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Canadian Permanent Resident Status
Skilled Workers/Professionals
Business Immigration Program
Family Class Sponsorship
Immigration Canada: Temporary Status for Work, Visit or Studies

Canadian Permanent Resident Status
Canadian permanent residents are entitled to live and work anywhere in Canada, enjoy many of the privileges of Canadian Citizenship, may apply for Canadian Citizenship after 3 years and may sponsor family members for Canadian permanent resident status.

To become a Canadian permanent resident, a foreign individual must apply for and be issued a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa. A foreign individual who wishes to settle in Montreal or another city in the Province of Quebec must also apply for a Quebec Certificate of Selection. There are different ways to qualify for Canadian permanent resident status: as an Economic Immigrant; as a member of the Family Class; and, in certain cases, as a Refugee.

Economic Immigrants are divided into two main categories:

  1. Skilled Workers/Professionals; and
  2. Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Persons (collectively referred to as Business Immigrants).

These two categories, together with the Family Class, may be summarized as follows:

Skilled Workers/ Professionals: Skilled Workers and Professionals are assessed upon a series of factors, i.e. a point system, which is designed to indicate the likelihood of becoming economically established in Canada.
Business Immigrants: Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Persons are, in a general sense, selected based upon their abilities to make a contribution to the economic, cultural, artistic, athletic, or agricultural life of Canada.
Family Class: In certain circumstances, Canadian citizens and permanent residents are entitled to sponsor their close relatives from abroad.

Skilled Workers/Professionals
Skilled Worker/Professional applicants (other than those destined for Montreal or another city in the Province of Quebec) are assessed based upon a series of factors which, in theory, are designed to indicate the likelihood of becoming economically established in Canada. Each factor is allotted a maximum number of points, and applicants must attain at least 67 points in order to qualify for a Canadian Immigrant Visa.

Whatever the number of points awarded, Visa Officers always have the discretion to accept or refuse an application based on a substituted evaluation.

Applicants intending to reside in Montreal or another city in the Province of Quebec are subject to the Quebec selection criteria.

In order to qualify for a Canada Permanent Resident Visa, the applicants must:

  • Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience within the past 10 years in a single occupation from the 24 eligible occupation list.
  • Have been qualified for Arranged Employment with a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) and a full-time, permanent job offer from a Canadian employer; OR
  • Have completed a PhD in Canada, or have accomplished two years of study in Canada towards a PhD, in a recognized Canadian academic institution; AND
  • Pass a minimum threshold of language ability for one of Canada's two official languages (English/French)

Business Immigration Program
The stated goal of Canada's Business Immigration Program is to promote economic development and employment by attracting people with venture capital, business acumen and entrepreneurial skills. The Program also seeks to develop new commercial opportunities and to improve access to growing foreign markets by "importing" people who are familiar with those markets and their special requirements and customs. Foreign individuals with business/managerial experience and relatively high net-worth may apply for Canadian permanent resident status under one of the following three sub-categories.

Investor:A foreign individual who has managerial experience and who chooses to make a secured passive investment that is amount of CAD$800,000 and has a net worth of at least CAD$1,600,000.

Entrepreneur: A foreign individual who is willing and able to establish, invest in or acquire a business in Canada which will create or maintain employment in Canada.

Self-Employed: A foreign individual who is willing and able to establish or purchase a business in Canada which will make a "significant" contribution to the economy or the cultural/artistic life of Canada.

Family Class Sponsorship
Family Class Immigrants are sponsored for a Canadian Immigrant Visa by a close relative who is either a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent resident. The Canadian relative is known as the Sponsor. To qualify as a Family Class Immigrant, an applicant must be the Canadian Sponsor's:

  • spouse; or
  • common-law or conjugal partner; or
  • parent or grandparent; or
  • dependent child; or
  • orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild -- under 19 and unmarried.

Also included are children under 19 who are either orphaned or placed with a child welfare authority for adoption and who the Sponsor intends to adopt. If the Sponsor has no relative as listed above and no relatives who are Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents, he or she may sponsor one other relative.

The Sponsor must be able to demonstrate the financial ability to provide for the essential needs of the Family Class Immigrant and dependents. The financial ability requirements are eased when sponsoring a spouse and/or an unmarried child(ren) under 19 years old.

The Sponsor must enter into an agreement with the Government of Canada (or the Government of Quebec, if that is where the Sponsor resides) whereby he or she agrees to provide for the essential needs of the Family Class Immigrant and dependents for a prescribed period of time. Failure to meet any of the commitments provided for in this agreement could result in legal action being taken against the Sponsor.

The Sponsor must be: a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; at least 19 years old; physically residing in Canada (or able to demonstrate an intention to reside in Canada by the time the sponsored family member lands in Canada); not in prison; not bankrupt; and not under a removal (deportation) order if a permanent resident.

Immigration Canada: Temporary Status for Work, Visit or Studies
Foreign individuals who wish to work, study or simply visit Canada must apply for "Temporary Status" These "visitors" must be granted Visitor Visas, unless they are citizens of visa exempt countries. They will also require Employment Authorizations if they wish to work temporarily in Canada; or a Student Authorization if they wish to study temporarily in Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will deny entry into Canada to all persons who, in the opinion of the immigration official at the port of entry, do not intend to leave Canada at the expiry of their Visitor status. In addition, Immigration Canada requires that Visitors should not have a criminal record or pose a security risk, should be in good health, and should have sufficient funds to support themselves during their temporary stay in Canada.

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