Why Become a Canadian Permanent Resident? That’s one question you may already be wondering, especially if you’ve done some research into what the process requires. It isn’t easy to become a permanent resident, after all.
Plus, there are other options available if you want to work or study in Canada. Short-term, temporary visas are issued to workers and students that allow them to live and work in Canada.
So why become a permanent resident? The answer is simple: you’ll have more rights.
When you become a permanent resident of Canada, you are entitled to most of the sam e rights and privileges as a Canadian citizen. Below is a list of a few of these rights:
- You are entitled to equal treatment and equal protection.
- You are entitled to certain legal rights, such as; to be presume innocent until proven guilty, to be provided with an interpreter in the courtroom, if necessary, to have a lawyer.
- You have the right to enter and exit Canada as you see fit, plus you can move freely from province to province.
- You can work and study anywhere you choose in Canada (you cannot hold some high-security government positions, however.)
While most of these rules also apply to temporary Canadian residents, there are some social service benefits that are only or primarily designed to help permanent residents and citizens of Canada.
These benefits include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) – For families with children under the age of 18 who are considered to have a low-income, the Canadian government provides monthly tax-free payments to help cover expenses.
- Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, and Canada Pension Plan – All three of these programs are designed to provide financial support to workers after they reach retirement age – currently age 65. To be eligible, you have to meet specific residency requirements and to have contributed to the system by paying taxes in Canada. However, most permanent residents will qualify for at least partial payments from these programs.
- Universal health care – Most necessary medical expenses are covered through the Canadian universal health care program. These expenses include visits to emergency room, immunizations, yearly exams, etc.
- Free education – All children under 18 are entitled to a free education in the Canadian public school system.
- Maternity and parental leave – In Canada, working parents are given time off when a new baby is born or adopted. Women can take up to 12 months of maternity leave and receive 50 to 65% of their normal income. Partially paid parental leave is also available for up to 35 weeks. One parent can take all 35 weeks or both parents can split the allotment of time (i. e. one parent takes 20 weeks while the other takes 15 weeks). To be eligible for parental leave, you must have worked in Canada for at least 600 hours.
All of these benefits and more become available to you when you are a permanent resident of Canada.
Additionally, being a permanent resident gives you the opportunity to become a Canadian citizen after only three years of living and working in Canada.
Once you become a citizen, you can run for political office, become involved in political activities, and vote in elections. You can also maintain duel-citizenship, so you don’t have to give up citizenship in your home country just to enjoy the benefits of Canadian citizenship.