HomeCanada ImmigrationHow to Apply for Permanent Residence in Canada

How to Apply for Permanent Residence in Canada

Whether you are an immigrant outside or within Canada, if you wish to permanently reside in Canada, you need a grant from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Canada, being a top world country, having borders with the United States of  America and having a top-notch educational system, makes it a place you would want a permanent resident for.

Over 200,000 people get to be Canada permanent residents every year, this is a whole lot of number, making your chances realistic. People tend to become Canada permanent residents so as to obtain Canadian Citizenship and Visa.

canada permanent residency

On top of that, as a Canadian resident, you are entitled to the same rights as a Canadian citizen which include: healthcare, protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, establish their residence and work in any Canadian province, and applying for Canadian citizenship once the requirements have been met.

Canadian permanent residency is a privilege that can be withdrawn at any time if the individual is convicted of an offence that may warrant him to be deported. However, permanent residents may not have the right to hold public office, vote, or join the military. 

It takes quite a process to obtain a Canada residency permit, and this post walks you through all you need to know, and how to acquire the Canadian Permanent Residency.

What is Canada Permanent Residence (PR)?

Permanent Residence (PR) in Canada is a grant given by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to an individual (immigrant) who is not a Canadian citizen. This grant allows the individual to live and work in Canada without any time limit on their stay. 

There are a couple of ways to obtain a permanent residency in Canada, and you can tell that you have so many benefits if you permanently reside in Canada, and one major benefit is the right of abode in Canada.

If a person is in Canada with a Study Permit or Work Permit, they are temporary and are not regarded as permanent residents of Canada. They may have to leave Canada after their permit expires.

Benefits of Getting a Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada?

There’s no doubt that there are a lot of benefits for immigrants with permanent resident permit in Canada. We will hand-pick just five benefits you stand to gain as a Canadian permanent resident.

  • A 5 year’s Canada multiple entries visa.
  • A “family status” under which both applicants (spouse) are eligible to work full time.
  • You have free education for your children, health and social provisions for your family.
  • Opportunity for you to invite parent’s post-settlement.
  • As a permanent resident in Canada, you have access to the United States of America.

Canada Permanent Resident (PR) Eligibility

To check you are eligible for a Canada Permanent Residence, you can calculate your eligibility score in the Express Entry CRS system. The determinant of your score includes the following factors: official language proficiency, second official language, Canadian work experience, age, and level of education. 

Secondly, you will need to prove that you can yourself and your family throughout your stay in Canada, by showing that you have sufficient funding. This may not be the case if you already have a job in Canada or if you have a job offer from a Canadian employer.

Canada Permanent Resident (PR) Requirements

A Canadian permanent resident is required to fulfill their residency obligation to the country if they wish to continue their resident status. Canadian governance requires you to spend a minimum of 2 years in the country every 5 years period in Canada. hence, an officer at the Port of Entry or at the Canada visa office has the right to confirm if you have fulfilled your obligations by counting back 5 years to verify if you have been in the country for at least 730 days.

This simply means that the Canada Permanent Resident requirement is to spend a minimum of 730 days in Canada within the last five years doing one of the following:

  • Residing and remaining in Canada
  • Accompanying their Canadian citizen spouse abroad
  • Working abroad for a Canadian company

It is a notable fact that Canadian permanent resident can lose their status by failing to meet the residency obligation. 

Application – How to Apply for Permanent Resident (PR) in Canada

Anyone can apply for a Canada permanent residence, but only those qualified will be chosen. We have written a step-by-step guide to applying for a permanent resident in Canada.

Step 1: Get Your Documents Ready

Check the Document Checklist (IMM  5690) (PDF) to guide you in selecting the necessary documentation.

Note: If all the information on the checklist is not provided, your application will be returned to you.

Step 2. Complete the Application

You have to complete the following forms below.

Note: It is considered a serious offence to give false or misleading information on these forms. It sometimes happens that the information on your application may be subject to verification. (All the forms above are from the official Canadian immigration site www.canada.ca. and we will make sure we update them once there is any modification)

Step 3. Pay Your Fees

We have arranged a table for you below, listing out all you have to pay for. Use this table to calculate the total amount to be paid. You may not submit your application without the processing fee as the fee must be included with your application.

It is recommended for you to pay the right of permanent residence fee (CAN$490) at the beginning in order to avoid future delays because you will have to pay it before you become a permanent resident.

