This article will discuss how to get Canadian residency or citizenship.
If you are looking for second residencies or investing, you can contact me on this form.
Whenever I am flying abroad I always go to the same airport after wandering for hours in the beautiful city of Venice. As I once had to wait a couple of hours in the airport before getting on board, I visited most of the gates the airport offered and the ones that drew my attention the most were the Toronto, Quebec City and Montreal gates. There were hundreds of people!
For those who do not know the current situation in Italy, I will try to summarize it in a few words: It could be better. Over 300.000 Italians a year leave what we call the Bel Paese ‘’The Beautiful Country’’ to find better opportunities elsewhere, and let aside the richest European countries and the UK, Canada is one of the top routes Italians choose.
Every 2 Italians that choose the USA as their new home, there is 1 Italian that will prefer Canada instead. Remember that Canada, surface-wise is as big as Europe, but it has only 37 million people, meaning that Italians, and like them most immigrants, are almost 5 times more likely to choose Canada over the USA.
Why do so many immigrants choose Canada over the USA?
Immigrants generally are seeking for better and safer opportunities. An Italian expat could say that his degree is worthless in Italy being it underpaid. With the same degree, you could earn from 3 to 5 times more just by changing your country of residence.
Canada, differently to the US, given its extremely generous welfare system not too far from the system we find in Scandinavian countries, gives many more social-friendly opportunities in all aspects and therefore seems more welcoming.
On the other side, we have the US, the expensive choice where you have to be already ‘’prepared’’ in order to succeed as the libertarian/right-wing/capitalist ideology will expect you to commit yourself to work hard and pay for the mistakes you will be perpetrating. The widespread meritocracy you find in the US requires immigrants to be extremely responsible.
Why do many emigrants consider Canada to be a good choice?
According to the Global Peace Index, Canada is one of the friendliest and less belligerent countries you could live in. In fact, you will surely have found some memes online where Canadians say sorry. But do not piss them off! They also hold most of the longest sniper confirmed kills!
Canada, differently from European countries, is inviting 1 million or more people a year to come and live in Canada and expand its meagre population, therefore you can expect a lot of benefits as an immigrant!
Free Public Schooling from the first to the last class you will be attending and benefits for parents!
Great Job Opportunities in every sector, from agriculture to aerospace in a booming economy!
If you do not like the US because of its private health care, Canada has free health care and you can obtain a Health Care Card in just 3 months after you are granted a Permanent Residency Card!
The cities of Toronto, Calgary and Saskatoon offer some of the lowest business tax to attract investors and businessmen!
Canada is one of the friendliest countries on Earth regarding its citizenship and we will cover how easy it is to become part of their community!
And most important, cheap maple syrup!
How to obtain the Canadian Temporary Residence Permit Visa
In first place, who needs to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit Visa (TRV) in Canada?
Shortly we could say that it depends on your nationality, not all foreign nationals have to have a TRV to live in Canada. If you are from the US, you do not need it, if you come from a country that has some international issues like Afghanistan, you do, if you come from a European country, you will need an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization).
The kind of Visa you will need to live in Canada depends highly on your personal situation. As a US citizen, you do not need to have a TRV or a visitor visa to enter Canada, but if you have a past criminality record, you may need to apply for criminal rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit.
If you are a foreign national of one of these countries, you will not need to have a Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada:
Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Germany, France, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, South Korea, American Samoa, Zimbabwe, Monaco, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Malta, Italy, Brunei, USA.
Meanwhile, if you are a foreign national of one of these countries, you will need to have a Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada:
Argentina, Algeria, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, DRC, Bangladesh, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Romania, Somalia, South Africa, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Cuba, Yemen, Pakistan, India.
Once you have acknowledged that you need a TRV, there are some requirements to fulfil in order to obtain it. Among these, you may have to prove your financial stability, your monthly and yearly income, your bond with your residence in your original country, valid documents such as ID, passport, prove that you will be residing in Canada only within the validity that your Visa permits.
Generally, you do not have to show an invitation letter from a sponsor, but if you have it and you know you have to show it at the customs, bring it. You will have to prove that you are in good health and prove that you have no previous criminal record.
How long will your TRV last?
The length of stay granted from your TRV will be determined upon your arrival at the customs in Canada by a CBC officer. In most cases, it will be issued for a 6 months period and in the case you want to extend your visa and stay longer in Canada you can do that, but you have to apply 30 days before the expiration of your visa.
