Permanent Resident/Canadian CitizenshipThere is a difference between a permanent resident of Canada and a Canadian citizen.
A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries.
A permanent resident can:
- get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including healthcare coverage
- live, work or study anywhere in Canada
- apply for Canadian citizenship
- receive protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels
A permanent resident can live outside of Canada, but must live in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. If you live outside of Canada for longer, you may lose your permanent resident status.
Becoming a Canadian citizen is a true honour and a Canadian citizen can:
- vote in democratic elections (if you are 18 years or older)
- run for political office
- hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance
- apply for a Canadian passport
- enter and leave Canada freely
To receive Canadian Citizenship a permanent resident must apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.