Is Seeking Canadian Citizenship Worth It?

Immigrating to any country is a big deal. So it’s only fair that you’re sure of your decision before you invest your time, money, and energy into immigrating. If you’re considering moving to Canada, one of the questions you might be asking yourself is whether it’s really worth it to seek Canadian citizenship.

The truth is, those who’re able to move to Canada and consciously make the decision to become citizens never regret it. Well, we haven’t heard any immigrants we’ve helped relocate come back to us wanting to renounce their citizenship!

Without further ado, below are some of the benefits that make seeking Canadian citizenship worth it.

Vast Job Opportunities

Canadian citizens can work in any location and for any legal Canadian company. Unlike permanent residents, citizens are not restricted from working for specific companies and in specific roles.

As a citizen, you’re eligible to apply and work in jobs that require a security clearance, a privilege that is not extended to those with a Canada permanent resident card.

Citizens Can Run for Political Office and Vote

One of the best advantages of being a citizen of any country, Canada included, is the privilege of choosing your leaders. Most importantly, as a citizen, you can run for elective office and be the change you want to see.

Canadian citizens enjoy the right to vote in provincial and federal elections, giving them a hand in shaping how their country is run.

Ability to Travel Visa-Free to Multiple Countries

Most people love to travel. Unfortunately, many would-be travellers are restricted from traveling because they often need a visa to enter the country they’re traveling to.

However, for the most part, Canadian citizens don’t have such a problem. Canadian citizens get a Canadian passport, which is one of the strongest in the world. In fact, the Canadian passport ranks as the 7th most powerful globally.

Canadian citizens with a Canadian passport can travel to 180+ destinations visa-free. In most of those destinations, Canadians don’t need a visa while in the few that require a visa, Canada’s citizens can apply at the destination.

Additionally, for immigrants whose home countries allow dual citizenship, Canada allows you to retain both Canadian and your native citizenship.

Canadian Citizenship is Permanent

While foreigners with a Canada permanent resident card have the freedom to work and live anywhere in Canada, their status is not permanent. There are multiple reasons a permanent resident can lose their status and be kicked out of the country.

This is a problem that citizens don’t have to worry about. Once the Canadian government grants you citizenship, they can’t cancel or revoke it later – it’s permanent.

No Immigration Documents to Track

As mentioned before, citizenship is permanent once it’s granted by the Canadian government. On the other hand, the Canadian permanent resident card is only valid for a period of five years, after which you need to renew it.

In addition, when traveling outside the country, permanent residents have to ensure their permanent resident cards don’t expire while they’re abroad. Otherwise, they’ll have a hard time being admitted back into the country.

However, citizens don’t need to track their immigration and the validity of their residency. Additionally, citizens can travel out of Canada and will always be allowed back into the country without a fuss.

How Do I Become a Canadian Citizen?

There are different requirements candidates who want to become Canadian citizens have to meet. While this may change depending on circumstances, below are 5 qualification criteria you MUST meet before applying for Canadian citizenship:

  • Be a permanent resident
  • Prove your language skills
  • Have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years
  • Have filed your taxes for at least the last 3 years if you’re eligible
  • Pass a test on your knowledge of Canada and your rights and responsibilities

The benefits above are among the reasons why Canadian citizenship is a popular option among foreigners looking to immigrate. With the right guidance, you too can become a Canadian permanent resident and start cultivating your path to citizenship.

Immigrate to Canada

Canada is one of the best countries for foreigners to immigrate and work in. The country’s fast-growing and highly industrialized economy presents unlimited opportunities and potential for every resident and immigrant to explore.

Additionally, because of the country’s wealth, Canadian residents have some of the highest standards of living in the world. Couple that with a stable political scene and the government’s commitment to welcoming immigrants and you have a country where foreigners will not only feel at home but have more chances to thrive.

How to Immigrate to Canada

Fortunately, there are so many ways (over 80) to immigrate to Canada and become a Canadian permanent resident. However, if you’re only considering Canadian immigration today, you’ll want to speak to an immigration consultant to guide you on the best path for you.

Otherwise, the options available may overwhelm you. Besides, with a thorough understanding of Canadian immigration paths and requirements, immigration consultants know which pathway will most likely work for you based on your needs.

That said, below is a brief list of the best and most popular pathways for foreigners to become permanent residents of Canada.

Economic & Professional Immigration

If you ask anyone which immigration pathway is best if you want to become a Canadian permanent resident, they’ll probably mention an economic or professional pathway. Typically, these pathways are best for skilled professionals whose expertise and education is essential for the growth of the Canadian economy. Be aware that the COVID-19 pandemic may have significantly lengthened the processing time and/or slots available for each path.

