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Applying to be a Permanent Resident of Canada

If you get a positive decision on your refugee claim, you will be eligible to apply to be a Permanent Resident.

Why should I apply to be a Permanent Resident?

Most importantly, you need to be a Permanent Resident before you can apply to be a Canadian citizen.

Being a citizen is the only real “permanent” status in Canada. You can never lose your status as a citizen. But you CAN lose your status as a permanent resident AND a protected person. This might happen if:

you get in trouble with the law.

you are a Protected Person and you travel back to your country of origin before you become a citizen of Canada.

This is because the Government of Canada will think that this means it is now safe for you to go back to your own country, so you do not need to be in Canada anymore to be safe.

Another benefit of becoming a Permanent Resident is that you will not need a work permit to work in Canada!

How do I apply to be a Permanent Resident?

You can apply online using the Permanent Residence Portal

You can also choose to apply using paper forms if you cannot manage the portal

What information do I need to give for my application?

All of the information that you need to include is listed in a document called: Document Checklist: Protected Persons – Permanent Residence (IMM 5286e). Read this checklist carefully and make sure that you do everything that it says.

A screenshot of the IRCC processing times website

Make sure that all of your documents are translated into English or French.

Check over the application many times and ask other people to check it for you so you do not miss anything.

If your application is missing something, it will be sent back to you and will take much longer to process.

Do I have to pay for my application?

Yes, you need to pay to send in your application. You need to pay the fee online. You will keep the receipt and upload it to the portal.

If you are applying by yourself

it will cost you $570 to send in the application, even if you are under 18.

If you are applying with your parents

(or legal guardian) and you are under 22, it will cost you $155 to be included in the application.

What if I can’t pay the fees?

Unfortunately, the Government of Canada will not process your application if you do not pay the fees. Here are some suggestions for getting the money to pay the fee:

Save a little bit every month from your income.

Ask friends or family if they can help you.

Ask a religious organization if they can help you.

How long will it take to become a Permanent Resident?

The Government of Canada shares the current processing times online. See the CRC resource on processing times to learn how to use the government website.

For more detailed information on applying for Permanent Residence, see this PR application guide from the Centre for Refugee Children.