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What Documents are Necessary for Permanent Residence in Canada

Have you recently entered the Express Entry pool or currently considering applying for permanent residence in Canada and wondering what documents may be necessary in order to apply? In this post, we intend to cover the broad strokes of the economic class immigration process and what documents are necessary. Although there is some variation between the provincial nominee programs (paper steam VS direct stream) and the federal immigration platform of Express Entry, the differences are not significant and you can easily prepare in advance with some guided advice.


1. Documents plus translations (if the original is not in English or French) of birth certificates of each child and family member

2. Documents plus translations (if the original is not in English or French) of the marriage certificate, if applicable

3. International passports which should be valid for at least 6 months but preferably valid for at least 3 years

4. Diploma's and transcripts of high school education or post-secondary education, plus translations if not in English or French

5. Education Credential Evaluation (ECA) of the highest level of education which can be obtained from one of the following designated organizations: Comparative Education Service (University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies), International Credential Assessment Service of Canada, World Education Services (WES), International Evaluation Credential Service. In essence, an ECA is an evaluation report which assesses the principal applicant's education against the Canadian education system

6. IELTS or CELPIP General English test or equivalent approved French language test. You can obtain a higher rank on Express Entry if you have knowledge of both languages and can pass both tests

7. Criminal record clearances from each country where you lived for 6 month or more in the past 10 years. The officer can also request criminal record clearances from all countries where each family member lived since the age of 18 so, if it is possible and if applicable to your case, obtain clearances from countries going back to your 18th birthday. Children under the age of 18 do not need criminal clearances and also for people who currently reside or have lived in Canada in the past, you do not need to obtain a Canadian criminal record certificate. Police clearance certificates (must be federal) are valid for 1 year from the time they were issued.

8. Passport size photos for each family member according to the specifications of the application which were taken within the past 6 months

9. Medical exam performed by a panel physician to prove that you meet the medical admissibility requirements. Medicals are valid for 1 year from the exam date

10. If the applicant and their family members are in Canada, they must have valid status in Canada

11. Employment letters and proof of employment records both in Canada and abroad for the principal applicant only, if applicable. Proof can include: paystubs, notice of assessment, tax files etc... Eligible work experience is key to all economic class applications and this evidence must be presented very clearly and well organized in order to avoid processing delays and refusals

12. There are some countries that have their own country-specific instructions which must be verified according to the citizenship of the applicants and their family members. Those instructions usually pertain to household registry books, residency cards, military exemption cards, old passports, internal passports, marriage registry books etc... If applicable to your country, those documents would have to be obtained and translated where necessary

13. Proof of relationship for those who have family members or close friends (only in some instances are friends accepted) who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and in some way connected to either the principal applicant or their spouse. Having close relatives in Canada can provide a connection to a province or generate points on Express Entry


On the other hand, if you are applying under the family class, the documents list will be as follows:

1. International passport

2. Passport size photos taken within the past 6 months

3. Documents plus translations (if the original is not in English or French) of the marriage certificate, if applicable OR common-law declaration. If issued a civil union certificate, provide it (plus translation if not issued in English or French)

4. Criminal record clearances from each country where you lived for 6 month or more in the past 10 years. The officer can also request criminal record clearances from all countries where you lived since the age of 18 so, if it is possible and if applicable to your case, obtain clearances from countries going back to your 18th birthday. Children under the age of 18 do not need criminal clearances and also for people who currently reside or have lived in Canada in the past, you do not need to obtain a Canadian criminal record certificate. Police clearance certificates (must be federal) are valid for 1 year from the time they were issued

5. Medical exam performed by a panel physician. Medicals are valid for 1 year from the exam date

6. Documents plus translations (if the original is not in English or French) of birth certificates of each child and family member who is not a Canadian citizen or PR

7. Employment letter and last year's notice of assessment of the sponsor, T4 (some exceptions)

8. Proof of living together, if applicable, which can include joint bills, joint bank accounts, drivers license indicating the same address, insurance policies listing each other as a spouse

9. Proof of a genuine relationship which can include: photos together, phone and chat records, boarding passes to see one another or flight/hotel confirmations, statements of support from family and friends

10. Must have valid status in Canada or be within the restoration period in order to apply for a spousal open work permit

11. If previously married, marriage certificate and divorce verdict (plus translation if not issued in English or French) - sponsor and sponsored person

12. There are some countries that have their own country-specific instructions which must be verified according to the citizenship of the applicants and their family members. Those instructions usually pertain to household registry books, residency cards, military exemption cards, old passports, internal passports, marriage registry books etc... If applicable to your country, those documents would have to be obtained and translated where necessary


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Document Preparation for PR in Canada


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 Edmonton AB T5T 2E3 Canada

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