Although these broadly fall under the same category, their qualification criteria are vastly different. These immigration pathways include:

  • Express Entry – The most popular and fastest immigration pathway, Express Entry is a government program that invites skilled workers in specific professions to apply for Canadian permanent residency
  • Provincial Nominee Programs – Also known as PNPs, these pathways provide foreigners with the opportunity to immigrate to specific Canadian provinces and territories
  • Quebec Immigration – Immigration to Quebece has a special set of guidelines, unlike other Canadian territories that foreign residency applicants need to meet

Other than the three above, there are plenty of other popular immigration pathways including an entrepreneur and self-employed programs, caregivers programs, and most recently, the Atlantic Immigration Program, which was previously a pilot project.

Family Sponsorship

This immigration pathway is available for foreigners with family in Canada who are already permanent residents or Canadian citizens.

If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the family members you can sponsor include:

  • A spouse or conjugal/common-law partner
  • An adopted or biological dependent child
  • Grandparents and parents

Depending on the circumstance and typically if you have no other relatives you can sponsor, the following may be eligible:

  • Your brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild if they’re orphaned

Humanitarian & Refugee Immigration

Canada is huge on humanitarian and refugee immigration and resettlement. Thus, a significant portion of immigrants that Canada targets are those moving into the country on compassionate grounds.

What You Need to Immigrate to Canada

The requirements you need to fulfill to immigrate to Canada and become a Canadian permanent resident will depend on the pathway you choose. However, there are certain documents that will fast track your process and that you’ll do well to prepare beforehand.

Some of the documents you’ll require with most Canada immigration pathway are:

  • Proof of your work experience
  • Education qualifications
  • Proof of identity
  • Criminal and medical background checks

Of course, these will change based on the immigration method you choose, so make sure you understand what’s required of you for the process you wish to undertake.

Do I Need a Job Offer to Immigrate to Canada?

Fortunately, most of the pathways that lead to becoming a permanent resident of Canada don’t need a job. However, for others like Express Entry, having a job offer boosts your chances of getting an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

What’s the Difference Between Being a Permanent Resident and Citizen?

While permanent residents of Canada and citizens enjoy many of the same rights and protections. Citizens are granted more freedoms and rights.

One of the biggest benefits of being a permanent resident is the ability to work and live anywhere in Canada. Permanent residents also enjoy:

  • Access to social services and healthcare
  • Ability to study anywhere in the country
  • Protection under Canadian law

On the other hands, while all citizens enjoy the benefits above, they also have the right and privilege to:

  • Vote
  • Run for office
  • Work in specific jobs

Most importantly, unlike permanent residency, citizenship cannot be revoked!

With an aging population and minimal birth rates, Canada’s economy and population growth is highly dependent on immigrants. As a result, the country has some of the easiest pathways to permanent residency. You only need to know which path is best for you and your family, which you can always find out if you talk to an immigration consultant.

Sponsor Your Spouse, Partner or Child: About the Process

Family life is highly valued in Canada, which is why the IRCC makes it easy for families to reunite with loved ones through family and spousal sponsorship.

In addition, foreigners sponsored by family members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents have a higher chance of acquiring permanent residency. Unlike Express Entry, Canada Experience Class, and the Skilled Foreign worker programs, spousal sponsorhip has less stringent rules and qualification criteria.

What’s the process of Sponsoring a Spouse, Partner or Child to Move to Canada?

The first determinant to be able to sponsor a spouse, partner or child is for you, the sponsor, to be a permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen. Other than that, you also must be:

  • Over 18 years old
  • Living in or planning to return to Canada once your sponsee is granted permanent residency
  • Have the means to meet your sponsees basic financial needs for at leat 3 years

If you meet the criteria above and have enough proof to ascertain your relationship with your sponsee, you can start applying to become a sponsor.

How to Apply to Sponsor Your Spouse, Partner or Child to Canada

Applying to sponsor a loved one for Canadian permanent residence is a two-step process:

Step 1: Apply to become a sponsor

Step 2: Ask your sponsee to apply for permanent residence

Both of these applications should be sent together simultaneously. The sponsorship process is slightly different for adopted children. Additionally, if you’re a resident of Quebec, you’ll need to chek out Quebec’s requirements for close relative and spousal sponsorship.

To start the application process, you’ll need to:

  1. Obtain The Application package

Applying for family member or spousal sponsorship can be tedious and disappointing if you don’t follow the right directions. The application package features a complete checklist, set of forms to fill, and instruction manuals to help you apply correctly.

Without it, there’s a high likelihood of overlooking a critical part of the application process, which would either render your application void or lengthen the period it takes for your application to go through.

  1. Pay the Application Fees

Like with most other Canadian Immigration programs, there are several application fees you’ll need to settle. These include the principal applicant processing fee ($475 CAD), sponsorship fee ($75 CAD), right of permanent residence fee ($500 CAD and the biometrics fee ($85).

These add up to a total of $1,135 CAD. While it’s still a significant amount for many people, it’s way below what most other immigration programs require. Most importantly, sponsors are not required to be employed or show proof of funds at the time of application.

However, it’s crucial to remember that the government will hold you accountable for not providing the minimum basic financial needs of your sponsee for a minimum of 3 years after they’re granted residency.

Other than the federal fees above, you may need to pay other separate fees to get police clearance for the sponsee and a medical exam.

