A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by Citizenship Immigration Canada but is not a Canadian citizen.  A person residing temporarily Canada e.g. student or foreign worker can not assume they are automatically permanent residents just because they are living in Canada.

As a permanent resident, you:

  • get most of the social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage
  • can live, work or study anywhere in Canada
  • can apply for Canadian citizenship,
  • get protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • must pay pay taxes
  • adhere to and respect all Canadian laws

However you cannot vote, hold political office or hold certain high security jobs.

All persons wishing to become Permanent Residents must apply to so so. There are several different programs through which you can obtain permanent residence in Canada.   The criteria used to determine which program is best suited to you are:

  • Your nationality
  • Age
  • How well you can speak, read and write either English or French or both
  • How many family members plan to immigrate and their ages
  • Your level and field of education
  • Industry related work experience and the type of work you do
  • Your current income and net worth
  • Whether you have an arrangement for employment in Canada

Permanent Residence categories:

Canadian Experience Class

Express Entry

Family sponsorship

Federal skilled workers

Federal Skilled Trades Program


Live-in caregivers

Quebec‑selected skilled workers

Provincial Nominee Program

DID YOU KNOW? A Canadian Permanent Resident Card expires every five years.  You must then renew the card by submitting an application and proving that you have been physically present in Canada for the requisite time period, or have otherwise satisfied the residency requirements.  Even if you are travelling or working outside Canada for  for a Canadian business, the Permanent Resident Card cannot be renewed without being present in Canada and having a Canadian address.