Table of Contents
- Before You Apply
- Step 1. Gather Documents
- Step 2. Complete the Application
- Step 3. Mail the Application
- What happens next
- How to Contact CIC
- Table 1 – Eligibility for Rehabilitation
This is not a legal document. For legal information, refer to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations or the Citizenship Act and Regulations, as applicable.
This publication is available in alternative formats upon request.
This application package consists of:
- an instruction guide, and
- the required forms.
The instruction guide is a tool that provides:
- the information you must know about this application before sending it to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and
- assistance with how to fill out the forms and the required supporting documents.
Read the instruction guide thoroughly and then fill out each of the applicable forms.
The forms are specifically designed with questions that will assist the processing of your application.
Symbols used in this guide
This guide uses the following symbols to indicate information of particular importance.
What you must do to have your application processed.
Important information that you need to be aware of in order to avoid delays or other problems.
Where to get more information.
Tips that will assist you with this application.
Before you apply
Sponsorship under the Family Class
The Canadian government allows citizens and permanent residents of Canada to sponsor members of the family class, but it requires that arriving immigrants receive care and support from their sponsors.
Members of the family class include a sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner; a dependent child of the sponsor; the sponsor’s mother or father; a person the sponsor intends to adopt; and other relatives of the sponsor as defined by regulation.
Principal applicant’s specific instructions
If you are reading this guide, it means that you already completed an application for permanent residence and that your sponsor’s request to bring you to Canada was accepted.
However, additional forms and supporting documents must be completed and provided to the Canadian visa office for your country in order to finalize your application for permanent residence. Refer to the Appendix A - Document Checklist, which you can find in Part 3: Country Specific Instructions to gather supporting documents.
Who may use this application package?
This application is for persons who wish to be re-united with close family members in Canada. In order to use this application package, you must, with respect to the sponsor, be
- his or her father or mother,
- his or her grandfather or grandmother,
- a child he or she adopted outside Canada or intends to adopt in Canada,
- his or her brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandson or granddaughter, and be an orphan, under the age of 18 and not a spouse or common-law partner,
- his or her relative, regardless of your age, if the sponsor does not have a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece, who is a Canadian citizen, Indian or permanent resident or whose application for permanent residence in Canada he or she could sponsor.
Note: If you became a permanent resident of Canada sometime in the past but have subsequently left the country and have since been living outside Canada, you may not have lost your permanent resident status. If you have not lost your permanent resident status, you may not be sponsored. For further information on re-entry of permanent residents to Canada, see the guide Applying for a Travel Document on our website.
What does it mean to be sponsored
The enclosed instructions and forms are sent to the principal applicant (you) by the sponsor (a Canadian citizen or permanent resident) who wishes to support the application for immigration to Canada of a person (you) as a member of the family class.
The sponsor agrees to sign a contract (the sponsorship undertaking) by which he or she promises to provide, for a specific number of years, coverage of your basic requirements and those of your dependants, such as:
- personal requirements
- household supplies
- dental care
- eye care, and
- other health care not provided by public health
Note: It is important that you familiarize yourself with the contents of this guide before you complete the forms and send them to the visa office indicated on the correspondence included with your application package.
Adopted children and orphaned relatives
A permanent resident visa cannot be issued to a child as a member of the family class if that child is the adopted child of the sponsor or an orphaned brother, sister, nephew or niece of the sponsor as described earlier in this guide unless the adoptive parents/the sponsor demonstrate they have obtained information concerning the medical condition of the child. In doing so, the government ensures that the child’s best interests are protected.
If you are a child who was adopted by the sponsor, whom the sponsor intends to adopt in Canada, or who is the sponsor’s orphaned brother, sister, nephew or niece, the sponsor must complete and submit a Medical Condition Statement (PDF, 61 KB) if he or she has not already done so with his or her sponsorship application.
Do you intend to reside in Quebec?
If you are being sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in the province of Quebec and you intend to settle there, you will receive from your sponsor an additional set of instructions and a form, the Application for Selection Certificate, to complete, sign and return to your sponsor.
