Feb 12, 2023

How does one obtain a Permanent Resident (PR) visa?

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What is a Permanent Resident?

A Canadian permanent resident is a citizen of another country who has been granted permission to live in Canada as a permanent resident. Once a person has permanent resident status, they have the right to live and work anywhere in the country. Permanent residents receive a significant number of benefits in Canada, including access to healthcare and social services, the right to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada, and protection under Canadian law. As well, after being a permanent resident for a certain amount of time, permanent residents are eligible to apply to become Canadian citizens! Notably, Canadian permanent residents do not have the right to vote in Canadian elections.

Getting a Permanent Residence visa in Canada is most likely the end goal for most people reading our guides. And of course, you want the best pathway suitable for your situation. Whether you are a temporary foreign worker or a student in Canada, or even someone who has never been in Canada, there’s a possible pathway for you.

Yes! you read that right. Canada offers different immigration program through which you can apply for permanent residency status, even if you haven’t been here! Hence, this guide is NOT ONLY for those who are inside Canada. You may be eligible to apply directly for PR even if you are residing outside Canada, and even if you haven't been to Canada.

The eligibility will depend on your own unique profile or connections to the country. With that being said, chances of getting a PR is still higher if you have connections, like relatives or work experience in Canada.

I might not be able to list them all, but here's amongst the most popular pathways.

Express Entry

Express Entry is a points-based selection system that can grant permanent residence (PR) status for both skilled workers inside Canada and outside Canada. The applicants are assessed on various points such as age, language, education, adaptability, and work experience.

Based on your work experience, you’ll be categorized into at least one of these three categories.

• Canadian Experience Class – if you have Canadian work experience

• Federal Skilled Worker Program – if you have foreign work experience

• Federal Skilled Trades Program – if you qualified in a skilled trade

Once eligible for at least one of these three categories, you’ll be able to submit your profile and join the pool of candidates. You’ll be ranked in the pool using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

You’ll get invited when you have a score above the minimum points score in the rounds of invitations. Only once you’re invited can you submit your PR application, and within 60 days. You'll also need to submit your documents in your PR application, so that they can confirm your eligibility for PR.

Once the Visa Officer is satisfied, congratulation!

How I explained it might be oversimplified. But if you are interested in this pathway, here’s our guide for you.

Express Entry - How to Apply

Provincial Nominee Program

Provincial Nominee Program is also a points-based selection system that can grant permanent residence (PR) status for both skilled workers inside Canada and outside Canada. Each province and territory have its own set of "streams", immigration programs that target certain groups.

These streams are for workers who want to live in that certain province and want to become permanent residents of Canada. You must have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory for you to be eligible.

Before you can apply to these streams, you’ll also go through the same process of submitting a profile, which is called “Expression of Interest (EOI)”, to the province you’d like to work and live. Once you’ve registered your EOI, you’ll join the pool of candidates, who’ll be assessed based on the needs of that certain provinces.

Only when you are invited can you apply to these streams.

Most of them will require you to have an Express Entry profile as well. If this is the case, once you’ve been invited, applied for nomination, and have been Nominated, they’ll give you additional CRS score in your EE profile. By which will ensure you’ll be invited to apply for PR via Express Entry.

On the other hand, there are PNP streams which can support your PR application, even with out going through Express Entry. And I personally prefer this because you don’t have to wait for the Express Entry’s rounds of invitation to apply. But you’ll get the same result anyway, so I guess there’s not much of a difference.

To learn more how to apply for Provincial Nominee Program, you can proceed with our guide.

PNP - How to Apply

Family Sponsorship

You can be sponsored by certain relatives to come to Canada and become permanent residence, if they are at least 18 years old and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Those certain relatives who can sponsor you can be your spouse, partner, or parents (if you are still a dependent children). If your sponsor is eligible, financially as well, he or she must first apply to become a sponsor. Your application can only be submitted once his or her application to become a sponsor is approved. Here’s how to apply.

Sponsor your spouse, partner or child - How to Apply

Other certain relatives may also be eligible to sponsor you under special conditions like if you are an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild. Or if that relative does not have a living relative that they can sponsored eligible in the option mentioned above.

Your sponsor must also apply to become a sponsor before you can submit your application. You can read our guide to learn more about this.

Sponsor your relatives - How to Apply

Immigrant entrepreneurs

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that are innovative, can create jobs for Canadians and can compete on a global scale.

While I am not so much an entrepreneur myself, and I’m not so much familiar with this guide, let me instead direct you to the official website of government of Canada so you can learn more about the process and how to apply.

Start-up Visa Program


You can apply for Permanent Residency if:

There are more possible options, but these are amongst the most popular ones and the ones I am familiar with.

The descriptions I provided in this guide is for the purpose of getting an overview of each pathway. Once you got an idea and would like to proceed, please go through the specific guide made for the pathway of your interest.


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The information in this page is copyright protected and you can't use them for any profitable use. Please also note that I am a one man team working on this page. It may be possible that the information in this website is outdated or maybe not accurate anymore. You can find a date at the bottom right corner of the featured image. That's the date of the last update and that's the best way to tell how accurate the information in this website is. Even with that being said, I am in NO way legally licensed to give you immigration advice. Everything that is written in this website is purely based on my opinion and experience only. You are responsible for your own decisions. ALSO: I will highly appreciate it if you can help me with the updates by leaving a comment. Hope to see you in Canada!