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Registration and ResidencyBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Canada - Registration and Residency
One of the best ways to become a permanent resident of Canada is to go as a skilled worker. Your application to make a permanent move to the country is assessed on your educational background, your work experience and skills as well as your language skills. If you can show that your skills are in demand and that you have established yourself then your application will be looked upon favourably. It should be noted that the province of Quebec has its own system for skilled workers and they should be applied to directly for the initial immigration process before making the standard application for permanent residency.
An application package can be downloaded from the website and this includes all the forms that you need to complete as well as an instruction guide. The forms need to be printed and completed fully, with all the questions answered. There are also forms that require you to give details of your background and economic situation, as well as details of the family members that will be coming with you. All supporting documentation, such as passport copies, birth and marriage certificates and driver’s licence should be included with the application. Anything missing means that your application will be returned without being processed and this can delay the application process considerably.
Everyone who applies is required to undergo medical, background and criminal checks. Those who have a criminal record or who may be a security risk will not be allowed into the country. Fees for these checks are the responsibility of the applicant. This also applies to the language test. There are also processing fees for immigration applications, though if you are found to not be eligible this particular fee can be refunded. Then for permanent residency there is a further fee. This is only charged after your initial immigration has been approved.
Those who are self employed or who want to start or invest in a business can become permanent residents under the Business Immigration Program. In order to qualify you must have a minimum of $400,000 (C$) to invest in a business. There are different classes of qualification for this programme – for investors, entrepreneurs and those who are self-employed – and the criteria for each are different, but they changed regularly, so it is worth checking with the immigration website for the latest information.
Other categories of permanent residency application include those who have previously worked or are working in Canada on a temporary basis. The application process is very similar to that already mentioned and the latest details can be obtained from the immigration website. There are also schemes run by each province where they can nominate people to move permanently to the country. This is usually on the basis that the applicant has skills which are desperately needed in that area.
Once you have become a permanent resident you may wish for your family to join you, so you are able to sponsor a spouse or partner and any dependent family member such as a parent, grandparent or child to also become a permanent resident. If you sponsor your family members you are responsible for them financially when they first arrive as they will not be eligible for financial assistance from the state. There are two different processes for sponsoring family members. The first is for partner/spouse and dependent children. The second is for parents/grandparents or other dependent family members. The application packs are available to download from the immigration website. Supporting documentation for family members will include birth and marriage certificates, driver’s licenses and adoption certificates if applicable. Family members will also be subject to the same medical and police checks as you are and there are fees connected to this.
Once your application for permanent status has been approved you will be able to collect your card in person. You must take with you the original copies of the supporting documentation that you sent with your original application so this can be double checked and verified when you collect the card.
Once permanent residency has been granted, it can be kept by spending two years of each five year period in the country. The permanent resident card is issued when the status is granted and is needed as identification when you are travelling. A foreign individual residing in Canada needs to have this card in order to return. The card does not need to be applied for as it is automatically issued when you are granted your residency status, but you will need to apply for a replacement when it expires.
There is no requirement for British expats to register with the British embassy but there is an online system known as LOCATE, and it is recommended that you sign up to this as it can make it easier to locate you in the event of an emergency. Formal registers are not kept as the numbers of expats in the country are high. US citizens are recommended to register with the State Department. This can be done online for those who are already living in Canada.
In addition to the embassies for the UK and the US there are a number of consulates located around Canada.
1111 Melville Street
Suite 800 Vancouver
Tel: 604 683 4421
Fax: 604 681 0693
British Consulate-General Toronto
777 Bay Street, Suite 2800
Tel: 416 593 1290
Fax: 416 593 1229
British Consulate-General Montreal
1000 De La Gauchetière St. W.
Suite 4200 Montreal, Quebec
Tel: 514 866 5863
Fax: 514 866 0202
British Consulate Calgary
3000-150 6 Ave SW
Tel: 403 705 1755
Fax: 403 538 0121
British Consulate Quebec
Tel: 418 521 3000
British Consulate Winnipeg
Tel: 204 896 1380
British Consulate Dartmouth
Tel: 902 461 1381
British Consulate St John’s
Tel: 709 579 2002
US Consultate Calgary
615 Macleod Trail
S.E. Suite 1000
T2G 4T8 Tel: (403) 266-8962
US Consulate Halifax
Suite 904, Purdy's Wharf Tower II
1969 Upper Water Street
Tel (General): (902) 429-2480
Tel (Emergency): (902) 429-2480
US Consulate Montreal
1155 rue St-Alexandré
Tel (General): (514) 398-9695
Tel (Emergency): (514) 981-5059
US Consulate Quebec
2 Place Terrasse Dufferin (Vieux Quebec, behind Château Frontenac)
Tel (General): 418-692-2095
Tel (Emergency): 418-692-2095
US Consulate Toronto
360 University Ave.
Tel (General): 416.595.1700
US Consulate Vancouver
1075 West Pender Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Tel (General): 604-685-4311
US Consulate Winnipeg
201 Portage Avenue
Tel: (204) 940-1800
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