the application asks you to write in your address information. The form now allows you to enter your email address as well.

After you determine whether or not you are eligible for a citizenship certificate you can apply for your proof of citizenship. You will need to fill out the application, gather supporting documentation necessary to prove your citizenship, enclose the appropriate fee and mail it in to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The fee for proof of citizenship is a flat rate of C$75.

The address you will need to send your application is listed below:

Case Processing Centre – Sydney
Proof of Citizenship
P.O. Box 10000

The amount of time that it takes for your application to be processed varies quite a bit, but generally within Canada it takes about 5 months. However, it is not unusual for it to take longer.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada regularly makes changes to the forms that they offer. Everything from visa applications to citizenship are subject to change and it is important to make sure that you are using the most recent revision of your pertinent form. Return to Immigration Direct regularly for more updates.

What Does Canadian Multiculturalism Mean?

Two events in recent news have illustrated Canadian’s desires to be a multicultural state: the selection of an Anglophone mayor of Montreal and a statement made by Minister Kenney to Coptic Pope Tawadros II.

Many people seek Permanent Resident status in Canada every year because they know that their culture and language will be respected within the most multicultural country in the world.

There are many countries throughout the world which have state instituted religions or official languages designed to marginalize people (Canada maintains official languages to give them a certain level of status and to avoid their marginalization), but not in Canada.

Minister Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, made a statement in Egypt on Monday that congratulated Pope Tawadros II for his most recent appointment to his most holy position. Minister Kenney is Catholic, himself. In Canada all religions are respected regardless of a particular person’s religious doctrine as long as that doctrine does not promote violence or hate. Due to recent persecution of Copts in parts of Africa it may be possible for them to get a refugee or asylee visa to Canada.

The appointment of an English-speaking interim mayor to the city of Montreal is indeed quite extraordinary. In Montreal, and all of Quebec, the French language is fiercely defended as part of the very identity of the Quebecois (or Quebecer) and is a symbol of their sovereignty within the country of Canada. However, this identity does not breed any sort of outright prejudice and it was decided that Michael Applebaum is an appropriate ruler for the French speaking city.

Canada offers government forms and documents in a variety of languages with Asian varieties becoming very popular in recent years. However, in order to become a Canadian citizen you must demonstrate competence in either English or French.

Temporary Residents and Immigration Medical Exam

Temporary residents of Canada may have to take a medical exam prior to being admitted into the country. If you have either lived or visited one of the below countries within the past year you will have to undergo a medical exam at the nearest designated Canadian immigration medical facilities before you enter Canada. Temporary residents are people who wish to live in Canada for a period of more than six months, but not indefinitely.

However, many temporary residents choose to eventually call Canada their home. In that case you will have to apply for Permanent Residency. Immigration Direct offers a helpful service and information on how to obtain Permanent Residency in the Dominion of Canada for a fee. Don’t wait, sign up today!


Admiralty Island Eritrea Malaysia Sabah
Afghanistan Ethiopia Maldives SADR
Algeria Gabon Republic Mali Republic Sao Tome e Principe
Angola Gambia Marshall Island Sarawak
Argentina Georgia Mauritania Senegal
Armenia Ghana Micronesia Seychelles
Azerbaijan Greenland Moldova Sierra Leone
Bahrain Guam Mongolia Solomon Island
Bangladesh Guatemala Mo’orea Somali Republic
Belarus Guinea Morocco South Africa
Belau Guinea-Bissau Mozambique Sri Lanka
Belize Guyana Myanmar Sudan
Benin Haiti Namibia Surinam
Bhutan Honduras Nauru Swaziland
Bolivia Hong Kong Nepal Taiwan
Bosnia-Hercegovina India New Britain Tajikistan
Botswana Indonesia New Guinea Islands Tanzania
Brazil Iraq New Guinea Mainland Thailand
Brunei Ivory Coast New Hebrides Tibet
Burkina-Faso Kazakhstan New Ireland Togo
Burundi Kenya Nicaragua Truk Island
Cambodia Kiribati Niger Turkmenistan
Cameroon Korea (North) Nigeria Tuvalu
Cap Vert Korea (South) Northern Mariana U.S. Pacific Is. Territories
Central African Rep. Kosovo Pakistan Uganda
Chad Kosrae Palau Ukraine
China Kyrgyzstan Panama Uzbekistan
Colombia Laos Papua New Guinea Vanuatu
Comoros Latvia Paraguay Venezuela
Congo, Brazville Lesotho Peru Vietnam
Congo, Kinshasa Liberia Philippines Wallis and Futuna
Cook Island Libya Ponape Western Sahara
Djibouti Lithuania Portugal Yap Island
Dominican Macao Qatar Yemen
Ecuador Madagascar Romania Zambia
El Salvador Maio Russia Zimbabwe
Equatorial Guinea Malawi Rwanda


Edmonton the City of Festivals and Immigrants

Edmonton, a city located in the Canadian province of Alberta, is world renowned for its festivals that occur year round and is a wonderful place to either settle or visit. As a Permanent Resident of Canada you can either choose to move to one of the best economies in Canada or simply visit for one of their many cultural affairs in the beautiful Canadian prairie.

