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From Visitor to Permanent Resident: How to Plan Traveling to Canada If You’re Thinking about Immigration

Planning to immigrate to Canada? There are a lot of options for you. Canada has over 100 immigration programs.

However, some of these programs only allow you stay in Canada for a period of time, and does not make you a permanent resident. An example of such programs is the Canadian working holiday visa program.

So, here is a guide on how to go from a working holiday visa to permanent Canadian resident.

About Canadian Working Holiday Visa

The IEC Canada has three different immigration programs for young people who want to work and live in Canada. The working holiday visa is the most common of the three.

The Canadian working holiday program offers young people between the age of 18-30 (18-35 in a few scenarios) the opportunity to work, live and travel anywhere within Canada.

The visa duration usually ranges between 6-24 months. Most people believe working holiday visa program is the least stressful means to experience life in Canada.

How to Apply for the IEC working holiday visa

The IEC working holiday program boasts a completely online application, using a lottery system. Those who have done a working holiday anywhere else in the world will find the IEC application to be different.

Applying for a working holiday visa to Canada has to be properly timed. This is because the IEC operates in cycles—each annual application cycle beginning in November/December (late autumn) and coming to an end the next September or October.

Following the commencement of applications, applicants can send a profile into a ‘pool’ depending on their country of citizenship. Afterwards, invites would be randomly sent to qualified candidates in each pool throughout the IEC cycle.

After getting an invite, each applicant would submit biometrics and a completed list of documents. If this is done correctly, a Port of Entry (POE) email will be sent about 8 weeks later, indicating final approval.

Unfortunately, not all eligible applicants would get invites because a significant number of the IEC pools are oversubscribed. For many people, application for the IEC working holiday involves patience and a bit of luck. But guess what – it is definitely worth it!

Now that you know how to apply for Canada working holiday visa, next is finding out how to become a permanent resident.

Apply directly for permanent resident status

Your holiday working visa work permit only gives you a temporary stay in Canada. However, what if you could apply to live permanently, working for any employer in the location you like? You would be able to get all of these through the Canadian permanent resident.

Canada has a few programs that can get you permanent residence. But these two take the cake:

  1. Immigration for workers

If you have reasonable years of work experience, post-secondary education, and French or English language proficiency, then you might be eligible for Canadian ‘economic immigration’ programs for workers. Examples of such programs include Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Express Entry.

Of the two though, Express Entry is a particularly speedier approach to permanent residence, as suggested by the “Express” in the name. under this program you can immigrate as a skilled worker such as a nurse, technician or even become a permanent resident in Canada as a web developer.

Express Entry processing time is usually within six months, while the PNP route can a longer period (though you may be able to continue working in Canada while waiting).

By the way, not all Express Entry candidates get invited to apply for permanent residence. It depends on their Canada CRS score and if they can get over the Draw’s Cut-off. However, if you have gotten up to 12 months of skilled work experience in Canada with your holiday working visa, your chance of getting permanent residence is automatically boosted as the process is point-based.

Note that if you’ve been working in Montreal or anywhere else within the Quebec province, there’s a separate Quebec immigration system for you, which may require you to improve your understanding of French language.

  1. Immigration for family

If you are considering staying back in Canada because you found someone you want to spend forever with, and this “someone” happens to be a Canadian permanent resident or citizens, then this is for you.

Once you and your partner marry or meet what Canada defines as conjugal partners, then your partner may be qualified to sponsor you towards becoming a permanent resident.

So, all you need to do is choose which program is best for you and make your way to




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