Canadian citizenship, a highly valued and coveted status, really only has one route to its successful completion.
- First, you have to live in Canada for three out of four years,
- Then you apply for citizenship,
- Then you take the test,
- Then you take the oath.
After that is all complete, you will receive your citizenship certificate in the mail.
However, the actually difficult part of this process is getting Permanent Residency in the first place. Anyone who has applied for a visa knows that getting Permanent Residency is more difficult that it appears.
Fortunately, Immigration Direct exists to help immigrants through these sometimes infuriating processes and get them on the path to Canadian citizenship. Citizenship not only allows a person to live and work in Canada, but also allows them to vote, and it is the participation in the democratic process that makes Canada citizens so envious in the world.
There are three rather popular ways to get Permanent Residency into Canada: through a spouse, in the Federal Skilled Worker Program, or as a student.
Permanent Residency through a Spouse
If you are already married to a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident it is much easier to get Permanent Residency on your own. Canada believes in maintaining family cohesiveness, so if you have already established that you are committed to living your life with someone, raising children, and the like, Canada would be very interested in having your family live together and grow within its borders.
However, immigration fraud is a very serious crime in Canada and immigration officials are very wary of marriages of convenience. A marriage of convenience is a type of fraud where two people decide to get ‘married’ (really only in a nominal sense) and then once the immigrant partner has either Permanent Residency or citizenship they simply divorce and go their separate ways, often after an exchange of money. Canada will not tolerate these arrangements and will revoke benefits if it is discovered.
Canada is one of the only countries in the world that will recognize a civil union or marriage between same sex couples as equivalent to heteronormative marriage for immigration benefits.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
The Federal Skilled Worker Program, which was just recently revamped, is bound to become very popular in the upcoming year because of the overwhelming support of the Prairie Provinces which desperately need skilled workers to come into their lands.
Skilled workers from other countries can apply for this program and almost immediately settle into their new Permanent Resident status.
There are, of course, other ways to get Permanent Residency through jobs in Canada as well, although they generally need a more explicit job offer.
Permanent Residency through a Student Visa
Canada has some of the best schools in the world and this fact is not lost on immigration services. They understand that by educating people they are making an investment in those students and to let them just leave when their studies are done is wasteful.
Canada allows immigrants who have studied at Canadian universities and worked at Canadian companies for a certain amount of years to get their Permanent Residency and, eventually, their citizenship.
Permanent Resident Cards eventually expire and when this happens residents will have to renew the document.
The renewal process timeline normally follows a very regular path: the application is submitted, processed, and then, if appropriate, granted to the applying immigrant. Few circumstances arise where the Permanent Resident Card will not be renewed.
The processing time for a renewal has been estimated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada as being 98 days from submission. This does not necessarily mean that you will receive your new PR Card in exactly 98 days from when you submitted your application. There are many instances where your PR could come earlier or later. What this designation means is that the card is much less likely to come later than about three months.
The waiting time for the renewal card varies significantly depending upon where you are applying from. When applying from within Canada the wait is slightly shorter, applying from outside of Canada will invariably prolong your wait.
If you are in a particular rush to receive your PR Card you may, in some cases, ask for urgent processing. There are two different sets of instructions for applying for urgent processing depending on whether or not you have already submitted your application.
Urgent Processing Before You Send Your Application
- Fill out your renewal application as usual.
- Include photocopies of both your proof of travel and payment. This could be a ticket, receipt or other such record, but they must have the date of your travel, your biographic information and your destination on the photocopied document.
- The exact words “Urgent—Proof of Travel Included” must be written clearly on the application package envelope.
Urgent Processing After You Send Your Application
If you have already sent in your application package, but wish for it to be processed urgently you can email the CIC with enough appropriate information to identify your package and the CIC may speed up the process. This is not a promise that the application will be significantly sped up, but the CIC will work on it.
Information that needs to be included in the email or fax must meet the CICs requirements exactly. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will contact you soon after you submit your application to inform you of the form’s new status in the processing timeline.
