Permanent visas allow the holder to work freely in Canada and move freely in all the provinces for their lifetime. These freedoms are dependent on the condition that the visa holder must spend 40% of any given time period in Canada and must not commit any serious criminal offenses.

As a rule, Canada grants such permanent visas preferentially to applicants who do not have criminal records or expensive illnesses. Applicants with a good education, work experience, and language skills in at least one of the two national languages of English and French are particularly valued. These requirements are weighted differently in the various categories established for granting permanent visas; these may include age, assets, and readiness to found or take over a company in Canada and to invest a minimum amount and potentially create jobs.

The various categories will be explained in detail on the sub-pages. Please be aware that individual provinces also have their own, sometimes competing for immigration programs alongside the Canadian federal government.