- Canadian Citizenship Application
- Permanent Residence Card & Renewal
- Humanitarian And Compassionate Grounds
- Refugees And Asylum
- Travel Documents
- Canadian Passport Application
- Commissioner of Oath
- College Transfer
Canada has welcomed an average of more than 260,000 permanent residents each year. Many of these newcomers are in the process of becoming Canadian citizens, and many more will apply for Canadian citizenship in the future. Permanent residents of Canada may apply for Canadian citizenship after residing in Canada for a minimum legally-specified period of time. The children of naturalized Canadian citizens will also automatically obtain citizenship even if they are born abroad. When that process is complete, they take loyalty oaths pledging their commitment to the responsibilities and privileges of Canadian citizenship. Canada recognizes dual citizenship. You are not required by Canada to give up your previous citizenship once you become a Canadian citizen.
To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must:
- Be a permanent resident
- Have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years
- Have filed your taxes, if you need to
- Show how well you know Canada
- Prove your language skills
Once a person is approved for Canadian permanent residence, they are eligible to apply for a Canadian permanent resident card (PR card). This card indicates a person’s PR status in Canada and can be used to travel in and out of the country. Applications for permanent resident cards are submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Most permanent resident cards are valid for five years, though occasionally PR cards are only valid for one year. Permanent residents are encouraged to keep track of their expiration date and apply to renew their Canadian permanent resident card within six months of their card expiring.
People who would not normally be eligible to become permanent residents of Canada may be able to apply on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.Humanitarian and compassionate (H&C)grounds apply to people with exceptional cases. These applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Factors that immigration officer look at includes:
- How settled the person is in Canada
- General family ties to Canada
- The best interests of any children involved, and
- What could happen to you if immigration authorizes do not grant the request.
Other rules that apply to humanitarian and compassionate grounds:
- You may only ask for H&C grounds if you are applying for permanent resident status in Canada, or for a permanent resident visa abroad. Immigration officer will not look at H&C requests from temporary resident applicants.
- You cannot have more than one H&C grounds application at the same time.
- H&C grounds will not assess risk factors such as persecution, risk to life, cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
- You cannot apply for H&C grounds if you have a pending refugee claim. If you want to apply, you must withdraw your refugee claim before your Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) hearing.
- You cannot apply for H&C grounds if you had a negative decision from the IRB within the last 12 months. This is called the “one year bar.” (If the IRB decides your refugee claim is abandoned or withdrawn, that counts as a negative decision.) The bar does not apply if:
- You have children under 18 who would be adversely affected if you were removed from Canada, or
- You have proof that you or one of your dependents suffers from a life-threatening medical condition that cannot be treated in your home country.
Refugees are people who have fled their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution. They are not able to return home. They have seen or experienced many horrors.
A refugee is different from an immigrant. An immigrant is a person who chooses to settle permanently in another country. Refugees are forced to flee.
Canadian refugee protection programs
The Canadian refugee system has two main parts:
- The Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, for people who need protection from outside Canada and
- The In-Canada Asylum Program for people making refugee protection claims from within Canada
Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program
Refugees who come to Canada have left their homes, and in many cases they have had to live in refugee camps for many years. When they arrive in Canada, they have to start their lives over again.The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), along with private sponsors, identifies refugees for resettlement. A person cannot apply directly to Canada for resettlement. After they are identified, it takes time to process the cases.
Private sponsors across the country also help resettle refugees to Canada. Some do this on an ongoing basis. They have signed sponsorship agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees. These groups are known as Sponsorship Agreement Holders. Sponsorship Agreement Holders can sponsor refugees themselves, or work with others in the community to do so.
Other sponsors, known as Groups of Five and Community Sponsors, are people or groups in the community who have come together to sponsor refugee(s). They do not generally sponsor refugees on an ongoing basis.
The Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program matches refugees identified by the UNHCR with private sponsors in Canada.Under our laws, we must carefully screen all resettlement cases. This makes sure that there are no issues related to security, criminality, or health. We work with our security partners to complete this work as quickly as possible.
In-Canada Asylum Program
The asylum program works to provide refugee protection to people in Canada who:
- Have a well-founded fear of persecution or
- Are at risk of torture, or cruel or unusual punishment in their home countries
Not everyone is eligible to seek asylum. For example, people are not eligible to make a claim if they have:
- Been convicted of serious criminal offences or
- Had previous refugee claims denied by Canada.
Permanent residents returning to Canada by airplane, boat, train or bus must show a valid Permanent Resident Card (PRcard) or Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) before boarding. If you are outside Canada, you have lost your PR card and you need proof of your status to return to Canada. We can assist you to apply for Travel documents.
We provide services in notarizing affidavits and sponsorship letters.