If it is not possible to obtain a replacement Permanent Resident Card in time to prove your right to reside in Canada when you are travelling abroad you will need to obtain a different document called a Travel Document.
Travel documents use an entirely different process from PR Cards and you will have to fill out Form IMM 5627 for submission to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
A Permanent Resident Card is the physical proof that Canadian Permanent Residents can use to show that they have the right to live, work and travel within Canada.
Residents in Canada, while they are allowed to stay indefinitely as Permanent Residents, must also notify the Canadian government when certain personal information changes. This is especially true when applying for renewal of a PR Card.
Most commonly, the information that changes from PR Card to PR Card is a person’s name, especially if they get married in the interim. To show that your name has been legally changed you can generally show a copy of your marriage certificate.
If there is an error or misprint on your PR Card, this is a different issue altogether and should be addressed as soon as possible. You will need to file for a correction and mail the card in to the CIC immediately. There is no charge for the correction of a misprint on a PR Card.
When applying for a new Permanent Resident Card you will need to fill out two different forms: IMM 5455, Supplementary Identification Form, and IMM 5444, Application for a Permanent Resident Card.
Along with these completed forms you may also need to submit additional documentation. These papers will be mentioned in the application packages and are case specific. Every applicant has different needs for their application processes.
Then, once the application package has been completed and the forms and fees have been assembled into the same envelope they are to be sent to the Case Processing Centre in Nova Scotia. However, there are different addresses where applications are to be sent.
For general mail applications send applications to:
P.O. Box 10020
For courier delivery, send applications to:
47 – 49 Dorchester Street
Here at Immigration Direct we have some helpful hints for you to consider when you begin to apply for citizenship in Canada. Keep in mind that these are just outlines and you should check out some of our other articles for more detailed descriptions of the process.
As a general rule if you are under the age of 18 you must have your parent or guardian apply for you. These dos and don’ts address concerns that adults may encounter during the process.
- Get Permanent Residency
Permanent Residency is the right to live, work and study in Canada and is required before you apply for citizenship. After you get citizenship it is significantly easier to get your relatives Permanent Residency as well!
You can’t become a citizen if you never bother to apply for it! Starting the application process is the first step to realizing your goal of becoming a citizen of Canada. Immigration Direct can help you start your application today online!
- Study for the test
When you apply for citizenship you will eventually have to demonstrate that you are familiar enough with Canadian society, government and history. It is a good idea to study for this test, but it is also likely that you will learn it during the course of your stay as a Permanent Resident.
- Learn English or French
English and French are the two official languages of Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada require citizens to be competent in at least one of them so that immigrants have an easier time adjusting to Canadian society. Fortunately you will get the opportunity to practice a lot during your stay as a temporary resident.
- Leave the country for long periods of time
The Canadian government requires that Permanent Residents actually live within Canada’s borders for at least three out of the four years prior to their application for citizenship. This does not necessarily mean that they have to be Permanent Residents the entire time. You can live for up to a year of those three under some other immigration designation.
- Commit Crimes
People who have had problems with the law will be precluded from consideration for citizenship. However, there are some circumstances where you can apply after a certain period of time.
- Lie on your application
Lying on your citizenship application—no matter how small an infraction—will be considered fraud and your application will be rejected. The CIC has recently been cracking down on fraudulent citizenship claims, so it is very important to file correctly if you want to be able to keep your citizenship certificate.
After you apply for your citizenship certificate it may take some time for it to be processed. This can be bothersome, but if your application is filed correctly you can be sure that it will be processed and pretty soon you will be able to take the oath and be an official Canadian citizen!
Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, Jason Kenney, announced a new federal Skilled Trades Program earlier in the month and industry leaders have been coming out in support according to a Citizenship and Immigration Canada press release.
Michael Atkinson, the President of the Canadian Construction Association said that it would be impossible to meet the labour demands of the country based on a domestic workforce alone.
“Of the 320,000 new workers that we’ll need by 2020, the Construction Council says about half of those are going to have to come from foreign trained workers,” Atkinson said.
