There are a number of options to apply for permanent resident status in Canada. These include the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program. Each of these programs has different criteria to qualify for permanent residence.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
Federal skilled worker applications received on or after February 27, 2008 are now assessed for eligibility according to a set of instructions issued by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.
According to these instructions, your application is eligible for processing if:
- you have an offer of arranged employment, OR
- you are a foreign national who has been living legally in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or an international student, OR
- you are a skilled worker who has at least one year of experience in one or more of the occupations listed here.
Applicants who qualify under these instructions are selected on a point system which considers factors of age, education, work experience, arranged employment in Canada, English or French ability and adaptability measures. Applicants must have a minimum of one year experience in a skilled occupation and meet a pass mark of 67 out of 100 points in order to be selected. If you are not sure if you should apply as a skilled worker, you can use the eligibility tool to get an idea of whether your application would be eligible for processing, then try a self-assessment test to see if you might earn enough points to qualify.
Applications for permanent residence must be submitted to a Canadian visa office outside of Canada that serves the country where you have been legally admitted for at least one year, or your country of nationality. All applicants for permanent residence and their dependents must meet health and background requirements in order to be approved. You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada.
Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program
Are you an employer having trouble finding the skilled workers you need? Are you an investor who wants to bring key employees on a permanent basis? Are you a foreign worker or international student who would like to work permanently in Ontario?
Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program may be the program for you.
Opportunities Ontario: Employers
Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program helps employers meet their human resource needs for workers, by enabling them to recruit foreign workers and international students.
Employers first apply for approval of the positions they intend to fill. If the positions are approved, employers then recruit individuals who must apply to Opportunities Ontario for a nomination. Eligible individuals are nominated, along with their dependants, for permanent resident status.
Companies applying to Opportunities Ontario must:
- Have been in active business for at least 3 years (corporations, limited partnerships and sole proprietorships).
- Have a minimum of $1,000,000 in gross revenue for the most recent fiscal year (for companies inside the Greater Toronto Area), or have a minimum of $500,000 in gross revenue (companies outside the GTA).
- Have a minimum of 5 permanent full-time employees (for companies inside the Greater Toronto Area), or have a minimum of 3 permanent full-time employees (companies outside the GTA).
- Have business premises in Ontario where the prospective nominee will work.
Positions being considered for approval by Opportunities Ontario must:
- Be permanent, full-time positions.
- Be in a skilled occupation.
- Meet prevailing wage levels (for foreign workers) or entry-level wage levels (for international students). Information about wages for a variety of professions can be found on the Service Canada Labour Market Information website.
- Not affect the settlement of any labour dispute or affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute, or adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Ontario.
- Be necessary for the company's operations.
For more information please visit the Opportunities Ontario: Employers homepage.
Opportunities Ontario: Investors
Ontario is an ideal place to build your business. Our rich labour pool provides most business investors with the skilled and talented employees they need to succeed, right here in Ontario.
But when the investment requires key personnel who are not available in Ontario, you may find yourself in need of foreign workers to supplement your Ontario staff for your business investment to succeed.
That's why the government of Ontario has established Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program. It can help you bring the key employees you need to Ontario quickly, by fast-tracking them through the federal immigration process. You'll have the highly skilled talent you need to protect and grow your business investment.
As an investor, you may be able to take advantage of Opportunities Ontario if:
- the size of the investment is at least $3,000,000;
- it will create at least 5 net permanent, full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents located in Ontario;
- the investment is endorsed by an Ontario government ministry (to get a referral to an Ontario ministry, please contact Opportunities Ontario at 1-866-214-6820/North America or at 1-416-327-0374/worldwide);
- the investment is not an immigration-linked investment scheme; this means that if you, as the investor, are seeking a nomination, you must have an active, ongoing and direct responsibility for managing or operating the enterprise in Ontario.
For more information please visit the Opportunities Ontario: Investors homepage.
Canadian Experience Class
If you are a temporary foreign worker or a foreign student who graduated in Canada, you may qualify for permanent residence under the Federal Canada Experience Class Program.
To qualify under the Canada Experience Class you must meet these minimum requirements:
- plan to live outside the province of Quebec
- be either:
- a temporary foreign worker with at least two years of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada, or
- a foreign graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution with at least one year of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada
- have gained your experience in Canada with the proper work or study authorization
- apply while working in Canada - or - within one year of leaving your job in Canada
Your application will be assessed on two requirements if you apply as a temporary foreign worker:
- your work experience and
- your ability in English or French.
If you apply as a graduate of a Canadian post-secondary educational institution with Canadian work experience, it will be assessed using the above requirements, as well as:
To find out more about the Canadian Experience Class, please visit the CIC webpage.