Immigration into Canada is governed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), which grants permanent residence visas to individuals who meet the eligibility requirements. The CIC allows immigrants to enter Canada as workers, professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals and family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. As of June 2010, the Canadian visa office in London spends between 16 to 40 months finalising most of the permanent resident applications that it receives.
Check your eligibility to apply for a Canadian immigrant visa. There are six classes of visa: skilled workers and professionals; Quebec-selected skilled workers; Canadian experience class; provincial nominees; family members of Canadians; and investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed people. Different classes of visa require different lengths of time to process. For example, the London visa office spends 39 to 52 months finalising the federal entrepreneur class applications, and only six to eight months processing the skilled worker class applications.
Obtain the application package from the CIC website or request one from the London visa office.
Fill out the forms and gather all documents as detailed in the application package.
Book an appointment for a medical examination with a Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) in your area. As of June 2010, there are DMPs in 18 cities in England, including London, Manchester, Cambridge, Liverpool and Oxford. Keep the document from the medical examination to send to the CIC with your application.
Apply for a police certificate from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), which has criminal records of individuals from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Download the application form from the ACPO website. Processing will take about two to 10 working days.
Take an English or French language test if required for your visa class. Some visa classes, such as skilled workers and professionals, require that you achieve certain scores on language proficiency tests such as International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) or Test D’évaluation de Français (TEF).
Pay the applicable fees for your visa class online or at the visa office, and keep the receipt.
Submit your application. Depending on your visa class, you might send it to a visa office in Canada or in London. After submission, you will be contacted by the CIC for further steps.