The new program is generally regarded as being much friendlier to Canadian trade organizations, whereas the previous system was designed so poorly that it may have contributed to an immense labor shortage.
Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Congress applauded Minister Kenney for “providing a dedicated path for skilled tradespersons with the rights [sic] skills and experience to apply for permanent residency in Canada.”
Beatty claims that Western Canada is having a particularly difficult time filling positions and that it is a necessity that they hire foreign workers.
“I think it’s definitely a small though positive step in the right direction because over the last decade we have made it harder and harder for people to come in through the skilled workers program,”
“The new skilled trades stream will make the federal program relevant and accessible, once again, for skilled tradespersons,” Canada West Foundation research fellow, Robert Vineberg said, “A carpenter need not be able to speak English or French at the same level as a university professor, so long as he or she can communicate effectively with an employer or customer.
Other organizations that have voiced their excitement about the new program include the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Merit Contractors Association in Alberta, the Canadian Welding Association, the Canadian Welding Bureau, the Alberta Construction Association, Calgary Economic Development, Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education, the Canada West Foundation, and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.
“We need to work together with other industries and governments on a comprehensive national strategy to address the acute labour and skills shortage,” David Lindsay, of Forest Products Association of Canada said, “The dedicated program announced today is one step in that direction.”
Whether you are applying for Permanent Resident Status or Canadian citizenship there are some nominal fees that must be paid to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The fees go to the governmental organization to maintain its infrastructure, pay government workers and to process your paperwork.
There are many other immigration forms, certificates, requests and proofs that you can apply for that require certain fees and Immigration Direct has compiled them from the CIC in this article for your reference. All dollar amounts are in Canadian dollars, check conversion rates for exact values.
- The Right to Be a Citizenship is $100.
- The Grant of Citizenship is $100.
- Retention of Citizenship costs $100.
- Resumption of Citizenship costs $100.
- Renunciation of Citizenship is $100.
- A Proof of Citizenship costs $75.
- A Sponsorship Application for a Family Visa costs $75.
- The Principal applicant of a Family Visa must pay $475, unless they are under 22 years of age, in which case they pay $75.
- Family members who are being sponsored and are older than 22 pay $550, if they are under 22 they pay $150.
- The Principal applicant of an Investor Class Visa must pay $1,050.
- Family members of the Principal applicant of the Investor Class Visa pay $550 if they are over 22, $150 if they are under 22.
- Principal applicants of all other immigration visas pay $550 per application.
- Family members of the principal applicants of all other immigration visas pay $550 if they are older than 22, $150 if they are younger than 22.
- Multiple entry Temporary Visas are $150.
- Single entry Temporary Visas are $75.
- If you need to get a visa to travel through Canada and the trip will take less than two days the visa is free.
- Work permits are $150.
- Study permits are $125.
- Sponsorship applications to remain in Canada Permanent Residents are $75 per application.
- Principal applicants to remain in Canada as Permanent Residents cost $475.
- Family members of applicants who are petitioning to remain in Canada as Permanent Residents must pay $550 if they are over 22 years of age and $150 if they are younger.
- Permit Holders Class fees for Applicants are $325.
- To acquire Permanent Resident Status in Canada applicants must pay $490 unless they are dependents of the applicant or are protected (as in the case of refugee or asylee status.
- To extend Temporary Resident Status the application processing fee is $75.
- A Restoration of Temporary Resident Status Application cost $200.
- To get a Permanent Resident Card you will need to pay a $50 fee.
- To renew or replace a Permanent Resident Card the fee is also $50.
- The fee to replace an immigration document is $30.
- An Application for a travel document is $50.
- For a determination of rehabilitation if your inadmissibility is based on criminality is $200.
- For a determination of rehabilitation if your inadmissibility is based on severe criminality you will need to pay $1,000.
- An authorization to return to Canada costs $400.
- To apply for the repayment of removal expenses you will need to pay $750 if it is to the United States or St.Pierre and Miquelon, and $1,500 if it is to any other country.
All payments must be made to Citizenship and Immigration Canada and are separate from Immigration Direct’s service fees.
