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 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.
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
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