June 24, 2021

“Landed Immigrant” Versus Canadian Citizenship – What Are The Differences?

Posted by Athena Portokalidis - Bellissimo Law Group PC

There are notable differences between Canadian citizenship and status as a “landed immigrant” or permanent resident in Canada, including the rights and privileges accompanying each status respectively, as well as the obligations. This blog post will explore these differences from a Canadian immigration law perspective below.

“Landed Immigrant” or Permanent Resident Status

The term “landed immigrant” is a dated term to refer to the legal status of what the law now recognizes as a “permanent resident,” though given its prevalent use in the past, “landed immigrant” is still widely used. In fact, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website refers to “landed immigrant” as interchangeable with or related to the term “permanent resident.”[1]

As explained in IRCC’s Glossary, a permanent resident is a “person who has legally immigrated to Canada but is not yet a Canadian citizen.”[2] A person must be eligible for permanent resident status under a specific program or class before making an application for permanent residence. Permanent residents are legally able to enter and remain in Canada, as well as work and study without first securing a work permit, subject to specific conditions.[3] Among these conditions, a permanent resident must generally be physically present in Canada for at least 730 days in a given five-year period, unless certain exceptions apply, in order to maintain status as a permanent resident of Canada.[4] There are also several scenarios in which a permanent resident may lose their status, such as when they become a Canadian citizen, following an application to renounce, failure to meet residency obligations, or following findings of inadmissibility such as for security reasons, human/international rights violations, or serious criminality to name a few.[5]

Canadian Citizenship

Citizenship in Canada can be obtained in various ways, including by way of a grant, by descent, or if a person is born in Canada. Canadian citizens have the right to enter, remain in, work, and study in Canada.[6] Unlike permanent residents, Canadian citizens are not subject to a physical presence requirement in order to maintain status, and can apply for a Canadian passport with proof of Canadian citizenship.[7] Loss of citizenship status can also occur, though in more limited scenarios than those applicable to permanent residents.

Should you have any further questions with regards to permanent resident status, Canadian citizenship, your eligibility, or your obligations given your status in Canada, please feel free to schedule a consultation with our office.