Canada PR: Obtain Permanent Residence from the US

If you would like to settle in Canada and currently live in the United States, the first step is to obtain permanent residence in Canada. This page has all the details about applying for Canadian PR from the United States, whether you are a US citizen or a resident.

For assistance with your permanent residence application, contact our expert immigration lawyers today by calling +1 844 290 6312 or through our contact form.

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    Canada Permanent Residence programs

    Canadian permanent residence allows you to live, work, and study in Canada without getting a visa. With permanent resident status, you can settle in Canada indefinitely and have the chance of acquiring Canadian citizenship in a few years.

    The Canadian government has several immigration programs that have helped thousands of foreign nationals successfully come to Canada as permanent residents every year. The route to permanent residence includes:

    For more information or assistance obtaining permanent Canadian residence from the US, please call us at +1 844 290 6312 or via live chat.

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    How to obtain Canadian PR from the US

    Citizens of the United States can obtain permanent residence through most of the routes. If you are not a citizen of the USA but live there and plan to apply for Canadian permanent residence from the states, you may be eligible as well.

    Most immigration routes allow applicants to apply online, at a visa office, or by mailing their application forms and documents to the Office of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

    Before you go for any of the immigration routes, consider your eligibility. Each program has specific residency requirements for applicants before being given permanent residence status and a PR card.

    If you apply without meeting the residency requirements, your permanent resident application will not be approved, and you may not be refunded any application fees. So, it’s recommended that you discuss with an immigration lawyer who understands the ins and outs of acquiring Canadian PR from the US.

    Express Entry

    Express Entry is a system used by the Canadian government to manage and analyse applications for permanent residence from skilled workers from the US and other eligible countries.

    There are three programs under Express Entry:

    In addition, provinces that have a provincial nominee program also select candidates from the Express Entry pool.

    The Express Entry pool comprises candidates who have submitted their profiles to be assessed in the system. Such candidates are assessed based on their adaptability, skills, age, and generally how well they can contribute to Canada’s economy and adapt to the system. For each area, they are given points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

    Candidates with the highest CRS scores are pulled into the Express Entry Pool, and based on Canada’s needs, those candidates may be invited to apply for permanent residence.

    Each program under the Express Entry System is made for a select type of people.

    The Federal Skilled Worker Program is for skilled workers with foreign experience in select National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

    The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is for skilled workers qualified in a skilled trade in one of the select NOC groups for FSTP.

    The above two programs allow people with US work experience to immigrate to Canada. The third program is different as it targets skilled workers with Canadian work experience. For more information about Express Entry, visit our Express Entry page.

    Provincial Nominee Program

    Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) give Canadian immigration power to provinces and territories in Canada to manage their immigration systems and candidates to ensure that immigration is spread evenly across Canada.

    A province can nominate an individual from the Express Entry Pool or from applications made directly to them to enable the individual to become a permanent resident if it believes the individual will positively impact its local economy and community.

    Should a province nominate you, it’s up to the Canadian federal government to grant you PR status. If you are approved, you are to come to reside in that province.

    Since the provinces and territories manage their programs, the eligibility criteria differ and are usually based o the needs of the province. If you are interested in immigrating to Canada through a PNP, view our Provincial Nominee Program page to see the necessary skills, education, and work experience that are part of the residency requirements.

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      Business immigration


      Canada has opportunities for foreign nationals who want to immigrate to do business in Canada. The objective of the business immigration programs is to encourage investment in Canada to boost the economy and create job opportunities for Canadians.

      There are three programs under business immigration, namely:

      Quebec Business Immigration

      Quebec, generally, has its own immigration programs and does not accept just anyone to immigrate even if they are accepted in a federal program. If you plan to settle in Quebec, you must go through its processes. One of Quebec’s routes in Business Immigration.

      That route has three programs: Quebec Investor Program, Quebec Entrepreneur Program, and Quebec Self-Employed Program. If you are eligible for any of the categories, you can acquire Canadian PR and come live in the province of Quebec.

      For more information or assistance with immigrating to Quebec or business, get in touch with us at +1 844 290 6312.

      Self-employed Persons Program

      The Self-employed Persons Program is aimed at those who are already self-employed in cultural activities, athletics, or farming. It also covers those who may not already be self-employed but are experienced in those job areas and would like to establish a business to create employment for themselves in Canada.

      To find out more about the requirements, please visit our Self-Employed Persons Program page.

