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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