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How to Get Permanent Residency in Canada

Q. How can I get permanent residency in Canada? Submitted by Zhongde Q.

Thank you for your question - we get this question a lot. This is a very broad question so this answer will seek to give an overview that will hopefully help you out.

There is more than one pathway to gain permanent residency in Canada with a number of programs that can be applied for. The program you should apply for depends on your individual circumstances in terms of work, language, education and family members. To find out which you are most eligible for, consult the Canadian Government website here.

How long is the process of becoming a permanent resident?

The Canadian Government has an online calculator where you can find out the time frame for your specific type of application. As a rough guide, it can take around two months before you submit your application to complete the application forms and gather the evidence you may require. You may also need to sit an English language exam in advance, which will take more time.

After your application is submitted, it is estimated that there is between a 6 and 8 month processing time for applications, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Class, and the Canadian Experience Class. This can, however, take longer if there are complications with your application, such as the fact you have lived in many countries or have a detailed work history that will take immigration officials longer to work through. Therefore, due to this, it is best to leave around 12 months for your application to be processed and approved.

What are the different ways to obtain permanent Canadian residency outside Canada?

If you are coming from outside Canada, there are many different pathways that you can follow depending on your personal circumstances.

Family Members

If you have eligible family members that are already Canadian citizens, you may be able to become a Permanent Resident through a family or spousal sponsorship. They will need to prove that they can support you as you move to Canada.


If you are a student, you can come to Canada to complete your studies and apply for a post-graduate work permit after you have graduated. This will then allow you to apply for the Canadian Experience Class to gain permanent residency.

Looking to Move To A Specific Area?

If you are looking to move to a specific province within Canada, you may wish to look into the Provincial Nominee Program to see if what you offer meets the economic or demographic needs of the area. If you do, you will be able to apply through the Express Entry System.

Looking to Work In Canada

Depending on your field of work, you may be able to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system if you decide to work for a company that has a Labour Market Impact Assessment. This assessment will highlight that there is no way that a Canadian resident could do your job and allows you to enter the country due to your experience and skills.

What is the cost of an application to become a permanent resident?

There is no set fee for this as it depends on the type of program you are applying through. There are also a number of different fees depending on what your application asks for, including the initial processing fee, costs of medical examinations and biometrics, police check fees and the costs of a permanent resident card.

For more information please check out our blog "Ask Annie" at or contact us via our site to book a consultation.


About Us

Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, in Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a fifth-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the link located at the top right of the page.

How Can We Help?

We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications.

Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.

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