      Canadian Start-up visa

      With the start-up visa, you can come to Canada as a permanent resident and establish your business. This program helps innovative entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business to do so. To be eligible, you must have support from a designated organization. Also, your idea must be innovative, able to compete on a global scale and create jobs for Canadians.

      Designated organizations are eligible companies that have pledged to support an entrepreneur’s idea and venture in Canada. They are Angel investor groups, Business incubators, and venture capital funds that are members of the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) or National Angel Capital Organization (NACO)

      The designated organization must have invested at least the minimum amount in the business and provided a letter of support to the Entrepreneur to prove that they have Canadian sponsorship and support. For more information on the requirement and how to acquire the start-up visa, visit our start-up visa page.

      Caregivers Permanent Resident Programs

      You may be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence as a caregiver if you fit the criteria for the Live-In Caregiver Program, Home Child Care Provider Pilot, or Home Support Worker Pilot.

      The programs do not grant permanent residence immediately but give the option of becoming a permanent resident within a few years. The Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots are 5-year programs that allow qualified caregivers and their family members to enter Canada to become permanent residents.

      The Home Child Care Provider Pilot is for caregivers that provide childcare services in their own homes or their employer’s homes. Eligible jobs include babysitter, parent’s helper, child caregiver in gym/public space, and foster parent.

      The Home Support Worker Pilot is for applicants that provide care to senior citizens, people with disabilities, and those going through rehabilitation. Eligible jobs include home support worker, housekeeper, live-in caregiver for seniors, personal care attendant, doula, and respite worker.

      With both pilot programs, you must have a job offer before applying for a work permit. The programs grant an open work permit that allows you to work for any employer temporarily, as long as the job falls within the approved program. Your time as a caregiver with this permit will count towards permanent residence eligibility, and you can apply for that before your permit expires.

      The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) allowed approved applicants to obtain Canadian PR after two years of work experience in the program. It is for foreign nationals from the USA and other eligible countries who wish to be employed by a Canadian citizen as caretakers for their children or someone with disabilities at home.

      The LCP is closed to new applicants. If you are a caregiver looking to come to Canada, explore any of the pilot programs. If you already have a valid LCP work permit, you can apply for Canadian PR. Call us on +1 844 290 6312 for assistance.

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        Family Sponsorship for Permanent Residence

        You may come to Canada as a permanent resident if you have relatives that are Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, or registered Indians under the Canadian Indian Act.

        Your Canadian relative maybe your:

        • Spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner
        • Parent
        • Child
        • Grandchild
        • Sibling
        • Grandparent
        • Uncle or Aunt

        Some other relatives may be able to sponsor you as well. Before you become a resident through this route, your Canadian relative must be at least 18, live in Canada, and meet all the other residency requirements.

        Also, you must meet the criteria for your relationship. The Canadian government requires that you prove your relationship to the Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or registered Indian with documents supporting your claims, such as marriage certificates and birth certificates. The IRCC may accept other pieces of evidence.

        Apart from proof of relationship, you must meet other residency requirements as well. Those requirements include criteria around your age, financial capability, current location, criminal record, health status, and admissibility into Canada.

        For more information on the requirements for family sponsorship and how to maximize your chances of success, visit our family sponsorship page.

        Humanitarian and Compassionate

        This category includes those in the humanitarian and compassionate industries and those the Canadian government offers humanitarian support. They include:

        • Health care workers
        • Families of Canadian victims of recent air disasters who are already in Canada
        • Hong Kong residents
        • Temporary resident to permanent resident pathway
        • Refugees/protected persons

        All of the above are public policies that are temporary status to permanent residence pathways. To obtain permanent residence through any of these routes, you must already be in Canada under temporary status.

        To obtain permanent residence as a Health care worker, you can apply for a work permit or study permit to work in Canada as a health care worker or study a course in the health or health services field in a Canadian post-secondary institution. When in Canada as a worker or when you have graduated, you may apply for permanent residence.

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        Economic Immigration Program


        Economic Immigration includes all programs that permit foreign nationals to come to Canada to build the economy through jobs. This includes the Provincial Nominees programs and programs under Express Entry (Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Federal Skilled Worker Program).

        Since we have already looked at the above four programs, we will focus on the other economic immigration routes in this section. They include:

        • Agri-food pilot
        • Atlantic immigration pilot
        • Rural and northern immigration pilot
        • Quebec-selected skilled workers

        Agri-food pilot for Permanent Resident Status

        The Agri-food pilot is a temporary immigration program that ends in May 2023. It addresses the needs of the Canadian agri-food section by granting permanent residence status to experienced non-seasonal workers in industries and occupations around agri-food.

