Canada Permanent Residence Pathway For Former Wards Of Protective Care

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Canada has a new immigration pathway for foreign nationals who aged out of protective care services before they could get their permanent residence or citizenship – and face the possibility of deportation back to their home countries.

“A small number of individuals who came to Canada as minors never obtained permanent residence or citizenship while they were in the custody of child protection services,” notes Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

“As a result, some of these vulnerable people who never had status – or lost it – are now at risk of being deported to their country of birth. After living in Canada for years, many have little or no connection to their country of birth, and often do not speak the language.”

Under the new pathway, which will remain in effect until Jan. 27, 2027, Ottawa is offering permanent residence to foreign nationals and their families if they:

  • came to Canada when they were less than 19 years old;
  • were under the legal responsibility of a child and family services provider, and;
  • may now face deportation.

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Canadian immigration is waiving all fees for eligible foreign nationals who were in state care who can also choose to apply for a temporary resident permit to allow them to stay in Canada as temporary residents.

The eligibility criteria for permanent residence under the new pathway include:

  • coming to Canada before the age of 19;
  • having continuously resided in Canada for at least three years prior to filing an application;
  • having continuously resided in Canada since the age of 19;
  • having been under the legal responsibility of a child and family services provider under a provincial or territorial government’s designated ministry for child protection for at least one year in total;
  • being physically present in Canada when submitting the application and being granted permanent residence;
  • intending to reside in a territory or province other than the province of Quebec;
  • not being a person against whom there are serious reasons for considering that they have committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a serious non-political crime outside of Canada or been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations;
  • having a valid passport, travel documents, identity documents, or a statutory declaration that the applicant is admissible to be in Canada.

“You must declare all your accompanying family members as well as your non-accompanying family members in your application,” notes the IRCC.


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“If you don’t include your non-accompanying family members, you won’t be able to sponsor them as family members later.”

This new pathway builds on the IRCC’s move in late September last year to allow these people to apply for temporary residence in Canada and get work permits and study permits. Those who applied for that temporary resident permit last year now become eligible to apply for permanent residence.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of immigration.ca featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.