Permanent Residence

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Economic Immigration Programs

All applications for Canadian permanent residence under the Canadian Express Class (“CEC”), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP”), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP”), and participating Provincial Nominee Programs (“PNPs”) are processed via the Express Entry System which is a two-step process:

  1. Firstly, a foreign national is required to create and submit an on-line Express Entry profile. If the foreign national meets the eligibility criteria for at least one of the aforementioned economic immigration programs, his/her profile will be entered into the Express Entry pool and he/she will be assigned a point score using a Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”). If the foreign national does not have an offer of employment supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”), he/she must register with the Government of Canada National Job Bank (“the National Job Bank”) within 30 days. The foreign national’s Express Entry profile will remain in the pool for up to 12 months.
  2. Secondly, CIC will select foreign nationals with the highest point score from the Express Entry pool on a “regular basis” and invite them to submit an application for Canadian permanent residence. If a foreign national receives an Invitation to Apply (“ITA”), he/she must submit a “complete” application for Canadian permanent residence on-line within 60 days or the ITA will be invalidated and his/her Express Entry profile will remain in the Express Entry pool.

Canadian Experience Class

If a foreign national has the equivalent of at least 12 months of full-time “skilled” work experience in Canada in the three years immediately preceding their application, they have gained this experience in Canada with the proper authorization, they have achieved the necessary results on an English or French language proficiency test, and they intend to live outside of the province of Quebec, he/she may be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence under the CEC (pending receipt of an ITA).

Federal Skilled Worker Program

Under the FSWP, a foreign national is assigned a point score based upon six selection factors which include official language ability, education, work experience, age, arranged employment and adaptability. If a foreign national is assigned at least 67 out of 100 points, he/she may be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence under the FSWP (pending receipt of an ITA).

Federal Skilled Trades Program

If a foreign national has the equivalent of at least two years of “full-time” work experience in a “skilled trade” in the five years immediately preceding their application, they meet all of the job requirements for that “skilled trade” except for needing a certificate of qualification, they have achieved the necessary results on an English or French language proficiency test, they have an offer of “full-time” employment for a total period of at least one year or a certificate of qualification in that “skilled trade” issued by a provincial or territorial authority in Canada, and they intend to live outside of the province of Quebec, he/she may be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence under the FSTP (pending receipt of an ITA).

Provincial Nominee Programs

The majority of the provincial and territorial governments in Canada have the authority to nominate a limited number of foreign nationals for Canadian permanent residence each year. Each participating province and territory has its own program requirements tailored to meet its specific local labour market needs. However, PNPs generally tend to include streams for skilled workers, semi-skilled workers, business/investors, international student graduates, and family/community connections. Further, the majority of PNPs also include at least one employer-driven stream which allows employers to nominate foreign nationals whom meet the program requirements. If a foreign national holds a valid certificate of nomination issued under a PNP, he/she may be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence based on the certificate of nomination.

Québec Skilled Worker Program

The province of Québec is responsible for the selection of their own economic immigrants. The Québec Skilled Worker Program is comprised of two streams: i) the Regular Québec Skilled Worker program and ii) the Québec Expérience Program. The Regular Skilled Worker Program is a points-based evaluation system, whereas the Québec Experience Program requires a foreign national to have 12 months of full-time "skilled" work experience in Québec, and a high-intermediate level of French. Once a foreign national has been selected by the province of Québec, they will be issued a Certificat de sélection du Québec ("CSQ") and can apply for permanent residence with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Family Sponsorship

If a person is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and they are over 18 years of age, they may be eligible to sponsor certain relatives (e.g. spouse, common-law partner, dependent child, etc.) to become Canadian permanent residents.