  1. Submit the Application

Once you and the person you’re sponsoring have finished your applications and paid all the fees, it’s time to mail your application to the IRCC. The mailing instructions will be in the application guide obtained in step 1.

Typically, the process of sponsoring a loved one takes a minimum of 12 months. However, those times have been affected by COVID-19 and may take longer. Before you seal the package and mail it, ensure it’s complete and contains accurate information and that the fees are paid.

Otherwise, the IRCC will return any incomplete applications or those with fee balances.

  1. Look Out for Our Correspondece

During the processing period, the sponsor and the sponsee need to be on the look out for IRCC communication. THe migration authority will communicate to request the sponsees documents such as medical exam results and police clearance among others.

The IRCC will also communicate when it’s time for the person being sponsored to give their biometrics. Looking out for communication throughout the process wil ensure you all adhere to guidelines and instructions and that your application process progresses without delays.

While this pretty much covers the basics of the process of sponsoring a loved one to immigrate to Canada, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. If you’re considering sponsoring a spouse, partner or child and don’t know if you’re eligible, where to start, or hos to start, get in touch with our team and we’ll help you navigate the process.

Understanding Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canada, like many other countries, frequently has a workforce shortage in specific sectors and provinces. To compensate for this, the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) in conjunction with ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada) administer the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP).

What is Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program?

TWFP is a program that allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers for jobs they are unable to fill with the local workforce. Although the Canadian government allows local companies to hire international workers, it also ensures its citizens and permanent residents are protected.

As such, companies who want to hire foreign workers must show that they tried recruiting locally but weren’t able to find a suitable, qualified, and available worker to fill a position. One of the benefits of this program is that it also protects foreign employees by granting them a work permit, which ensures they enjoy the necessary rights and protections to work in Canada safely.

What are the Requirements to Get a Temporary Foreign Worker Work Permit?

There are extensive requirements candidates need to meet to qualify for a work permit under the TFWP. The most important of these requirements is the existence of an LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment).

What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

An LMIA is a document every Canadian company that intends to hire a foreign worker requires. Without it, Canadian employers are forbidden from recruiting international candidates to work in Canada.

When an employer applies for an LMIA, it can be positive or negative. A positive one signifies a need that the position needs to be filled by a foreign worker. Similarly, it’s proof that there isn’t a qualified or available Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the vacant position.

So, to get a temporary work permit in Canada, your potential employer must have a positive LMIA.

Other requirements you MUST meet to qualify for a temporary work permit in Canada include:

  • Have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer
  • Prove that you’ll return to your home country once your work permit expires
  • Prove that you have enough funds to live on, support your family (if you’re moving with them), and travel back to your home country
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Prove you’re not a national security threat
  • Be in good health
  • Prove you’ll not be working for an employer offering adult services (escort, erotic massage, dances, striptease, etc)

If you meet the requirements above, then you’re eligible to apply for a work permit as a temporary foreign worker.

 Still, Canadian employers are sometimes allowed to hire foreign workers without an LMIA under the International Mobility Program.

Careers that qualify for IMP MUST have a competitive advantage for Canada and have symbiotic benefits for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

There are several categories of workers under which a foreign can immigrate to work in Canada on a temporary basis. These include:

Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program

Abbreviated as SAWP, this program is only open to citizens of countries that are members of the SAWP bilateral agreement with Canada. Under this program, agricultural companies are allowed to recruit temporary farm workers during specific seasons for periods not exceeding 8 months.

Still, positions under the program must meet the general criteria required to hire foreign workers. Most importantly, it’s crucial to understand that applicants under these program can only be citizens of Mexico and any of the Caribbean countries.

Under SAWP, employers are responsible for facilitating the workers travel from and back to their country as well as providing accommodation and protecting their health and safety at work.

Foreign Agricultural Workers

Unlike SAWP, this program is open to candidates from countries all over the world. The only requirements the job must meet are:

  • Be geared towards producing in specific commodity sectors as stipulated in the country’s national commodity list
  • Be an activity related to primary agriculture on the farm in NOC codes: 0821, 0822, 8252, 8255, 8431, 8432, and 8611

Employers meeting the two thresholds above are eligible to higher temporary foreign agricultural workers.

Low-wage Workers

This category allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers for jobs that pay less than the provinces’ or territotys’ median hourly wage.

However, the employer must have an LMIA showing they were unable to fill the position locally. The employer will also be required to meet certain requirements, guaranteeing the safety and health of foreign employees at the work place.

Employers wanting to hire employees under this program first apply for LMIA. If positive, they share it with the low-wage worker who uses it together with their official, signed offer letter to apply for a work permit or permanent residency.

High-wage Workers

The opposite of the category above, this is a program through which Canadian companies recruit foreign workes for roles whos median hourly wage is well above that of the province or territory.

The process for the high-wage worker category is similar to that of the low-wage temporary worker category.

