Requirements for Canadian Permanent Residency

Canada is a welcoming country that embraces diversity, as of 2023, over 24% of the country’s population are immigrants. Many individuals initially came to Canada to pursue higher education, while others came here to work, some came as tourists but have over time transitioned to permanent residents and citizens.

Requirement for Canada Residency

Becoming a permanent resident of Canada isn’t easy but certainly not impossible. You need to meet the requirements and submit an application, and your application will be verified by immigration refugees and Citizenship Canada.

If found qualified, you will be granted permanent residency. Over time, the transition from temporary status to permanent residency has become a significant aspect of Canada’s immigration story. If you are currently in Canada and wish to apply for permanent residency, here are the requirements for Canadian permanent residency.

Requirements for Canadian Permanent Residency

The requirements you need to get permanent residency in Canada vary based on the pathway (there are different immigration pathways in Canada) you choose to immigrate. Different paths have different things you need to meet to become a permanent resident.

Each path has its requirements that match the type of program it is. So, depending on what you’re eligible for and interested in, the process will have its own set of conditions.

Express Entry System


  • Eligibility for the specific program: Depending on the program you’re applying for (Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Canadian Experience Class), you need to meet the specific criteria outlined by each program.
  • Comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score: You also need to calculate your CRS score based on your age, level of education, work experience, language proficiency (English or French), and adaptability.
  • Invitation to apply (ITA): You must have a CRS score that meets or exceeds the minimum score set for a particular draw to receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residency.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)


  • Eligibility for provincial streams: Each province or territory has its streams targeting different types of applicants, such as skilled workers, international graduates, or entrepreneurs.
  • Job offer: You will need a valid job offer from an employer in the specific province you are interested in.
  • Work experience and education: You also need to meet the required work experience and education criteria for your chosen provincial stream.
  • Language proficiency: Finally, you need to demonstrate your language proficiency in English or French as required by the province.

Family Sponsorship


  • Sponsor’s status: Your sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Relationship: If you are a Canadian citizen or Permanent resident, you can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, dependent children, parents, or grandparents.
  • Financial Support: As a sponsor, you must demonstrate your ability to financially support the sponsored family member and ensure they don’t rely on social assistance when they arrive in Canada.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)


  • Work experience: You need at least 12 months of full-time skilled work experience in Canada within the last three years before applying.
  • NOC skill type: The work experience must fall under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A, or B.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)

This pilot program is designed for skilled workers and international graduates who wish to settle in the Atlantic provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.


  • Job offer: You need a job offer from a designated employer in one of the participating Atlantic provinces.
  • Endorsement: The employer must provide an endorsement to support your application.
  • Language proficiency: You must meet the required language proficiency levels in English or French.

Start-Up Visa Program


  • Commitment from a designated entity: You need a commitment from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator.
  • Qualifying business: In addition to getting a commitment from a designated entity in Canada, your business idea should meet the innovation and job creation criteria set for the program.

Caregiver Program


  • Valid Job offer: For the caregiver program, you need a valid job offer from a Canadian employer for a caregiving position for children, elderly individuals, or individuals with high medical needs.
  • Language proficiency: You also need to meet the required language proficiency levels in English or French.
  • Education/Training: Depending on the specific caregiver role, you may need to demonstrate relevant education, training, or experience.

Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)


  • Eligibility for Quebec selection certificate (CSQ): Quebec has its selection process. You must meet the criteria defined by Quebec, which include education, work experience, language proficiency (French), and others.
  • Job offer (optional): While not mandatory, having a valid job offer from a Quebec employer can boost your chances.

Self-Employed Program


  • Experience in cultural activities, athletics, or farm management: You must have relevant experience in one of these areas to contribute to Canadian culture, athletics, or the economy.
  • Demonstrate intent: You need to show that you intend to become self-employed in Canada and meet the selection criteria set for this program.

Each Canadian immigration pathway has its PR requirements and they can change over time.

You need to meet the requirements of your chosen immigration pathway before you become a permanent resident.

How do I know which immigration pathway to choose for permanent residency?

The best pathway depends on your skills, work experience, education, and goals. You can research different programs and consult with immigration professionals to find the one that suits you


How many years do you need to work in Canada to get permanent residency?

The number of years you need to work in Canada to get permanent residency depends on the specific immigration pathway you choose.

For example, the Canadian Experience Class requires at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada within the last three years.

Is IELTS compulsory for Canada PR?

IELTS or other language proficiency tests are often required as part of the eligibility criteria for many Canadian permanent residency programs.

How long does it take to get permanent residency in Canada?

It takes from several months to a few years to obtain permanent residency in Canada depending on the specific immigration pathway you are applying through.

Can I apply for permanent residency without a job offer in Canada?

Yes, some pathways, like Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs, allow you to apply without a job offer if you meet other criteria like education, work experience, and language proficiency.

Can I include my family members in my permanent residency application?

Yes, many pathways allow you to include your spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children in your application.

Final words

The requirements you need to apply for permanent residency in Canada depend on the immigration pathways you are applying through. Before choosing an immigration pathway, examine your skills, qualifications, and goals, and pick a pathway that matches your targets. It is easier to get Permanent residency when you are on the right immigration pathway.

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