What is Canada PR?
The Canada PR is a card that substantiates an immigrant’s permanent residency status. The PR status enables an immigrant to live, study and work anywhere in Canada. Being Canada’s permanent resident is a privilege that offers almost all social benefits that Canadian citizens enjoy. Be it complete health coverage or protection by Canadian law, the status of Canada PR offers all. Moreover, permanent residents of Canada can also apply for Canadian Citizenship.
Benefits of Canada PR
The status of permanent residency offers a plethora of privileges to the immigrants.
- 100% Health Coverage.
Canada boasts of a universal healthcare system that is funded through taxes. Permanent Residents have the privilege and the right to apply for public health insurance. Possessing Canadian health insurance implies that you will receive most of the emergency and general health care services absolutely free.
- Free primary and secondary schooling.
Canada offers absolutely free public education to its permanent residents. Not just free schooling but all associated expenditures such as school lunch, transportation, etc, are paid for by the Canadian government. Canada offers world-class education and becoming a permanent resident can avail it for free.
- Freedom to travel visa-free.
Once you get a PR card, you will never need a Canadian visa while returning from your foreign trip. You will be free to leave and enter the country indefinitely.
- Never get deported.
Being a permanent resident in Canada comes with immense freedom. Unlike temporary workers, the immigrant with a Canada Permanent Resident no longer lives in the fear of being deported if he/she becomes unemployed. You can work all over Canada without any restrictions and switch as many jobs as you want. You can literally restart and rebuild your life, leave your current employment, pursue higher education, or do absolutely anything you want to as a Canadian Permanent Resident.
- Let’s you keep your citizenship.
Unlike Canada, India does not offer dual citizenship. This implies that in order to become a Canadian citizen, an Indian immigrant would have to renounce his Indian citizenship. The Canadian permanent residency offers immigrants dual benefits; it lets them keep the citizenship of their mother country while offering them almost all the perks enjoyed by the citizens of Canada.
- Protection under the Canadian Law: Just like its citizens, Canada PR holders are also protected by the law of Canada and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Become a Canadian Citizen.
Possessing a Canada PR card brings you closer to becoming a Canadian citizen. Being a Canadian citizen mandates the immigrant to possess a PR card. If a permanent resident stays in Canada for a cumulative period of 3 years(1095 days) within the 5-year period, he can apply for Canadian citizenship. In addition to his stay in Canada, the immigrant is also required to file and pay taxes for 3 years within the last 5 years from the date of application.
Limitations of Canada PR.
Although Canada PR offers many benefits to its holders, it comes with certain limitations.
- No Voting Rights: Only Canadian citizens are eligible to vote in Canada.
- Cannot hold political offices: This implies that Permanent Residents cannot be governors, parliamentary office-holders, or Cabinet ministers.
- Cannot be employed in certain jobs: As a Permanent Resident, you cannot hold a job that needs a high-level security clearance.
Renewal of Canada PR.
A Canada PR is valid for 5 years. If your PR card is about to expire in or before 9 months, you can apply for a new PR card. To renew your permanent residency, you will need to have stayed in Canada for a cumulative period of 2 years (730 days) within the last 5 years. It takes approximately 59 days to get a renewed card. Option for urgent renewal is also available. The validity of the renewed card will also be 5 years. The non-refundable processing fee of $50 is also charged.
The Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD).
It can take up to 180 days for the Canada PR card to get delivered to the provided postal address of the immigrant. In case the immigrant has to travel outside Canada in the interim, he/she will have to do so without a PR card. Under this circumstance, a Permanent Resident Travel Document will act as a substitute for the card to substantiate your PR status. With a PRTD, you can leave Canada and return without a PR card or a Canadian Visa. However, the PRTD is only valid for a single entry and can only be applied from outside Canada. It will be a counterfoil in your passport. A PRTD is issued to prove and satisfy the transportation facilities that you are a permanent resident and are allowed in Canada without a Visa. The processing fee of the PRTD is $50.
Steps for Canada PR.
Canadian immigration with a Canada PR visa includes 8 significant steps. The section below gives an overview of the immigration procedure. It does not stringently apply to each and every immigration program and might slightly vary. To know the specific process and eligibility criteria of each immigration program visit https://www.canada.ca/en.html.
Step 1: Select your Immigration program.
Canada offers 14 Immigration programs for Canada PR:
- Express Entry program: for skilled immigrant workers.
