Canada Permanent Residency (PR) vs Citizenship Canada? Which is better?

Canada Permanent Residency (PR) vs Citizenship Canada? Which is better?

What is Permanent Residency & Citizenship in Canada?

1. Permanent Residency in Canada

In Canada, permanent residency (PR) is a status that allows foreign nationals to live and work in the country on a long-term basis & to be a part of the country legally although not becoming a citizen of the country but as a permanent residence in the legal language.

To obtain permanent residency, individuals usually need to apply through specific immigration programs, such as the Express Entry system, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), or family sponsorship.

Once you’re a Permanent Resident in Canada, individuals can enjoy many of the same rights and privileges as Canadian citizens like living and working in Canada long-term with Generally allowed dual citizenship, including access to healthcare and social services. Permanent residents can also apply for Canadian citizenship after meeting certain residency requirements which we’ll talk about below in the post

Basic Permanent Residency (PR) Pathways

  • PNPs: Provinces nominate individuals for PR in their Provincial Nomination Programs. Each province has unique criteria. Apply to a province’s PNP. If nominated, apply for PR through Express Entry or another stream. Here’s complete guide Canada PNP programs and learn which one is best for you.
  • Express Entry: Skilled workers apply for PR. The points system considers age, education, experience, and language. Top scorers are invited via draws for permanent residency. The goal is to attract working individuals & international students to Canada & contribute in their economy.

2. Citizenship in Canada

While permanent residents have the privilege of living and working in Canada, they may choose to apply for Canadian citizenship to enjoy additional rights, such as the ability to vote and obtain a Canadian passport.

To be eligible for citizenship, individuals must have lived in Canada for a certain amount of time, typically at least 1,095 days within the 5 years preceding the date of their application. Meeting language and knowledge requirements is also essential. Once approved, individuals become Canadian citizens and fully participate in the social and political life of the country.

AspectPermanent ResidencyCitizenship
StatusAllows living and working in Canada long-termGrants full rights and privileges of citizenship
Application ProcessApply through Express Entry, PNPs, or family sponsorshipApply after meeting PR residency requirements
Eligibility CriteriaSkills, education, work experience (Express Entry); Province-specific criteria (PNPs)Reside in Canada for a certain period; Language and knowledge requirements
Access to ServicesAccess to healthcare and social servicesFull access to social and political rights, ability to vote
Residency RequirementsMaintain permanent residency statusMeet specific residency criteria, typically 1,095 days within five years
Citizenship BenefitsNot applicable, as it is a step before citizenshipRight to a Canadian passport, participation in elections
Process DurationVaries based on immigration programTypically after several years of PR status
Dual CitizenshipGenerally allowedGenerally allowed
Intent of ImmigrationLong-term residence with work opportunitiesFull integration into Canadian society

Ability To Vote & Live Outside?

Permanent Resident Status in Canada:

As a permanent resident in Canada, you share many duties with citizens but with a few differences, such as not being able to vote or run for office. Additionally, some high-security government jobs may be unavailable.

You can live outside Canada but must be in the country for at least two years within a five-year period, with exceptions for certain circumstances. You can apply for citizenship after meeting residency rules.

Once a citizen, you gain the right to vote, run for office, and obtain a Canadian passport. However, unlike citizens, permanent residents must actively maintain their status.

Canadian Citizenship:

Canadian citizens have full rights and privileges, including voting and running for office. They can live outside Canada indefinitely without losing citizenship.

Citizenship provides access to a Canadian passport and participation in Canadian politics. Unlike permanent residents, citizens do not need to actively maintain their status.

Do Canadian Permanent Residents Get a Canadian Passport?

Permanent residents in Canada don’t receive a Canadian passport. To travel abroad, they use a valid PR card or a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) along with their passport from their home country. PR cards need regular renewal as they have an expiration date. Yet, even if your PR card expires, you don’t automatically lose your permanent resident status. To keep your status, you must meet specific residency requirements.

Eligibility Criteria

Canadian Permanent Resident

  1. Education and Skills: Have a qualifying education and skills that match Canadian immigration programs.
  2. Express Entry Profile: Create an Express Entry profile with details on education, work experience, language proficiency, and receive a competitive CRS score.
  3. Invitation to Apply (ITA): Receive an ITA through Express Entry draws based on CRS scores.
  4. Complete Application: Submit a complete PR application, undergo medical exams, and pass background checks.
  5. Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR): Upon approval, receive a COPR and become a permanent resident

Canadian Citizenship

  1. Permanent Residency: Be a permanent resident of Canada.
  2. Residency Requirements: Meet residency requirements, usually 1,095 days within the last five years.
  3. Language and Knowledge: Demonstrate language proficiency in English or French. Pass a citizenship test on Canadian history, values, institutions, and symbols.
  4. Application Submission: Complete and submit the citizenship application along with supporting documents.
  5. Interview and Test: Attend an interview and, if required, take a citizenship test.
  6. Citizenship Ceremony: Attend a citizenship ceremony, take the Oath of Citizenship, and receive a Canadian citizenship certificate.
  7. Apply for Canadian Passport: After obtaining citizenship, apply for a Canadian passport for full travel benefits

How to Apply for a Canada Permanent Resident?

  1. Choose the Right Program: Explore and choose the immigration program that suits your qualifications and goals, such as Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), or family sponsorship.
  2. Create an Express Entry Profile: For programs like Express Entry, create an online profile detailing your skills, education, work experience, and language proficiency. Your profile will be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
  3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA): Candidates with high CRS scores are invited to apply for permanent residency through regular draws conducted by the Canadian government.
  4. Submit Application: Once invited, submit a complete application, including supporting documents, within the specified timeframe.
  5. Medical Exam and Background Check: Undergo a medical examination and security background check as part of the application process.
  6. Receive Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR): If approved, you’ll receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and can then move to Canada as a permanent resident

How to Apply for a Canadian Citizenship?

  1. Meet Residency Requirements: As a permanent resident, ensure you meet the required residency period (usually 1,095 days within the last five years) before applying for citizenship.
  2. Gather Documents: Collect necessary documents, including tax returns, language proficiency proof, and travel history.
  3. Complete Application Form: Fill out the Canadian citizenship application form accurately and completely.
  4. Submit Application: Mail your application along with supporting documents to the appropriate address. Include the application fee.
  5. Wait for Processing: Citizenship applications are processed, and you may be asked to provide additional information or attend an interview.
  6. Take Citizenship Test and Interview: If required, take a citizenship test to assess your knowledge of Canada. Attend an interview if requested.
  7. Receive Decision: Once the application is approved, you’ll receive a notice to attend a citizenship ceremony.
  8. Attend Citizenship Ceremony: Attend the citizenship ceremony, take the Oath of Citizenship, and receive your Canadian citizenship certificate.
  9. Apply for a Canadian Passport: After becoming a citizen, you can apply for a Canadian passport, allowing you to travel with the full benefits of Canadian citizenship
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