        To apply from the United States, you must already have:

        • Eligible Canadian work experience in the eligible NOC industry and occupation classifications
        • Full-time job offer from a Canadian employer in the eligible industries and occupations
        • Meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) Level 4 in English or French
        • Have enough settlement funds
        • Meet the educational requirements

        Atlantic immigration pilot

        The Atlantic Immigration Pilot helps employers who need to fill positions that they cannot fill locally to hire foreign workers. This pilot concerns only the four Atlantic provinces; Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

        Skilled foreign workers and international graduates who want to obtain PR status stay in the Atlantic area after graduation can use this pilot as a pathway to permanent residence. To enter Canada PR through this program, you must have received a job offer from an employer in Atlantic Canada who has a Confirmation of Designation.

        Also, you and your employer must meet all the other requirements. For more information, call us on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.

        Rural and northern immigration pilot

        The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot aims to spread the benefits of economic immigration to small communities by granting skilled foreign workers permanent residence to come and work and live in the participating communities.

        To obtain Canadian permanent residency through this route, you must:

        • Meet both the requirements of the IRCC and the community
        • Get a job offer from an employer in the community
        • Submit an application for recommendation to the community
        • Apply for permanent residence when the community recommends you

        Each community has its application process and residency requirements. Due to the varying criteria, job search process, and documents required, it can be challenging to go through the process alone. Our immigration lawyers can help you. Call us on +1 844 290 6312 for assistance.

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          What to expect after you have obtained Canada PR

          If your PR application is successful, you will be granted a Canada permanent resident visa or Permanent Resident Travel Document with which you can travel to Canada. A border control officer at your point of entry will assess that and ask you a few questions before deciding to admit you into Canada.

          Your PR card will be sent to your Canada address by mail. It is usually valid for five years and can be renewed just before or after it expires. If you stay in Canada for at least 1,095 days within the five years, you will be eligible for Canadian citizenship and can apply. When you become a citizen, you can obtain a Canadian passport.

          If you leave Canada while on PR status, ensure that you comply with your residency obligations, or you may lose your permanent resident status. We help with acquiring Canadian citizenship. Call +1 844 290 6312 for more information.

          How can Total Law help?

          We can help you if you are considering moving to Canada from the US. At Total Law, we are US and Canadian immigration lawyers who have helped several people in the United States acquire Canada PR and visas.

          There are many options to choose from, and our goal is that you settle in Canada in the way that best suits you and satisfies your immigration wants. Our immigration services begin with weighing your options and discussing your eligibility with you.

          We will guide you through choosing the permanent residence program that will give you the best chances of success based on your eligibility.

          The application process can be overwhelming, so we will submit a complete application, assist with filing all the necessary paperwork and liaise with the IRCC on your behalf so you can relax and not have to think about it. Also, we will advise on the documents and evidence that can help your application and provide you with updates on your permanent residence application along the way.

          For more information on how we can help you acquire Canada’s permanent resident status and other immigration matters, get in touch today on +1 844 290 6312.

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            With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

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                By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Every permanent immigration route has its specific residency requirements. For example, if you want to enter Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Program in Express Entry, you must have high CRS points to be in the FSTP pool. Also, you must be in an eligible trade.

                    For the start-up visa, you should have a letter of support from a designated organization sponsoring your application. To find out the residency requirements you must meet, choose an immigration route on this page and read the criteria on our website.

                    If you are unsure which route is best for you, call us on +1 844 290 6312 to advise you. You can also discuss with us over live chat or send a message through our contact form.

                    The cost to get Canada PR depends on the route you take. Here are some of the fees:

                    Route Application fee ($CAN) Right of permanent residence
                    Business immigration $1,575 $500
                    Caregivers $550 $500
                    Economic Immigration & Express Entry $825 $500
                    Humanitarian and compassionate $550 $500
                    Permit holders class $325 $500
                    Protected person $550 Nil

                    The fees above do not include processing or right of permanent residence for a dependent spouse, common-law partner, or children. You may need to pay for biometrics and a work permit.

                    In addition, third-party costs from taking a medical exam and obtaining a police certificate may apply to you. Also, after you have been awarded PR, you must pay $50 for your PR card.