Canadian Immigration News

What’s Next After Becoming a Permanent Resident?

4.5 minute read
"Most people think the job is done once their immigration application has been approved. However, the approval of your permanent residence application is not enough. There are a few things you need to take care of to ensure that your future in Canada is secure."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Nov 26, 2021
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Most people think the job is done once their immigration application has been approved. However, the approval of your permanent residence application is not enough. There are a few things you need to take care of to ensure that your future in Canada is secure. 

What Do You Have to Do After Becoming a Canadian Permanent Resident?

Ensure that you have “Landed” as a Permanent Resident 

Landing as a permanent resident is exactly as it sounds. You have to enter Canada as a permanent resident. Once your application is approved and you receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), you have to enter or re-enter Canada as a permanent resident before your COPR expires. There are different ways of doing this. 

If you were abroad when your application was approved, then you will become a landed permanent resident on your first Port of Entry. This process will take approximately 3 hours and it has to be done at your first port of entry in Canada. If you are residing in Canada when your application was approved, then you can make a permanent resident landing interview appointment at your nearest Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office. You can also do this by re-entering Canada after flying or driving to a land border with the United States. 

You can call the IRCC Call Center to book an appointment, except if your temporary residence status is set to expire soon. You will provide your mailing address during this interview so that the IRCC can mail your PR card. This PR card will not be mailed to your address outside of Canada. 

Reside in Canada 

All permanent residents have a residency requirement to maintain their status in Canada. You will be required to reside in Canada for at least 2 years out of every 5 years. It does not have to be a continuous residency, so you can travel abroad regularly. However, you can not spend more than 3 years outside of Canada. 

It is always helpful to have a record of your travel history. You can also maintain proof to demonstrate that you spent time in Canada. This will help you demonstrate that you have met your residency requirements to renew your PR card or apply for Canadian citizenship. 

Know the Requirements of Your Immigration Program

Based on your immigration program and the number of family members accompanying you, you are required to demonstrate a certain level of settlement funds. You will be required to demonstrate a certain level of funds during your landing appointment. Recently, the IRCC updated the settlement fund requirements for Express Entry candidates. In case you applied last year and will be entering Canada this year, you will need to check the updated requirements to ensure compliance. 

If you obtained permanent residence through provincial nomination, then you will be expected to reside in the province that nominated you. If you are not traveling directly to that province, you will probably be asked questions by the immigration officials. 

Keep Your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)

Remember to save a copy of your COPR as it will be required in the future if you choose to apply for Canadian citizenship. It is always best to make an electronic copy and keep the original safe.

Don’t Leave Canada Without Your PR Card

You will receive your Permanent Resident Card within 2 months of landing as a permanent resident. However, you will not be allowed to board a commercial flight without your PR card even if you are from a visa-exempt country. To depart and to re-enter Canada, you must have your PR card. If you are abroad without your PR card, you can have someone mail it to you or apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) at your nearest Canadian visa office.

Maintain a Valid PR Card

Your PR card will remain valid for 5 years. The renewal process may take up to 6 months. Therefore, it is always advisable to apply for renewal well in advance of the expiry date of your current PR card. Even permanent residents from visa-exempt countries require their PR card upon arrival in Canada.

File Your Taxes on Time

Filing your taxes will be an important deciding factor for your future citizenship application or PR Card renewal. Therefore, it is important to file your Canadian income tax return on time to avoid any future problems.

Apply for Canadian Citizenship

You can qualify for Canadian citizenship if you reside in Canada for at least 3 years within 5 years. You can include up to one year of residence in Canada as a temporary resident to meet the criteria for a citizenship application. However, the time spent in Canada as a temporary resident is counted as ½ days. Meaning if you lived in Canada for 2 years as a temporary resident, you can claim 1 year of residency to meet the residency requirement for Canadian citizenship.

Stay Out of Legal Trouble

Permanent residents can still be deported from Canada if they are convicted of a crime inside Canada. Therefore, getting into legal trouble as a permanent resident will risk your future in Canada. It is important to have an immigration lawyer who understands the implications of your criminal case on your immigration status before your case is finalized. 

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