- Provincial Nominee Program: for immigration to any of the Canadian provinces.
- Family Sponsorship: facilitates sponsorship of blood or legal relatives such as spouse, parents, or children.
- Quebec Selected Skilled Workers: for immigration to Quebec
- Atlantic Immigration Program: Immigration to any one of the Atlantic provinces- New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Immigration for Caregivers: Canada PR for live-in caregivers who care for children, the elderly, or people who are in need of special medical attention.
- Start-Up Visa: Immigration pathway if you aim to start a business and contribute to the Canadian economy by creating employment.
- Self-Employed Immigration: Immigrants who can significantly contribute to the Canadian athletic or cultural field can apply for Canada PR under this Program.
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot: Immigrate to advantageously affect the economy of minor Canadian communities.
- Agri-Food Pilot: Immigration for boosting the agricultural and food industries.
- Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway: a program for temporary residents and their families.(It has now been closed)
- Permanent Residence Pathways for Hong Kong residents: For Hong Kong residents currently living in Canada.
- Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot: Economic Immigration pathway for skilled refugees.
- Immigration for Refugees: Get Canada PR as a refugee or sponsor one.
Step-2: Assess your eligibility.
IRCC (Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada) offers 115 streams and pathways for Canada PR under the 14 Immigration programs mentioned above. Each stream has its respective minimum eligibility criteria and requirements. However, there are certain requirements that are common in almost every immigration stream unless stated otherwise. Few minimum requirements are :
- Minimum CLB 4: Almost every Canada PR stream requires the immigrant to have at least CLB 4. Programs for skilled workers with higher NOC skills (O or A) often require higher language proficiency scores. For instance, Express Entry for Federal Skilled Workers demands a minimum lingual score of CLB 7 (Canadian Language Benchmark) but requires only CLB 5 for Federal Skilled Trades Program. Nevertheless, almost no Canadian immigration program accepts scores lower than CLB 4.
- A job offer from a valid and legal Canadian employer. All immigration programs that require a job offer also mandate a valid and legal Canadian or provincial employer.
- A positive LMIA report: Another mandatory condition under almost all immigration pathways, unless the occupation is exempted from it.
- A valid and accurate ECA report: Education Credential Assessment is required by every Canada PR program.
Besides meeting the above requirements, immigrants must ensure they satisfy every eligibility criteria of the immigration program they select.
Step-3: Create your profile.
Once you have selected your Canada immigration program, you must now create your immigration profile. This is the profile where you will supply all the information regarding your age, work experience, academic and language proficiency, etc. The IRCC will communicate with you through this profile. Every immigration program has its own online registration system. For instance, SIRS (Skills Immigration Registration System) is the registration system of BC PNP (British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program), OASIS is a system in Saskatchewan Immigration Program, etc.
Step-4: Get your Canada PR score.
Most of the Canada Immigration programs have their assessment grids through which they score and rank immigrants as per their economic usefulness and adaptability. The most popular calculators are the CRS score calculator for Express Entry, the SINP assessment grid for SINP, etc. Once you get a score from the calculator of your selected immigration program, your immigration profile will then be ranked against other eligible candidates.
Step-5: Receive an ITA in the Draw.
Most Immigration programs hold their draws every two weeks. If you score the minimum cut-off to receive an ITA( invitation to apply), you will be eligible to apply for Canada PR within a specific period of time. In most immigration programs, the immigrant is mandated to submit his Canada PR application within 60 days of receiving the ITA. An ITA must never be confused with Canada PR. Moreover, an ITA does not guarantee Canada PR.
Step-6: Apply for Canada PR.
Once you receive an ITA, you must apply for Canada PR to Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC) within 60 days (in most cases). This is the time when you must submit all your paperwork to substantiate the points claimed in the calculator of your selected program. Additional medical and police certificates are also required.
Step-7: Get CoPR.
Once your documents are assessed, verified, and accepted by Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC), you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR). This is the document that will be stamped by an immigration officer at the Canadian port of entry when the PR is granted to you.
Step-8: Get your Canada PR card.
Once you land in Canada, you will be asked for a legitimate postal address. The IRCC will post your Canada PR card to this address. In case you are unable to provide a postal address, you will have a window of 180 days to provide a valid Canadian postal address.
This article is an attempt to acquaint the readers with the concept of Canada PR and an estimate of the steps one goes through to get one. This is not legal guidance and in no way takes responsibility for your immigration case.