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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

In order to live, work or study in Canada, you must apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and receive permission and the proper documentation before you arrive.

Review the information below and consult the links for more information on categories of Canadian residency.

Temporary Work Permit

A temporary work permit enables certain types of workers to enter Canada. It is specifically for people who:

  • have employment confirmed in Canada prior to arriving, and
  • plan to stay for a short period of time and then return to their home countries.

Study Permit

A study permit gives you permission to come to Canada for educational purposes, but only for a specified period of time. When it expires, you are required to leave Canada.

To apply for a study permit, you will need to provide proof of acceptance from an educational institution, as well as other documents.

Residents of certain countries will also need temporary resident visas.

Permanent Resident

If you recently moved to Canada but haven’t yet applied for citizenship, you may become a permanent resident. Permanent residents are granted many rights and privileges, such as the right to receive most social benefits, including healthcare coverage, and the right to live, work and study anywhere in Canada. However, permanent residents cannot vote, run for political office or hold certain jobs that require a high security level.


Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) selects immigrants based on their ability to adapt to Canada’s labour market. The Express Entry program was launched in January 2015 to help the Government of Canada manage applications through the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The Express Entry Year-end Report for 2015 provides more information, such as the top ten invited occupations for that year.


In order to qualify for a Canadian (permanent resident) visa, Canadian Federal Skilled Worker (Professional) applicants must:

  • have at least one year (1,560 hours total; 30 hours per week), continuous full-time or an equal amount in part-time, paid work (volunteer work and unpaid internships do not count), in the same job, within the last 10 years, and at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC);
  • have a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or a completed foreign credential, and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by IRRC [the report must show your foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree];
  • pass a minimum threshold of language ability for one of Canada’s two official languages (English/French).




Citizenship grants you all the rights and privileges of Canadian citizens, including the right to:

  • work and study anywhere in the country;
  • receive healthcare benefits;
  • vote; and
  • run for political office.

If you want to become a Canadian citizen, you must:

  • determine if you are eligible;
  • apply for citizenship; and
  • successfully complete the citizenship test.

The links below from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website provide additional information.

Temporary Work Permit

Study Permit

Permanent Resident

Federal Skilled Worker Program

Canadian Citizenship