Keep in mind that you will not be eligible to ask for a TRV upon arrival in Canada. You have to apply for a TRV before you leave your country and you have to wait for approval before you decide to come to Canada.
If your application is approved, a multiple entry visa will be issued for you valid for 10 years and every time you come to Canada you will be allowed to stay 6 months. If your passport expires before the 10 years, then your visa also expires.
There are some things that you cannot do while on a TRV, like study or work. It is very hard to get a TRV approved in Canada. Apart from submitting an incomplete or weak application, you may simply be inadmissible to enter Canada and some of the reasons could be:
- You may have a criminal history, as little as DUI (Driving Under the Influence) to a more serious offence
- Medical conditions you may have
- You may be deemed a security risk for Canada
- You may have national or international human rights violation records
- You may have taken part in criminal organizations such as mafia
- You may not have sufficient money arguing to your Canadian consulate
- Misrepresentation of yourself or your representative
- You may be in violation of immigration refugees in citizenship
How to obtain a Permanent Residency in Canada?
It is not that straightforward as it is in other countries. The difficulty is not how to get citizenship, but how to get the PR card first, as we already analyzed earlier.
When you submit your Express Entry profile, you will have to send them all the documentation that they ask you depending on your age:
- Your education
- Your level of English
- Your work experience and a proof that you worked at least 1 year in your sector
- If you have any education history in Canada it gives you some extra points
- If you have any work history in Canada it gives you some extra points
Once you have submitted all the required documents and filled in the forms carefully, your application form will be put in a’’bucket’’ with many other applicants and it will have to compete and it will win only if it is in a certain score range.
Each 3 months the Office of Immigration will revise all the application forms in the ‘’bucket’’ and consider letting in only some thousand people. In that case, if they want to let 2000 more people in and you score 1.700 out of 10.000, you and 300 others will be invited to send all the documentation in 3 months to ask for a Permanent Residency Visa in Canada.
Once you have submitted your application, if your English is good enough, you have the work experience, you studied and/or worked in Canada and therefore you fulfil all their requirements, it is quite probable you will be approved to send your application for the PRV.
In this case, you should already have prepared all the documents, in fact, in some cases, 3 months or the given period of time might not be sufficient to gather all the papers needed. If you fail to submit all the documents in time, you will be disqualified and you will have to wait in line for the next ‘’re-draw’’.
Here you can check what is your potential score before applying: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/crs-tool.asp
As stated before you should already have all the documentation prior to your submission, if you do not have them, be quick and remember to improve your skills or you will just keep getting rejected.
- Improve your English and/or get sure you get 7 in your IELTS or equivalent score in other certificates like TOEFL, CAE, FCE etc… generally they cost from $100 to $200
- Make sure you have your education history certified by World Educational Services WES Canada. WES will certify your education from your home country for $225 CAD
- The primary PR visa fee for applicants now is currently $825 CAD (Primary applicant) + right of PR fee, $500 CAD.
- Common-law partner/spouse or family member will cost an additional CAD $825 each + CAD $500 right of PR fee.
- For each child below the 22 years of age, you will pay CAD $225.
- A medical exam, this may vary a lot depending on your country of origin.
- A PCC (Police Clearance Certificate). The price may vary a lot depending on your country of origin.
- Once you paid all the fees for the applications, consider that the PRV is designed for people that want to stay in Canada for at least 6 months, therefore you will have to provide financial documentation or bank statements that prove that you have at least:
$12.960 CAD if you are alone
$16.135 CAD if it is you plus a family member
$19.836 CAD if it is you plus 2 family members
$24.083 CAD if it is you plus 3 family members
$27.315 CAD if it is you plus 4 family members
$30.806 CAD if it is you plus 5 family members
$34.299 CAD if it is you plus 6 family members
$3.492 CAD for each additional family member
You will have to save the most you can to convince the customs regulations that you will have sufficient money to find a home. But be aware, do not bring more than CAD $10.000 without declaring them. In fact, if you do not declare them, you could be fined or your property could be seized.
You cannot expect to enter Canada without money except in a single case. The only way to bypass this is to have a business sponsor letter that proves that you will have an employment in Canada and therefore a work permit. Therefore if you already happen to be working in Canada or it will happen in the future, you will not be asked to show these financial details.
One step further, how to obtain the Canadian Citizenship?
