How to Immigrate as

Permanent Residency


There are many paths to permanent residence in Canada. Each has its own requirements and rules for applying, and submitting an incomplete or inaccurate application will either delay or prevent your application from being processed.

We’re here to help you determine the best option for you, based on your goals, your education, and your experience.

You have a dream of immigrating to Canada. Whether you’re a business owner, a skilled worker, or an investor, we can help you get there.

Options for Permanent Residence

Express Entry

Canada’s Express Entry program is designed to help skilled immigrants who want to settle in Canada permanently. Candidates who are considered through this pool are awarded up to 1,200 points based on specific factors such as skills and experience, having a nomination from a province or territory, having a valid job offer, and skills transferability.

Your points are used to score your profile and rank it in the Express Entry pool. From there invitations to apply are sent to the candidates with the highest scores. Once you receive an invitation to apply, you have 60 days to submit an application.

Note that Express Entry is for candidates who do not plan to live in Quebec.


Under Express Entry, there are three programs you can be placed in:

Federal Skilled Worker

Federal Skilled Worker

The Skilled Worker Program is for skilled workers who have foreign work experience in National Occupational Classification TEER categories 0, 1, 2, or 3.

That work experience must have involved all duties set out in the lead statement of the job description.

Additionally, the work experience must have been:

  • Within the last 10 years
  • Paid (volunteer or unpaid internships do not count)
  • Completed with at least one year of continuous work

You must also show you have enough money for you and your family to settle, unless you are currently legally allowed to work in Canada and have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

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Canadian Experience Class

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class is for skilled workers who already have Canadian work experience, obtained in the three years before applying to the program. To apply through this program, you must have

  • At least one year of skilled work experience in Canada, completed in the three years immediately before applying. This work can be full-time at one job, part-time at as many jobs as needed, or full-time at more than one job. This work must have been obtained in Canada under a temporary resident status with authorization to work.
  • The required language levels needed for your job for speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

Self-employment and work experience as a full-time student do not count towards this program.

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Federal Skilled Trades Program

Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Skilled Trades Program is for skilled workers who have a valid job offer for at least a year or a certificate of qualification and are qualified to work in a skilled trade.

To qualify for the Skilled Trades program, you must

  • Meet the required language levels for language abilities
  • Have at least 2 years of paid full-time or an equivalent amount of paid part-time work, within the five years before applying
  • Meet the job requirements for your skilled trade

There is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. But, if you want to improve your rank in the Express Entry pool, you can get points for a certificate, diploma, or degree.

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Family Sponsorship

The family sponsorship program (sometimes called the family reunification program) enables Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their loved ones to move to Canada. Among those eligible for sponsorship are

  • Spouses, common-law partners, and conjugal partners
  • Dependent children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Other qualifying relatives

To sponsor someone to move to Canada, you must be either a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada under the Canadian Indian Act, or a permanent resident of Canada.

When you apply to sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident you must be able to show that you can support them financially when they arrive, and can meet the basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing.

The exact process and what you’ll need to prove depend on the nature of your relationship with the person you’re sponsoring.


Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program is targeted to workers who

  • Have the skills, education, and job experience to work in a specific province or territory
  • Want to live in that province or territory
  • Plan to become permanent residents of Canada

Each of the provinces in Canada has their own criteria to attract candidates based on the province’s specific needs within the labour market. They also have their own streams that are aimed at certain groups or requirements. For example, they may want to attract students, entrepreneurs, skilled workers, and/or semi-skilled workers.

Each application depends on which stream you’re applying to, which determines whether you’re applying using Express Entry or non-Express Entry.

All applications require a medical exam and a police check, regardless of where you plan to live in Canada. You must also meet all requirements of the province or territory to apply through the provincial nominee program.

Note, the province of Quebec is not part of the provincial nominee program. It has its own immigration program to apply to.


Quebec Immigration Program

Quebec has its own rules and criteria for people to move to that province. Once a person is approved by the Quebec government, that person is given a Certificate of Selection, which then allows the person to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

There are two programs you can apply through to live in Quebec:

1)    PEQ (Québec Experience Program)

Through PEQ you apply either in the student category, if you have a diploma and work experience obtained in Quebec, or in the worker category if you have at least two years of qualified experience in Quebec.

2)    QSW (Québec Skilled Workers)

If you would like to immigrate to Quebec to work there permanently, you must apply through the Regular Skilled Worker Program. The first step is to declare your interest in immigrating to Quebec to work. If your skills match the needs of the province, you will be invited to apply for permanent selection.


Atlantic Immigration Program

Skilled foreign workers and international graduates from a Canadian school can apply to live in one of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces through the Atlantic Immigration Program.

Included in the Atlantic provinces are:

  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Newfoundland and Labrador

To be eligible for the Atlantic Immigration Program, you must

  • Either have qualifying work experience or be an international graduate of a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada
  • Meet or exceed educational requirements
  • Meet or exceed language requirements
  • Prove you have enough money to support yourself and your family in Canada, unless you’re already living and working in Canada with a valid work permit

Under the program, work obtained must be with a designated employer.

To apply, you’ll take a language test. You may have to submit to an educational credential assessment, and have a settlement plan. Finally, you’ll need the province you’re moving to to endorse your job offer. Once that is completed you can apply for permanent residence using your Certificate of Endorsement.


Options for Investors

Business Programs

The provinces in Canada and the federal government have programs for allowing entrepreneurs to obtain permanent residence. Under the federal program you can apply to immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person or by starting a business and creating jobs in Canada through the Start-up Visa Program.



Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada.

The Start-up Visa Program is a fast-track program that grants permanent residence to foreign nationals who want to start a business in Canada (not including Quebec, which has its own business immigration program).

While your application for permanent residence is being processed, you can obtain a temporary work permit so you can start building your business.

To be eligible for a Start-up Visa, you must

  • Have a qualifying business,
  • Have letters of support from a designated organization (a business group approved to invest in or support start-ups)
  • Meet language requirements (Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and
  • Have enough money to settle in Canada, as determined by the Government of Canada (around $25,000 for a family of 4).
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The rural and northern immigration pilot program is designed to enable smaller communities to benefit from economic immigration by allowing permanent residents for skilled foreign workers who plan to live and work in a participating community.

To apply for the process you must:

  1. Ensure you meet both the IRCC eligibility requirements and community-specific requirements
  2. Obtain a job offer for an eligible job with an employer in one of the participating communities
  3. Apply for recommendation to the community
  4. If you receive the recommendation, apply for permanent residence

There are currently 11 communities participating in the rural and northern immigration pilot, in the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Each of the communities will have its own eligibility requirements, on top of those required by the federal government. They will also have their own job search process and community recommendation application process.

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We help clients make their dreams of moving to Canada a reality. Contact one of our highly experienced immigration consultants today to get started on this new and exciting stage in your life.