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Navigating the path from a work permit to permanent residency (PR) in Canada

Navigating the path from a work permit to permanent residency (PR) in Canada is a common immigration journey for many individuals. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to achieve this transition:


Before you can apply for permanent residency, you’ll need to secure a valid work permit to work in Canada. There are different types of work permits, including employer-specific permits and open work permits. You may need a job offer from a Canadian employer to get an employer-specific work permit.

While working in Canada, focus on gaining valuable Canadian work experience. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and some Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) require a specific amount of work experience in Canada.

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Assess your eligibility for Canadian permanent residency. The most common immigration programs that transition from work permits to PR include:

  • Express Entry: This system manages applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. Create an Express Entry profile and receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) based on your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

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  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Some provinces offer nomination programs that allow you to apply for permanent residency if you have work experience in that province.

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  • Family Sponsorship: If you have close family members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, they may be able to sponsor you for PR.

Ensure that you meet the specific requirements for the immigration program you’re applying through. These requirements may include age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and adaptability factors.

Depending on the immigration program, you may need to provide proof of your English or French language proficiency through tests like IELTS or CELPIP.

If you completed your education outside Canada, you may need to obtain an ECA to have your foreign education credentials assessed and recognized in Canada.

Collect all the necessary documents, including educational transcripts, reference letters, police clearance certificates, and proof of funds, as required by the specific immigration program.

Create an online account with the immigration authority responsible for your chosen program (e.g., IRCC for Express Entry or the relevant provincial authority for PNPs).

Fill out and submit your permanent residency application, paying attention to all details and document requirements.

The processing time for your PR application can vary depending on the program and your individual circumstances. You can check the processing times on the official government website.

You may be required to attend interviews or undergo medical examinations as part of the application process.

If your application is approved, you’ll receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a permanent resident visa (if applicable).

Travel to Canada and complete the landing process at a port of entry. You will need to show your COPR and other required documents.

Once you’ve landed in Canada and become a permanent resident, you can start building your life in the country, including working, living, and enjoying the benefits of permanent residency.

Please note that immigration rules and programs can change, so it’s essential to check the official Canadian government website or consult with an immigration expert for the most up-to-date information and guidance tailored to your specific situation.

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