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How to Get Permanent Residency in Canada

What Is Permanent Residency

Permanent Residency is an immigration status in Canada that allows immigrants the right to live and work within the country for as long as they like.

Other foreign residents who come to Canada either need to obtain visas for longer visits or work permits to hold a job. They also are not allowed to stay in Canada indefinitely.

Permanent Resident Cards can be used by Permanent Residents in Canada for public services and other purposes. The status never expires, but the card does.

Permanent Residents looking to renew or replace their PR Cards should use a different process than the one described in this piece.

Determine Your Eligibility

There are a number of immigration programs made available through Citizenship and Immigration Canada and each of them is available for a certain set of qualifications.

Below is a list of the more popular immigration programs in Canada:

  • Federal Skilled Workers Program. This program allows you to file for immigration with the federal government on the strength of your particular field of experience in the work force.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program. The FST program is available to tradespeople who wish to immigrate to Canada to continue work in their trade.
  • Canadian Experience Class. The CEC program allows temporary workers or students who have been in Canada for a time already to apply for permanent residency without leaving the country first.
  • Family Sponsorship. Permanent Residents and citizens of Canada can help their family members abroad immigrate to the United States. Spouses, children, parents and siblings are typically the relations allowed to immigrate on this visa.
  • Refugee Visas. If you have fled your home country because of a fear of persecution you may be eligible for refugee status in Canada. This visa undergoes strict scrutiny to prevent fraud.

Gather Relevant Documents

Once you have decided how you will immigrate to Canada you will need to assemble the appropriate information for your application. You may need some or all of these documents.

  • Passports
  • Birth certificates
  • Education records
  • Work records
  • Family records
  • Citizenship documents
  • Permanent Residence documents (from another country other than Canada)
  • Translations of any required documents and accompanying affidavits


The Government form required by immigrants to receive their Permanent Resident Cards is called IMM 5444. Once this form is filled out it should then be sent to the appropriate processing office.

Be sure to include the receipt recording your payment of the associated immigration fee within your application package. Incomplete packages will be returned to sender.

An interview may be required to ensure that your application is complete and correct.

Enter Your New Home!

Canada is an enormous country full of opportunity and with a Permanent Resident Card you will have full access to its many benefits and freedoms.

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