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The official website for Canada’s immigration ministry is CIC.GC.CA. To remember the website name use this as a memory aid: Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Government of Canada. CAnada.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is responsible for the processing and administration of immigration applications and petitions for the entirety of Canada. Popular forms include applications for Permanent Residency and Citizenship.

CIC is also in charge of the control of Canada’s borders and the funding of important immigration programs. Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Below are some of the services and resources that are available on their website:

  • Immigrate to Canada. You can learn about the many different pathways available to immigrants for gaining permanent residency in the United States.
  • Visit Canada. Tourists looking to see the sights in Canada like Niagara Falls or beautiful British Colombia look no further for your visa needs!
  • Work in Canada. Find out ways to find work in Canada’s exciting and robust economy. Alberta is particularly strong at the moment due to the discovery of large petrochemical deposits.
  • Study in Canada. Canada is home to many fine universities and the CIC even offers programs that can help you get Permanent Residency after you graduate.
  • Canadian Citizenship. The CIC is responsible for granting citizenship to those who are eligible and apply. Some people are also unwittingly eligible for citizenship because of family members.
  • Guides for New Immigrants. Moving to Canada can be a bit of a shock to some people, but the CIC is there to help. These topics are also often covered in the Immigration Direct Blog.
  • Canadian Relations. Canadians who want to help relatives immigrate can sponsor them through various CIC programs.
  • You can also check your application status online to track how well your application process is going.
  • Processing time estimates are available on the website and Immigration Direct regularly reports on these.
  • You can also pay your immigration fees online, otherwise you may have to pay at a Canadian bank.
  • Lists of the various CIC offices throughout the Canadian provinces and territories are available on CIC’s website as well as this blog.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is the government body that controls immigration in Canada, but they can sometimes be a bit confusing in their explanations of document lists, applications and so forth.

At Immigration Direct, we pay attention to the concerns and questions of immigrants looking for answers on the web and we provide them.

When you’re ready to begin your journey to Permanent Residency and eventually citizenship in Canada, look no further than Immigration direct!

Canada Immigration Where Do I start?

Probably the first step to ask yourself when considering Permanent Residency in Canada is why you want to move to Canada.

There are so many different answers, appropriate for any sort of taste. Below are some reasons that you may want to consider for immigrating to Canada:

  • You have family in Canada. You have some relatives who already live in one of the provinces and you would like to move to Canada to be closer to them.
  • You want to start working in one of the strongest economies in the world. You have skills that Canada need or you are a professional in a line of work that Canada lacks and you want to contribute to the country’s strength and make some money for yourself too!
  • You want to start living in Canada, but you’re still a student and haven’t quite developed the skills that Canada prefers. This isn’t a problem, there’s a program for you too!
  • You have some capital that you want to invest into a business in Canada and hire people within the country.
  • You want to take advantage of Canada’s guaranteed civil liberties and human right.

Below, we’ll give you some ideas for where you should start on your journey to immigrating to Canada:

Family Sponsorship Family sponsorship

If you have relatives who are citizens or Permanent Residents in Canada they can sponsor your immigration process into Canada. Eligible relations:

  • Spouses,
  • Partners,
  • Children,
  • Parents,
  • Grandparents, and
  • Siblings.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

People who have experience in important trades are wanted in Canada. Provinces in the Western part of Canada are particularly in need of skilled professionals and they will sponsor your Permanent Residence if you are able to meet their qualifications.

Canadian Experience Class

Deciding to become a student in Canada is an excellent idea! Canadian universities are regarded as some of the best in the world and you will find a world of opportunities available to you upon completion of your studies. This is particularly true because of the Canadian Experience Class of Permanent Residency. Canada doesn’t really want to just kick you out of the country upon your completion of your stories, rather it would be preferable to have you now live in Canada permanently. Check out the Canadian Experience Class for more information.

Start-Up Visa Program

People who have a good amount of money to invest into the Canadian economy can apply to come to one of the provinces to start a business and begin to hire Canadian employees. This program was only recently introduced and applications will be accepted soon.