Global Talent Stream

This category is for employers who wish to sponsor candidates for a post graduate work permit. Through the program, companies can hire professionals who are considered captains of industries. In other words, if a Canadian employer is looking to recruit a highly-skilled foreign worker on a temporary basis, they do so under the Global Talent Stream.

The process to obtain a work permit can be expedited faster than the other categories using the Global Skills Strategy.

The Temporary Foreign Workers Program is only one of the over 100 ways foreigners can immigrate and live in Canada as temporary workers or permanent residents. With so many programs, the best way to choose the one you’re most likely to qualify is to work with an immigration consultant.

Ukrainian Refugees to Canada 2022

As Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine rages on, Canada has made tremendous strides in its efforts of taking in Ukrainian refugees into Canada.The world is increasingly coming together to support Ukrainians displaced from their homes due to the invasion, and Canada is at the forefront of helping resettle Ukrainian victims of the war.

What is Canada Doing to Sponsor Ukrainian Refugees to Canada

As part of the Canadian government’s efforts to support the valiant people of Ukraine, the Canadian immigration minister, Honourable Sean Fraser, announced the launch of a special program on March 17, 2022, to fast track Ukrainians’ transition to temporary Canadian residents.

Dubbed the ‘Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel’ (CUAET), the program will reduce how long it takes Ukrainians fleeing the war to apply and be granted temporary resident status.

Ukrainian applicants for Canadian Permanent Residency will now have to wait for up to 14 days only for their application to be reviewed and approved. The program has also increased how long applicants will hold the temporary resident status from the 2 that was initially mentioned to 3 years, as was confirmed by the Canadian Immigration Minister.

Who Can Apply for Canadian Residency Through CUAET?

The program is only open to Ukrainian citizens fleeing the invasion back home. As part of the efforts to support as many Ukrainians as possible, the Canadian immigration, refugees, and citizenship authorities have even scraped the requirement to have a valid passport for Ukrainians to apply for temporary resident status (although review will be on a case-by-case basis).

Part of the concessions made by the Canadian Immigration ministry includes allowing applicants to simultaneously apply for a 3-year work permit if they wish to work while they’re in Canada. 

Similarly, Ukrainian refugee students in both elementary and high school will be eligible to register for and attend school in Canada as soon as they get into the country.

The Canadian private sector has also not been left behind as the rest of the world also rallies to support victims of the invasion. As part of the Canadian-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program, the Canadian government has created a special Job Bank webpage for Ukrainians.

The page is for Canadian companies with job offers and willing to hire Ukrainian refugees to post their jobs.

How Can Ukrainian Refugees Apply for Temporary Resident Status in Canada?

The first step to get a temporary resident visa is to submit a formal application. Fortunately, applicants can submit an online application from anywhere around the world.

One you submit your visa application, the next step is to identify the closest Canadian visa application centre outside Ukraine, which is where you’ll go to have your biometrics recorded.

There are VACs in Poland, Moldova, Austria and Romania for those who are closer home. There are also multiple other VACs across Europe and the world. Because of the surge in the number of refugees looking for a safe haven, Canada has increased its visa application network and missions to cities including Bucharest, Vienna, and Warsaw.

Applicants will undergo a comprehensive background check; successful ones will be granted a temporary resident permit for a period of upto 3 years. Everyone applying for a temporary resident permit through CUAET is exempt from paying any visa processing fees.

What If I’m Ukrainian and Already in Canada on a Non-resident Visa?

If you’re a Ukrainian worker, student, or visitor who is currently in Canada, you’ll also be a beneficiary of this program. Ukarainians in Canada can apply to extend their visitor status or work permit for 3 years.

Similarly, they can also apply for new work and study permits or extend their current ones. Whichever you choose, you won’t have to pay anything as the government has waived all application fees for applicants applying under this program.

If you’re a victim of Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine, the government of Canada is welcoming you with open arms and is prepared to resettle as many refugees as possible and support them to continue earning a living.

Requirements to Apply for Canada Citizenship

When most people are considering immigrating and becoming citizens of another country, Canada often features on the list of countries they’re considering. If you’re one of the people considering Canadian citizenship, this article will shed light on everything you need to know.

Eligibility Requirements to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

Even before you start your Canadian citizenship application, the first thing to determine is if you qualify to become a Canadian citizen. First and foremost, you must meet the following criteria:

Be a permanent resident of Canada

To meet this qualification means that you must fully meet the requirements stipulated by the IRCC to be a permanent resident of Canada.

If your immigration status is under review for any criminal reasons, you’ll have to wait until the review is over and you’re allowed to retain your PR status. If there’s a removal order against you or you have unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status, you also don’t qualify as a PR and thus aren’t eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Must have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years

3 years of living in Canada translates to approximately 1,095 days. However, it’s recommended that you ensure you’ve lived in Canada longer than that before you apply for citizenship.

Otherwise, miscalculating how long you’ve lived in the country might render you ineligible. The best time to include in your calculation is when you’ve been in Canada as a permanent resident. 

