What Are the Different Types of Immigration Status in Canada?

Although more than a quarter million people immigrate to Canada each year, there are various immigration requirements that must be met.  In Canada, there are different categories for immigration that an individual can apply under.  

The following is an outline of the various types of immigration statuses in Canada: 

  • Family Class

This class is specifically for immigrants who have close family members already living in Canada who have committed to providing them with financial help. A Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor their spouse or common law partner, their dependent child, or another relative who is eligible under the Family Class. 

  • Economic Immigrants

Economic immigrants include a variety of foreign workers who wish to immigrate to Canada. In certain circumstances, these immigrants may be eligible for Express Entry into Canada. This class of immigrants may be further divided into the following sub categories:

  • Skilled worker class – For those who have experience in a certain skilled trade where there is a need or shortage, they may be eligible to immigrate to Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Program. 
  • Canadian experience class – This class is for economic immigrants who are already in Canada under a temporary status but who wish to apply for permanent residence in Canada. To qualify for this class, it is generally required that you have lived in Canada for some time, are a skilled worker, have language proficiency in either English or French and have adjusted to the Canadian culture. 
  • Business class – the final category of economic immigrant is business class. These are immigrants who are entrepreneurs or are self-employed. To qualify for this class it is important to have the skills and experience – as well as the financial means – to conduct business in Canada.


  • Humanitarian and Compassionate applicants

This class is reserved for immigrants who may not otherwise be eligible for immigration to Canada. They are exceptional cases which are determined on an individual basis. Some of the factors considered in such cases are:

  • Settlement in Canada
  • Family ties
  • Children’s best interest
  • Consequences of returning to home country


  • Refugee Class 

The refugee class of immigrant is for those who are facing persecution or who’s lives might be in danger if they were to remain in their home country. Refugees may be sponsored by Canadian citizens or permanent residents. 

Who may not immigrate to Canada?

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), there are certain people who are not eligible for immigration to Canada. The following reasons may cause a person to have their visa denied or be refused entry into Canada:

  • Concerns about security.
  • Violations of human or international rights.
  • Criminality or Organized criminality
  • Health reasons
  • Financial reasons
  • Misrepresentation
  • Non-compliance under the IRPA
  • Having a family member that is inadmissible under IRPA

Generally speaking it is required for those immigrating to Canada to apply for a permanent residence visa before arriving in Canada. They may submit their applications in person or by mail to a Canadian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission. Applications may be made within Canada by refugee claimants, spouse or common law partners of permanent residents, in home caregivers, as will as those who have compassionate grounds to be in Canada. 

Contact Minhas Lawyers today

If you have questions about your immigration status or would like to speak to one of our immigration lawyers for any reason, contact us today to arrange for a consultation. 

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