Immigration to Canada is a joint responsibility of the federal and provincial governments. Majority of new immigrants will come to Canada through one of the many federal immigration programs, whether it's economic or family class immigration program. Refugee protection too is governed by federal government.
Immigration can be temporary or permanent. Temporary residents of Canada are those foreign nationals who are in Canada with temporary work permit, temporary student permit, or visitor visa.
There is also a group of people who are in Canada with Temporary Resident Permit - a special permit issued by the government to those people who want to immigrate to Canada but are inadmissible either for medical or criminal reasons. This could be considered something like conditional permit. There is no special application to be made - its issuance is based on discretion of the Minister and on humanitarian and/or compassionate grounds.