Permanent Resident Card in Canada

A permanent resident card entitles a foreigner to stay in Canada. There are several different options:
People that have substantial personal and financial resources may qualify as an investor or an entrepreneur.
Another way to qualify is if you have family living within Canada. This qualifies you for sponsorship under the Family Class designation without the need to meet stringent financial requirements.
If you possess skills in a profession in high demand, you may also apply for permanent residency status as a Skilled Worker; self-employed workers may also qualify for permanent resident status in some instances.

Be forewarned that the wait time for processing a permanent resident visa application can be extremely lengthy, especially if you do not have sponsorship or a job offer in hand.

Documents Required for Permanent Resident Card Application

  • Application for a Permanent Resident Card
  • Supplementary Identification Form, with Photo Attached
  • Photocopy of Secondary Identification Document
  • Two (2) Color Headshot Photos
  • Birth Certificate or Adoption Certificate (for Applicants Under 18)
  • Copy of Receipt for Fee Payment

Qualifying for a Visa Under Family Class Rules

If you have an eligible spouse, partner, parent (including adoptive parent) or other family member who is a citizen of Canada or who holds permanent resident status, and who is willing to sponsor your application for permanent resident status, your chances of being admitted to Canada as a permanent resident are much greater.

Citizens and permanent residents may also sponsor other relatives under the Family Class category if they have no eligible dependents, spouses or partners or have previously sponsored all other eligible dependents, spouses or partners. Your sponsor must be at least age 18 and agree to provide for your financial support once you arrive in Canada if you are unable to provide for your own financial needs.

Documents Required for Family Sponsorship Visa Applications

If you do not presently live with your sponsoring family member, your sponsor will also need to complete a sponsorship application. A full list of documents for each situation can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Dependent Children

Canadian citizens may sponsor their biological and adopted children for permanent resident status under Family Class regulations. Your child must be under age 22, and may not have a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner at the time of his or her application unless he or she married or became involved in the relationship before reaching age 22 and has remained financially dependent. If your child is over age 22, he or she must either be enrolled as a full-time student or unable to live independently due to a physical or mental disability.

Parent and Grandparent Super Visa

As of November 5, 2011, Canada placed a 24-month hiatus on new applications for sponsoring parents or grandparents for permanent resident status. No new applications will be accepted until the hiatus has been lifted.

However, as of December 1, 2011, if you are a parent or a grandparent of a Canadian citizen, you may be eligible for a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa that allows you to remain in Canada for up to two years without having to renew your visa status. In many cases, you may receive your visa within eight weeks of applying. The visa is a multiple-entry visa, which means that you may make short trips outside of Canada, and return to Canada without having to reapply. You must apply for the visa outside of Canada, although exceptions may be made if you have come to Canada within the past six months and otherwise qualify for a super visa. You must also undergo a medical examination and purchase Canadian medical insurance.