If your sponsor meets all of the conditions of Quebec's provincial legislation to provide an undertaking for you, a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) will be issued to you. A CSQ is a document issued by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) indicating that you are a family class immigration candidate being sponsored by a resident of Quebec who meets the conditions of the provincial legislation.
For more information about Quebec's requirements, visit the “Sponsors and sponsored persons” section of the MIDI website.
Do I need a passport or travel document?
You and your family members must have valid passports or travel documents. If any of the documents are to expire soon, you should renew them and provide copies of the new passport or travel document to the office processing your application.
Diplomatic, official, service or public affairs passports cannot be used to immigrate to Canada. You must have a valid regular or private passport when you arrive.
Note: The validity of your visa may be affected by the validity of your passport.
How long do I have to complete the application and submit it?
When your sponsor receives positive results from his sponsorship assessment from the Case processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M), you have one year to complete the forms and gather all the required documents. It is ideal to send these as soon as possible to the appropriate visa office.
Important information: If you do not send the application and required documents within the timeframe mentioned above, you sponsorship will be closed. Your sponsor will not be able to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) if your sponsorship is closed.
How long is a permanent resident visa valid?
A permanent resident visa is issued for a period not exceeding the earliest expiry date of the following documents:
- the medical results for you and your family members or
- your or your family members’ passport.
Important information: Permanent resident visas cannot be extended once issued. If applicants do not use the visas within their validity period, they must re-apply for immigration to Canada. Their sponsor will have to submit a new sponsorship application and pay new processing fees.
Selection criteria, requirements and other information for applicants can sometimes change. Please note that:
- Applications will be processed according to the rules and regulations in effect at the time the application is made. Rules and regulations may change at any time.
The Immigration and citizenship website contains the latest news, selection criteria updates and applications links. Check periodically for updated information.
Step 1. Gather Documents
What documents are required?
Use the appropriate visa office Document Checklist, which you can find in Part 3: Country Specific Instructions to assist you in gathering the necessary documentation.
Some visa offices may require additional supporting documents specific to your country. For further information on these requirements, visit our website under List of countries and corresponding Canadian visa offices.
Important information: If you do not provide all the requested information or documents, the processing of your application could be delayed.
You and your family members who are 18 years of age and older and are not permanent residents or Canadian citizens must provide:
- valid police certificate, or
- police clearance, or
- record of no information.
These documents are to be provided for each country other than Canada, in which you have lived for six (6) consecutive months or longer since reaching the age of 18.
Note: If you or your family members were under 18 years of age (16 years of age in certain jurisdictions) for the entire time you lived in a particular country, you do not need to provide a police certificate for that country.
The certificate must have been issued no more than three (3) months prior to submitting your application. If the original certificate is not in English or French, then you will need to submit both the certificate and the original copy of the translation prepared by an accredited translator.
We will also do our own background checks to determine if there are grounds under which you and your dependants may be inadmissible to Canada.
For specific and up-to-date information, please consult How to get a police certificate (police check).
How to obtain police certificates
Step 1. Apply for certificates
It is your responsibility to contact the relevant authorities.
Certificates are usually issued by the police of the country concerned, but in some countries you will have to apply to municipal, provincial, federal or other government authorities. The country's embassy or consulate in Canada may be able to give additional information.
When applying for police certificates, you should include for each person:
- A completed Request for Police Certificates/Clearances and Authorization for Release of Information (PDF, 59 KB) form. Include photocopies for each applicant.
- A set of fingerprints, if required by the authority of the country. Your local police or RCMP may be able to tell you where you can get fingerprints done. Take the Fingerprint Request Letter (PDF, 56 KB) and your photo identification (passport, travel document, etc.) with you when you go to get fingerprints taken. You may have to pay a fee.
- Your complete mailing address (certificates will be sent directly to you).
Step 2. Submit the certificates
Include the police certificates with your application.
- If the police authorities notify you that they will submit the certificates directly to us, include this notice with your application.
- All police certificates must be originals; photocopies are not acceptable.
- If your certificates are in a language other than English or French, attach an original translation prepared by an accredited translator.
What if I cannot get the police certificates?
