Stay in Canada

A. Permanent Residency

Permanent Residency is one of many types of immigration statuses in Canada. It allows individuals nearly the same rights as those with citizenship, such as the right to work, study and access to various social services, but they are not allowed to vote in elections and they cannot obtain a Canadian passport. Instead, they are given a permanent residence card that can be used in combination with their existing passport to travel.

Permanent residency can be obtained through a variety of immigration programs. This includes, family sponsorship, express entry, business immigration, among many others. Each category has its own distinct features and requirements that individuals must meet in order to gain permanent residence status. Permanent residents can then apply for Canadian citizenship after physically living in Canada for at least 4 years in a 6 year period.

For more information on how you can obtain permanent resident status in Canada, to find out if you qualify under one of the immigration programs, applying for your PR card and any additional help required in relation to permanent residency, contact Brace Law.

B. Citizenship

Canadian citizenship is automatically obtained by those born in Canada or by individuals whose parent is a first-generation Canadian citizen. For individuals who are permanent residents, Canadian citizenship can be applied for after living in Canada for a specified residency period. Citizenship will afford them certain privileges, not enjoyed by permanent residents, such as the right to vote in elections and the ability to obtain a Canadian passport.


The manner in which citizenship is obtained is called ‘naturalization’. To qualify for this process, permanent residents who have had their status for at least 3 years during a 5 year period may apply.

Canadian citizenship requires that you:

  • have been a permanent resident of Canada
  • Have lived in Canada for 3 of out the last 5 years
  • Have filed your taxes, if applicable
  • Pass a test on your rights, responsibilities and knowledge of Canada
  • Prove your language skills

Different requirements arise if you are a minor or you may find yourself ineligible for Canadian citizenship if you are under a removal order or have a criminal record in Canada.

Applications typically take about 12 months to process and include pre-screening to ensure that your application has been completed properly and the residence rule has been met but also includes the citizenship test, interview and ceremony.


It is possible that a naturalized Canadian citizen can lose their Canadian citizenship: namely by fraud in either their citizenship application process or their permanent residency application process. Those suspected of committing fraud in their application process will be given notice of the allegations against them, disclosure of evidence and an opportunity to respond to the allegations. The process to revoke citizenship is initiated by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration but the final decision is made by the Federal Court.


For those individuals whose applications were rejected have the option to appeal this decision to the Federal Court within 30 days. The court will review the decision and decide if it was made legally.


C. Provincial Nominee Program

For individuals who want to become permanent residents of Canada and have the skills, education and work experience to work in a Canadian province/territory, there is another route available to staying in Canada.

If you choose to immigrate to Canada using the Provincial Nominee Program, you must apply to the province/territory in which you wish to settle and complete its provincial nominee process. Those who are nominated under the Provincial Nominee Program are those who have the skills, education and work experience to make an immediate economic contribution to the province/territory they apply for.

After you have been nominated, a separate application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for permanent residence needs to be made.

Each province and territory has different requirements for the program. At Brace Law, we will help you meet all the requirements for whichever province or territory you wish to live and contribute in and ensure your permanent residence application is simple and straightforward