What Is a Landed Immigrant?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 28 March 2020
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A landed immigrant is an individual who has become a permanent resident of a foreign country. This means he has legal authorization to live and work in the new country. This term is typically used in Canada and makes a distinction between a person who is legally allowed to live and work in the country permanently and a citizen of Canada or an individual who has non-permanent resident status. An individual must complete an application process, which can be very complicated, in order to become a landed immigrant.

Many countries have various terms they use to describe a permanent resident. In Canada, one of the terms that is commonly used is landed immigrant. An individual who is a landed immigrant has legal permission to live in Canada permanently and can be employed there as well. This status is specific and separate from other types of residency status. A person with this status is not a citizen like someone who was born there or applied for citizenship, and he’s not a non-permanent resident who only has permission to remain in Canada temporarily.


There are specific requirements a person must meet to gain landed immigrant status. This residency status is not available to whomever wants it; a person typically must meet one of three basic requirements plus other criteria in order to obtain landed immigrant status. For example, a person may be eligible for this status if he has a close family member who is a permanent resident or a citizen. An individual may also become a permanent resident if he is an entrepreneur, self-employed individual, or a person with a good deal of money to invest in the Canadian economy. Likewise, a skilled worker may be eligible to become a permanent resident.

To become a permanent resident, a person usually has to complete a complex process that involves filling out an application, providing supporting documents, cooperating with verification procedures, and paying a fee. Proof of the lack of a criminal history, and in some cases, proof that a person speaks a certain language may also be required. In some cases, medical examinations are required as well. In fact, a person who wants to become a landed immigrant may have to return to his home country to have medical exams completed or to obtain documentation of his lack of a criminal history from the places he previously lived.


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