However, you can also include time spent as a temporary resident or protected person. Similarly, if you’ve been working outside Canada as a Crown servant or a family member of one, you may also be able to include that time as time lived in Canada.

Filed taxes for as long as you were eligible

Filing taxes as long as you qualify will go a long way into raising your chances of acquiring Canadian citizenship. At the very least, you’ll be required to show that you filed your taxes for at least 3 years within the last 5 right before the date you apply for citizenship.

Pass the Canadian citizenship test

Anyone between 18 and 54 years at the time of application must take a Canadian citizenship test as part of their application.

The things you’ll be tested on will include your knowledge of a Canadian’s rights and responsibilities, Canadian history, geography, economy, government, laws, and symbols.

The test is in English or French and typically takes about 30 minutes with 20 multiple choice and true or false questions. You’ll need to score at least 15 to pass the test. The test will be oral or written.

Prove you meet the language requirements for Canadian citizens

The official languages of Canada are English and French. To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, you must approve you can use, speak, understand, and comprehend either or both of the languages on an intermediate level.

Whether you provide a certificate, diploma, or test as proof of your language proficiency, you’ll need to have a level 4 or higher based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks.

Additional Eligibility Criteria

While you might meet all the requirements above, you may not be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship if you’ve been subjected to certain prohibitions such as committing a crime in or outside Canada or spending time in jail.

The following categories of applicants also need to meet a set of different requirements before qualifying to apply for Canadian citizenship:

  • Those applying for minors (under 18 years of age)
  • Canadian citizens applying for adopted children born outside Canada
  • Current or former members of the Canadian Armed Forces applying under the fast-track process
  • Past Canadian citizens who want their citizenship back

Unlike most other places, spouses married to Canadian citizens do not become citizens or qualify for citizenship automatically. Instead, they too MUST meet the criteria above to apply for citizenship.

However, children and grandchildren of Canadian citizens may become citizens if there is clear proof of their heritage.

Immigration consultants advise those travelling to Canada for Compassionate Travel purposes not to fear the process.

The Benefits of Becoming a Canadian Citizen

If you meet the requirements described above, you’ve probably been looking forward to the day you become a Canadian citizen. If you decide to apply for Canadian citizenship and you’re finally granted citizenship, below are some of the rights you’ll enjoy:

  • Ability to vote in municipal, provincial, and federal political elections
  • Ability to run for political and other governmental offices
  • Right to work any and all jobs (there are specific careers only Canadian citizens can work)
  • Have dual citizenship (if your home country allows it)
  • Hold a Canadian passport (allowing you to travel to more countries without a visa

Determining whether you qualify for Canadian citizenship might take you more time than you have. However, working with an immigration consultant will make the process much smoother. Additionally, with an immigration expert working with you, chances are you can expedite your application faster as they know what to do every step of the way.

Get a Permanent Resident Card: Permanent Resident Card Renewal

As a permanent resident living in Canada, you want to ensure your permanent resident card is always in good standing. So, it’s prudent that you keep an eye out and know when you need to apply for a permanent resident card renewal.

However, if you find yourself in a situation where your permanent resident card is expired, there’s no need to panic. Besides, an expired PR card doesn’t mean your permanent residency will be revoked.

Nevertheless, your permanent resident card renewal options will depend on your situation at the time of expiry. Some of the factors to consider when renewing your permanent resident card include:

  • Whether your card is already expired
  • Your current location (inside or outside Canada)
  • Whether you’ve been living inside Canada for a minimum of 730 days within the last 5 years

If your permanent residency card is expired or about to, below are some of the questions you might have.

What’s a Permanent Residency Card and Permanent Residency Travel Document and Why Do I Need Either?

If you have permanent resident status in Canada, the fastest and easiest way to prove it is to have a valid PR card. A PR card is essential as it allows you to work and live in Canada. Most importantly, it allows you to travel in an out of the country without going through the hoops that regular visitor’s go through.

Without a valid PR card, it’s unlikely that you’ll be allowed to board any mode of transport heading back to Canada. And as a permanent resident, you are not eligible for a visitor visa.

If for some reason, you permanent resident card expires when you’re outside Canada, you’ll need to apply for a permanent resident travel card document. It’s the only way permanent residents can be allowed back into Canada with an expired PR card.

The reason is because once you apply for permanent resident card renewal, you’ll only be able to pick the PR card personally in Canada.

What Do I Do When my Permanent Resident Card Expires?

You’ll need to apply for permanent resident card renewal in Canada when your PR card expires. However, before you tender your application, you must ensure that you meet the residency requirement of having cumulatively resided in Canada for at least 730 days or 2 years within the last 5 years.

If you’ve not met the above criteria when you’re applying for PR card renewal or for a PR Travel Document, you’ll most likely lose your PR status. The IRCC requires that all permanent residents live in Canada for a minimu number of days within a specific period.

When the IRCC realizes you have failed to observe the guideline, they’ll start evaluating you to revoke your permanent residency. Once your PR is revoked, the only way to get it reinstated is to file a Residnecy Appeal, a lengthy and cumbersome process.

