Canada Residency 101: How to Apply for Permanent Residency

Are you thinking of applying for permanent residency in Canada? 

Excellent choice! Canada is known as a land of opportunity, and for the past years, the numbers of successful PR applicants in the country have risen to over 280,000 people per year. 

If you’re wondering how to apply and don’t know where to start, we’ve provided you with an extensively detailed article on how to do so.

All you have to do is read to learn more.

A Brief Introduction to Canada's Permanent Residency

A Canadian permanent resident is a person who has been granted PR status by moving to Canada without being a Canadian citizen. 

Although permanent residents hold citizenship in other countries, students and foreign workers are not considered permanent residents.

Like any other country, Canadian permanent residents are provided with a valid permanent resident card or a permanent resident travel document (PRTD),

which must be available to present during all travels to and around Canada.

Table of Contents

What You Should Do Before Applying for Permanent Residency in Canada

To ensure that you are fully prepared to apply for Canada residency, you will need to follow several steps before filling out your application. 

This preparation process is essential for future applicants and will surely help you save time and effort once you begin applying. 

Step 1

Carefully research, review, and choose the program you think would be most suitable for you.

Step 2

Consider getting further help and advice from an immigration consultancy, such as CanadaCIS. 

Step 3

Make sure to gather the required documents ahead of time. It’s best to be prepared in advance than to search for the documents during application. 

Step 4

ALWAYS double-check. Triple-check if you have to.

Step 5

Check your passports’ expiration dates, government issues IDs, and other valid IDs needed for the application. 

Step 6

Create and keep copies of your required documents.

Step 7

Talk to others who are going through the same process as you are.

man overlooking mountain
Acquiring Canadian residency has plenty of benefits.

Commonly Asked Questions

Acquiring Canada residency can be done in two steps.

  1. Apply to the chosen province you plan on moving to.
  2. Once you’ve been nominated into your chosen province, you will need to apply to IRCC for permanent residency.

For a more detailed description of how to apply for permanent residency in Canada, head over to the “How to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency section of this article.

The standard length of stay in Canada to become a resident is 2 years within a 5 year period. 

Do take note that the 2 years do not have to be continuous.

Becoming a permanent resident in any country can be challenging, but choosing to apply with

the help of immigration consultancies or services will make the process less time consuming and stressful.

These services can help you fill out numerous forms, obtain the documents needed for application, and keep you in line with strict deadlines.

It’s not necessarily “hard,” but it can be a time-consuming process that could be prevented by hiring an immigration expert

to help you juggle all the requirements before submitting your final application.

You’ll need to reach at least 67 points in your CRS score to be considered for Express Entry and permanent residency.

There’s a possibility that you can!

A great way to receive permanent residency is to apply for the Post Graduate Work Permit.

You may apply after at least two years in an accredited post-secondary school that they have attended on a full-time basis. 

This will significantly help you gain Canadian work experience and improve your chances for approval through the Express Entry program in terms of CRS scores.

Regardless of your ethnicity, age, or skills, permanent residency eligibility is available to anyone present in Canada

for at least 1,095 days during the five years before the date you submit and sign your application.

You can stay out of Canada for a maximum of 3 years during a 5-year period.

The most common way to lose your permanent residency is if you haven’t returned to Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years.

This can result in the loss of your permanent residency status.

How to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency

Want to know the right way to apply for permanent residency? We’ve got you covered with a step-by-step procedure on how:

Gather all required documents

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Use of representative form (only needed if you hired a representative)
  • Adoption certificate (if needed)
  • Divorce certificate (if needed)
  • Death certificate (for widows)
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Proof of finance
  • Medical examination results
  • Evidence of sponsor’s Canadian citizenship or permanent residence

Complete and Fill In the Application

Make sure to fill out the application completely. 

All information should be accurate and correct.

If a particular section does not apply to you, write “NA.”

Do not leave your application incomplete.


Upon completion of the application, make sure to click the “validate” button located on the form.

Note: this only applies to online applications.

Calculate and Pay for the Application Fees

It is highly recommended that you pay for the right of permanent residence fee ($500) right away to avoid any further delays. 

This should be paid for before you become a permanent resident.

