Applying for Permanent Residency in Canada
Many people have the misconception that by obtaining a “Permanent Resident” status in Canada, they are now citizens of the country. This is however, false, and the correct meaning of being a permanent resident of Canada means that you have acquired this status by immigrating to Canada and meeting other residency obligations. You are not yet considered a Canadian citizen but you still have rights and privileges in Canada. As a permanent resident, you and your dependents have the right to:
- Receive most social benefits that are offered to citizens, for example health care coverage
- Live, work and/or study in Canada
- Apply to become a Canadian citizen
- Protection under Canadian law
As a permanent resident you are allowed to live, work and/or study in Canada. On the other hand, you are restricted by certain residency obligations if you are travelling outside of Canada. You must reside in Canada for at least two years within a five year period. Furthermore, individuals that are in Canada on a temporary basis, such as international students or temporary foreign workers, are not considered to be permanent residence of Canada.
If you are a refugee in Canada, you may also obtain Permanent Residence status if you are re settling in to Canada through the Government-Assisted Refugee Program or the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. On the contrary, if you are making a refugee claim from inside Canada, you are not a permanent resident. To obtain permanent residence under these circumstances you must receive a positive decision on your refugee claim from the IRB (Immigration Refugee Board). Then you may apply for and be granted permanent residence status.
Contact Canadian Immigration Services.