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Permanent Residence in Canada

A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by the Canadian government, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries. Lawful immigrants to Canada usually become permanent residents upon their initial entry to Canada with a valid immigration visa.

Permanent residents rights and obligations are very similar to those of Canadian Citizens with a few important differences.

Permanent residents of Canada have the right to:

  • get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage,

  • live, work or study anywhere in Canada,

  • apply for Canadian citizenship,

  • protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

You must pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

Permanent residents are not allowed to:

  • vote or run for political office,

  • hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance.

Since permanent resident are not Canadian Citizens they do not have the right for a Canadian passport.

When you are a permanent resident, you can live outside of Canada, but must live in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. If you live outside of Canada for longer, you may lose your permanent resident status.


To find out if you may become a permanent resident of Canada purchase one of our affordable evaluation and consultation packages here.

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