Pathways to permanent residence continued

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Zeynab Ziaie is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and a lawyer licensed to practice in Ontario and New York. Her legal practice focuses on immigration and business law. She often works with clients to find suitable solutions in complex immigration and citizenship cases and represents clients at all levels of court. She can be reached at zeynab@ziaielaw.com.

Sometimes it feels like Canada’s regulations and programs for Permanent Residence (PR) change on a weekly basis. In truth there are more than a dozen programs available at both the federal and provincial levels and these programs are constantly changing and evolving.

The answer to whether you qualify for permanent residence in Canada may change from month to month and is wholly dependent upon your individual circumstances. Therefore, it is impossible to summarize all the possible pathways to permanent residence but below are the highlights of the main programs currently available for skilled workers.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC):

You may qualify to apply for PR under CEC if:

  • You have strong English or French language skills
  • Have at least one year of Canadian work experience at a skilled or managerial level

This program is managed through the Express Entry system and therefore the applicants with the most points will qualify and be selected from the Express Entry pool. There is no specific requirement for a post-secondary degree or to have a job offer, but these can increase your points and thereby increase your chance of having a successful CEC application.

 

Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSW):

You may qualify to apply for PR under the FSW class if:

  • You have strong English or French language skills
  • Have at least one year full-time experience at a skilled or managerial level
  • Have completed at least secondary education

 

Again this program is managed through the Express Entry system and the higher your points the more likely you are to be successful. Given the minimum scores that have been selected over the past year, applicants who are younger, have extremely good language skills and have either worked or studied in Canada are the most likely to succeed in this category.

Federal Skilled Trades Class (FST):

You may qualify to apply for PR under the FST class if:

  • You have strong English or French language skills
  • Have at least 2 years full-time experience in a skilled trade in the past 5 years
  • You have an offer of employment for at least one year OR a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued in Canada
    Similar to the FSW and CEC this program is also managed through the Express Entry system and the higher your points the more likely you are to be successful.

Provincial Nominee Program:

There are numerous programs to attract skilled workers in each province, and the province of Quebec has its own specific program for permanent residents. While the requirements of each of these programs differ they often require strong language skills as well as a connection to the province such as having completed studies there or having a job offer from a local employer.

 

Atlantic Immigration Pilot:

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) is a partnership between the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) and the aim of the AIP is to attract and retain talent in these provinces by offering a faster path to permanent residence.

The AIP allows employers in these provinces to hire qualified candidates for jobs that they have not been able to fill locally. In order to qualify, you must have a job offer from a local employer and fall under one of the three programs: High-skilled Program, Intermediate-skilled Program and International Graduate Program (for those who have studied in one of the provinces).

 

Each step that you take will impact your ability to qualify under any of these programs in the future. Therefore, if you are interested in planning out your pathway to permanent residence you should speak with an experienced immigration lawyer as soon as possible.

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Zeynab Ziaie is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and a lawyer licensed to practice in Ontario and New York. Her legal practice focuses on immigration and business law. She often works with clients to find suitable solutions in complex immigration and citizenship cases and represents clients at all levels of court.

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