The Canadian Permanent Resident Card is a document that proves that you can live, work and study within Canada indefinitely and is an important document to have as a Permanent Resident. If you travel outside of Canada you will need it to re-enter the country. You will also need this card to apply for certain services as well as when you are applying for Canadian Citizenship.
If you already had a Permanent Resident Card, but it has been lost, stolen or otherwise destroyed you will need to obtain a replacement as soon as you can. The process for replacing your Permanent Resident Card is very similar to applying for your first PR Card with a few modifications.
The first thing that you should do after your PR Card has been lost, stolen or destroyed is to call the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Call Centre to report the loss. This is to ensure that if someone tries to steal your identity you will be protected and not be suspect of trying to sell your Permanent Resident Card. Protecting your identity is very important.
The application fee to replace your Permanent Resident Card will be $50, made payable to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This payment is to be included in your application package.
You will need to gather certain information regarding your identity and status in Canada along with your application. Photocopies will be fine as long as they are clear.
- You will need to include photocopies of the pages in your current passport (you can also use the passport that you were using when you were first granted Permanent Resident Status) these documents will serve to prove your identity and describe some of your history.
- It is a good idea to find a local, professional photographer to help you create the photographs that you will need to submit with the application.
- You will also need some additional identification documentation. This could be the document confirming your landing in Canada, a driver’s license, or a student ID card.
- Some sort of documentation showing that you have been in Canada recently will be needed. This requirement is easily satisfied by a few income tax returns.
After you have all the necessary documentation you will need to fill out the actual form which you can find right here on immigrationdirect.ca.
Once the form is complete you simply package it up with your documents and your payment and mail it in to the office that is most appropriate for your location. The CIC may ask you to submit more information, but otherwise you should receive your replacement in the matter of a few months.
The Canadian Experience Class is one of the best ways to become a Permanent Resident in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under the guidance of Minister Jason Kenney has even recently announced that Canada will be allowing even more immigrants to get their PR Cards through this designation.
This is how the Canadian Experience Class works: as a temporary resident of Canada you have been working full-time in Canada for at least two years in a skilled profession. You then apply for the Canadian Experience Class within one year of leaving your current job and then after meeting all of the other requirements you will receive your Permanent Resident Card.
As a recently graduated student of a post-secondary degree in Canada you have also gained one year of skilled work experience within Canada you can apply for Permanent Residency.
True of both routes listed above you will also need to show that you are able to speak either English or French and provide proof to this fact. Certain actions may make you inadmissible such as being convicted of a crime. If you have committed any crimes you may not be able to immigrate in the Canadian Experience Class.
The application process is very similar to other applications for immigration benefits in Canada and can be somewhat difficult, but it can be made easier with Immigration Direct’s help! The first step in applying for the Canadian Experience Class is to gather certain documents. The application requires very specific documents to prove such things as your identity, your legal status in Canada and your proficiency in one of the national languages. You will then fill out the application form, pay the fees for the form and mail it in to the proper application center.
The fees for the Canadian Experience Class are $550 for the principal applicant (you) , $550 for your spouse (husband or wife) and $150 per other family member provided that they are under 22 years of age.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada says that the approximate amount of time that it takes to process your application is 13 months. However, these estimates are subject to rather dramatic change at any time due to any change in general demand, so it’s a good idea to apply as soon as you can. Now if it’s possible!
After you have applied for the Canadian Experience Class you will be sent a letter by Citizenship and Immigration Canada telling you whether or not you have been accepted and what to do to prepare for your interview with an immigration officer. If all goes smoothly Citizenship and Immigration Canada will mail you your brand new Permanent Resident Card promptly!
One of the best parts of this program is that your temporary status familiarizes you with Canada. It’s almost as if you are test-driving the country! After you get your Permanent Resident status you only have to wait a few years to become a full-blown citizen of one of the greatest countries in the word: the Dominion of Canada!
