Canada is an attractive choice for many. It’s a large, beautiful country. It’s also a safe place to live, governed by the rule of law. Furthermore, even during a period of economic recession, the Canadian standard of living tends to remain strong. Arguably, we have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. It’s not surprising that people want to make Canada their home.
Let’s consider each of those options: Spousal or Common-law Partner Sponsorship Express Entry Provincial Nominee Program
Express Entry Express Entry is now the dominant method of economic immigration throughout Canada. The Express Entry system first requires applicants to complete an online profile that assigns them points, based on things like age, work history, educational background, language ability, family situation, and arranged employment. Qualifying applicants with sufficient points are later invited to submit an application for permanent residence to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
To create an online profile, applicants (and their spouses or common-law partners) must have results from a valid English or French proficiency exam (IELTS, CELPIP, or TEF) as well as recognized educational credential assessments for education completed outside of Canada.
Provincial Nominee Program(s) While there are actually dozens of PNP streams, typically only one or two streams are worth considering for any given applicant. If you are currently living in, or have strong connections to, a particular province (i.e., have work experience in that province or have completed some education in that province), you should likely only consider the provincial nominee options of that province. In most provinces, there is a stream dedicated to skilled (or in some cases, semi-skilled) workers who have arranged employment in that province.
PNP applicants must first apply for nomination through a province’s PNP stream. Once nominated, applicants can then apply to CIC for permanent residence.
Spousal or Common-law Partner Sponsorship Express Entry and PNP are both focused on economic immigration. Unfortunately, many would-be applicants will be unable to qualify under an economic immigration stream. For some of those people, a sponsorship application may be a possibility. In the vast majority of cases, the only sponsorship options available are for those who are married to, or living common-law with, Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Many international students, temporary foreign workers, and long-term visitors to Canada develop meaningful relationships with Canadians while they are living in Canada. For those people, sponsorship may provide an opportunity to remain in Canada when other options aren’t available. Those who are legally married to Canadians or permanent residents may be able to apply right away. For those living in common-law relationships with Canadians or permanent residents, they must wait to apply until after they have been in those relationship for at least one year.
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