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Becoming a Canadian permanent resident

Photo ©Carolyn B. Heller

Have you deci­ded to set­tle in Cana­da per­ma­nent­ly or for an exten­ded time ? Do you want to come to Cana­da before you have a job lined up ? Are you plan­ning to launch a busi­ness in Cana­da ? Are you alrea­dy living in Cana­da with a work per­mit but you want to remain in the coun­try indefinitely ?

Then you should apply to become a Cana­dian per­ma­nent resident.

Once you become a Cana­dian per­ma­nent resident, it doesn’t mean that you must live in Cana­da per­ma­nent­ly. Howe­ver, to main­tain your resident sta­tus, you have to live in Cana­da for at least two of eve­ry five years.

Cana­da has a “point sys­tem” for eva­lua­ting per­ma­nent resi­dence appli­ca­tions. You must have a mini­mum num­ber of points for your appli­ca­tion to be consi­de­red, and the more points you have, the more like­ly that your appli­ca­tion will get the green light. You get points for your edu­ca­tion, the type and dura­tion of your work expe­rience, your fluen­cy in English and/or French, your age (you get the most points if you’re over 21 but under 50), and whe­ther you alrea­dy have a job or poten­tial job in Canada.

If you have a spouse or com­mon-law part­ner, you get addi­tio­nal points for his/her edu­ca­tion and work expe­rience. In fact, you can decide whe­ther you or your spouse/partner should be the “principal appli­can­t” based on which one of you would have the grea­ter num­ber of points. The Citi­zen­ship and Immi­gra­tion Cana­da web­site includes a cal­cu­la­tor that can help esti­mate the num­ber of points you and your spouse/partner would have.

Read more about the pro­cess of beco­ming a Cana­dian per­ma­nent resident on the Citi­zen­ship and Immi­gra­tion Cana­da web­site.

– Excerp­ted from the book, Living Abroad in Cana­da. To read more, buy the book.

Pho­to ©Carolyn B. Heller