Refugee or Asylee Status

Canada is considered to be one of the freest countries in the world and as a result is a prime destination for refugees and asylees. There are a few different ways to immigrate to Canada as a refugee, most of the time it occurs when you have entered a port of entry and declare asylum within the Canada.

Jobs in Canada

For hundreds of years people have immigrated to Canada in hopes of finding employment and starting a new life in the old world. Although there isn’t much room for fur trappers anymore, there are scads of jobs just waiting for you in the Nation of Immigrants!

Canada has many different provinces and separate geographies from which to choose from and find jobs in. Each region has its own set of industries, but we can generally break them down into three larger economic Categories.

  • Resources
  • Manufacturing
  • Service

ResourcesJobs in Canada

Canada is rich in resources and always has been. In the eastern provinces fishing is a very important industry and many people migrate to the Atlantic Provinces to become fishers. Maple Syrup is collected in these areas as well and in central Canada. Oil and gas is highly plentiful in western and northern Canada and there are extensive jobs available for those who wish to work for the oil companies.

Also located out in the western provinces are large forests that provide significant amounts of lumber, fields for farming grain or canola and mines. Most folks have heard of the California gold rush that occurred in the middle of the 19th century, but did you know that Canada had its own gold rush in the Yukon 50 years later? Aside from gold, Canada also mines diamonds, uranium, nickel and lead.


The manufacturing sector of the Canadian economy is probably the smallest part, but it should not be discounted because it has a reputation of being relatively stable. There are many car manufacturing branches for American and Japanese cars as well as airplanes. Also, considering the large amount of oil and gas production, all of that material has to be processed and refined into such things as motor oil, petroleum, heating fuel and kerosene. A lot of paper production occurs in Canada near where the foresting companies operate.


The service industry, the third level of the economy that interacts more with the consumer than the actual material, is probably the largest and most powerful part of the Canadian economy.

There is a very large amount of the working population that works in retail in Canada in malls or shops or other stores, but there are even larger endeavors. Banking, financial institutions, real estate and financial trading are all very important to Canada and are what make it part of the 8 most economically powerful countries in the world.

Tourism and entertainment are also very important in Canada. Many Canadian television shows are syndicated internationally, and movies produced there are shown all over the world. Canada is a very beautiful country and has many fantastic parks that people from all over the world visit in large numbers. This is where the tourism sector garners a lot of its revenue.

Canada Immigration: Where Do I Start?

Getting to Know Canada

Probably the first step in immigrating to Canada is to become somewhat familiar with its culture and environment. This can, of course, be accomplished in your own home by simply researching what it is like to live in Canada.

However, you could also, potentially visit Canada on a tourist visa to see what the country is like in person. Many countries have agreements with Canada to not require visas for visitors and you may be from one of those countries.

Immigrate to Canada

An important thing to remember about visiting Canada is you cannot immigrate as a tourist or visitor. People who overstay their visas may be subject to difficulties in their immigration proceedings later on. If you visit, you’ll have to leave. But you can always come back.

Already a Citizen?

Many people qualify to be citizens of Canada and are not even aware of it. You may be a citizen already if:

  • You were born in Canada and have a provincial birth certificate; or
  • If one or both of your parents are Canadian citizens at the time of your birth abroad.

Just because you are eligible or qualify for citizenship does not mean that you are automatically a citizen, you will still have to apply for citizenship with the CIC.

Get a Job

Canada is very aware of the important and positive impact that immigrants can have on the economy and are therefore very encouraging of bringing in skilled labor and professionals.

This process will eventually lead to Permanent Residency in Canada. Permanent Residency is the right to live and work in Canada indefinitely. This status doesn’t really go away unless you somehow violate the rules for maintaining the status.

