Emigrating to Canada and receiving status there as a permanent resident entitles you to live, work and study there for as long as you like.
Canadian permanent residents have almost all the same rights as a Canadian citizen who was born there. The rights you’ll be entitled to include:
o Government-funded health care
o Subsidised education
o Unrestricted access to Canadian jobs
o Unemployment insurance benefits
o Pension benefits
o The freedom to live anywhere in Canada
Canadian immigration restrictions
Unlike many other countries, the Canadian Government’s policies promote immigration and as such, rather than having an immigration limit, Canada has immigration targets. For example, in 2009 Canada hopes to admit up to 265,000 permanent residents.
Immigrants can move to Canada from any country in the world.
Applying for permanent residence in Canada
It is possible for whole families to move to Canada and you can apply for yourself, your spouse and any children at the same time.
You can also be sponsored to move there by anyone who is Canadian or has permanent residence.
The first stage for applying for permanent residence in Canada is to work out the category that’s best for you.
The available categories are:
o Family Sponsorship – This means you would be sponsored by a Canadian relative or close friend who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident aged 18 or over. The sponsor would need to promise to support you and your family for a period of three to ten years whilst you settle in Canada.
o Skilled Worker Programme – This is a points-based system for professionals who can show that they will be able to support themselves financially. You need at least 67 points to be eligible.
o Investors – To move to Canada as an investor you need to have at least $800,000 saved up, have managerial experience and be prepared to donate a specified lump sum, or sums over a period of time, to the Canadian Government. You don’t have to intend to start a business in Canada.
o Entrepreneurs – To qualify for this category you must, amongst other things, be planning to, and prove that you can, start a business in Canada and be worth at least £300,000.
o Self-employed – This category of visa is for applicants with relevant experience in culture, athletics or farm management. You’ll need to prove that you can make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada or purchase and manage a farm in Canada.
o Humanitarian and compassionate grounds – This is for those who can demonstrate good reasons why they would suffer hardship if they had to leave Canada.
Once you’ve been a permanent resident in Canada for three years, you can apply for citizenship and if accepted you’ll be eligible for a Canadian passport. You will still be able to keep your passport from your country of origin too because Canada recognises dual citizenship.