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Permanent Resident Applications

Our law office regularly prepares applications for permanent residence. We can help you assess your eligibility under the various pathways to choose the best route to obtain permanent residence. We can then help you to navigate the application process, whether you want help with the full process, just a particularly complicated piece, or a review to make sure you have not missed anything.

We have extensive experience applying for applicants under permanent residence categories, including under Express Entry (Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Workers, and Federal Skilled Trades), the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (BCPNP), and Self-Employed Categories.

We have a particular focus on cases with previous refusals, eligibility issues, request letters and procedural fairness letters related to the above application.

Express Entry is not an immigration program but an application management system used by IRCC for certain federal economic class programs including the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class.  Provinces and territories also recruit some of their candidates for Provincial Nominee programs through the Express Entry system.

To create a profile in the Express Entry system, an applicant must qualify in an economic class stream. Applicants profiled in Express Entry are then given points in a comprehensive ranking system, and every few weeks the individuals with the highest number of points will be invited to apply for permanent residence in an expedited process.

There continue to be economic class programs outside the Express Entry system which may be worthwhile exploring based on individual circumstances.

We advise on Family Class Applicants, including sponsorships of spouses and common-law partners, dependents, and parents and grandparents. We focus on family sponsorships with eligibility and admissibility issues, including criminality and undisclosed family members.

Family reunification is one of the stated goals of Canada’s immigration system. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are able to sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada as permanent residents.

Family sponsorship applications are generally processed in two parts:

First, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) assesses whether or not the sponsor meets the eligibility requirements for sponsoring a family member.

Second, IRCC makes a determination as to whether or not the person being sponsored (the Principal Applicant) and their dependents are inadmissible to Canada for any reason. The process, timelines and eligibility requirements for sponsorship applications vary depending on which family member is being sponsored and where that person is residing at the time of the application.

Sponsoring your spouse or partner

Canadians and permanent residents are able to sponsor their spouses, common-law partners and conjugal partners to become a permanent resident of Canada. Through your application, you must be able to demonstrate that your relationship is genuine and that it was not entered into for immigration reasons.

Sponsoring your parents or grandparents

Parents and grandparents can also be sponsored by Canadian citizens and permanent residents to come to Canada. Unlike the other categories of family class sponsorships, sponsors must meet certain income requirements before they are found eligible to sponsor. Additionally, this is the only category of family sponsorships upon which IRCC has placed a cap on the number of applications that they will accept each year.

Sponsoring your dependent children

Parents are able sponsor children who are under the age of 19 at the time the sponsorship application is submitted. A child who is 19 years old or older is only considered a dependent under this category if they have been and continue to be unable to financially support themselves due to a physical or mental condition.

Foreign nationals in Canada may apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (H&C application) if they are not eligible to apply for permanent residence in any other class or if they are inadmissible and need an exemption to immigration requirements.  Individuals apply for H&C consideration because they face hardship – serious problems or suffering – if they are forced to leave Canada and return to their home country.  An immigration officer will decide whether or not an exemption will be granted based on humanitarian and compassionate considerations.

H&C applications are decided on a case-by-case basis and include evidence of:

  • Establishment in Canada:
    • Ties to Canada including connections with family and friends
    • Employment and financial stability
    • Education and training, including English classes
    • Community involvement including volunteer work
    • An inability to leave Canada that has led to establishment
  • Any hardship the Applicant would face if they were required to leave Canada:
    • Consequences to Canadian citizen or permanent resident relatives if the Applicant is removed
    • Loss of community support including religious, social, or other community support
    • Inability to speak the language or work in the home country
    • Lack of remaining ties to home country
    • Health considerations including lack of access to healthcare (mental and physical)
    • Family violence
  • Adverse conditions in the Applicant’s home country which would personally and negatively affect the Applicant
  • The best interests of any child affected by the decision given the child’s age, education, special needs and dependency on the Applicant

Application processing times can be lengthy and a pending H&C application will not stay an Applicant’s removal from Canada.  If an Applicant is removed from Canada prior to a decision on the H&C application, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will continue to process the application and notify the Applicant of its decision in writing.

Individuals who have an outstanding refugee claim or became a designated foreign national within the past 5 years cannot make an H&C application.

Individuals who have made refugee claims that were rejected, withdrawn or abandoned within the past 12 months may not be able to make an H&C application.  There are exceptions to this “12 month bar” if there is evidence that children will be adversely affected by the Applicant’s removal from Canada or if the failed refugee claimant’s life would be at risk because their home country is unable to provide adequate health or medical care.

All inter-country adoptions involve two separate processes: the adoption itself and the subsequent immigration or citizenship application for the adopted child. Whether parents are adopting a child through an overseas adoption agency or adopting a child who is related to them, parents in British Columbia will need to work with the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) and a local adoption agency to ensure that all of the inter-country adoption criteria are met. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will require a letter from MCFD stating that they have no objection to the adoption (or a letter of no involvement) before the application for immigration/citizenship will be approved.

Some parents are eligible to apply directly for citizenship of their adopted child and others must first sponsor their child to become a permanent resident. The requirements, processing times and consequences differ depending on whether parents submit an application for citizenship or the permanent residence for their adopted child. Careful consideration of these differences is required to ensure that parents choose the best route that is available to them and their adopted child.

In all cases, IRCC looks at a number of criteria before approving an application for citizenship or permanent residence for an adopted child, including whether:

  • the adoption was in the best interests of the child
  • the adoption created a genuine parent-child relationship
  • the adoption was in accordance with the laws of the place where the adoption took place
  • the adoption did not circumvent the legal requirements for international adoption
  • the adoption was not entered into primarily for immigration reasons
  • there is any evidence of child trafficking
  • the child is “legally available” for adoption