For centuries, Canada has been regarded as one of the best places in the world for immigration prospects.
The opportunities for work and personal enrichment are amazing and the immigration rules for permanent residency are relatively flexible. The country also offers safety and security, awe-inspiring environments, incredible health and social care benefits, and more.
One of the highlights for potential immigrants aiming for permanent residency is that there are so many varied paths and programs to pursue – there are more than 100 economic immigration pathways in Canada.
The Canadian goal is to attract people with varied skills who will contribute to the economic growth of the country.
Whichever path you decide to follow, you will need to follow a specified process. Presuming you are eligible and you meet all the requirements, you will receive a passport request (PPR).
Undoubtedly the most exciting step in the immigration process, the PPR Canada sends is the last step before you receive confirmation of permanent residence. They will need your passport to finalize your application.
Assessing your eligibility for permanent residency
The Canadian Government is widely recognized for having simplified immigration procedures. They make it easy for applicants to assess their eligibility for permanent residency and find the best ways to achieve this goal.
So, how do you assess your eligibility?
It all depends on the pathway you choose and how you qualify. For instance, if you are a skilled worker, you can immigrate using the popular Express Entry route. You can immigrate as a caregiver, or you can opt for a start-up visa and immigrate by starting a business in Canada and creating jobs for other people.
If you are nominated by a Canadian province you can become a provincial nominee. If a relative can sponsor you that will give you a different route to pursue. If you speak French, the Quebec-selected skilled workers’ option might appeal to you.
The Express Entry system is the fastest way skilled workers can get permanent residence in Canada.
It’s an online system that the federal government’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) operates.
Candidate profiles are ranked according to the official Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) criteria. If you qualify, you are added to a pool of candidates and you might be invited to apply to immigrate.
Express Entry incorporates three economic immigration programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Additionally, provinces can use Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) to link into the Express Entry pool of candidates. This has proved to be an excellent way to meet local labor market needs and one that is currently favored by the federal government.
Minimum eligibility requirements
Before you apply for permanent residency in Canada, it makes sense to find out if you are eligible for an immigration program.
All Canadian immigration programs have slightly different requirements. Generally, these will relate to your nationality, age, language abilities, education, work experience, and, if you have a job offer, this too. They will also want to know about family members who will immigrate with you, as well as your current income.
The Government of Canada website has an online form that will help you find out if you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. Questions they ask include:
- What would you like to do in Canada?
- What is your current country/territory of residence?
- Do you have a family member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is 18 years or older?
- What is your date of birth?
The questionnaire is just a guideline and the IRCC won’t make any decisions based on it. However, they will let you know what immigration programs you may be eligible to apply for.
Express Entry applicants need as many points as possible to qualify for an immigration draw.
In the most recent (August 4, 2021) draw, IRCC only invited candidates with scores of 760 or more. This summary of maximum points for Express Entry candidates will give you a good idea of what matters.
The list is long, but these are the core/human capital factors:
- Age: Broken down into categories including 0 if 45+ up to the maximum 100 if aged 20-29
- Proficiency in official language: (English and French) Maximum of 150 points based on Canadian Language Benchmark levels
- Level of education: Ranges from 28 for a secondary high school diploma to the full score of 140 for a doctoral-level university degree
- Canadian work experience: Ranges from 35 for one year’s experience to 70 for five years or more
If you are planning to immigrate without a husband, wife, or partner, you will get slightly more points than someone who is moving with a spouse or partner.
If you have employment organized you can get up to 200 extra points. If you have a PN nomination, you will automatically get an additional 600 points.
Provincial-specific eligibility requirements
The different Canadian provinces and territories have immigration programs that target specific groups including skilled and semi-school workers, business people, and students.
There are two processes: Express Entry, and a paper-based process. Each province sets the eligibility requirements of both processes.
If you opt for a PNP, you will need to work directly through the province you choose and apply according to their criteria. You will also need to get a police check and pass a medical requirement. If the province invites you to apply for immigration, you will send your application electronically to IRCC. Their acceptance will lead to a PPR Canada needs for applicants.
The Express Entry system is still the fastest and most popular pathway, but since the beginning of 2021, Canada has restricted its Express Entry draws to PNP and CEC candidates.
Be aware that not all PNPs are linked to Express Entry applications and some of them have a job requirement clause.
Requirements of different programs
The huge choice of programs can be mind-boggling and you may need help to choose your best option.
Here are some of the basic requirements for the three economic immigration programs that Express Entry incorporates to help you compare them. Note that none of these programs are open to skilled workers planning to live in Quebec.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program has minimum requirements for education, language abilities, and, not surprisingly, skilled work experience. All these must be met before your application will be assessed.
The FSWP assessment uses a 100-point grid and calls for information about age, education, work experience, language skills, and valid job offers if any. You’ll need to prove adaptability to show how well you are likely to settle in Canada. The pass mark is 67 points.
The Federal Skilled Trades Program requires writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills as well as at least two years of full-time experience working in a skilled trade. You will also need a valid job offer or a Canadian certification of qualification in your skilled trade.
The Canadian Experience Class is for skilled workers with experience in Canada as temporary residents. Language requirements depend on your national occupation classification code. You’ll need at least a year of work experience either full-time or part-time, but with different hour requirements.
The CEC doesn’t have an education requirement but you’ll improve your rank in the Express Entry pool if you have a degree or diploma.
Applying for permanent residency in Canada
The following steps focus on the process for applying for permanent residency via Express Entry, as this is the quickest and most popular route.
Preparing your documentation
It is essential to provide the correct documents with your profile submission and with your application. If you don’t, your application may be rejected or even refused. Be sure to check the program requirements because they do vary, and aim to prepare these documents as soon as possible.
Some of the most important documents may include:
- A passport or travel documents
- Language test results
- Proof of education
- A provincial nomination
- A written job offer
- Proof of work experience
- Certification of qualification in a trade in Canada
- Proof of necessary funds
- Police certificate
- Medical exam results
- Birth, marriage, divorce certificates, etc
Submitting your application
Once you have ascertained that you are eligible for an immigration program, you will need to answer eligibility questions and submit your profile to the Express Entry pool. While this doesn’t guarantee an invite to apply for permanent residence, it’s a start.
The candidates with the highest scores in the Express Entry pool are invited to apply for permanent residence. If your application is successful, you will get a Canadian PPR – or passport request – which is the last step before final acceptance.
Receiving your invitation to apply for permanent residency
You can only apply for permanent residency if you are invited to do so and the application is always done online.
Once you receive an invitation to apply, you will have 60 days to do so. This will usually entail filling in more forms and submitting any additional supporting documents asked for.
What is PPR, and does it mean my application was successful?
What is PPR Canada?
PPR is a passport request from the IRCC that indicates you are on your way to becoming a permanent resident of the country.
It will follow the application you submitted after an invitation to apply for permanent residence and payment of the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF). Both the fee and PPR are needed to finalize all applications.
The PPR Canada IRCC sends is not confirmation that your application is successful, however, it is highly unlikely that anything will stop your immigration plans at this stage.
What happens after I receive my PPR letter?
When you get your PPR Canada notification, you’ll have 30 days to submit your passport request. The PPR letter will tell you exactly what they need, including the format of photos for a permanent resident card.
Once the passport procedure is over, you will get confirmation of permanent residence. It’s difficult to say how long this will take, but it can be less than six months.
Ready to make a move?
Are you ready to move to Canada? Have you decided which program to apply to?
If you’re dreaming a dream but don’t know how to join the dots, Express Entry can help you start your journey today.