There are some new and revamped programs coming up in 2013:

  • The New Federal Skilled Worker Program helps skilled workers get jobs throughout the provinces.
  • The Canadian Experience Class has been around for a while, but they’ll be taking in even more people this year. People who have already gotten degrees in Canada or who have an amount of work experience in the country can apply for Permanent Resident Cards under this classification.
  • The Start-Up Visa program will replace the old entrepreneur system, but is very similar. This program begins on the first of February, 2013.

Family Ties

Do you have relatives who live in Canada? You may be able to immigrate based on their presence or citizenship in Canada. The relative in Canada, regardless of what relation they may be must be able to sponsor your immigration.

Sponsorship means that a family member can file on your behalf and support your transition into Canadian society both emotionally and financially. Find out more about becoming a Permanent Resident through family here.

Asylees or Refugees

People who find themselves persecuted in one country and then go to another for relief are called refugees or asylees. Canada accepts large numbers of refugees and asylees yearly. The process for immigrating to Canada as a refugee is much different from typical Permanent Residency and one should contact the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada for more information.

Canada Work Permit and OHIP

While Canadian Work Permits do not entitle a person to OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan), they can help you segue into Permanent Residency in Canada. With Permanent Residency you have full access to work, live and enjoy health benefits anywhere in Canada.

You can find out more about getting Permanent Residency in our articles section.

Canada Work Permit

Work permits are issued to temporary residents who wish to work in Canada. When you apply for one of these documents you will have to organize an application package to submit to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Below are some of the documents you will probably need to complete your package.

IMM 5488

(The Document Checklist). This document is to help you keep track of all of your application documents. You will also need to include it in your application package.

IMM 1295

(Application for Work Permit Made Outside Canada). This is the application where you will be requesting the actual work permit.

IMM 5645

(Family Information). In this document you will be including the information about your family members, regardless of whether or not they will be accompanying you to Canada.

IMM 5257 Schedule 1

(Schedule 1 Application for Temporary Resident Visa). This application is necessary for your visa which will allow you to enter Canada to begin working.

IMM 5409

(Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union). This will be necessary to confirm the validity of your marriage or relationship upon entering Canada.
Photograph specifications will also be included. A local professional photographer will be able to help you take proper immigration photos.

IMM 5476

(Use of a Representative). If you have someone help you complete your application you will have to have them complete this form as well.

IMM 5487

(Instruction Guide). Further instructions, guidelines and rules will be included in this document and will be indispensable for your application process.

If you are considering becoming a temporary resident of Canada to work, you might possibly qualify for Permanent Residency under the new Federal Skilled Worker Program.

temporary worker resident


Every province and territory in Canada has its own health insurance plan that works in concert with the federal government to ensure that everyone in Canada has access to necessary health care options. However, this of course means that cosmetic or elective surgery is not covered by Canadian health insurance.

In the case of Ontario, the health insurance plan is called OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). It is available to Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents and in some cases other protected groups. However, you must go, in-person, to the OHIP office to start receiving the health insurance plan.

How it works is when you have a medical issue you simply visit a doctor’s office, present your OHIP card and the visit is taken care of. Past being able to get yourself to a doctor’s office you don’t have to do anything!

Canada’s health care system is one of the best in the world and is a major draw for many immigrants all over the world.

What Is the CIC?

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is the department in the Canadian government which is tasked with providing immigration services to the country.

The CIC is headed by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, this person is currently Minister Jason Kenney. Many of Citizenship and Immigration’s press releases come from speeches or policy decisions made by Minister Kenney.

CIC’s service centres which operate all over the world provides services such as student and work permits, temporary and Permanent Resident visas and citizenship applications.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is also largely responsible for the immigration policy of the country and its subsequent enforcement.

In the past few years Minister Kenney has been cracking down on immigration fraud on all classes of immigration within Canada with great success.

The Honourable Jason Kenney

Not only has he saved the government large amounts of money, but he has managed to make many of the immigration benefits available in Canada more valuable by dint of their high standards and qualifications.

Canada, as a country is very supportive of immigration, especially because of certain language written into the government’s documents that protects the people’s right to multiculturalism.

