Travel & Immigration

Getting Your Canadian Green Card

This article was Last Updated on March 30, 2022 by Olushola Awode

What’s a Green Card?

Before we delve into the world of Canadian green cards, what exactly is a green card? A green card is essentially a document or a set of documents that grants an immigrant the right to permanent residency in their new country. If you’re an immigrant in a country, and you’ve yet to get one, well, you are kind of still a visitor.

Canada is a country that is well-known to be welcoming to immigrants, but there is still a process to getting permanent residency status, that is, getting your green card, in Canada. It takes some time, and you would have to meet certain requirements. However, it is still fairly easy, and many people scale through and get accepted, otherwise Canada would not be well-known as a country that is welcoming to immigrants.

The Canadian government has been creating several pathways for immigrants wishing to legally relocate to the country for a variety of reasons. The pathways are tailored to meet different categories of needs immigrants have for their relocation, including refugees and asylum seekers, students who wish to further their studies, academics who wish to carry out important research, and entrepreneurs who wish to establish new businesses.

The pathway that an immigrant takes into the country would determine a lot about how they eventually obtain their residency status. The process of immigration is one that is essentially in two steps; coming into the country then obtaining a permanent residency status. You can, however, begin applying for permanent residence before you enter the country. Or you could be on a temporary visa, living in Canada, then apply for permanent residency.

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We will be covering all the steps and entry pathways for people wishing to immigrate to Canada in this article.


Applying for a Canadian Green Card

As we stated earlier, applying for a Canadian green card can be done either while you are outside Canada or inside it. The visa programs and entry processes for both processes are conjoined, however. People who apply from the outside often have to live inside the country for a while before obtaining permanent residency status. While inside the country, they are often enrolled in the same programs and go through the same official processes. However, there are visa programs that are tailored for people applying from outside Canada and visa programs for those applying inside Canada.

From Outside Canada

The internet gives a lot of people all around the world a chance to make advanced preparations for permanent residency in Canada. The Canadian government has even made it possible for skilled workers who are yet to get an employment offer to begin their application process and integrate it with their job search in Canada.

If you are a refugee fleeing from war or disaster, or you are seeking asylum in Canada due to political reasons, you should be aware that the Canadian government is sensitive to those particular needs and has created several pathways that enable you to find a haven in Canada. There is a special program for refugees, which we will discuss below. You can also use the other programs if that applies better to your situation.

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For those migrating for other reasons, the Start-up visa program is one way to apply if they are looking to start a company or run a business in Canada. If they are rather looking for employment in Canada, they could begin by applying for a job or the various entry streams designed for specific jobs. Canada has been seeking skilled workers in several fields, and there are currently visa programs tailored for people working in the field of healthcare, caregiving, and agriculture.


Canadian Green CardFrom Inside Canada

If you have been living inside Canada, the application process for Canadian Green Card should depend on your entry process and what you have been doing so far in the country. There are several pathways and programs that are designed for temporary residents who wish to become permanent residents – in fact, all pathways open to those living outside Canada are open to people already living inside the country.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is the pathway that is best designed for temporary residents seeking Canadian Green Card. This is a program where Canadian citizens living in a province help their neighbors who are seeking for permanent residency to obtain them by nominating them. A limited number of nominees are made by each province each year, and the people nominated most often get to obtain permanent residency.

The other programs are all available to applicants, and each has its set of requirements.


All Currently Available Canadian Green Card Pathways

The following are the immigration pathways that you can take to get permanent residency status in Canada.

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1. Express Entry

This is a program that is specially designed for skilled workers who want to immigrate into the country. It integrates their application process with their job search and places them on a sure path to permanent residency.

  1. Refugees

If you are a refugee seeking to emigrate to Canada, there are special programs for which you can apply. You can also get someone to sponsor your application.

  1. Family sponsorship

A family member can sponsor your immigration process to Canada, helping you prepare for the transition. The family member could be your spouse, partner, children, grandchildren, or parents.

  1. Provincial nominees

Provinces in Canada can nominate people living in their province or people who wish to live in their province to gain permanent residency status.

  1. Start-up Visa

If you can start a business that creates jobs in Canada, you can be enrolled in this special program with a high acceptance rate. Your business needs to meet certain requirements, though.

  1. Self-employed

You can immigrate into Canada as a person self-employed in athletics or cultural crafts.

Permanent residence pathways for Hong Kong residents

There are two pathways for Hong Kong residents in Canada seeking Canadian Green Card. The other pathways, each with their own requirements, are:

  • Quebec-selected skilled workers
  • Atlantic Immigration Program
  • Caregivers
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
  • Agri-Food Pilot
  • Healthcare workers’ permanent residence pathway
  • Temporary resident to permanent resident pathway
  • Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot
  • Appeal your immigration Decision


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