Canadian Immigration – Permanent

Permanent Residents of Canada are permitted to work, reside, and study in the Canadian province/territory of their choice. Those seeking to immigrate to the Province of Quebec are required to meet additional criteria in order to qualify for permanent residence. Applications for Permanent Residence may be processed through a variety of channels, depending on the situation of the individual applicant with processing times varying according to the particular details of an application. We have considerable experience assisting clients in applying for and securing Permanent Residence in Canada (including in the Province of Quebec) in all of the following categories:

Express Entry

Since 2015, Immigration, Refugees& Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry (EE) program came into effect.   All those interested in applying for Permanent Residence in Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades Class must register an expression of interest by creating a profile in the MyCIC Portal. After completing an Express Entry registration, interested parties are assigned a Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) based, in part, on (a) various human capital factors (including age, education, work experience, Canadian work experience, Canadian post-secondary education, equivalency to a Canadian post-secondary education, proficiency in English or French, relatives in Canada, etc.); and (b) whether one has a permanent offer of employment supported by either a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or, in qualifying provinces/territories, a Provincial Nominee Certificate.

Periodically, IRCC conducts an extraction from the pool of Express Entry registrants by setting a threshold Comprehensive Ranking Score. All those with a qualifying CRS will be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residence. Noteworthy is that IRCC will determine the stream in which an ITA is issued. It will not be up to the Applicant to choose.

Out of a maximum possible 1,200 CRS points, those having permanent offers supported by an LMIA or a Provincial Nominee Certificate are awarded an automatic 600 points.  Once issued an ITA, an Applicant has 60 days within which to complete, upload and electronically file a substantive Application or, alternatively, decline the ITA. For those not issued an ITA within 12 months of registering for Express Entry, the registration will lapse and one will be required to re-register. CIC’s service standard commitment for those issued an ITA is to complete processing of a PR Application within 6 months.

Skilled Workers

Skilled workers are selected as permanent residents based on a selection or points system which evaluates age, education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French and other criteria that will help them settle in Canada, including existing family in Canada, a spouse’s education level, and the existence arranged employment. Applicants who receive more than 67 out of 100 points on the Selection Grid may file an application as a Skilled Worker.

In addition to meeting the above Selection Grid requirements, individuals who apply for Permanent Residence as Skilled Workers must also have a current offer of Arranged Employment or at least one year of full-time experience (or the equivalent thereto) in a NOC 0, A or B occupation. Applicants must, subject to a few exceptions, also have funds available that are sufficient for settlement in Canada

Canadian Experience Class

Applicants who are either temporary foreign workers with at least one year of full-time (or full-time equivalent) work experience in Canada in qualifying occupations (generally high- or semi-skilled, managerial or professional experience) or foreign graduates from Canadian post-secondary institutions may apply for Permanent Residence in the Canada Experience Class.

It should be noted that Canada Experience Class applicants must plan to live outside of Quebec (which, as noted above, has its own selection system), must have gained experience in Canada pursuant to lawful work or study authorization, must apply while working in Canada or within one year of leaving their job in Canada, and must have some demonstrated linguistic ability in English or French. Experience gained while self-employed is not considered to be qualifying experience.

Federal Skilled Trades Class

Applicants who qualify under this category are those who have work experience in specified skilled trades including industrial, electrical and construction trades; maintenance and equipment operation trades; supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production; and processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and control operators. In total, applicants in some 43 occupations are eligible to apply with some occupations being subject to an annual cap of 100 applications. See:

Qualified applications must not plan to reside in the Province of Quebec; must have at least two years of full-time (or full-time equivalent) experience in a skilled trade within the 5 year period preceding the application; meet all the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (the NOC); and have an offer of full-time employment from no more than two employers for a period of at least one year or a certificate of qualification in the skilled trade in question issued by a provincial or territorial body.

Provincial Nominee Programs

In addition to Skilled Worker and Canadian Experience Class applications – which are screened only by the Canadian federal government – some applicants may also qualify for Permanent Residence under one of the various Provincial Nominee Programs. Canada’s provincial and territorial governments and Citizenship and Immigration Canada jointly administer these Provincial Nominee Programs. Applicants who wish to settle in the province of Quebec must first apply for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (Quebec Selection Certificate), which in many respects is similar to an application for Provincial Nomination.