Immigration is recognized as a necessary and important force in the Canadian economy. In fact, the economy has been dependent upon immigration since its early colonization! A vast majority of the people in Canada are descended from immigrants or are immigrants themselves. Without people coming into Canada there would be no way to fill all of the jobs available throughout the country, particularly in the western part where the population is less dense.

Multiculturalism itself was written into the constitution of Canada as a way to respect all of the peoples and cultures and ethnicities within the country. A very clear example of the implementation of multiculturalism can be found in the official languages. When a language is declared to be official it enjoys a certain level of privilege.

Government documents must be available in all of the official languages and it is required that immigrants be able to speak at least one of them. French and English are the most commonly used official languages, but there are many aboriginal languages that also have official status. There has even been discussion about making Tagalog an official language of Canada since it is so widely spoken in some areas.

Canada also takes on large amounts of refugees into its border every year and the regulation of these people is also part of CIC’s responsibility. The refugee and asylum visa is one of the most taken-advantage-of immigration benefits in the country and Minister Kenney has been very serious about ensuring that people who really do need that kind of relief can get it, and fraudsters are not allowed.

The granting and celebration of citizenship is probably the most fun of any of the immigration services provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Many people choose to become citizens during citizenship week in October. After three years of Permanent Residency immigrants can apply for citizenship and enjoy the full benefits of living in the Dominion of Canada!

Recreation in Canada

When you are considering becoming a Permanent Resident of Canada one of you primary objectives should be finding a good job of course. There are many great jobs in Canada available to you and the immigration department is very supportive of helping find you employment. In fact, recent changes to the immigration system have been very focused on this aspect and a new skilled worker program will be starting in May.

Permanent Residency is particularly great because it can eventually lead to Canadian citizenship, a highly coveted status. With citizenship you would have the full rights and protections of the Dominion of Canada as well as belonging to a great country that you can call home.

Living in a wonderful and beautiful country is of course the goal, but it isn’t always enough. What, for instance, are you supposed to do in your spare time in your new home? Though this thought is posed as a question, it really isn’t much of a problem and isn’t difficult to answer at all. Canada offers a multitude of things to do aside from work.

Because Canada is located pretty far north a lot of the recreation available has to do with winter sports, but there are yet more things to do aside from skiing or skating!

  • Tourism. Canada is a very large country with a large diversity of landscapes and a multitude of beautiful national parks. You could potentially tour Canada for your entire life and never see all of the beautiful things it has to offer. Some great tourist destinations are Quebec City, Niagara Falls, the Yukon Trail and British Colombia.
  • Winter Sports. As we mentioned before winter sports are very popular in Canada. Hockey, ice-skating, curling, skiing, snow ball fights and ice sculptures are all available and very fun. Just because it’s snowing doesn’t mean that you have to stay indoors!
  • Fly fishing. There are huge numbers of fresh water lakes in Canada which were left over from the last glaciers that crushed the landscape millennia ago and they offer a variety of recreation as well. In addition to boating, kayaking or swimming you can also try out fly fishing. Different from other kinds of fishing where the lure provides the weight for the cast-off, in fly fishing it is the fishing line that has the weight needed to send out your lure. The lure itself is designed to imitate a fly on the top of the water to attract fish. Fly fishing is considered to be a highly contemplative and rewarding sport.
  • Music. Many places in Canada are regarded as being important centers of music and concerts play across Canada all the time. Whether you prefer folk music, rock or classical you can find your favorite style nearby. Some famous Canadian Musicians are Neil Young, Justin Bieber, Leonard Cohen, Deadmau5 and Gordon Lightfoot (regarded as the most popular Canadian singer songwriter).

So, as you can see, not only can you have a stable job in Canada, but you can enjoy your spare time as well! Immigrate to Canada today with Immigration Direct!

Immigrate to Canada on International Migrants’ Day!

Canada is becoming increasingly interested in taking in many more immigrants as a part of their immigration reforms. It has never been a better time to apply for Permanent Residency in Canada!

