How To Apply For Canadian PR in 12 Easy Steps
If you’re looking to obtain permanent residency status in Canada you will have to apply through the IRCC, also known as the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada.
While this application is by no means a quick and easy process, there are rules and guidelines that you can follow to simplify the ordeal. Whether you’re an independent worker, refugee, or family member, there are certain best practices to help you prepare a quality PR submittal.
12 STEPS TO BECOME MORE PREPARED FOR YOUR PERMANENT RESIDENCY APPLICATION IN CANADA
We’ve gathered a few tips and helpful considerations to hopefully set you on the right path towards Canadian PR status.
Please note that this guide should be treated as a starting point and not a “comprehensive all-in-one” substitute for professional advice. To get the most accurate information on this topic, we highly recommend following up with more research and consulting with an expert.
STEP 1: Selecting the Right PR Program
Generally speaking, there are numerous PR opportunities that you can claim in Canada based on your individual status: working, non-working/humanitarian, refugee, or family member.
Each program comes with its own subset of rules and qualifications, so the best advice we can give you is to research each of them thoroughly to find the one that’s most fit.
To give you an example of immigration process features, some of them may involve: sponsorships, points/scoring, first come first serve, and some are only available during specific windows in a given year.
STEP 2: Speaking to a Professional
Fortunately, you don’t have to prepare your application alone – there are plenty of qualified professionals who would be willing to assist you.
Knowing the intricacies of the entire application process before you submit any documents can turn out to be a massive advantage. To find these individuals with extensive knowledge on the subject, search for Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) and ask them for advice.
STEP 3: Preparing the Paperwork
It’s widely regarded as a good idea to have all of your paperwork/documentation in line before you begin submitting any files. Always figure out what you need to hand in beforehand so there are no surprises down the road.
Keep in mind that the IRCC will likely contact you for further personal documentation throughout the entire process as you make progress. A handful of these forms could take weeks or even months to acquire, so it’s best to have them ready as a precaution.
One example of this would be a criminal background check – even if you’ve been on the right side of the law your entire life, the turnaround time for this type of document can be quite substantial. Other things that can take significant time to obtain could be job references/testimonials and other non-trivial information about yourself.
STEP 4: Continuously Evaluate Your Application
There have been many instances where PR status has been withheld simply because the applicant did not properly follow the exact process instructions – even if they would have qualified otherwise.
Avoiding mistakes/inaccuracies on your application is just as important as making sure everything you need is on paper. In the simplest terms possible; as long as you’re checking, re-checking, and re-re-checking your application for the correct descriptions you can avoid this unnecessary failure.
STEP 5: Don’t Ignore the Checklist
Typically when submitting a request for PR status, the Canadian IRCC will tailor an immigration checklist that considers your individual circumstances. In other words, there is no “one size fits all” checklist of requirements for the application process.
It’s crucial that you follow this checklist methodically so you don’t miss a single personal requirement. Failure to comply with your unique specific requests may result in an application denial.
STEP 6: Remain Truthful and Consistent
Treat the Canadian PR application as one of the most detrimental processes for yourself if you plan on living in Canada. In this regard, it’s absolutely vital that you remain completely transparent and honest with the IRCC – in the end you’ll be the one who benefits.
If for some reason you cannot fulfill a certain task on your immigration checklist, you can deliver a personally-written explanation to the IRCC that details why you’re unable to do so. It’s entirely possible that the IRCC will be supportive of your situation and not penalize you for a late submission.
STEP 7: Record Relevant Dates
When engaging in any form of government application process it’s generally a good idea to provide timely and recent documentation. The importance of having relevant personal information (which is time sensitive) increases as documents get closer to their expiry date.
Here are a few examples of time sensitive documents that you absolutely need to keep up to date: passport/important personal ID, work/study permits, relevant test scores, medical records, and background checks.
To stay on top of things in an efficient and practical manner, consider enabling cell phone alerts or on-screen computer reminders that “ping” you whenever a vital document is nearing it’s expiry.
STEP 8: Fill Up Time Gaps
Since the PR application process entails in getting more closely integrated with Canadian society, the IRCC take great care in knowing that your background and history checks out with your story.
Regardless of how you’ve filled up time in your past, the IRCC may wish to know a little bit more about your previous history – some common examples are work and living history. If you leave out time gaps on your application, there’s a good chance that the IRCC will scrutinise your information more closely.
Although it’ll be a tedious and extensive task, creating a fully accurate and detailed record of relevant materials for the IRCC could save you a ton of headache.
STEP 9: Don’t Hesitate to Contact IRCC
At any point in your application procedure, if you’re experiencing life events that could drastically affect the validity of your documents/civil status, you should immediately notify the IRCC. That way you may be able to make timely amendments to the data that’s being inputted.
Occasionally your life will experience substantial changes after you’ve already given the IRCC a snapshot of personal information. Examples of these events can include: marrying/divorcing, giving birth to a child, changing addresses, and advancing to a higher degree of education.
STEP 10: Completely Avoid Inaccuracy
Lying on your PR application (or some cases “stretching” the truth) can be grounds for immediate request denial; potentially even a later revoking of PR status after you’ve been cleared for approval.
In this scenario, a “lie” is akin to misrepresentation – which is a basically a criminal offence. If at any point you provide the IRCC with false information you could face serious consequences. In some instances, if the IRCC discovers you’re not being truthful on crucial documents you could expect to be banned from future PR applications.
STEP 11: Keep a Record for Yourself
Whenever you need to reference a specific item/document, which can happen countless times during your application, you can benefit greatly from establishing organized storage on your end.
Regardless of informational format (physical copy or digital) having these documents somewhere that you can easily access is vital for timely responses made to the IRCC. Truthfully, you won’t know how quickly you need to retrieve personal information until the time comes – and when it does it pays off to be prepared.
STEP 12: Learning From Others
Sometimes the best approach you could take when doing research on a Canadian PR application is to speak to those that have gone through the process.
Considering that there are thousands of immigrants that successfully become PR status holders, there should be plenty of individuals (maybe some that you’d know personally) to inquire. With modern day improvements in social technologies, it’s never been easier to hear other people’s stories and reach out to them via the internet.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Learning About How To Apply For Canadian PR
Hopefully this brief overview answered a few of your questions about the PR application process in Canada. As a nation, Canada is very welcoming of new migrants and takes pride in giving PR and citizenship status to those who deserve it.
The better you prepare yourself for the PR submittal, the better your chances of getting approved.
If you’re migrating to Canada from south of the border, check out our article on the CAN-US income tax relationship to get started.