If you cannot get police certificates from any of the countries where you have lived, you must provide a written explanation with your application and an original letter from the police authority confirming that they will not issue a certificate.
Generally, persons with a criminal conviction are not admitted into Canada. However, if a prescribed period has passed after they have completed their sentence or committed an offence and during which they were not convicted of a subsequent offence, they may be deemed to have been rehabilitated.
If they are not deemed to have been rehabilitated, they may, under special circumstances, be eligible to apply for rehabilitation.
Convictions / offences outside Canada
If you were convicted of or committed a criminal offence outside Canada, you may overcome this criminal inadmissibility
- by applying for rehabilitation, or
- you may be deemed to have been rehabilitated if at least ten years have passed since you completed the sentence imposed upon you, or since you committed the offence, if the offence is one that would, in Canada, be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years.
If the offence is one that would, in Canada, be prosecuted summarily, and if you were convicted for two (2) or more such offences, the period for rehabilitation is at least five (5) years after the sentences imposed were served or are to be served.
Convictions/offences in Canada
If you have a criminal conviction in Canada, you must seek a record suspension (formerly a pardon) from the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) before you will be admissible to Canada.
Note: Do not complete the forms in this guide until you have received your record suspension.
You can request a Record Suspension Application Guide or additional information from:
Parole Board of Canada
Clemency and Record Suspension Division
410 Laurier Avenue West
Telephone: 1-800-874-2652 (Callers in Canada and the United States only)
(The instructional guide and application forms can be downloaded from the website)
In order to be considered for a record suspension under the Criminal Records Act, a specified period of time must pass after the end of the sentence imposed. The sentence may have been payment of a fine, period of probation, or imprisonment.
Note: Once you have a copy of the record suspension, send a photocopy to a Canadian visa office or Citizenship and Immigration Centre. If you are travelling to Canada carry a copy of the record suspension with you.
If you have had two (2) or more summary convictions in Canada, you may no longer be inadmissible if:
- at least five (5) years have passed since all sentences imposed were served or to be served,
- you have had no other convictions.
Important information: See Table 1 – Eligibility for Rehabilitation for a summary of the type of offences and length of rehabilitation periods.
You and your family members, whether accompanying you or not, must undergo and pass a medical examination in order to come to Canada. To pass the medical examination you or your family members must not have a condition that:
- is a danger to public health or safety
- would cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada.
Examples of “excessive demand” include ongoing hospitalization or institutional care for a physical or mental illness.
About the medical examination
The medical examination includes but is not limited to:
- a complete physical examination for all family members;
- chest X-ray and a radiologist’s report for everyone aged 11 years and over;
- blood test for everyone aged 15 years or over;
- urinalysis for everyone aged 5 years or over;
- Syphilis and HIV screening tests for everyone aged 15 years and over.
Information on medical instructions will be provided to you by the visa office (See Visa office specific instructions).
Important information: If members of your family are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, they do not need to pass a medical examination.
Your own doctor cannot do the medical examination. You must see a physician on Canada’s list of Panel Physicians.
Note: The physician is only responsible for conducting a medical examination; he or she cannot give you any advice on the immigration process.
The medical examination results are valid for 12 months from the date the medical evaluation is completed. If you are not admitted as a permanent resident during this time, you may have to undergo another medical examination.
You are responsible for paying all costs related to the medical examination.
Applicants under the age of 18
A clear and legible photocopy of one of the following:
- applicant’s birth certificate (showing the applicant’s name, date of birth, place of birth and the names of the parents or adoptive parents)
- legal documentation proving guardianship, if the applicant has a legal guardian.
Translation of documents
Any document that is not in English or French must be accompanied by:
- the English or French translation; and
- an affidavit from the person who completed the translation; and
- a certified copy of the original document.
Translations may be done by a person who is fluent in both languages (English or French and the unofficial language). If the translation is not provided by a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial organization of translators and interpreters in Canada, the translation must be accompanied by an affidavit swearing to the accuracy of the translation and the language proficiency of the translator.