While programs vary from one province/territory to another, the general application process is almost always the same: a foreign national must be nominated by a Canadian employer to the Provincial Nominee Program in his or her province of intended employment. If approved, the foreign national’s Application for Permanent Residence is forwarded to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for finalization and approval at the federal level. Provincial Nominee applications result in expedited processing. Also, applicants are able to make application based on their provincial nominee certificates to obtain or renew interim Work Permits without needing Labour Market Opinions and while their applications for permanent residence are being finalized at the federal level.

In some provinces or territories, the Provincial Nominee programs also offer an Express Entry stream whereby having an EE-based provincial nominee certificate gives an applicant an automatic 600 points out of a possible 1,200 for purposes of an Express Entry registration.

It should be noted that in some provinces and territories, there are also Provincial Nominee Programs available for business entrepreneurs who wish to make a significant investment or establish a business in a particular province. With sufficient managerial experience and the intention to invest in or acquire a business venture in a particular province/territory, nomination by that province/territory can be had. The range of the required investment varies from as little as $150,000 in some jurisdictions to $400,000 and as much as $3.5 million in other jurisdictions. It is generally expected that the nature of the business venture will some way contribute to advancing the economic interests of the province/territory in question.

Family Class

Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada may apply to sponsor their foreign national spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or other relative. A sponsor can make an application for a relative abroad if he or she is related in one of the following ways:

  • Spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Dependent or adopted children

Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada can also sponsor other foreign national relatives, such as siblings, nephews or nieces, or grandchildren; however, the foreign national relatives must, effectively, be only children, orphaned, and not married or in a common-law relationship. These types of cases are far and few between. It should be noted that, for those with relatives in Alberta or Saskatchewan, the possibility of such sponsorships does also exist under those provinces’ Provincial Nominee Programs.

For Parents and Grandparents, an interim option also exists to apply for a temporary two-year “super visa” which results in the issuance of a ten year Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) and which allows for periods of admission to Canada of up to 2 years at a time. Among other things, to qualify for a super visa, an applicant must have in place mandatory medical insurance.

Business Applicants

Individuals who wish to make a significant investment in Canada – either through the establishment of a business, the investment of capital, or through another means of self-employment – may file an application for Permanent Residence in the Business Entrepreneur class. This category has been implemented to serve three types of applicants:


An entrepreneurial applicant is defined as an immigrant who will own and manage a business in Canada that creates an employment opportunity for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. To be eligible for immigration as an entrepreneur, an applicant must have past managerial experience based upon specifically delineated criteria for two years out of the five prior to filing the application; have a self-accumulated, legally obtained minimum net worth; and intend to manage and control a business and create jobs for Canadians for a period of one out of three years following his or her landing in Canada.

Note: This program is presently under a freeze.


Investor applicants have had to invest a minimum amount in a designated provincial or territorial fund in Canada. The full amount of the investment is guaranteed repaid in approximately 5 years’ time, but without interest. To qualify as an investor, the applicant must have had a self-accumulated, legally obtained minimum net worth; have past managerial experience; in addition to having controlled a percentage of equity in a controlling business for two years in the five year period preceding the date of the application.

Note: This program is presently under a freeze.


For applications filed by self-employed permanent residents, the applicant must have at least two years of experience in his or her profession in the five years before the date of application. The experience must have involved cultural activities or athletics, participating in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level, or farm management. A self-employed applicant must have the intention and ability to be self-employed in Canada and to make significant contributions to cultural activities or athletics, or must have the intention to purchase and manage a farm.

Maintenance of Permanent Resident Status

All Permanent Residents are subject to a residency obligation which stipulates that they be physically present in Canada for a cumulative total of seven hundred thirty (730) days in any given five (5) year period.

In certain cases, time spent outside of Canada will be treated as time spent in Canada for purposes of complying with this residency obligation. Such cases apply to Permanent Residents who are:

  • Accompanying a Canadian citizen spouse or common-law partner abroad.
  • In the employ of the Canadian foreign service or armed forces.
  • Employed abroad by a foreign affiliate of a “Canadian business” as a term of their employment with their Canadian employer. It should be noted that a foreign affiliate that is created solely to facilitate compliance with this exemption will not qualify.
  • Able to demonstrate humanitarian and compassionate factors that are in the best interests of a child.
Canadian Citizenship

Permanent Residents of Canada are generally eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship after being physically present in Canada for at least three years (730 days) in the five (5) year period preceding the date of the citizenship application. Each day spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident is counted as half a day to a maximum of one (1) year’s credit.