Our clients are amazed when I tell them that there are so many ways to get your permanent residence to Canada. If you have a relative in Canada who is a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident, they could potentially sponsor you for Canada immigration under the Family Class category. Or, you may be able to apply under the Skilled Worker category on your own based on your own credentials if you have a certain level of education, work experience and can speak English or French etc. Finally, if you are a business person, you may be able to qualify under the Entrepreneur or Investor categories.
There is even a category for some for people living without legal status in Canada called the Humanitarian and Compassionate category or “H & C”. H & C applicants must show that they have successfully established themselves in Canada, despite their lack of status and will suffer undue hardship in their home country should they be required to leave Canada. H & C cases are often difficult to win because in only exceptional circumstances do immigration officers approve such cases. It is very important therefore to document your Humanitarian and Compassionate applications very well to convince an officer that your case is worthy of an approval.
But regardless of the immigration category, whether it be Humanitarian and Compassionate, Skilled Worker, Family Class or Business Immigration, there is usually a lengthly processing time ranging from 6 months for some Family Class cases to over 5 years for some Skilled Worker or Business Immigration cases. Often the specific immigration office or Canadian Embassy will determine the processing times of your application so before making an application it is important to inquire about how long it will take. A qualified Canadian immigration lawyer should be able to give you this information in order for you to make an informed decision about processing times.
You should also know that for certain applications such as Humanitarian and Compassionate cases, only Canadian immigration offices in Canada accept them. Others like Skilled Worker or Business cases are filed to Embassies outside of Canada. Again, a qualified immigration lawyer should be able to advise you on the appropriate place to file your application.
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