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The following are the different categories in which you can seek Permanent Residence in Canada. I will give you links to other famous sites which explain in detail about these categories. But still I will try to explain breifly about these categories.

Family Category

Independent Category

Entrepreneur Category

Investor Category

Self-Employed Category

Family Category   Top

Who is Eligible? According to Immigration Rules, you are elegible to seek Landed Immigrant status in Canada if you have a sponsor in Canada and you come under his/her family class. The definition of Family Class is person(s) related to the sposor as a

  • Spouse
  • Dependent child(ren) (under 19 or disabled)
  • Parents
  • Grand parents
  • Dependent siblings (under 19 or disabled)
  • Dependent relatives (under 19 or disabled)
  • Fiance(e) whom sponsor will marry within 90 days of landing
  • Any child under 19 whom the sponsor intends to adopt
  • A non-relative in case none of the above mentioned relatives exists to the sponsor.
Who can be a Sponsor? a sponsor may be either a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant who is at least 19 years of age, have been residing in Canada for the preceding twelve months and remain so until those sponsored are landed and promise to be financially responsible for ten years for those sponsored. Only a spouse or common-law spouse may be a co-sponsor. However, a person cannot act as a sponser if he/she is
  • Default of a previous undertaking, transportation loan or "Right of Landing" loan.
  • Bankrupt within the meaning of s. 2 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
  • Confined to a penal institution.
  • Landed immigrants with pending criminal charges which, if convicted, would lead to revocation of landed status.
  • Landed immigrants subject to an Immigration report which could lead to issuance of a (conditional) removal order.
  • Landed immigrants subject to a (conditional) removal order issued after being landed.

Independent Category   Top

The most common immigrant category is the independent category. Independent applicant cases are processed on the basis of the applicant's individual skills and the fact that they will contribute to the Canadian economy. However, Quebec has its own selection criteria for the applicants applying for settling in Quebec. They emphasise on the applicant's French speaking ability.

How is it processed? Independent Applications are evaluated using the 'Points System'. According to this, the applicant is awarded points based on various factors which assess his/her ability to make a positive contribution to Canada. Generally 70 is the minimum points an Indipendent Applicant should get in order to qualify for landed status. The principal applicant may include his/her dependents (spouse and dependent children) in the application. The Immigration Regulations permit a person seeking Landed status to bring his/her accompanying dependents. Accompanying dependents are dependents of the principal applicant who is accompanying or following that person to Canada. Accompanying dependents cannot arrive Canada prior to the principal applicant. They will be required to have a medical examination and establish that they have not committed or been convicted of any crimes or offenses that would make them inadmissible in Canada.

Selection Criteria For an independent case, these following factors are considered while awarding their points.

  • Education
  • Education/training factor for their particular occupation
  • Experience and Occupational factor in their particular occupation
  • Arranged employment (a position for which an employment validation has been obtained) or designated occupation (qualification to work in an occupation which is designated as being in short supply) factor
  • Demographic factor
  • The applicant's age
  • The ability to read, write and speak English and/or French
  • The assisted relative bonus
  • The applicant's personal suitability for becoming successfully established in Canada.
Points for Education Given below is the chart showing the number of points awarded for applicant's level of Education.
Education Level Points Awarded
No Education 0
Secondary School 5
Secondary school & Diploma 10
Post-secondary program 13
First level university degree 15
Second or third university degree. 16

Education/Training Factor (ETF) National Occupational Classification (NOC) uses the Education/Training Indicator (ETI) which is the estimated amount of time that would be required for the applicant to prepare himself or herself for a particular occupation. The ETI is determined by referring to the NOC. The ETI is converted to ETF which is the point value used in immigration applications. ETI has already been converted to ETF for occupations which appear on the General occupation List provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Experience and Occupational Factor Points for experience depends on number of years of experience (max 4 years) and ETF for that particular occupation. Below is the table with number of points awarded for occupations with specific range of ETF.

ETF Points for Experience in Years
1 Year 2 Years 3 Years > 4 Years
1-2 2 2 2 2
5-7 2 4 4 4
15 2 4 6 6
17-18 2 4 6 8

The occupational factor is based on employment opportunities available in the occupation that the applicant is qualified. An applicant requires at least 1 point on the General Occupations List. If no points are given for occupational demand in the applicant's occupation, the applicant will not qualify for landed status, even if the points gained from other factors exceeds the required 70 points.

Arranged Employment or Designated Occupation An applicant can be awarded 10 points if he/she has arranged employment. Arranged employment means that an employment validation must have been obtained from the Canada Employment Centre having jurisdiction over the place of employment. Employment validation is the like labor certification of United States. It is given where there are no qualified Canadians available for the position. Even where there is no arranged employment, the 10 points will still be awarded on the basis of a visa officer's finding that the applicant falls within a designated occupation.

Demographic Factor The current number of points awarded under this factor is 8. This is an arbitrary number of points between 0 and 10 which is periodically fixed by the Federal Government. Basicaly this depends on how much the Federal Government wants to encourage immigration at the time that the application is filed.

Age 10 points if a person is between the ages of 21 and 44. Two points are deducted for each year under 21 or over 44.

