Permanent Resident status in Canada

Canada is renowned for its inclusive immigration policies and diverse opportunities, making it a prime destination for those seeking permanent residency. However, one of the most common questions aspiring immigrants have is: “How long does it typically take to get permanent resident status in Canada?” The answer depends on several factors, including the type of immigration program, the applicant’s specific circumstances, and the processing times of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various pathways to permanent residency (PR) and their respective timelines. Permanent Resident status in Canada

Pathways to Permanent Residency

There are multiple pathways to obtaining permanent residency in Canada, each with its own set of requirements and processing times. The most common routes include:

  1. Express Entry
  2. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  3. Family Sponsorship
  4. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  5. Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers
  6. Start-Up Visa Program
  7. Caregivers Program
  8. Refugees and Humanitarian Programs

Express Entry

Express Entry is one of the fastest and most popular ways to gain permanent residency in Canada. It’s an online system that manages applications for three economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. Permanent Resident status in Canada

Processing Time:

  • On average, the Express Entry process takes about 6 months from the date of submission of a complete application to receive a decision. However, this timeline can vary based on individual circumstances and the completeness of the application.

Steps Involved:

  1. Create an Online Profile: Prospective immigrants create an online profile and are placed into a pool of candidates based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
  2. Invitation to Apply (ITA): The highest-ranking candidates receive an ITA during periodic draws.
  3. Submit Application: Once an ITA is received, candidates have 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residency.
  4. Processing: IRCC reviews the application and makes a decision, usually within six months.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The PNP allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and settle in a specific province. Each province has its own criteria and streams.

Processing Time:

  • The processing time for PNPs can vary widely. The provincial nomination process itself can take between 1-3 months. After receiving the nomination, the federal processing time for the permanent residence application is generally around 6-19 months.

Steps Involved:

  1. Apply to Province/Territory: Applicants must first apply to the PNP of the province or territory where they intend to settle.
  2. Receive Nomination: If nominated, the applicant can then apply to the federal government for permanent residency.
  3. Submit PR Application: Submit the PR application to IRCC, including the nomination certificate.
  4. Processing: IRCC processes the application and makes a decision.

Family Sponsorship

Family Sponsorship allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their relatives, including spouses, partners, children, parents, and grandparents, to become permanent residents.

Processing Time:

  • For spousal and partner sponsorship, the average processing time is about 12 months. For parents and grandparents, the processing time can range from 20-24 months.

Steps Involved:

  1. Submit Sponsorship Application: The sponsor submits an application to IRCC to sponsor their family member.
  2. Submit PR Application: The sponsored family member submits a permanent residency application.
  3. Processing: IRCC reviews both applications and makes a decision.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The CEC is designed for individuals who have already gained work experience in Canada and wish to become permanent residents.

Processing Time:

  • The CEC is managed under the Express Entry system, and the average processing time is around 6 months.

Steps Involved:

  1. Create an Online Profile: Create a profile under the Express Entry system.
  2. Invitation to Apply (ITA): Receive an ITA based on the CRS score.
  3. Submit Application: Submit the PR application within 60 days of receiving the ITA.
  4. Processing: IRCC processes the application and makes a decision.

Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers

Quebec has its own immigration selection process. Individuals who wish to settle in Quebec must apply through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP).

Processing Time:

  • The processing time can vary but typically takes around 12-24 months.

Steps Involved:

  1. Apply to Quebec: Submit an application for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).
  2. Receive CSQ: Once issued, apply for permanent residency to the federal government.
  3. Submit PR Application: Submit the PR application to IRCC.
  4. Processing: IRCC processes the application and makes a decision.

Start-Up Visa Program

This program is for entrepreneurs who have the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that are innovative, can create jobs for Canadians, and can compete on a global scale.

Processing Time:

  • The average processing time is around 12-16 months.

Steps Involved:

  1. Secure Investment: Obtain a letter of support from a designated organization.
  2. Submit PR Application: Submit the permanent residence application to IRCC.
  3. Processing: IRCC processes the application and makes a decision.

Caregivers Program

This program allows individuals who have provided care to children, elderly, or people with high medical needs in Canada to apply for permanent residency.

Processing Time:

  • Processing times can vary but typically take around 12-24 months.

Steps Involved:

  1. Gain Work Experience: Work as a caregiver in Canada for at least 24 months.
  2. Submit PR Application: Apply for permanent residency through the caregiver program.
  3. Processing: IRCC processes the application and makes a decision.

Refugees and Humanitarian Programs

These programs provide protection to individuals who are fleeing persecution, conflict, or human rights violations.

Processing Time:

  • Processing times for refugee and humanitarian applications can vary widely, often taking several months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the case and the country of origin.

Steps Involved:

  1. Claim Refugee Status: Submit a refugee claim either at a port of entry or online.
  2. Refugee Hearing: Attend a hearing to determine eligibility for refugee protection.
  3. Submit PR Application: If granted protection, apply for permanent residency.
  4. Processing: IRCC processes the application and makes a decision.

Factors Affecting Processing Times

Several factors can influence the processing times for permanent residency applications:

Completeness of Application:

Incomplete applications or missing documents can cause delays.

Country of Origin:

Applicants from certain countries may experience longer processing times due to higher volumes or additional security checks.

Program Demand:

High demand for certain immigration programs can lead to longer processing times.

Security and Background Checks:

Thorough background checks can extend processing times.

IRCC Workload:

The overall workload and efficiency of IRCC can impact how quickly applications are processed.

    Tips for Faster Processing

    Submit Complete Applications:

    Ensure all required documents and information are provided.

    Check for Updates:

    Regularly check the status of your application and respond promptly to any requests from IRCC.

    Use Authorized Representatives:

    Consider hiring an immigration lawyer or consultant to ensure your application is correctly completed and submitted.

    Stay Informed:

    Keep up to date with any changes in immigration policies or procedures that may affect your application.


      The timeline for obtaining permanent resident status in Canada varies depending on the immigration pathway and individual circumstances. While some programs, like Express Entry, offer relatively quick processing times of around six months, others, such as family sponsorship or provincial programs, can take longer. By understanding the specific requirements and timelines associated with each program, applicants can better prepare and increase their chances of a smooth and timely immigration process.

      Becoming a permanent resident of Canada is a significant milestone, offering a wealth of opportunities and the possibility of eventually attaining Canadian citizenship. Patience, preparation, and adherence to the guidelines set forth by IRCC are key to navigating the journey successfully. For more info contact us now.

      Canada Added 27,000 Jobs in May 2024: A Detailed Overview

      Copyright © 2024 All Right Reserved | Web Services by Discover of Solutions