The affidavit must be sworn in the presence of:
Outside of Canada:
- a notary public Note 2
Important information: Translations must not be done by the applicants themselves nor by members of the applicant’s family. Family member is defined as being a: parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, common-law partner, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew and first cousin.
Note: An affidavit is a document on which the translator has sworn, in the presence of a person authorized to administer oaths in the country in which the translator is living, that the contents of their translation are a true translation and representation of the contents of the original document. Translators who are certified members in good standing of one of the provincial or territorial organizations of translators and interpreters of Canada do not need to supply an affidavit.
Certified true copies
To have a photocopy of a document certified, an authorized person must compare the original document to the photocopy and must print the following on the photocopy:
- “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”,
- the name of the original document,
- the date of the certification,
- his or her name,
- his or her official position or title, and
- his or her signature.
Who can certify copies?
Persons authorized to certify copies include the following:
- a notary publicNote 2
Family members may not certify copies of your documents. Family member is defined as being a: parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, common-law partner, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew and first cousin.
Step 2. Complete the Application
Filling out the application
The following are the forms that must be filled out and submitted:
- Additional Family Information (IMM 5406) (PDF, 79 KB)
- Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) (PDF, 38 KB)
Important information: It is a serious offence to give false or misleading information on these forms. The information you provide on your application is subject to verification.
Be complete and accurate
Complete all sections. If a section does not apply to you, write “Not Applicable” or “NA”. If your application is incomplete it may be returned to you and this will delay the processing of your application.
If you need more space for any section, print out an additional page containing the appropriate section, complete it and submit it along with your application.
Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
Who needs to fill out this application form?
This form must be completed by:
- You, as the principal applicant,
- Your spouse or common-law partner (whether accompanying you to Canada or not), and
- Your dependent children aged 18 or over (whether accompanying you to Canada or not).
Write the personal details for:
- If you are married and you were physically present at the marriage, indicate “married – physically present” in the marital status box
- If you are married and you were not physically present at the marriage, indicate “married – not physically present” in the marital status box
- your spouse or common-law partner, (if applicable)
- If you are married and your spouse was physically present at the marriage, indicate “married – physically present” in the marital status box
- If you are married and your spouse was not physically present at the marriage, indicate “married – not physically present” in the marital status box
- your mother, and
- your father.
Write the personal details for your children. It is very important that you list all of your children (even if they are already permanent residents or citizens of Canada). This includes:
- married children,
- adopted children,
- children of your spouse(step-children) or common-law partner,
- any of your children who have been adopted by others,
- any of your children who are in the custody of an ex-spouse, former common-law partner or other guardian.
You must answer all questions. If any sections do not apply to you, answer “N/A”.
Write personal details about your:
- half-brother(s) and half-sister(s),
- step-brother(s) and step-sister(s).
After carefully reading the statements contained in this section, sign and date the declaration.
Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)
Who may use this form?
Complete this form only if you:
- are appointing a representative;
- have to update contact information for your previously appointed representative; or
- are cancelling a representative’s appointment.
If you have dependent children aged 18 years or older, they are required to complete their own copy of this form if a representative is also conducting business on their behalf.
Who is a representative?
A representative is someone who provides advice, consultation, or guidance to you at any stage of the application process, or in a proceeding and, if you appoint him or her as your representative by filling out this form, has your permission to conduct business on your behalf with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
You are not obliged to hire a representative. We treat everyone equally, whether they use the service of a representative or not.
When you appoint a representative:
- you also authorize CIC and CBSA to share information from your case file with this person in place of you. Please note the representative will receive all correspondence from CIC or the CBSA, not the applicant;
- your application will not be given special attention nor can you expect faster processing or a more favourable outcome;
- the representative is authorized to represent you only on citizenship or immigration matters related to the application you submit with this form; and
- you can appoint only one (1) representative for each application you submit.
Important information: You must notify CIC if your representative’s contact information changes, or if you change your representative, or cancel the appointment of your representative. For more information on updating CIC with your representative’s information, please see section - Notify CIC about changes.
There are two (2) types of representatives.
Uncompensated representatives do not charge fees or receive any other form of consideration or compensation for providing advice or services to represent you before CIC or the CBSA.