If you’ve not been living in Canada for at least 730 days in the last 5 years, DON’T apply for a PR card renewal. You might end up losing it altogether. However, if you were accompanying a your spouse outside Canada and they’re Canadian citizens, the time you spent together is considered as time spent in the country.

How do I Apply for Permanent Resident Card Renewal?

If you are inside Canadian borders and meet the residency requirements, you simply have to put in an application for PR card renewal. If you still meet the residency requirements but are outside Canada when your PR card expires, you can still be allowed to travel back to Canada although you’ll need to apply for permanent resident travel document.

If you’re using a PRTD to travel back to Canada, you  can apply for PR card renewal before or once you’re back in Canada. Still, if you’re in Canada but have not been living in the country for a minimum of 730 days in the last 5 years, don’t apply for PR renewal until you’ve met the criteria.

What Happens if my PR Card Expires and I Don’t Meet Residency Requirement?

Unfortunately, if your PR card expires while you’re outside the country and you do not meet residency requirements, applying for renewal or for PRTD flags you for possible residency revocation.

However, with our help and guidance, you stand a higher chance of retaining your permanent residency.

There are several options available for those outside Canada to regain entry to the country and possibly retain the PR status. For starters, you’ll want to travel to the US and find a way to a Canadian border.

Obviously, you’ll need to apply for a US visa if you don’t have one. Before you make your way to the Canadian border through the US, our team will have prepared a H&C package that you’ll present to a CBSA (Canadian Border Service Agent). This package will have a compelling legal argument explaining your situation.

If the CBSA officer is satisfied with your legal argument, they may allow you to enter into Canada. Once you’re in the country, you’ll need to stay for at least 730 days before applying for PR card renewal.

While being allowed back into the country is a possibility, there’s also a chance that a CBSA officer will not be compelled by your H&C application. In this case, while they’ll allow you back into Canada, they’ll initiate a process that will lead to the issuance of a removal order.

The good news is that this is only a formality and does not guarantee that you’ll lose your PR status. Instead, what it signifies is the beginning of a residency appeal. With a firm like ours, we can help you throughout the process.

Among the solutions we can provide is filing the residency appeal on your behalf. Fortunately, the appeal is typically scheduled approximately 1.5 years from the date the appeal is filed. That means that you’ll have time to live and work in Canada as you deepen your ties to the country.

The benefit of being in the country as you await your appeal hearing is that often, it makes it easier for the law firm representing you to plead your case.

If, unfortunately, you’re unable to acquire a US visa and thus unable to get to a Candian border, we’ll have to file an appeal while you’re outside the country. The downside is that you won’t be allowed back into the country even as you wait for your appeal hearing date.

As a result, the more time you spend outside the country makes it even harder to make a compelling case for you. However, it’s not entirely impossible!

Canadian Visa Application


The best way of getting a permanent resident card renewal is to apply for it while you’re inside Canada and meet the minimum residency requirement. If your PR card expired while outside the country and the IRCC deemed you inadmissible, you’ll need to file an appeal with the Immigration Appeal Division within 30 days of being ruled inadmissible.

The best you can do is get in touch with us as soon as possible and we’ll advice you on the best way forward. 

Sponsor Your Spouse, Partner, or Child: Check If You’re Eligible

Canada is one of the best countries for immigrants to study, work and live. So, it makes sense that those already in Canada would consider sponsoring a spouse, partner, or child.

But even before you find out about the Canada spouse visa processing time, you will need to know if you’re eligible.

So, who is eligible to sponsor a spouse, partner, or child to become a permanent Canadian resident? To be eligible to sponsor a loved one, you must be at least 18 years old and meet any of the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or
  • Registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
  • Be a permanent resident of Canada

Additionally, you must be residing in Canada to be eligible to sponsor a loved one unless you are:

  • A Canadian citizen living abroad and you intend to return once your relative immigrates
  • Sponsoring a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent child who don’t have dependent children of their own

Quebec residents also need to meet the provinces’ additional conditions to be sponsors, after the federal government approves them as a sponsor!

What is the Canadian Spouse Visa Processing Time?

At the time of writing this, Canada’s immigration department, due to the effects of COVID-19, couldn’t:

  • Process applications normally
  • Give accurate processing times for most applications

However, a quick check at the estimated Canadian spouse visa application time, suggests it would take approximately 12 months to process an application.

It might seem long if you can’t wait to see your partner, but during this time, the IRCC would be collecting and reviewing details of the person being sponsored including:

  • Biometrics
  • Assessing the sponsor and the sponsee
  • Ensuring both parties meet eligibility criteria

The IRCC is one of the most efficient government departments and is committed to processing the most complete applications sooner rather than later. As such, the speed at which they process your application depends on, among other factors:

  • The type of application
  • Whether the application is complete
  • How many applications they have received
  • How easy it is to verify your information
  • Your speed of responding to requests and concerns

If you want to sponsor a dependent child, visa processing times will take anywhere from 12 to 36 months based on different factors.