Language A maximum of 15 points are awarded based on fluency in either or both of the official languages (English and French). Credits are first given based on the ability to speak, read and write either official language and then these credits are converted into points of assessment. For English, an applicant is given 3 points for each of fluent reading, writing and speaking ability. If the applicant reads, writes and speaks well, 2 credits each are awarded and if the applicant reads, writes and speaks with difficulty, no credits are awarded. For French, credits are given using the same analysis except that only 2 credits each are given for reading, writing and speaking fluently and 1 credit each is given for reading, writing and speaking well. No credits are given where the applicant reads, writes or speaks the second language with difficulty.

Assisted Relatives If the applicant has a close relative (mother, father, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandmother or grandfather) residing in Canada , then he/she will be awarded an additional 5 points as an assisted relative.

Personal Suitability This factor is determined by the interviewer at the time of interview and the applicant can get a maximum of 10 points based on this factor. The Immigration Officer awards these points based on his/her assess of the applicant's suitability for becoming successfully established in Canada.

There are other provisions in the Immigration Law which allow persons who own their own business in Canada bring their relatives to Canada to help in their business. Under this, the relative can be given 10 points. Immigration Manual also states that persons in these occupations should meet certain additional criteria.
  • Immigrants in General Requiring Registration or Licensing
  • Engineers, Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Medical Doctors
  • Academics

Entrepreneur Category   Top

Who is Eligible? This category is much similar to the E1 and E2 non-immigrant visas of US law. The applicant applying for Permanent Residence in Canada under this category should satisfy the following conditions.

  • The applicant must have the ability to establish a business that will make a significant contribution to the Canadian economy.
  • The applicant's business should create or continue employment for atleast one Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, other than the applicant and his/her dependents.
  • Investment should be substantial. The less the investment, the less are the chances of approval of the application.
  • The applicant should manage his/her business. For this, the applicant should at least have some relevant experience in order to convince the visa officer that he/she has the requisite ability and intent to participate and manage the business.
  • Co-partnership is allowed as long each partner meet the individual requirements under this category.
Selection Criteria Selection criteria is similar to that of independent category applicants except for arranged employment and occupational demand. Education, ETF, experience, demographic factor, age, language, and personal suitability of the applicant are accessed. Applicant under this category receive an ETF of 18. Applicants who qualify will only have to obtain 25 points of assessment in order to qualify but must obtain at least one point under the category of experience. The applicant will be given a conditional status for 2 Years similar to conditional permanent residence given to immigrant investors in the United States. However these conditions will be removed if the applicant meet the required guidelines of this category.

Investor Category   Top

Who is Eligible? Applications in the Investor Category for the Landed Immigrant status in Canada are considered if

  • The applicant have successfully operated, controlled or a directed a business.
  • The applicant have a net worth equal to or greater than a minimum of $800,000 CAD.
  • The applicant have made an investment of $400,000 CAD into an approved fund.
Applicant need not own the business to operate/control/direct it. Not even own some shares in the business. Key factor considered is if he/she has performed one of these functions. The Applicant need not perform any of the above said functions on whole business and involve in day-to-day business too.

$800,000 CAD which the applicant need to show as derived from the business he performed should be legitimate, not from gifts, inheritence or division of marital property.

There are two investment Funds; viz., the Federal Fund and the Québec funds. Only those intending to immigrate to Québec may invest in one of the Québec funds. Those immigrating elsewhere in Canada must invest in the Federal Fund. The investor cannot withdraw from the fund for 5 years and Federal Fund pays no interest for this amount during the 5 years holding period.

Federal Fund does not allow borrowing this investment amount, pays not commission to the person who directs the investor to the fund. Applicants need not deposit their investment until the eve of visa-issuance.

Québec-Destined Applicants should invest in Québec fund and it has its own regulations which are slightly different from that of Federal Fund.

Selection Criteria Selection criteria for Investor-applicants is same as "independent" applicants with an exception that their "intended occupation" need not be on the General Occupations List. Further, investor-applicants need obtain only 25 points, although they do require at least one point in the experience category.

Self-Employed Category   Top

Who is Eligible? Persone who are able to self-support in Canada with their Business or Occupation and make significicant contribution to the economy or cultural or artist life in Canada. There are two categories in this. They are :

  • Artists, dancers and athletes
  • Business applicants
This category is mostly used by artists, athletes who wish to migrate to Canada from other countries.

Selection Criteria Selection in this category is similar to that of Individual Category with the exception that applicant need to get only 40 points as against 70 in the Individual Category. The applicant need not own a business or should be self-employed previouslsy. But he/she should be able to convince the immigration officer that he/she has ability to be self-supporting in Canada in that business or occupation. However, the minimum requirements law specifies for an applicant in this category to have are :
  • Experience in a field conducive to operating on one's own in Canada.
  • $50,000CDN i.e., sufficient funds for opening the business, to operate it and to support his/her family for 1 year assuming there is no income from the business. This figure varies from business to business the applicant intends to start.
  • Sufficient command of English (or French) to operate successfully in Canada.
  • Significant contribution to cultural or artist life in Canada mean, In the artistic area, virtually anything would constitute a "significant contribution". In the area of athletics, employment on a professional team would probably suffice.
The applicant's intended occupation need not appear in the General Occupational List. In a nut-shell, this category is ideal for artists and athletes and for others who do not meet the "independent" 70 point threshold.