Hopefully, to add to the excitement and enthusiasm of these times today is International Migrants’ Day. Today is a day to recognize the importance of immigrants and to join them in solidarity.

The world has, in effect, become smaller and smaller over the past century with the use of many different kinds of technology, in particular communications technology. In the matter of a few hundred years the world has gone from being unaware of some continents to being able to mail a letter in the matter of a few months to now where communication with any part of the world can be instantaneous.

Transportation technology has developed as well. No longer are we limited to horses and carriages and boats to get from one land to another. Human kind has at its disposal the ability to move massive numbers of people at incredibly speedy rates.

What this all means is that borders have become more permeable and the desire to travel and immigrate is no longer as severely hampered by the threat of poor technology.

The world’s economy is becoming global, and this is not a bad thing at all, in fact it could bode well for the development of all of humanity. The exchange of goods, services, skills, and intellectual power is what strengthens economies. Stagnation and isolation are what truly damage economies as has been demonstrated throughout history.

This date is also important for some countries to recognize migrants’ rights. Occasionally the rights of immigrants are infringed upon in their new homes and they become marginalized parts of societies. This event exists to remind everyone that there are people out there trying to make their own lives better as well as the lives of others.

Canada, of course, has governmental offices that are very good at keeping to helping immigrants in all sorts of ways. Very rarely are immigrants in Canada marginalized severely. The immigration requirements of Citizenship and Immigration Canada are designed to make the transition to Canada as easy as possible and reduce the likelihood of feelings of alienation.

Canada’s well-rooted groups of immigrants serve as support groups to those people entering the country and there are a great many educational programs designed to get folks used to living in Canada.

Canada is over-all a very tolerant and friendly place to live. After you’ve gotten your Permanent Residency you should then think about becoming a Citizen so that you can enjoy the full benefits of Canadian Residency.

Canadian Immigration Processing Times

After you apply for benefits with the Canadian government you must wait a certain amount of time before you will get an answer. This length of time varies depending on how many people are applying on that particular form, background checks, backlogs and other administrative processing.

It isn’t possible to speed this process up, all you can do is wait. This is why it is imperative that the form you are submitting is properly filled out and filed. If the form is rejected and sent back to you this will further delay your application and you will have to wait even longer for your immigration benefits. Immigration Direct offers products that can help you file properly for Citizenship certificates, Permanent Resident Card Renewals and Replacements, as well as filing for your very first Permanent Resident Card.

If you are a Permanent Resident and you want to travel outside of Canada you must have your Permanent Resident Card with you at all times. Permanent Resident Cards can also help you apply for other social benefits within Canada.

Below are some of the more common processing time estimates. Be sure to check back with Immigration Direct for the latest updates as these times are subject to change from time to time.

  • Citizenship: After you have applied for citizenship and you have received a receipt confirming that Citizenship and Immigration Canada it takes approximately 21 months until you can take your oath and become a full citizen. However, you can of course remain a Permanent Resident for the entire period of time that you wait.
  • Citizenship Certificate: If you have lost or misplaced your citizenship certificate and need it to be replaced the process takes about five months for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to find out if you are a citizen and re-issue a certificate. If you are applying for a new citizenship certificate outside of Canada, say, at an embassy, the processing time is more than doubled and will take a little over a year to process.
  • Permanent Resident Cards: If you are applying for your first Permanent Resident Card the approximate waiting period is about 58 days. If you are applying for a renewal or a replacement of an already existing PR Card the wait time is about 90 days. However, in the case of a renewal or replacement there are some circumstances where you can expedite the process and get a replacement quicker.

Other miscellaneous application processing times:

Application Wait Time for Mailed Applications Wait Time for Online Applications
Visitor Visa Three Months Three Months
Study Permit Three months One Month
Work Permit for a New Employer Two and a Half Months Two and a Half Months
Work Permit for the Same Employer Three Months Two and a Half Months

Keep in mind that Immigration Direct is there to help you through your immigration processes and the best way to speed up the process is to file right the first time!