Permanent residency is a status granted by Canada through one of different immigration processes. Permanent residents of Canada remain citizens of other countries. They are not Canadian citizens.
Refugees who come to Canada through a resettlement program (Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program or Government-Assisted Refugees Program) become permanent residents when they arrive in Canada. Therefore, they have the same rights and duties as any other permanent resident of Canada.
What are the rights of permanent residents?
Permanent residents have the right to :
- get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage
- live, work or study anywhere in Canada
- protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- apply for Canadian citizenship
Because they are not Canadian citizens, they cannot :
- vote or run for political office
- hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance
What are the responsibilities of permanent residents?
Permanent residents must :
- respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels
- pay taxes
Residency obligation : In order to keep their permanent resident status, they need to be in Canada for at least 730 days during a period of five years. The 730 days don’t need to be continuous.
For more information :
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada : Understand Permanent resident status
- Settlement.org : What are the residency requirements for Permanent residents?
- Settlement.org : New to Canada? Learn about taxes