A popular choice for those looking to migrate to another country is Canada. And why not? The immigrant-friendly policies of Canada and the government’s encouragement of migrants to come and settle here have motivated many to try and migrate here.Apart from this, settling down in Canada holds the promise of a comfortable lifestyle and the right living conditions. There are numerous job opportunities and the promise of personal freedom.One of the options to migrate to Canada is to obtain a Permanent Resident (PR) visa. With a PR visa, you will be given permanent resident status. The validity of a PR visa is five years which can later be renewed.The PR visa does not make you a citizen of Canada; you are still a citizen of your native country. As a PR visa holder, you can enjoy the following benefits:
You will have to exclusively apply for the PR visa if you are a student or a worker from a foreign country, it does not automatically make you a permanent resident of the country.Refugees from another country do not automatically become permanent residents. Their status as a refugee must be approved by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Subsequent to this, they can apply for and obtain a PR status.How does one obtain a Permanent Resident (PR) visa?To get a PR visa, you will have to go through an application process. The applications go through elaborate scrutiny. The eligibility for a Canada PR visa is through a points-based system. The applicants are assessed on various points such as age, language, education and work experience.Canada offers different immigration programs through which you can apply for permanent residency status. Among these the most popular are:
How do I use the Express Entry system for a PR visa?A candidate applying for the PR visa through the Express Entry program will have to go through a points-based selection system. The Express Entry System basically consists of three sub-categories:
If you are a skilled worker, you can apply for a PR visa under the Federal Skilled Workers Program. This was initiated by the Canadian government in 2015 to encourage skilled workers to come and settle in the country. To qualify under this program, you should be able to get 67 points out of 100 in the eligibility factors given below:
If you are lucky enough to qualify for a PR visa through the Express Entry program, you can be selected from a pool of eligible candidates based on your Express Entry profile. You will get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canada PR status. If you get your ITA you can start the documentation process for your PR visa
Canada offers nearly 80 different Provincial Nominee Program or PNP which have their individual eligibility requirements. The PNP program allows provinces to meet their individual immigration needs by helping them fill jobs that are in demand and meet labor shortages in their province.
Most PNPs require applicants to have some connection to the province. They should have either worked earlier in that province or studied there. Or they should have a job offer from an employer in the province for a job visa.
However, there are some PNPs which require no previous connection to the province you are applying for, you can apply directly to the PNP program of that province.
An applicant must score a minimum number of points to be able to apply for a PR visa. Here are the various criteria under which you can score points to meet the eligibility requirement:
Application for a PR visa through the PNP program requires the applicants to have some connection to the province. You can be either working in that province or have studied there. You can be eligible if you have a job offer from an employer in the province.
The criteria for evaluating the PR application can differ for each province.
The PNP is an option you can choose if your CRS points score is not high enough and you still get your provincial nomination. When making your PNP application you can choose a province from where it will be easy to get a nomination based on your profile.
Those wishing to apply for the PNP programs linked with Express Entry pool must first create an Express Entry profile. There is also the option for applying under the non-Express Entry aligned PNPs.
If you are applying under such a PNP, you can add 600 CRS points to your Express Entry application. This increases your possibility of getting an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for your PR visa in the subsequent invitation round. Those wishing to apply for such PNP programs must first create an Express Entry profile.
More than 80 percent of migrants prefer to settle down in the big cities and municipalities. Provinces are looking at steering immigrants away from the big cities to settle in provinces to promote development in smaller cities and municipalities and contribute to their economic development. Many provinces and territories recently introduced regional PNP streams to encourage migrants to move to regional areas
If you feel that you may not get the required points for a PR visa under the Express Entry program, you can consider the Provincial Nominee Program. There are two ways to use the PNP program to get your PR visa.
Another advantage of using the PNP program is you can include the points you scored in the Express Entry Program if you applied for a PR visa under that program earlier. These points will be added to your PNP profile.
Individuals interested in doing business in Canada can apply for a PR visa through the Canada Business Immigration Program. This program was designed to encourage migrants who can invest or establish a business in Canada. They must be high net worth individuals or must have either business or managerial experience to establish and run a business in Canada. The Canadian government has specified three categories of people for this type of visa.
Individuals who are permanent residents or citizens of Canada can sponsor their family members for PR status if they are 18 years or older. They are eligible to sponsor the following categories of family members:
Apart from being above 18 years and being a PR visa holder or Canadian citizen, a sponsor must:
The Canadian Experience Class or CEC program is aimed to help foreign workers or students who are staying on a temporary basis in Canada to become permanent residents. It considers their work experience or education and their contribution to Canadian society for granting PR status.