What are Your Responsibilities as a Sponsor?

Sponsoring a partner, spouse, or child is not a one-and-done deal! There are certain responsibilities you must commit to as a sponsor. Otherwise, your chances of qualifying as one will dwindle, fast.

Before sponsoring a loved one to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must:

  • Meet the required minimum income to sponsor spouse in Canada
  • Agree to support the relative(s) financially

The financial support you’re required to give depends on your relationship to the person you’re sponsoring, their age, and where you live. Provinces such as Quebec have a different set of requirements.

However, for the rest of the provinces, you’ll be financially responsible for:

  • Spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner – 3 years
  • Dependent child under 22 years – 10 years or until they’re 25, whichever comes first
  • Dependent child 22 years or older – 3 years

Your financial responsibility for the person you sponsor doesn’t change even if your relationship changes. For instance, you’ll still be financially responsible for your spouse even if you divorce or separate after they receive their permanent residency.

Similarly, even if the sponsee becomes a Canadian citizen or your financial situation worsens, the people your sponsor are still your financial responsibility for the stipulated period.

Finally, if you withdraw your sponsorship application and the IRCC receives it after the person you sponsor becomes a permanent resident, they’re still your financial responsibility.

Why You Might not be Eligible to Sponsor a Relative

Canada wants to grant sponsor status and permanent residency to upstanding individuals. As such, you may not be able to sponsor a spouse or child if you have been or are still under some of these conditions:

  • You’re in prison
  • You’ve not settled your alimony or child support payments
  • You’ve declared and are still under bankruptcy
  • Got social assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • Defaulted, made late payments, or missed payments on an immigration loan
  • Previously failed to meet the terms of a sponsorship agreement after sponsoring another relative in the past
  • Were convicted of a violent crime, sexual offence, or an offence against a relative (this will depend on the type of offence, when it was committed, and whether it was suspended)

The list above is not exhaustive and there are other reasons that may prevent you from being able to sponsor a loved one.

How Do I Sponsor a Spouse or Child for Canadian Permanent Residency?

The application process to sponsor someone to be a permanent resident of Canada is a twofold process.

The permanent resident or citizen (sponsor), first applies to become a sponsor. Once you put in your application, the IRCC will review it to ensure you meet the guidelines above. If the IRCC reviews your application and determines your relationship to the spouse or partner you’re inviting is genuine, they’ll grant you the ability to sponsor them.

This is also known as first stage approval spousal sponsorship. Once you’re approved, the person you’re sponsoring can now start the process on their end by applying for permanent residency.

While spousal sponsorship is one of the best ways of immigrating to Canada, it can also be extremely complicated, especially when any of the parties involved don’t know the requirements.

Before you proceed to invest time and money in applying for spousal sponsorship, it’s extremely important that you both ensure you have all the documents needed to ascertain your relationship and ability to support the loved one.

If you’re not sure of the procedure or eligibility, your best option is to contact an immigration professional to help you navigate the red tape. 

International Experience Canada: Who Can Apply?

You have to be a citizen of a participating country to apply for the International Canadian Experience (IEC). The IEC is a set of programs that makes it possible for young foreigners to travel to stay and work in Canada temporarily.

There are 3 IEC programs for foreigners of participating countries to apply and potentially move to work in Canada. Qualifying for any of the programs allows you to apply for a work permit without necessarily needing a Labour Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Depending on the agreement Canada has with your country, you’ll receive a 1 or 2-year work permit for Canada.

Applicants who apply for IEC work permits go into a pool and are subject to a random draw. As such, not every applicant who submits their application is selected for the available programs.

Additionally, each participating country has a quota for each program, which determines how many applicants IRCC invites to apply. Each of the 3 available programs has unique requirements, so it’s essential to verify what they are to determine your eligibility.

Who’s Eligible for IEC?

There are certain general requirements that IEC applicants must meet to stand a chance of approval. For starters, you must be a citizen of a participating country and be 35 years or younger at the time of application.

You can find the list of countries eligible for IEC and the programs available here. The application procedure, eligibility criteria, and likelihood of success will vary depending on the program and the country.

However, only a handful of countries are eligible for IEC. Fortunately, if you would like to live and work in Canada under the International Experience Canada program, you can always do so through a RO.

Short for a Recognized Organization, ROs are youth service firms that offer work and travel support to youth. The good news is that they can be educational, non-profit, or for-profit, which opens up a huge pool of organizations that can help you qualify under IEC.

Unfortunately, the majority of ROs require you to pay a fee for their services, on top of what you’ll need to pay including visa application and medical fees among others.

Now that you know who’s eligible for International Experience Canada, below are the programs under this immigration scheme.

Working Holiday

This IEC Canadian travel experience is best for you if you want to work on an open work permit in Canada. With a Canadian work permit, you can work for any employer of your choice.

Other benefits of the working holiday program include:

  • You don’t require a job offer
  • You can work in any location
  • You can work and travel simultaneously

Not being tied to one employer affords you the freedom to travel and change employers whenever you need to without fear of breaking immigration laws.