Application (per person) $CAN
Your application



The processing fee is ($550) and the right of permanent residence fee is ($490)

Application fee (excluding the right of permanent residence fee) $550
Include your spouse or partner



The processing fee is ($550) and the right of permanent residence fee is ($490)

Add your spouse or partner (excluding the right of permanent residence fee) $550
Include a dependent child $150

If you started your immigration process before August 1st, 2014, kindly consult this page to see the Definition of Dependent Children Before August 1st, 2014.

Note: Right of Permanent Residence fee shall not be paid by dependent children.

Biometrics Fees $CAN
Biometrics – per person $85
Biometrics – per family (2 or more people)


A family that comprises of 2 or more people who are applying at the same time and place maximum fee


Step 4. Mail the Application

Instruction for mailing

To determine where to submit your application, follow the instructions below.

A 23 cm x 30.5 cm (9” x 12”) envelope is to be used to put the completed forms, supporting documents required by the CIO, and fee payment.

After filing your required documents in an envelope, send your completed application to 1 of the addresses shown below, this depends on how it will be mailed.

canada permanent residency

Finally, endeavour to use and submit the Document Checklist (IMM 5690) (PDF) alongside supporting documents and application forms.

Your application should be taken seriously as it will be manually checked by real people. The check includes; determining that all required application forms have been properly completed and submitted, that your application processing fee has been paid, and that all required documents from the checklist are submitted.

If your application is found to be lagging in any way, let’s say some documents are not complete or you did not fill some forms correctly or completely, it will be returned to you.

Your application may also be refused in cases where you fail to provide supporting documents.

If you want to know the processing time for Canadian permanent residence, check the IRCC website as it is published weekly over there.

Different Pathways to Immigrate to Canada on Permanent Residency (PR) 

There are a number of ways in which you can acquire the Canada Permanent Residence through the Canadian Government or IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada), this includes; skilled immigration pathway, business and investor immigration, family sponsorship program, and even a lot more. Let’s take a look at them one after the other.

Skilled Immigration Pathway

As a skilled worker who is trying to gain a permanent residency in Canada, you will have to apply through the online Express Entry System. This is the easiest way to migrate to Canada and get a PR visa as well. The express entry system has three main categories which include the following;

  • Federal Express Entry System
    • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) – If you are a skilled worker outside, this is a good fit for you.
    • Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program – For all applicants with experience in a skilled trade
    • Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – For those who already have some work experience in Canada 
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Canada has a lot of provinces, and every province in Canada has its own PNP through which they can select skilled and talented people and subsequently, nominate them for Canada PR visas. Here are some of the PNPs of Canadian provinces (SINP, OINP, AINP, NSNP PEI PNP, MPNP, BCPNP, etc.)

Other PR pathways 

There are still other pathways aside from the skilled immigration pathway, see the list below.

  • Family Sponsorship
  • Investors Entrepreneurs and Self Employed
  • Live in Caregiver Visa

Quebec Immigration

Quebec is popular for the intake of immigrants and is one of the major provinces in Canada, that has its own immigration program.

  • Quebec skilled worker program (QSWP)

Permanent Resident Card in Canada

After the September 2002 event, as part of the security improvements, the Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration started issuing the permanent resident card, known as the “PR card“, to all new Canadian permanent residents.

In case you do not know about the September 2002 event, it is also referred to as 9/11. If you want to read more, you can see this article on Wikipedia.

Following the event, all existing permanent residents in Canada were given the option of applying for a permanent resident card at a cost of $50. This card was not made mandatory except in the case of international travel. 

The permanent resident card is to be issued within Canada, this has made it difficult for permanent residents outside Canada to apply, hence the Canadian government has made available a single-use Permanent Resident Travel Document, which allows permanent residents outside Canada to without a permanent resident card to apply for from the nearest Canadian diplomatic office.

It is important to note that the permanent resident card expires every five years, and should be renewed through an application process. Your card may not be renewed if you have not been physically present in Canada for the required period of time. You have to prove that you have been physically present in Canada, or have satisfied the residency requirements. 

It is possible for one to meet the residency requirements while living outside Canada, and this includes people living with a Canadian citizen spouse, or those working outside Canada for Canadian businesses. That been said, it is still not possible to renew your Permanent Resident Card without being present in Canada and also having a Canadian address.

Canada Permanent Resident Card Renewal Process

If you have already read this article, you would know by now that your Canada Permanent Resident Card is valid for just 5 years, and after that, you may have to renew it in order for it to remain valid.

You are only eligible to apply for a card renewal if your permanent resident (PR) card is expired or will expire in less than 9 months. Having a new card means, you are extending your permanent residence time to an extra 5 years.

Read more on Canada permanent resident card renewal process.

Please do well to contact us in a case where you need clarity. We will be glad to help you.


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