To pay for your application fees, you will need access to the following:

  • A valid email address;
  • Printer for printing the receipt
  • A credit card

Mail and Submit the Application

Last but not least is to submit your application form. 

You may submit your application, payment for fees, and supporting documents in a 23 cm x 30.5 cm (9” x 12”) envelope through mail-in. 

CanadaCIS includes services that can easily help you with this process by submitting it on your behalf so that you don’t have to. 

woman applying for PR
There are several documents you’ll need to gather to prepare for PR in Canada, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, and more.

Canada Permanent Resident Requirements

For you to have a swift and smooth application experience on your Canada residency, you’ll need to prepare and complete the following requirements: 

  • Submit a medical certificate and criminal record check
  • A completed permanent resident visa application 
  • Pay for application fees
  • Show up to interviews with immigration representatives 
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your time in Canada
  • Take the skills assessment test
  • Results from your language test(s)
  • Pay additional fees
  • All original and copies of documents that should support your application (EX. educational degrees/diplomas, personal identification records, a letter from the spouse, and other information) should be submitted
woman holding canadian flag
There are several requirements you’ll need to submit along with your application.

The Best Immigration Programs for Permanent Residency

There are a good number of immigration programs you can choose from.

Some of the best immigration programs available for permanent residency are:

This program is the quickest option for permanent residency in Canada. The Express Entry is an online system that the Canadian government uses to screen and recruit applicants who plan to enter the country to live and work as skilled workers.


The Business Immigration program is open for successful business people seeking new opportunities and challenges in Canada. 

This program allows sponsored candidates to come and live in Canada through a relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.


The Provincial Nominee Programs are available to candidates who have the proper skills and work education to boost their chosen province’s economy. Some PNP options to consider are:


  • Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program
  • British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program
  • Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program
  • New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nomination Program
  • Northwest Territories Provincial Nominee Program
  • Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program
  • Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
  • Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program
  • Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
  • Yukon Provincial Nominee Program (Yukon PNP)

What You Should Know About the Canada PR Card

The Permanent Resident (PR) Card is a representation of your PR status in Canada. 

You will need to show this card along with your passport when returning to Canada via land, air, and sea. It’s best to take it everywhere you go outside of Canada and during long travels.

Always make sure to check the expiration date of your card. 

A PR card is typically valid from 1 to 5 years.

Most applicants will receive their cards by mail. 

Canada does not mail PR cards outside of the country, so if you plan on receiving one, try to find someone within Canada who is trustworthy enough to accept it for you.  

The Total Cost of Permanent Residency

The total cost of Canada’s permanent residence processing fee is $500 Canadian dollars per adult. 

Disclaimer: This is just the fee for permanent residency and does not include the additional application fees such as biometrics, medical examinations, Right of Citizenship fee, or additional fees for dependents such as spouse and children. 

hand holding up a bill
Applying for permanent residency can cost you, but it’ll be worth it.

What Permanent Residents Can and Cannot Do in Canada


  • Receive most of the social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including healthcare benefits
  • Receive the right to live, work, or study anywhere in Canada
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship after a period of residence
  • Receive protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms


  • Skip on paying taxes
  • Disrespect Canadian laws at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels
  • Receive a Canadian passport
  • Leave Canada for more than 730 days during the 5-year period of your stay

The Benefits of Becoming a Permanent Resident in Canada

  • The freedom to live and work anywhere in Canada
  • Full access to almost all Canadian healthcare and social services
  • The chance to sponsor family members for Canada residency 
  • A chance to become a Canadian citizen
  • The right to permanent residence as long as you meet the requirements and follow laws
woman overlooking mountain with canadian flag
Canadian permanent residency is one of the best choices you can make.

Becoming a permanent resident in Canada is truly something to look forward to.

The benefits and opportunities in this country are endless, and there’s nothing more rewarding than to finally feel like a part of one of the best countries in the world. 

As mentioned, this may be a long and time-consuming process, but the efforts are most certainly worth it. 

Here at CanadaCIS, we know how it feels to start on such a life-changing journey.

That is why our services are designed to direct future immigrants to the proper path of Canadian residency.

Learn more about Permanent Residency in Canada