Uncompensated representatives include:
- friends and family members who do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration for their advice and services;
- organizations that do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration for providing citizenship or immigration advice or assistance (such as a non-governmental or religious organization);
- consultants, lawyers and Quebec notaries, and students-at-law under their supervision, who do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration to represent you.
Note: You do not have to pay someone for them to be your representative. CIC will conduct business with an uncompensated representative if an applicant appoints them on their behalf.
Compensated representatives charge a fee or receive some other form of consideration in exchange for the representation that they provide.
It is important to know that anyone who represents or advises you for payment - or offers to do so - in connection with CIC proceedings or applications is breaking the law unless they are an authorized representative or they have a specific agreement or arrangement with the Government of Canada that allows them to represent or advise you. This applies to advice or consultation which happens before or after a citizenship or an immigration application is made or a proceeding begins.
CIC will only conduct business with compensated representatives who are in good standing with their designated regulatory body. For more information see - Find out if your representative is authorized.
Note: If a representative is being paid or compensated by someone other than you, the representative is still considered to be a compensated representative.
Authorized representatives are:
- consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC);
- lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society and students-at-law under their supervision;
- notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and students-at-law under their supervision.
If you appoint a compensated representative who is not a member in good standing of one of these designated bodies, your application will be returned. Learn about using a representative.
General Application Information
Appoint a representative
- Check box to indicate if you are appointing a representative to represent you with your application process. Complete sections A, B and D.
Cancel a representative
- Check box to indicate if you are canceling a representative. Complete sections A, C and D; and
- Check both boxes and complete all sections if you are cancelling a representative and appointing a new one at the same time.
Section A – Applicant Information
- Question 1
Write your last name (surname or family name) and given name(s).
- Question 2
Write your date of birth.
- Question 3
- If you have already submitted your application, write:
- the name of the office where the application was submitted; and
- the type of application you have submitted.
- Question 4
Write your Citizenship and Immigration Canada Identification (ID) or Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number (if known).
Section B – Appointment of Representative
- Question 5
Write your representative’s full name.
If your representative is a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), a law society or the Chambre des notaires du Québec, print his or her name as it appears on the organization’s membership list.
- Question 6
Check one box to indicate if your representative is uncompensated or compensated.If your representative is compensated, write the membership ID number of:
- the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC); or
- a Canadian provincial or territorial law society; or
- the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
- Question 7
Write your representative’s contact information.
If you are appointing a student-at-law to represent you, include their supervising lawyer’s information including their membership ID.
Note: By indicating your representative’s e-mail address, you are hereby authorizing CIC to transmit your file and personal information to this specific e-mail address.
- Question 8
To accept responsibility for conducting business on your behalf, your representative must:
- sign the declaration; and
- date the declaration.
Section C – Cancel the Appointment of a Representative
- Question 9
Fill in this section if you wish to cancel the appointment of a representative. Write the representative’s full name.
Complete all sections of the form if you wish to both cancel a representative and appoint a new one.
Section D – Your Declaration
- Question 10
By signing, you authorize CIC to complete your request for yourself and your dependent children under 18 years of age.
For sponsorship application, your spouse or common-law partner does not have to complete a separate request. If your spouse or common-law partner is included in this request, he or she must sign in the box provided.
Release of information to other individuals
To authorize CIC to release information from your case file to someone other than a representative, you will need to complete the form Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475). The form is also available from Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad.
The person you designate under that form (IMM 5475) will be able to obtain information on your case file, such as the status of your application. However, they will not be able to conduct business on your behalf with CIC.
Where to submit the form
If you have not yet submitted your application:
Send this form along with your application to the office listed in your respective application kit
If you have already submitted your application:
You may Use the Case Specific Enquiry webform and upload the IMM 5476.
If you know which CIC office is processing your application, send the completed form to the office mailing address. Consult CIC office mailing addresses.
Notify CIC about any changes
You must let CIC know if any information changes regarding the person you authorized to represent you on your application.
If your application was already submitted, use the use the Case Specific Enquiry webform and upload the IMM 5476.
