Here are some helpful tips for preparing your PR application to submit to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
1. Identify the program(s) you may be eligible for…
Canada offers many immigration programs. They fall under three broad categories, Economic, Family Class and Refugee/Humanitarian. Some programs are points-based, some programs operate on a first-come, first-served basis, some programs require a sponsor, and some programs remain open on an ongoing basis.
Have you researched which program is right for you? You may have more than one option. Make sure you know the best path for your situation.
2. Consider getting representation from an expert
Canadian immigration can be daunting and confusing. It is important to note, it is possible to complete the PR application alone. However, ICCRC licensed professionals who are educated and experienced with these applications will be able to explain the process in detail, provide sound legal advice, direction and provide representation on your behalf.
3. Gather all documentation in advance
Within the course of your application, IRCC will request certain documents. Some documents may take many months to obtain. Consequently, if you wait until you are formally asked, it may delay matters unnecessarily. It’s better to be prepared ahead of time.
Police background checks are an example. Some countries’ law enforcement agencies typically issue these background checks within weeks with little or no fuss. On the other hand, some countries are quite particular and it may take more time, perhaps months, for the document to be issued. They also may require IRCC to request these documents directly. You might also think about work reference letters, civil status documents, and other documents that may take a while to gather.
4. Double-check, and triple-check
Some PR applications are delayed or rejected not because the applicant was ineligible, but because the applicant did not read the instructions, complete the application correctly or provide the exact requested document. This could not only delay your application significantly but possibly cause a loss of status, and certainly a loss of money. To avoid any unnecessary delays or refusals, read over the material, check and check, and check again. If you have concerns, its best to seek a professional who can provide correct answers and guidance.
5. Be complete and accurate
Always use the latest checklists and forms. IRCC changes these often and will return your application if you use old forms. IRCC officers expect you to provide the items as listed in the checklists. If this is not possible, for whatever reason, IRCC may be open to receiving an explanation as to why this may be case. Be complete and accurate, and provide a detailed explanation for why certain documents may not be included as required.
6. Keep track of expiry dates
Be mindful of all your expiry dates. Passports, work permit/study permit, police background checks, bank statements, language test results, invitation to apply, medical assessments, etc.
Consider setting up a system of reminders or alerts for yourself through a calendar. It’s really important to make sure you’re on top of this.
7. Don’t leave gaps in time
IRCC wants to know where you’ve been, why you were there, and when you were there. You may also have to supply a detailed employment and study history. Gaps in time are likely to be noticed and questioned, and therefore may delay or hinder your overall PR application. Build a timeline of your life over the past 10 years, and make sure there are no gaps. You probably have a record of much of your activity through itineraries and email archives, so those are good places to start.
8. Tell IRCC of any change in circumstances
Has anything changed in your life since you submitted your PR application? New spouse, new baby, new address? Have you completed a higher level of education? Divorced or separated? If yes to any, keep IRCC up to date on developments as your application is being processed.
9. Never lie.
Not even a little white lie. Lies can and will hurt your chances, even if you don’t get caught immediately.
Its not worth the risk and will likely have huge implications on your life.
If it is found that you have obtained permanent residence through fraudulent means, which includes misrepresenting the facts on your application, the government has the ability to revoke your status.
10. Keep copies of everything
Whether in physical or electronic form, it’s important to keep copies of your documents and submitted application. For online submissions, take screen shots of the various pages as your move through the process prior to submission. For hard-copy submissions, keep photocopies or scans of the documents you submit. You never know when you may need to reference your application, so it’s always good to have copies of everything safely stored in physical and/or electronic form.
Applying to become a Canadian permanent residency is exciting! Be sure to always meet the deadlines and requests from IRCC and reach out to others who are going through the process or have already obtained their PR. To communicate with other candidates and applicants, join the Foothills Immigration Forum on Facebook and join the conversation. Or contact us directly anytime to set up a free consultation. www.BelongToCanada.com. We’d love to hear from you.
Leann Iamartino; Senior Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant; Commissioner of Oaths
Foothills Immigration Inc.