More about Canada
Canada occupies a major northern portion of North America, sharing land borders with the contiguous United States to the south and with the US state of Alaska to the northwest, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean. By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second largest country in the world - after Russia - and largest on the continent.
The population density, 3.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (9.1/sq mi), is among the lowest in the world. Canada has more lakes by far than any other country and has a large amount of the world's freshwater.
Canada is one of the world's wealthiest nations, with a high per-capita income, and is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Group of Eight (G8). It is one of the world's top 10 trading nations. Canada is a mixed market, ranking lower than the US but higher than most western European nations on the Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom.
Since the early 1990s, the Canadian economy has been growing rapidly with low unemployment and large government surpluses on the federal level. Today Canada closely resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards.
In the past century, the growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. As with other first world nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians. However, Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of the primary sector, with the logging and oil industries being two of Canada's most important.
Canada is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy. Atlantic Canada has vast offshore deposits of natural gas and large oil and gas resources are centred in Alberta. The vast Athabasca Tar Sands give Canada the world's second largest oil reserves behind Saudi Arabia.
In Quebec, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba, hydroelectric power is a cheap and clean source of renewable energy.
Canada is one of the world's most important suppliers of agricultural products, with the Canadian Prairies one of the most important suppliers of wheat, canola and other grains. Canada is the world's largest producer of zinc and uranium and a world leader in many other natural resources such as gold, nickel, aluminum, and lead; many towns in the northern part of the country, where agriculture is difficult, exist because of a nearby mine or source of timber. Canada also has a sizeable manufacturing sector centred in southern Ontario and Quebec, with automobiles and aeronautics representing particularly important industries.
Since 2001, Canada has successfully avoided economic recession and has maintained the best overall economic performance in the G8. Since the mid-1990s, Canada's federal government has posted annual budgetary surpluses and has steadily paid down the national debt.
In the past 10 years, Canada has become one of the most dynamic economies in the world.
Its relaxed life style, stable political, justice, economic and social environment, excellent educational and health system, relatively moderate personal tax system, advantageous corporate tax rates, multilingual population and the well known tolerance of other cultures, make Canada one of the most sought world jurisdiction to work, invest, live in and raise family.
Canada is first among the G8 countries in the Optimal Human Development (UN 2006 Human Development Index), the Best Overall Quality of Life (Mercer Human Resources Consulting), the Land of Equal Opportunity, the Safest Place to Live, and Lowest Place of Costs of Living.
Canada was ranked first among G8 nations to do business in the next five years according to the Economic Intelligence Unit's global business rankings forecast 2008-2012. AAA credit rating: Canada is top of the G7 nations in terms of their intrinsic Net Worthiness (Moody). Canada's debt-to GDP ratio was 38.8% in 2004-2005 and its objective is to reduce it to 25% by 2014-2015.
The NAFTA Advantage gives access to the 443 millions of consumers and a combined GDP of $ 15.4 trillion. US trade with Canada is bigger than all trade with all EU countries combined.
Unless you have a direct family relation in Canada to qualify for family sponsorship or unification or you intend to apply for a refugee status, you can establish Canadian residence (and members of your immediate family) by applying for Canadian Permanent Residence in one of the following categories:
3) Self Employed Persons
4) Skilled Workers and Professionals