Step 3: Mail the application
Follow the instructions below to determine where to submit your application.
- Put the completed forms, supporting documents required for your sponsor in a 23 cm x 30.5 cm (9″ x 12″) envelope.
- Send your completed application to the Canadian Visa office that will serve you. Check the List of countries and Visa Offices to find out where you must submit your application
(Your Postal Code)
Canadian visa office address
Submit the document checklist
Make sure you use and submit the Document Checklist along with your application forms and supporting documents.
Sign the form
The application must be signed and dated before it is submitted.
If you are:
- 18 years of age or older, sign and date in the boxes provided at the bottom of the page,
- less than 18 years of age, your form must be signed by one of your parents or legal guardian.
Note: If your application is not signed and dated, it will be returned to you.
What should I submit with my application?
Make sure you complete the Document Checklist and include it with your application forms. Make sure you include all the supporting documents listed on the Document Checklist.
Submit the application form
When submitting your application, to ensure your encoded data is captured, you must include the last page or pages which contain your unique barcodes. See the image below:
Note: This page is only available when you complete your application electronically (on a computer).
What happens next
The visa office will process your application and decide if a visa may be issued to you and your family members. The visa office may require:
- an interview,
- additional information, and
- documentation before it can make a decision about your application.
If you are asked to provide additional documents
The visa office will send you a written request.
Note: It is in your interest to comply as quickly as possible. If the visa office does not receive the additional information or documents within three months of the date of the request, your application may be refused.
If you need to be interviewed
The visa office will notify you in writing in advance of the date, time and location of the interview as well as of the documents to bring with you.
If you have to meet other requirements such as;
- additional medical tests, or
- provide more current or additional information needed for background checks,
It could take considerably longer to reach a decision about your application.
Note: For more information visit Processing times: family sponsorship, or contact your sponsor.
If you and your sponsor meet all immigration requirements
the visa office will:
- request you to submit passports and
- issue permanent resident visas to you and your family members accompanying you to Canada.
You must then arrive in Canada either with or before your family members, and within the validity period of the visas.
If you or your sponsor do not meet all immigration requirements
- your application will be refused, and
- you will receive a letter outlining the reasons for the refusal.
Note: Your sponsor will also receive a copy of the refusal letter and will be informed of his or her right to appeal the decision to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).
If your sponsor chooses to withdraw the sponsorship in the event he or she fails to meet the sponsorship requirements
CPC-M will return your complete application (including supporting documents) to your sponsor.
Note: Your sponsor will be repaid all processing fees except the sponsorship fee of $75. Your application for permanent residence will not be processed.
What you should expect at the interview?
You, your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children may be asked to come to the interview. The visa officer may ask, among others, about your:
- relationship to the sponsor
- reasons for emigrating
- plans and preparations
- your health
- your financial situation
- past difficulties with the law
Note: There may also be questions to determine your ability to settle successfully in Canada.
Factors that can facilitate processing
There are certain things you can do to help ensure that your application is processed as fast as possible:
- make sure that all the documentation and information requested are provided with your application
- advise the visa office, of any change to your contact information. This includes:
- mailing address
- telephone number
- facsimile number (fax)
- e-mail address
Factors that may delay processing
The following factors may delay the processing of your application:
- missing signature on application forms
- missing documentation
- unclear photocopies of documents
- documents not accompanied by a certified English or French translation
- verification of information and documents provided
- a medical condition that may require additional tests or consultations
- a criminal or security problem
- consultation is required with other offices in Canada and abroad
Permanent resident status
If your application is successful, you and your family members will receive permanent resident visas. You will become permanent residents of Canada when you move to Canada within the validity of your visa(s). Some conditions will apply:
- You will remain a permanent resident until you become a Canadian citizen, as long as you spend at least two years of each five-year period in Canada.
- You may leave and re-enter Canada as often as you wish.
Permanent residents may leave and re-enter Canada as often as they wish to settle their affairs or to travel. But, at the time the re-enter Canada, they must prove that they have been physically present for at least 730 days within five years, starting from the day they became permanent residents.