You can qualify for this visa if you have studied or worked in Canada and meet the minimum requirements. The other important eligibility requirements are:
Quebec has its own Provincial Nominee Program known as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP). This is an immigration program that provides a fast and convenient way to migrate to Canada.
This immigration program started with the goal of attracting more immigrants to come and settle in Quebec without the necessity of going through a lengthy immigration process.
Through this program, skilled workers can apply for the Quebec Selection Certificate or Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ). It is not necessary for applicants to have a valid job offer in order to migrate to Quebec. However, those with a job offer are given higher priority.
The QSWP is also based on a points-based system like the Express Entry System
Step 1: Send in the completed application form along with the documents required. The Immigration authorities will then verify your documents.
Step 2: You will be issued a CSQ by the immigration authorities which allows you to migrate to and remain in Quebec for 3 months. You can apply for a PR Visa after this period.
Once you have decided on the immigration program through which you are applying for a PR visa and gathered the required documents, follow these steps in your application:
Note: If you have applied through the Express Entry program, you will have to apply within 90 days if you get an invitation to apply.
Complete your language ability tests even before you start the application process. Take the IELTS exam and get the required scores. If required, you might need to take a French-language test.
Submit your application based on the requirements of the immigration program you have decided on.
Submit all the required documents. Ensure you provide only genuine documents. Remember that the education and work experience documents require authentication.
Gather the required documents for proof of funds to support your stay in Canada. Get your medical checkup and police verification records ready.
Your documents will go through a mandatory examination by an immigration officer. Be prepared to provide any additional information if required.
You will receive confirmation of your PR status and will receive a COPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence) card.
Apply for your PR card
The general processing time for the PR visa is 5 to 8 months. However, the processing time depends on the program under which you made an application. For instance, if you applied under the CEC program your application will be processed within three to four months.
To get your Canada PR you will need to pay the PR fees for yourself as the primary applicant, your spouse and the dependents included in the PR application. Here is the breakup of the PR fees:
Immigration candidates should also provide proof of funds called settlement funds to prove that they have the required funds to support their stay and that of their dependents once they come to Canada till they are able to earn their income in the country. Letters from banks where the money is deposited is required as proof. The settlement funds will vary depending on the number of family members of the primary PR applicant
Variations in cost:
If you decide to take the services of an immigration consultant to help you in the PR visa process, then you will have to factor in the cost of their services while calculating the cost of your PR visa.
Total cost for a PR visa:
The total cost of your PR visa will be the sum of your application fees for you and your spouse and dependents, fees for medical examination, English language test, ECA fees, PCC fees, etc.
Knowledge of the Canada PR visa process and the expenses involved will give you a good idea of the total costs and the expenses you will need to incur for the visa.
The processing time also depends on the type of application or the immigration program you have applied to. The processing times vary based on the number of applications received for each immigration program. Some immigration programs get the same number of applications every month, so the processing time does not vary. Some programs may get more applications in one month and lesser in other months, this causes a variation.
Some other factors that could affect your processing time:
If you have opted for the Express Entry Program to apply for your visa, the average time taken to process your visa will be six months. Your application is placed in the Express Entry pool and it will be ranked in relation to other applications based on your CRS (comprehensive ranking system). If you clear the cut-off, you will get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for your permanent residency.
If you have opted for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the processing time is like the Express Entry program, but it takes a little longer. The processing time takes an average of 12 months.
For the Quebec skilled Workers Program (QSWP), the average processing time is between 12-16 months.
Live, work or study in any province
• Enjoy social security benefits and free healthcare coverage
• Apply for citizenship
• Avail protection under Canadian law
• Run for political office
• Hold jobs that require high-security clearance
If you are a PR visa holder, you must carry your PR card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when you are traveling to Canada. Without this, you may not be able to board a flight, boat, train or bus to the country.
You must ensure that the card is valid when you return to Canada after any travel outside the country. You should apply for a new PR card if your current one has expired
You run the risk of losing your PR visa if:
Getting your PR visa for Canada can be a long and complex process, however, the help of an immigration consultant can make it easier for you. Our expertise of over 15 years has helped many individuals in getting their Canada PR visa.
If you are an overseas skilled worker, you must opt for the FSW – Federal Skilled Worker stream to apply for Canada PR. You must score at least 67 points for the FSW stream. This is based on your French/English language proficiency, work experience, education, and age for creating a profile. You will enter the pool of candidates in the Express Entry system if selected.
