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Immigration to Canada Overview

The Canadian government grants permanent residence visas to members of the Family Class and the Economic Class. The Economic Class primarily comprises of professionals and skilled workers under the skilled worker class, the Quebec skilled worker class and the provincial nominee class as well as business immigrants.

Using a point system, an applicant is assessed under the federal skilled worker class according to various factors that will indicate whether there is a strong likelihood that the applicant and dependents will successfully establish in Canada. Ideal applicants under the skilled worker class will possess employment skills and experience compatible with occupations "open" to prospective immigrants to Canada. The selection rules particularly favour applicants with government approved job offers in Canada.

Under the Quebec skilled worker class and the provincial nominee class, applicants may become permanent residents on the basis of their proven ability to become economically established in Canada, in accordance with immigration programs and selection criteria administered by Quebec or the provinces.

Canada also admits immigrants under the Business Immigration program which comprises three sub-categories including Investors, Entrepreneurs and the Self-Employed.

The Investor class is point based and confers permanent residence upon applicants who demonstrate an ability to become economically established in Canada on the basis of their business or management experience and personal net worth of at least $1,600,000. Approval is contingent upon the investor undertaking to commit an irrevocable, passive, non-interest bearing five-year investment of $800,000 in a government guaranteed investment fund. Under applicable programs, applicants can obtain financing and receive legal security on their investment.The Canadian government has placed a temporary hold on applications in this class. 

The Entrepreneur class is point based and confers permanent residence upon applicants who demonstrate an ability to become economically established in Canada on the basis of their business experience and high personal net worth. Approval is contingent upon the entrepreneur undertaking to invest and become involved in the active management of a qualifying business operated in Canada that will contribute to the economy and create employment. The Canadian government has placed a temporary hold on applications in this class. 

The Self Employed class is also point based and refers to applicants who have relevant experience as well as the intention and the ability to create their own employment and make a significant contribution to the cultural, artistic or athletic life of Canada, or to create their own employment by purchasing and managing a farm in Canada.

The Quebec government manages its own immigration programs providing for skilled worker and business class selection rules.

Under the federal family class, current sponsorship programs typically promote the reunion in Canada of Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their close relatives including a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner 16 years of age or older, an unmarried dependent child under the age of 22, a parent or grandparent, and a brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandchild who is an orphan, unmarried and under 18 years of age or any other relative where the sponsor has none of the above relatives or family members, in Canada or abroad. There is a temporary pause on the sponsorship of parents and grandparents for permanent residents. Instead, eligible candidates can apply forthe long term visitor Parents and Grandparents Super Visa.

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