If you have been a permanent resident, for 5 years or more
Then you must have accumulated 730 days of physical presence in Canada within the 5 years preceding the date you re-enter
If you have been a permanent resident, for less than 5 years
Then you must either have accumulated 730 days or will be able to have the required physical presence within 5 years.
Note: Permanent residents outside Canada may also meet the residency obligations if certain conditions apply.
Rights as a permanent resident
As permanent residents, you and your family members will have the right to:
- live, study and work in Canada for as long as you remain permanent residents
- access most social benefits accorded to Canadian citizens (see “Limitations”)
- apply for Canadian citizenship, and if granted, apply for a Canadian passport once you have been a legal permanent resident for three of the four previous years
Obligations as permanent resident
As permanent residents, you will also have the same legal obligations as Canadians, such as paying taxes and respecting all federal, provincial, and municipal laws.
There are a few limitations on permanent residents:
- You cannot vote in certain elections.
- You may be ineligible for certain jobs requiring high-level security clearances.
If you or any of your family members commit a serious crime, you or your family members may be stripped of permanent resident status and deported from Canada.
The Permanent Resident Card
All new permanent residents will be issued a card as part of the process. Cards will be mailed to your home address soon after you become a permanent resident. For more information about the Permanent Resident Card, visit Get a permanent resident card.
For more information
Current processing times
Processing time can change. You can obtain current processing times on the Check application processing times webpage.
Updating your contact information
During the application process, you must advise us of any change of address or telephone number. You can do this by going to Change of address or by consulting the How to contact CIC section at the end of this guide.
Note: If your personal situation changes (for example change of marital status, birth of a child, or you wish to withdraw your sponsorship, etc.) after you have submitted your application, you must notify us in writing. For more information, visit After you apply.
Checking application status
In Canada and the United States
You may Contact Us or go online to see the current status of your application:
- Click on Check application status, and
- follow the instructions provided.
To obtain details on how to remove your application status information from the Internet, visit the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) section.
If you are outside Canada and the United States:
Contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate responsible for your region
Protecting your information
Your personal information is:
- available to CIC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) employees who need to see it in order to provide the services to you, and
- not disclosed to other organizations except as permitted under the provisions of the Privacy Act or the Citizenship Regulations.
For more information. You can obtain additional information on the protection of your data by visiting the Help Centre.
Quality Assurance Program
Our quality assurance program randomly selects applications for a special review. If selected you will be asked to attend an interview with a Citizenship and Immigration official so that we can:
- verify the documentation and any other information you submitted is accurate,
- verify that your application has been completed properly.
Note: You will be notified in writing should your application be selected.
For more information on the programs offered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, visit Immigration and Citizenship.
How to contact CIC
CIC Call Centre:
1 888 242-2100 (toll-free)
Hours of operation:
Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., your local time
If you are deaf, or you have a speech impairment and use a teletype, you can access the TTY service from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. your local time by calling: 1-888-576-8502 (in Canada only).
Contact a visa office at a Canadian:
- high commission or
Consult the local phone pages or the Contact us page for contact information.
Eligibility for rehabilitation
This section gives a summary of the type of offences and length of rehabilitation periods.
If you were convicted of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years:
- You are deemed rehabilitated: at least ten years after completion of the sentence imposed.
- You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: five (5) years after completion of the sentence imposed.
If you committed an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years:
- You are deemed rehabilitated: at least ten years after commission of the offence.
- You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: five (5) years after commission of the offence.
If you were convicted of an offence or you committed an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more:
- You are deemed rehabilitated: not applicable.
- You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: five (5) years from completion of the sentence or commission of the offence.
If you were convicted for two (2) or more offences outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute summary conviction offences:
- You are deemed rehabilitated: at least five (5) years after the sentences imposed were served or to be served.
- You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: not applicable.
Note: To be deemed rehabilitated, the person must not have committed or been convicted of any other indictable offence.
If you have a criminal conviction in Canada, you must seek a record suspension (formerly a pardon) from the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) before you will be admissible to Canada. See section Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility for more information.
How-to videoSave Time: Send a Complete Application
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