Edmonton International Fringe Festival

Edmonton is home to the largest fringe theater festival in the world. The Edmonton International Fringe Festival draws enormous crowds of approximately half a million in August for people all over the world to consume culture and art in a very unique way. Fringe theater is simply a form of theater that has not been mainstreamed. Often times these plays or performances deal with unusual or controversial subject matter, are low budget and profound in their pithiness. This festival is known worldwide and is a favorite for the town of Edmonton.

Edmonton Servus Heritage Festival

The Edmonton Servus Heritage Festival occurs on the first Monday of August and celebrates the ethnic diversity of Canada and Alberta. Hundreds of thousands of people come to this festival yearly since its inception since the mid-1970s. Alberta has a reason to celebrate its many ethnicities because of its high level of diversity. Though many of these groups are European there are also quite a few enclaves from the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Korea and many other countries. If you’re thinking about visiting for the festival you might want to consider sticking around for the Fringe Theater Festival later in the month!

K-Days or Edmonton’s Capital EX

K-Days has gone through many different name changes throughout the years, but in the end it is effectively an annual fair very much similar to a state fair in an American Midwest state. There are carnival type rides and exposition events as well as some rodeo type attractions.

Permanent Residents Get Canadian Health Care

One of the great things about being a Permanent Resident in Canada is that you will become eligible for health care three months after landing in your new home. Permanent Residency also allows immigrants to work, live and study anywhere in Canada indefinitely, the only trouble is applying. However, Immigration Direct offers help in filing for Permanent Residency for a nominal fee, so sign up today!

The Canadian health care system is considered to be extremely progressive because of its universality and nearly unanimous approval by Canadians themselves. Everyone in Canada is provided with health care and do not need to concern themselves with the confusion of insurance companies or even medical bills in most cases. Canada’s system also tends to bring down health care costs because medical providers don’t need to compete against each other. This makes the system even more affordable for the government.

The health care system in Canada is of course national, but it is administered by the individual provinces and territories. This means that there is some variation in coverage, but in general most medical bills are covered. Dental care, cosmetic surgery, pharmaceuticals and other ancillary expenses are not necessarily covered, but there is private insurance available if it is absolutely necessary to obtain these services.

Because the health care system is on a provincial basis it is important to register with your province’s health care service when you first come to Canada so that you are covered as soon as possible.

Because Canadians have free health care they are more likely to go to regular check-ups which leads to more preventative care and a reduced overall cost of medical expenses for the entire country.

Apply for your Permanent Resident Card today and take advantage of Canada’s opportunities as soon as possible!

Canadian Multiculturalism and Acceptance of Refugees

Canada is quite proud of its refugee and asylee programs due to its merits as a genuinely humanitarian quest. Whether you happen to be a refugee or just someone who is interested in immigrating to Canada, Immigration Direct can help you through the sometimes difficult process of applying for a visa.

Bill Clinton, the former two term president of the United States and leader of Democratic American thought had something rather profound to say about the nation of Canada:

“In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect.”

Indeed, this is true. It seems almost impossible or a pipe-dream to imagine people from a multitude of countries coming together when all you read about in the international newspapers is about constant fighting. Huge crowds of refugees wander the African continent, political captives try to eke out their livings in Asia, and nearly every continent on the planet has masses of people who are just barely trying to get along in their daily lives.

But Canada seems to be almost a paradise. In Canada, not only do refugees live side by side in harmony as former president Clinton says, but they actually improve their lives and begin to climb through the socio-economic ranks to success.

It is Canada’s accepted political position to be an officially multicultural state that makes this possible and makes it easy on immigrants who wish to improve their lives. By recognizing that a multitude of cultures can exist within Canada’s borders immigrants are not forced to immediately conform to mainstream society, but rather ease into it with the assistance of cultural enclaves located throughout the country.

A vast majority of these immigrants choose to go on and become full-fledged Canadians by applying for citizenship when they become eligible. Immigration direct will be there for you, just as it was when you applied for Permanent Residency, to apply for citizenship as well.