How to become a permanent resident of Canada
In order to obtain a permanent resident status in Canada you need to apply for immigration under one of available immigration programs. There are no other ways leading to Canadian permanent residency.
A Canadian permanent resident status allows an unlimited stay in Canada, free entry and exits anytime; study and work in Canada without limitations; access Canadian social services, and have all the rights and benefits like any other Canadian does.
After living in Canada for four years (within six years before apllying) with the status of a permanent resident, you can apply for the Canadian citizenship.
Canadian immigration system includes immigration programs on federal and provincial levels. There is a big variety of immigration programs to choose from that are designed for attracting different types of applicants.
Each program has its own requirements. In order to get successfully through an immigration program, you need to meet those requirements.
Some programs are based on a point system where points are awarded for certain criteria, and where is a score limit that you need to achieve in order to qualify for immigration. Also for some programs you need to get first through a pre-selection system called Express Entry, where the highest-ranking candidates are picked from the pool of candidates registered in this system.
General categories for immigration to Canada
There are three major groups of immigrants that are accepted for immigration to Canada.
This group includes skilled workers, entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed persons.
This group includes applicants who have close relatives in Canada, such as spouses, children, parents and grandparents.
Refugees and Asylum
This is a separate category that does not involve getting through an immigration program.