The downside of applying for IEC through the working holiday is that it’s the most competitive of the lot. Its relaxed requirements makes it incredibly appealing. Couple this with the predetermined quotas of IEC programs and your chances of succeeding under the program are lower than in the rest of the programs.

Young Professionals

While you can’t get permanent residency via an IEC program, they’re a great starting point. Most routes to permanent residency favor people with Canadian education or work experience.

As a foreigner, one of the best ways to get Canadian work experience is by applying for the Young Professionals program. However, before you apply for this program, you MUST have a valid job offer.

Unlike the Work Holiday program where you get an open work permit, Canadian work permits granted under this program are employer-specific. This means that during your work stay in Canada, you’re only allowed to work for a single employer in one location for the entirety of the period granted.

While the Young Professional program might not be the best if you’re looking for work freedom, it’s excellent for the following candidates:

  • Participants with a valid job offer from a Canadian employer
  • People who are comfortable working for one employer in the same location for the period their work permit is valid
  • People who want to work as employees, not self-employed

The job you get must be among those classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC), which you can find on the IRCC website.

work permit

International Co-op (Internship)

The final program in the IEC scheme is an internship program that provides international students a chance to intern at a Canadian company as part of their post-secondary education requirement.

Like the Young Professional program, applicants for International Co-op MUST have a job or internship offer in Canada. Similarly, successful International Co-op applicants receive an employer-specific work permit.

This program is best for:

  • Students enrolled in a post-secondary institution
  • Applicants with a valid work placement or internship offer in Canada
  • Students who need an internship or work placement as part of their post-secondary curriculum
  • People willing to work for the same employer for the entirety of their work permits’ validity

Applicants interested in any of the 3 programs are advised to consult their respective country authorities to find out the application requirements, application process, and each programs’ quota.Once you meet the eligibility criteria and have been invited to apply for a work permit, you can find out the documents required for a Canada work permit on the IRCC website.

Which Crimes Can Prevent You from Entering Canada?

If you have committed a crime, it is important to understand what you need to do to still be allowed to enter Canada. Serious offences will make you ineligible to enter the country. 

It can be hard to visit or transit through Canada if you have a criminal record. In order to determine whether you are eligible to go through the border, you have to understand the types of offences in Canada that can make you undesirable. 

These include the following crimes:

Murder or Manslaughter

Murder and manslaughter are detailed in sections 235 and 239 of the Criminal Code of Canada. If you have been charged with either of these offences, you may be denied entry into Canada. 

Meanwhile, even if you have not been charged, you can be banned if you are found to have committed these offences in the past.

Attempting to Commit Murder or Manslaughter

If you have attempted to murder someone or have caused the death of another person, you may be refused entry into Canada. If this is the case, you must provide details of the incident’s circumstances to a Canadian immigration officer.

Sex Crimes

Offences that fall under the category of sexual crimes include sexual assault, sexual exploitation, prostitution, incest, and corrupting the morals of a minor. If you have been charged or convicted of any of these serious crimes, you are likely to be refused entry into Canada.

Drug Crimes

Drug crimes are also severe offences and can result in you being refused entry into Canada. If you have a criminal record, you may not be allowed to enter when you travel through or attempt to visit the country.

Theft Crimes

Theft crimes involve taking someone else’s property or money without permission or consent. They may include shoplifting, robbery, burglary, and fraud. 

If you have been charged or convicted of theft, you may be refused entry into Canada.

Possession of a Firearm

Possession of a firearm is also a serious offence in Canada. If you have been charged or convicted of owning or having a firearm, you may be refused entry into Canada.


Assault is the most frequent criminal offence in Canada. If you have been charged or convicted of assault, you may be refused entry into the country. 

If you are denied entry, you will be expelled from Canada.

Convicted of a Felony

Felonies in Canada include arson, criminal negligence, and sexual assault. If you have been charged or convicted of a felony, you may be refused entry into the country.

Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure is a sexual offence and is classified as a misdemeanour. Even if it is your first offence, you may be refused entry into the country.

Violent Crimes

If you have been charged or convicted of violent crimes, like robbery, assault, or confinement, you may not be allowed into Canada.

Possession of a Fraudulent Immigration Document

If you possess a fraudulent immigration document, you are likely to be refused entry into Canada. If you have a criminal record, you may be required to provide details of the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Possession of Identity Documents

Possession of identity documents that belong to another person is also a criminal offence in Canada. You may not enter if you hold another person’s identification documents. 

What’s more, if the identification documents belong to a minor, you may be charged with a crime.

Immigration consultants advise those travelling to Canada for Compassionate Travel purposes not to fear the process.


Entering Canada is not as straightforward as most people think. You must understand what will make you ineligible to enter or transit through the country. You need to know that you can be refused entry if you have a criminal record. 

Bright Immigration is a Canada immigration company recognized by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council and Law Society of Upper Canada. If you’re looking for professional help from a trusted firm, please contact us at or call 1-888-404-8472.