(International experience class does not apply to me)

Unlike countries such as France or Sweden that have naturalisation after X years (5 or 6) of legal residence, I understand that staying for a period of years does not automatically give any residency rights in Canada (which is similar to Australia, Singapore etc).

One needs to be above the CRS score cutoff to be able to compete with other applications for, and get, Permanent Resident status whether or not one is already in Canada (on say, a work permit). Work experience in Canada for 1-2 years appears to add some more points to CRS, but this is not a "guarantee" of getting a PR. The Provincial Nominee Program adds a lot of points as well, but it appears to be invite-only and its possible to never get a PNP, either. In general, average / median CRS scores of a cohort are getting better every year (meaning ever better qualified applicants). Please correct my assumptions if they are wrong.

So is it possible to move there on a Work Permit, but due to increasing age (despite increasing experience) and intensifying competition - never get enough CRS points or a PNP, and thus be 'permanently stuck' renewing Work Permits in Canada? What are the chances this happens?

  • 1
    Note that it is also possible to get permanently stuck with a carte de résident in France. I personnaly know people in this situation. Naturalisation is relatively easy but by no means automatic.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 26, 2021 at 11:11
  • @Relaxed oh, wow, I didn't know that... I suppose that's because ultimately, it's up to the authorities to actually grant the citizenship? If you don't mind me asking, can you give any vague info of why your acquaintances are stuck thus?
    – Aditya M P
    Jul 26, 2021 at 12:33
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    It was due to missed alimony payments a while back, there is a broad “good character” requirement. Many people also fail because they don't have a stable job or had stayed illegally in the past but both of these can be resolved with time.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 26, 2021 at 12:59
  • Got it - thanks for chipping in!
    – Aditya M P
    Jul 26, 2021 at 13:34
  • No one can tell you the "chances" without a lot more other information.
    – xngtng
    Jul 26, 2021 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


It is possible to be on a work permit without a path to permanent residency. If you never qualify for one of the pathways or a PNP program, you don't become a permanent resident.

Although there is no absolute limit on the number of extensions you may request, each extension request, if applicable, requires a new Labour Market Impact Assessment, which may be refused if there appears to be qualified Canadian workers for the position.

Your growing ties to Canada may also cause your application to be refused if the immigration officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorization. The officer must be satisfied your work is still "temporary" in nature.

due to increasing age (despite increasing experience) and intensifying competition - never get enough CRS points or a PNP,

The points you get from Canadian experiences grow faster than the decreases from increased age (up to five years). Note that (if you qualify) Canadian Experience Class is a separate stream and in general can have a lower cutoff than other pathways.

Additionally, most provinces provide a pathway for existing workers in their PNP, e.g. Alberta Oppoturnity stream, Saskatchewan Experience category.

Of course, your CRS score and eligibilites for these programs depend on your exact circumstances. Your situation would be different if you did not graduate high school and work in a non-skilled or semi-skilled job than if you have a Master's degree and work in a highly paid in-demand skilled position.

  • CEC points growing faster than age declines, and CEC being a different stream, are new facts to me. Thanks for clarifying.
    – Aditya M P
    Jul 27, 2021 at 8:02

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