The minimum IELTS bands requirement for an applicant of Canada PR is as follows:
There are various categories under which you can apply for a PR visa which have different eligibility requirements. But the general eligibility factors are as under: Points Requirement: Points determine your eligibility for a PR visa You must score at least 65 points under the Point’s Grid. The below table describes the different criteria for scoring points:Category Maximum points (25-33 years)30 points English proficiency (8 bands)20 points work Experience outside Australia (8-10 years)15 points work Experience in Australia (8-10 years)20 pointsEducation (outside Australia) – Doctorate degree20 points nice skills such as Doctorate or master’s degree by research in Australia10 point study in a regional area5 points accredited in community language5 points professional year in a skilled program in Australia5 points state sponsorship (190 visas)5 points killed spouse or de facto partner (Age, Skills & English language requirements to be met)10 points pose or de facto partner with ‘competent English’ (No need to meet Skills requirement or age factor)5 points applicants without a spouse or de facto partner or where a spouse is an Australia citizen or PR holder10 points: Your age should be below 45 years to apply for a PR visa language Proficiency: You should have proof that you have a competent level of proficiency in the English language. Skilled Occupation Lists (SOL): The applicant must choose an occupation that is available in the following skilled occupation lists. The list contains the occupations that are currently acceptable for migration to Australia. The occupations in the lists are updated regularly and reflect the changes in the Australian labor market. There are three categories of the SOL:
Australia offers many options to apply for the PR visa card. You can choose the appropriate option based on your eligibility and requirements. Here are the popular options for your Australian PR:Family-stream permanent residence visas: This stream is for spouse/partner, children, or parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents.Business or investment-stream permanent residence visas: This stream is for those willing to invest in Australia for business purposes. To be eligible to apply for PR under this stream, applicants should have had the provisional visa (subclass 188) for at least one year and meet the financial requirements.Work-stream permanent residence visas: This visa stream is for workers who are sponsored by an Australian employer. The various visa categories under this stream include:Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189): This visa option is suitable for skilled workers. However, this visa cannot receive sponsorship.Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190): This visa applies to skilled workers who have a nomination from an Australian state/Territory. For this visa, you will have to prove that your occupation exists in the Skilled Occupation List.Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491): For eligibility under this visa, you must meet the skill requirement and get sponsorship or nomination from either state or region or territory.
Step 1: Check the eligibility requirements
Step 2: English proficiency TestCheck if you have the required proficiency in the English language by taking the specified English language test. Fortunately, the Australian immigration authorities accept scores from various English ability tests like IELTS, PTE, TOEFL, etc. So, you can take any of these tests to obtain the specified score.Step 3: Get your skill assessment doneGet your skills assessed by the Skills assessment authority which is an organization that will assess your skills, education, and work experience based on Australian standards.Step 4: Register your Expression of Interest
The first two are permanent visas while the third one is a temporary visa with a validity of five years which can later be converted to a PR visa.You should provide all the required information in the online application Step 5: Get your Invitation to Apply (ITA)Once you submit your application and if it meets all the requirements then you will get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Australia PR.Step 6: Submit your PR applicationThe next step is to submit your PR application. You must submit it within 60 days. The application must have all the supporting documents for processing your PR visa. These documents are your documents, immigration documents, and work experience documents.Step 7: Get your clearance certificatesThe next step is to submit your police clearance certificates. After a medical examination, you must submit your medical clearance certificate.Step 8: Get your PR visaThe last step is getting your PR visa.
If you diligently follow all the steps involved in the PR application process, the next question would be how long it will take for the visa to be processed. PR visa processing includes different stages. Each stage has a different time structure. Here is a breakdown of the time taken for each stage. The addition of the time taken for each stage determines the total processing time for your PR visa.
Getting your PR visa for Australia can be a complicated process, but with the help of an immigration consultant, it can be easy. Our expertise of over 15 years has helped many individuals to get their Australia PR visa.
The application process for the PR visa through the General Skilled Migration program follows a set process that contains a series of steps. These include Skills Assessment, English language tests, medical tests, police clearance, etc. Each step comes with its own separate cost. The total of all these costs will give you the total cost of the PR visa along with the visa application fees.Overview of costs in the PR application process:The PR visa application starts with a Skills Assessment where your skills and qualifications are reviewed by an accreditation body affiliated with the Australian Government. You’ll have to pay the Skills Assessment fees for this, which vary depending on the profession.You will have to prove your English skills by taking some of the Australian Government’s accredited English language exams. Those include IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc. Again, the cost of the exam can vary depending on the exam you choose.Applying for PR under Subclass Visa 190 requires State sponsorship. This makes you for state nomination for your PR visa. State Sponsorship fees vary with each state, the average cost is around AUD 300.When applying for your PR visa, you and your dependents should submit certificates for good health and character. For this, you will have to pay for a medical examination and a police clearance certificate. The cost of the police clearance certificate depends on the country you are from.Variation in cost:Please note that the cost of PR visa application changes periodically. The cost is dependent on the date the application is filed. If the cost of the application increases between the date of filing and the time it reaches the immigration department then you will have to pay as per the new charges.Total cost for the PR visa:The total cost of your PR visa depends on the kind of visa you are applying for, its application fees, fees for medical examination, English language test, health insurance, number of dependents, airfare to Australia, and other miscellaneous costs.