Canada will be starting a brand new immigration program at the very beginning of the New Year. As of January 2, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be accepting applications for the new program which is targeted towards tradespeople who are in-demand across the country. This program is only the newest in a long line of immigration paths and routes. You can find out more about immigrating to Canada through Immigration Direct.
The Federal Skilled Trades Program will primarily concern itself with bringing well-trained tradespeople to the provinces to work primarily upon construction projects. Electricians, plumbers, masons and the like are consistently in high-demands, but the government often unintentionally overlooks them as a class. This program intends to remedy this problem.
If you are accepted in this program you will be given the chance to become a Permanent Resident and eventually a citizen of Canada. Permanent residency and citizenship are immigration statuses that confer a great deal of rights and privileges to their holders and the vast majority of immigrants to Canada seek them for security of their rights.
To be eligible for the new program you must meet four requirements. Greater detail will be included in the form to be made available in January.
- The first requirement is that you have to have a job waiting for you in Canada already. Alternatively you can obtain a certificate that shows that you are ready to work in your particular field upon landing in Canada. However, the point is that you must be able to show that there is demand for you in Canada.
- You must also be competent in either of the two primary official languages of Canada: English or French. Competency will be determined in further instructions in January.
- Two years of personal and hands on experience in your profession of choice are also necessary. More experience is always better and can be to your advantage, but less will almost certainly disqualify you from the program.
- The National Occupational Classification System puts together lists of professions and requirements set forth to standardize those jobs. You must be able to meet their criteria in order to be considered for the program.
Citizenship and immigration Canada has been very concerned with improving the Canadian immigration system and the Federal Skilled Trades Program is yet another improvement courtesy of Minister Jason Kenney. Most of the improvements that the conservative government has made have been to streamline processes and it is this word that CIC uses in its press release about the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Heightening the efficiency of these systems has been a large focus of this government and you can surely look forward to more improvements in the future.
In Canada, as a Permanent Resident or citizen, you are entitled to collect Employment Insurance (EI). While there are a few different kinds of EI, it is made available to those who are willing to work, but for one reason or another cannot. The reasons for being out of work are the basis for which type of insurance you collect.
EI is managed by Service Canada and is funded by both you and your employer. The Canadian government simply manages the funds in a fair way as to benefit the most deserving. There are six general forms of Employment Insurance that you may take advantage of as a landed immigrant in Canada.
Employment Insurance Regular Benefits.
- This type of insurance is available for those who are willing to work, but are unable to find a job. In order to qualify for these benefits you must also have lost a job, but not have been the cause of your own unemployment. When collecting regular benefits it is advisable to record what you are doing to find a job so that you can show the Canadian government that you are sincere.
Employment Insurance Maternity and Parental Benefits.
- Maternity and Parental Benefits are made available because the Canadian government recognizes that there are some circumstances where it is more beneficial to society for you to dedicate your time to your family instead of your job. It is made available to those who are pregnant or involved in taking care of an infant or recovering from childbirth. Adoptive parents may also be allowed to collect EI under this category.
Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits.
- You can also apply for EI if you have a medical problem that will make it difficult or impossible for you to work. This type particularly makes sense if you happen to have a long term, communicable disease because if you don’t have to work you are less likely to make others sick. Injuries that make it impossible for you to work also qualify for this type of EI.
Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits.
- Unfortunately, there are some circumstances where you may have a relative who is terminally ill. This type of EI will allow you to be away from work in order to care for your family member. If you are unable to exactly care for your relative you can also provide support for them and still collect Compassionate Card Benefits.
Employment Insurance Fishing Benefits.
- Because of the seasonal nature of fishery you may collect Employment Insurance as a fisherman in the off season. This is provided that you are both self-employed and currently seeking work without avail.
Employment Insurance Special benefits for Self-Employed People
- You can also collect Employment Insurance for any of the other conditions if you are self-employed, but there are different conditions and regulations regarding this. It is important that you look into Employment Insurance carefully if you are self-employed.
There are extensive regulations determining eligibility for Employment Insurance and its limitations. On occasion Immigration Direct will return to this subject to give you further information on the topic.