How to Apply for a “Canadian Green Card”

Canada doesn’t really have a “green card” per se, but our “Green Card” is somewhat but not exactly equivalent to a permanent resident card or permanent resident status.

Like a United States green card holder, a permanent resident of Canada is someone who is foreign born and has immigrated to Canada but is not yet a Canadian citizen. The opportunity to become a Canadian citizen is there eventually, though. Permanent residents can also live and work anywhere in the country, as well as leave Canada and re-enter freely.

There are four main ways to becoming a permanent resident of Canada, and these may be called immigration categories or “streams”. To become a permanent resident, you will need to qualify under any one of these streams.

Ways of obtaining a Canadian green card

The immigration streams that can lead to permanent resident status in Canada are:

The Independent/Skilled Worker Category

A skilled worker has skills that make them useful to the Canadian labour market. They generally have higher education or valuable skills, and must have work experience in specific occupations including management occupations, professional occupations or skilled trades. To qualify for the skilled worker program, applicants are assessed using a points system. They earn points for things like their age, language proficiency, work experience and education, and require 67 points out of a possible 100 to qualify.

Business immigration

Business immigration includes investors and those who are self-employed. Self-employed persons must be able to purchase or establish a business in Canada that will contribute to the economy. Investors must be able to invest a specific sum of money in a Canadian business as well as have business experience.

Family Class Immigration

If you have a close relative or spouse who is a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen, they could be eligible to sponsor you to come to Canada and become a permanent resident.

Canadian Experience Class

People who come to Canada on a study permit or work permit who are proficient in one of the two official languages and have work experience in Canada may be able to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class. This is because they are familiar with Canadian society and the labour market, and will adjust to life in Canada easily.

Do you know if you qualify for a Canadian green card? Contact us! We can help you determine how best to become a permanent resident in Canada after an assessment of your case.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

8 thoughts on “How to Apply for a “Canadian Green Card”

  1. Mushtaq

    I am a high school graduate from India. I am interested in studying medicine in canada. I can speak english fluently and understand to the maximum. I am well acquainted with canadian culture. How will I be eligible to study medicine second what are the requirements.
    Thank you

    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Mushtaq. The first step in the study visa process is to get a letter of acceptance from an accredited Canadian learning institution. Once you have your acceptance letter, we can help you obtain the study visa that you will need to come to Canada.
      Regards, Muga

  2. Ngugi james

    I am a kenyan ages 27 na married i have a grade 3 in arc welding with a 5 year experience… Would like to apply for a visa to Canada… Can u help mr out please

    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Ngugi. You will first need a job offer from a Canadian company. You can search the Canadian job boards such as or . Once you have your job offer, we can help you obtain the work visa that you will need to come to Canada.
      Regards, Muga

  3. Francis Bahati

    I am a kenyan living in kenya at the moment,i hold a diploma in medical laboratory technology with experience of over 10yrs working in hospital environment and a former corrrectional officerfor 5yrs and speak fluent english ,am aged 35yrs with a family, am i eligible for any category of visa and greencard i realy love canada.thanks.

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Thank you for your inquiry Francis. I am really glad that you contacted us.

      There are many factors that are looked at when determining eligibility.

      Please Francis, complete this form for me it is just a quick and easy way for me to learn more details about you and your situation so that I will be able to advise you accurately and determine the best avenue for us to help you achieve your goal.


  4. Abdul Baseer

    Well, I think I don’t come any of above categories. My problem is something else! Why I want to qualify in the entire proces?
    I live in Afghanistan and I’ve gotten a bachelor degree in English literature. I’ve been working with coalition forces in Afghanistan since a year. since I got a job with them, my life is in danger. So I got a question! Can I qualify for this proces? Please inform me. I will appreciate you.

    1. Michael Niren Post author

      Hello Abdul

      There are a lot of challenges in applying for Canadian immigration from Afghanistan. If you dont fall into the immigration categories, it will be difficult. You can contact us for a formal assessment and we can see if there are options for you.


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