Benefits and Obligations of Being a Permanent Resident of Canada
A brief of the benefits and obligations of Canadian permanent residency:
Where you can liveA permanent resident and accompanying dependants can live, work and study in any one of the ten provinces or three territories within Canada.
Permanent residents have the right to a free education up to the age of 18 in the Canadian public school system.
When it comes to university, tuition fees are dramatically reduced for permanent residents when compared to international student rates. For example, the McGill University fees for a Bachelor of Arts program for 2016-2017 are $4,140 for a Quebec resident, $9,040 for other Canadians and $18,603 for international students.
Health carePermanent residents qualify for provincial universal health care coverage from three months after their arrival in Canada. Most necessary medical expenses are covered, including visits to the emergency room, immunizations, yearly exams and more.
TaxYou must pay taxes at federal, provincial and municipal levels. Income tax is imposed on the basis of residency rather than citizenship. After becoming a permanent resident an individual would be required to pay Canadian taxes on worldwide income. The assets of a newly arriving immigrant are not taxed under Canadian law.
Federal tax rates for 2016
• 15% on the first $45,282 of taxable income,
• 20.5% on the next $45,281 of taxable income ($45,282 up to $90,563),
• 26% on the next $49,825 of taxable income ($90,563 up to $140,388),
• 29% on the next $59,612 of taxable income ($140,388 up to $200,000),
• 33% of taxable income over $200,000.
Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)
Low-income Families with children under 18 receive monthly government payments to help with expenses.
Old Age Security,
Guaranteed Income Supplement,
Canada Pension Plan
All three of these programs are designed to provide financial support to workers after they reach retirement age – currently 65. To be eligible, you have to meet specific residency requirements and to have contributed to the system by paying taxes in Canada. However, most permanent residents will qualify for at least partial payments from these programs.
Maternity and parental leave
Working parents get time off when a new baby is born or adopted. Women can take 12 months and receive up to 65 per cent of their income. Partially-paid parental leave is also available for up to 35 weeks. One parent can take all 35 weeks or both parents can split the time. To be eligible you must have worked in Canada for at least 600 hours. That’s 75 days based on eight hour days.
Maintaining permanent residency
You must live in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. If you live outside of Canada for longer, you may lose your permanent resident status
Becoming a citizen
Permanent residents have the right to apply for Canadian citizenship after meeting some requirements. Current law states that permanent residents must be physically present in Canada for 1,460 days in six years immediately before the date of their citizenship application. The permanent resident must also be physically present for 183 days during four of six calendar years before the application.
The Liberal government is currently aiming to reduce these requirements.
What permanent residents can’t do
Permanent residents cannot vote or run for political office. They are also barred from holding certain jobs that require high-level security clearance.
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