Since 2008, the Canadian federal and provincial governments have had programs in place to make it easier for individuals working or studying in Canada to obtain Canadian permanent residency. The governments recognize that individuals currently living in Canada, contributing to Canadian society and to the economy are likely to be successful Canadian permanent residents. There are four categories under which a person working or studying in Canada can qualify for a Canadian permanent resident visa.
- Canadian Experience Class: Individuals with some proficiency in English or French who have an intention to live in Canada, outside of the province of Quebec may qualify if they have Canadian experience as a:
- Foreign student having obtained at least a 2 year diploma or degree from a post-secondary institution AND at least 12 months of full-time work experience in a skilled, managerial or professional occupation in Canada, on a valid work permit; OR
- Temporary Foreign Worker currently working or having worked within the last year in Canada for at least 24 months of full-time in a skilled, managerial or professional occupation in Canada, on a valid work permit.
- Quebec Experience Class (PEQ): An individual may qualify if they have intermediate level French proficiency and are a:
- Foreign student having obtained a 2 year diploma or degree from an educational institution recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Education, while on a valid study permit; OR
- Temporary foreign worker currently working in Quebec for at least 12 months in a skilled, managerial or professional occupation in the 24 months prior to their application, while on a valid work permit.
- Provincial Nominee Programs: all of the remaining provinces and two of the territories in Canada have programs where they nominate individuals who intend to settle in that province. These programs are largely dependent on the applicant obtaining a full-time permanent job offer in a skilled occupation within the province, or having study and/or work experience in that province. Generally the provinces proceed quite quickly to issue nomination certificates at which point Citizenship and Immigration Canada completes their assessment of the application.
- Federal Skilled Worker Program: individuals who have legally resided in Canada for one year as a foreign student or as a temporary foreign worker are eligible for this program, without the requirement of one year of experience in one of the 38 eligible occupations. Individuals who meet this requirement will then be required to obtain 67/100 points based on six selection factors: education, work experience, official language proficiency, age, arranged employment and other adaptability factors.
Do you have Canadian work experience or have you graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution? Fill out our free, online Canadian immigration eligibility questionnaire to find out if you qualify for a Canadian immigration (permanent resident) visa.