Canada is an immense country. To understand what it means to be Canadian, it is important to know about our three founding peoples: Aboriginal, French and British. Aboriginal peoples’ ancestors were well established here long before explorers from Europe first came to North America.
Today, Canadian society stems largely from the English-speaking and French-speaking Christian civilizations that were brought here from Europe by settlers.
Most day-to-day life is conducted in English or French. Canada is home to people of many different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities and cultures. But Canadians share core values. These values guide and shape our everyday life. We are proud of our identity, our history and our achievements.
We have inherited legal and democratic institutions that date back to the Middle Ages in France and England. These are living traditions today in Parliament and our provincial legislatures. Our laws and our governments ensure that we treat all people equally and that there is equal opportunity for all. Our laws also protect minorities. Together, we work hard to maintain a secure, peaceful and prosperous society.
Covering most of the northern part of the North American continent and with an area larger than that of the United States, Canada has an extremely varied topography. In the east, the mountainous maritime provinces have an irregular coastline on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic. The St. Lawrence plain, covering most of southern Quebec and Ontario, and the interior continental plain, covering southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan and most of Alberta, are the principal cultivable areas. They are separated by a forested plateau rising from Lakes Superior and Huron.
Westward toward the Pacific, most of British Columbia, the Yukon, and part of western Alberta are covered by parallel mountain ranges, including the Rockies. The Pacific border of the coast range is ragged with fjords and channels. The highest point in Canada is Mount Logan (19,850 ft; 6,050 m), which is in the Yukon. The two principal river systems are the Mackenzie and the St. Lawrence. The St. Lawrence, with its tributaries, is navigable for over 1,900 mi (3,058 km).
Canada is often associated with cold weather and snow, but in reality, its climate is as diverse as its landscape. Generally, Canadians enjoy four very distinct seasons, particularly in the more populated regions along the US border. Daytime summer temperatures can rise to 35°C and higher, while lows of -25°C are not uncommon in winter. More moderate temperatures are the norm in spring and fall.
Summers can be hot and dry on the prairies, humid in central Canada, and milder on the coasts. Spring is generally pleasant across the country. Autumns are often crisp and cool, but brightened by rich orange and red leaves on trees.
Winters are generally cold with periods of snow, although southern Alberta enjoys the occasional “Chinook”, a warm dry wind from the Rocky Mountains that gusts through and melts the snow. Winters are mild and wet on the west coast, in cities such as Vancouver and Victoria.
When the temperature does drop, Canadians stay warm thanks to an infrastructure of heated houses, cars and public transportation systems. Some cities have also installed walkways to and from buildings in schools.
Types of Visas for Canada
Skilled workers and professionals
Skilled workers are selected as permanent residents based on their education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French, and other criteria that have been shown to help them become economically established in Canada. The rules for applying as a federal skilled worker can change from time to time without notice, so make sure you visit this site regularly if you are considering immigrating to Canada under this category.
Quebec-selected skilled workers
Under the Canada-Quebec Accord on Immigration, Quebec establishes its own immigration requirements and selects immigrants who will adapt well to living in Quebec. If you want to go to Quebec as a skilled worker, you must first follow a separate selection process before your application is finalised by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Canadian Experience Class
If you are a temporary foreign worker or a foreign student who graduated in Canada, you often have the qualities to make a successful transition from temporary to permanent residence. You are familiar with Canadian society and can contribute to the Canadian economy. You should have knowledge of English or French and qualifying work experience.
Investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons
The Business Immigration Program seeks to attract experienced business people to Canada who will support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy. Business immigrants are expected to make a C$800,000 investment or to own and manage businesses in Canada, and must meet certain experience and/or net worth criteria. The criteria you must meet to qualify are different for each class. Find out if you can immigrate in one of these classes :
Each application can be made for only one class and the class cannot be changed once the application is submitted. The criteria you must meet to qualify are different for each class.
Persons who immigrate to Canada under the Provincial Nominee Program have the skills, education and work experience needed to make an immediate economic contribution to the province or territory that nominates them. They are ready to establish themselves successfully as permanent residents in Canada. To apply under the Provincial Nominee Program, applicants must be nominated by a Canadian province or territory.
Sponsoring your family
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) knows it is important to help families who come from other countries to reunite in Canada. If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent child (including adopted child) or other eligible relative to become a permanent resident.
CIC refers to the immigrants who are eligible to use this family sponsoring process as the Family Class. If you become a permanent resident, you can live, study and work in Canada. When you arrive in Canada as a permanent resident, you must make every reasonable effort to provide for your own essential needs and those of your family.
If you sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you are responsible for supporting your relative financially when he or she arrives. As a sponsor, you must make sure your spouse or relative does not need to seek financial assistance from the government.
The process to sponsor your family begins when you, as a citizen or permanent resident in Canada, apply to be a sponsor. There are two different processes for sponsoring your family. One process is used for sponsoring your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner and/or dependent children. Another process is used to sponsor other eligible relatives.
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