The Australian government implemented changes to its points-based immigration system. Below are the changes to the points-based system:
The above changes have created an impact on General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa categories.
The Australian government introduced two visas that came into effect from November 2019. This is intended to attract skilled migrants to settle down in regional areas. The two visas Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional visa (subclass 494) will have 25,000 visa places reserved for them out of the total permanent migration planning level of 160,000 by the Australian government. The two new visas have replaced the Subclass 489 and Subclass 187 visas.The key changes these visas have brought include:
The Australian government introduced these visas to encourage immigrants to settle in regional areas and reduce their concentration in the three major cities of Australia. These visas are expected to provide incentives to migrants to settle in regional Australia and consequently help to improve the economy in these regions.You can become an Australian citizen through permanent residency, also called as conferral by the Australian government. This is the most popular way to become an Australian citizen.For this, you will have to fulfill the residence requirements. This is based on the period you have lived in Australia and the time you have spent outside the country.The residence requirements include:
Citizenship through residency is possible if the individual stays continuously in Australia for four years on a qualifying visa that includes living in the country for one year as a permanent resident.Qualifying visas that will help you stay continuously in the country for four years are:
Skill assessment is an integral part of the General Skilled Migration program which helps to choose immigrants with the right qualities to come to Australia. Without a skill assessment, the applicant will not be able to apply for a permanent residency in the country.Under the points-based immigration, the immigrant must select an occupation that is listed in Australia’s Occupational Demand List. This list will mention occupations that face a skill shortage in the country. Every occupation in the list has its skill assessing authority. For instance, trade occupations are assessed by the TRA (Trade Recognition Australia) or the VETASSESS (Vocational Educational and Training Assessment Services).To get their skill assessment done candidates must meet the required conditions outlined by the assessing authority which is evaluating their occupation. The candidate should have the related qualifications and experience to get a positive assessment.The first requirement for a skill assessment is that your occupation must be related to your work experience. If there is a mismatch, then you will not get the required points.Apart from this, you must submit all the required documents. They must be authentic and complete and any small discrepancy in your documents can lead to a negative assessment. You will have to submit every additional detail requested by the assessing authority. The documents should support your qualifications and experience claims.Factors considered by the assessing authority:
Apart from this, proof of undergoing a language assessment test such as IELTS or PTE is required by the skill assessment bodies.You must also submit proof of your work experience, these can include:
You must also submit proof of undergoing a language assessment test such as IELTS or PTE as required by the skill assessment bodies.Skill Assessment is an important factor in the General Skilled Migration program and getting a positive skill assessment report is the crucial first step in getting a PR visa to Australia.
With a state nomination, you can get a skilled migration visa to migrate to Australia. For receiving a state nomination, your occupation must be featured in the State Nominated Occupation list and meet all the eligibility requirements of state and federal governments.Subclass 190 visaThe Subclass 190 visa is for aspiring immigrants who have the skills and abilities that are in demand in specific states of the country. However, these aspirants might not have the required points to qualify for a skilled independent visa under the Skilled Migration program. The advantage of the Subclass 190 visa is that it entitles for a faster visa. The Subclass 190 visa is a Skilled nominated visa targeting the skilled experts and tradespeople who can be nominated by an Australian state or territory. This visa was designed to enable migrants belonging to occupations in high demand in Australia’s labor market.Eligibility requirements for Subclass 190 visa
Benefits of the Subclass 190 visaThis is a permanent visa that allows you to stay in Australia for an indefinite period. However, you can travel to and from Australia only in the first five years that you have a visa. After the 5 years, you will require a Resident Return (RRV) visa (subclass 155 or 157) to travel outside the country and re-enter it as a permanent resident. Other benefits include:
Obligations under the visa include living for two years in the Australian state or territory under which the immigrant has been nominated. The visa holder can apply for a change of status after two years and can live or work anywhere in Australia.
This visa is for migrant students who have studied for two years in Australia. They can live and work here between 18 months and 4 years.There are two streams for the Subclass 485 visa:
The length of stay depends on the applicant’s qualifications:
Family members can be included in this visa. The privileges offered in this visa are:
With this visa, graduates can decide to stay and work in Australia and apply for job opportunities. On the Subclass 485 visa, students can apply for a permanent resident visa provided they meet the points requirements and eligibility criteria.