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Landed Immigrant vs. Canadian Citizen: What’s the Difference?


Do you know the difference between the terms immigrant vs. citizen? By knowing the difference between a Canadian citizen and landed immigrant, it will help you distinguish what your rights and privileges are under Canadian laws.

Who is considered a landed immigrant or permanent resident?

Firstly, a landed immigrant can also be called a permanent resident (PR) and the terms can be used interchangeably. The landing experience in Canada for immigrants is the first step in being qualified to apply for Canadian citizenship.

It is common for many individuals to come to Canada on a temporary status and afterwards apply for permanent residence.

A landed immigrant in Canada applies to an individual who is not a Canadian citizen, but has been granted the person the permission to live and work in Canada without any limitations on his or her stay time. Although, a permanent resident is required to live in Canada out of every five-year period or be at risk of losing his or her status. It is also required to renew your PR card every five years.

Many individuals become a permanent resident through the following categories:

The four key differences between citizens and landed immigrants are the latter cannot vote in federal elections, run for federal office, hold some jobs that require a high-level security clearance and hold a Canadian passport.

A permanent resident does have the right to most Canadian social services such as healthcare, and the protection under the Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Who is considered a Canadian citizen?

A Canadian citizen is a person who has applied for citizenship and has received a citizenship certificate through Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or who is a Canadian by birth.

Citizenship is one step higher than acquiring Canadian landed immigrant status. After becoming a permanent resident you can then apply for Canadian citizenship.
As a Canadian citizen you have a number of benefits including; eligibility to vote in federal elections, ability to get a Canadian passport, not required to have a PR card; and no longer required to live in Canada or lose status.

If you are applying for citizenship or permanent residency, contact the Immigration Law Office of Ronen Kurzfeld to provide you with a quick and easy application process.

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Best Student Visa Immigration Lawyer in Toronto