Canadian Permanent Residence VS Work Permit Visa

Last Updated On : December 12 , 2023

A PR is provided to foreign nationals who have immigrated to Canada but have been granted the country’s status of permanent residents by the government. Since the two words are entirely at odds with one another, temporary visitors like students do not receive a PR.

Here, we will discuss the fundamental differences between gaining Canadian permanent residency (PR) and a Canadian work permit (WP) through participation in a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It’s crucial to remember that picking which program best suits your immigration needs is a personal decision that should be discussed thoroughly with an experienced immigration lawyer or adviser. So, let’s start with knowing what exactly a work permit is.

What is Work Permit?

An individual from another nation is permitted to work in Canada for a predetermined time using a work permit, as the name suggests. Only after being hired by a Canadian employer to work in Canada is someone entitled to apply for a work permit.

PR for business immigrants in Canada

If you are coming to Canada for business, you can only apply for permanent residence if you significantly contribute to the country’s economy. The Canadian government extends a warm welcome to such people.

Work Permit to PR in Canada

Although transferring from a work visa to permanent residency might be time-consuming and disruptive in some cases, it is achievable. If you work in Canada, you can apply for PR through various programs.

The most well-known is the CEC or Canadian Experience Class. Before applying for PR under this system, applicants must have at least two years of work experience in Canada, a postgraduate degree from a Canadian university, and one year of work experience.

Quebec Experience Class is another program similar to the CEC. If you have worked as a skilled worker in Quebec for at least a year and speak French at an intermediate level, you are eligible to apply for this program.

Suppose you are fortunate enough to acquire a permanent employment offer from a Canadian employer. In that case, you may apply for permanent residence (PR) under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), but you will need to earn the necessary number of points. The basis for awarding points is your qualification, age, language proficiency, etc.

What is the process for applying for a PR visa?

  • Create an Express Entry profile and complete the online application once you have satisfied all the fundamental eligibility requirements, such as finishing your Education Credentials Assessment (ECA), getting the required IELTS score, gathering experience certificates, and other similar things.
  • You will then receive the Invitation to Apply (ITA), followed by some background checks conducted by the relevant authorities. You should receive your PR confirmation in a few days if everything goes perfectly. You will then be required to submit your passport for stamping.
  • You cannot apply for the PR unless you have 67 points, so we strongly advise you to check your eligibility using online tools before moving further with the process.

What is the difference between a PR and a work permit in Canada?

With a PR, it is permissible to live and work anywhere in Canada, but with a work permit, specific restrictions exist. A work permit enables a person to only live in a particular region and work in a specific job for a set amount of time.

The bulk of social benefits provided to Canadian residents, such as free healthcare and education, are also available to PR holders. However, they are not guaranteed and depend on various conditions when it comes to a work permit. Once you have permanent residence status, you do not need a work permit to work in Canada.

What is the cost of a Canada PR Visa?

After the CIC’s recent increase in application fees, a single application will cost you 2140 CAD, including 515 CAD in the right to permanent residence expenses. The application fee for a spouse and dependent children is an additional 1365 CAD for the spouse and 230 CAD for each child.

What is the processing time for a Canada PR visa?

The quality of your application, the program you applied for, the workload of the officers, and many other factors all affect how quickly your PR will be issued. Even though the procedure takes roughly 5-8 months once the ITA is received, it is difficult to say how long it will take if we include all the steps involved because it is impossible to predict when you will receive the ITA. The process may take longer if the CIC makes special requests to the applicant, such as the production of additional needed documents.

As previously stated, all Provincial Nominee Programs require applicants to meet specified qualifications and criteria. All PNPs require an applicant interview as well as completing additional selection requirements. In short, no PNP is a “one-size-fits-all” case. Thus, discussing program details with one of our most competent immigration lawyers or immigration consultants is critical to identifying the correct program.


As you can see, there are both parallels and considerable distinctions between Canadian permanent residency (PR) and Canadian work permit (WP) statuses. Individuals seeking permanent relocation to Canada are typically better suited for Provincial Nominee Programs that give PR status, whilst those seeking temporary skilled labour in Canada may prefer WP status. Reach out to us for more personalized guidance and assistance for your immigration.

Our RCIC, Mr. Paul Abraham, has been a player in this particular aspect. Thus, he is the best person to guide you through the entire process. The PAIC team takes care of your immigration application from scratch till the end. Please visit our website for better guidance.