The procedures in order to obtain the Canadian Citizenship may be quite harsh and many people who request it have it denied. Who wants to become a Canadian Citizenship must first have a PR card in Canada. Before you take any impulsive decision, consider visiting Canada as a tourist and see if it fulfils your requirements.
Once your tourist visa expires, you will either have to obtain a work permit or a study permit. Only this way you will be eligible to get the PR card in Canada. Another solution you can consider is to marry a Canadian citizen.
Now it is fundamental to get the Permanent Residency Certificate. This certificate will grant you permission to live in Canada without updating your work permit visa or student visa. You will have to fill in some documents, pay taxes and wait. If you want to obtain the Canadian Citizenship, you cannot skip any of these steps.
Canadian Citizenship, the Requirements
- You will have to prove that you have lived 3 years in Canada as a PR resident. For each day you lived in Canada you will receive half a point. (For minors this rule is not valid).
- You will either have to know French or English, these languages will be tested upon the citizenship examination during the oral test.
- You should have no committed crimes during your 3-years stay in Canada as a PR resident.
- You will have to prove that you paid taxes regularly to the financial authorities considering that you have lived more than 183 days on the Canadian territory.
- You will have to prove that you know your rights and duties as a Canadian citizen.
Once you have fulfilled all the requirements, you will have to download the specific form from their website and fill it in. You will have to attach some more documents too. Be aware that if your form is incomplete or wrong, it will be redirected to you and you will have to restart all over again.
Some years may pass in the meantime from the moment you started your application for the Canadian Citizenship to the moment you achieve it. Another way to obtain it, let aside marrying a Canadian citizen, is to have been born from Canadian citizens. In that case, it will be possible to claim the Canadian citizenship by naturalization.
Ius soli and Ius sanguinis in Canada
There are two types of citizenship: the original and the derived citizenship. The original citizenship is granted by birth and you can acquire a citizenship even if you were to be born outside the country where your parents live/lived, given that you have both parents or one parent which is Canadian.
On the basis of how a Citizenship is granted, there are two types of methodologies: Ius Soli and Ius Sanguinis. Canada, differently from most countries but similarly to all the other countries in the Americas, follows the Ius Soli method. In fact, if you were to be born in a country like Turkey and your parents were not Turkish, you would be granted citizenship only:
- If the parents have no citizenship, the child will get Turkish citizenship if born on the Turkish soil.
- We do not know who the parents of a child are, and therefore this child is granted the Turkish citizenship.
- If the father or mother has been born in Turkey, even if they have a foreign background.
In Canada, as previously stated, it is way less restricted. If you are a foreign couple or a tourist and you give birth to a child in Canada, your child will be eligible to get either yours or the Canadian citizenship.
The Canadian Citizenship test
You are eligible to apply for the Canadian Citizenship either in English or French only if you are 18-54 years old (in 2020). You will have to prove that you know Canadian history, geography, economy, government, symbols, culture and laws by passing a written test. Sometimes it could be just an oral test with a Citizenship official. All you need to prepare yourself for this test is available here by clicking on this link: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/discover-canada.html
The official study guide is free, you can either read it online, listen to it on the MP3 version, download the PDF or eBook or order a paper copy (you will pay for the delivery).
The test will consist of 20 questions and you will have to get 15 correct to pass the test. If you fail it, you can book a new appointment after 4 or 8 weeks. If you fail it again, you will have to book a new appointment and after 4 or 8 weeks you will sustain an oral test with a specialist.
In case you fail it again, you will have to restart all the process of the citizenship test application.
What type of questions will you be asked to answer? Here 11 for you to test your knowledge
- How is the Royal Anthem of Canada called?
- Name two fundamental freedoms protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- What is the meaning of the Remembrance Day poppy?
- Where do English and French have equal rights in Canada?
- What does the first line of Canada’s national anthem sound like?
- Where does the name Canada come from?
- Which region covers more than one-third of Canada?
- Which Canadian region is known for its fertile agricultural land and unmined energy resources?
- Who is Canada’s Head of State?
- What is the government of all of Canada called?
- When must federal elections be held?
As we can see, half of the questions above mentioned, either in English or French, are half general and/or obvious and half quite detailed and you have to have some background having studied the history, language and cultural identity of the country.
Luckily the Canadian government provides a small book with all you need for free. Do not forget to study! There might be something you do not know, especially in the law and constitution as you will have to know it thoroughly!