Shabnam Akrami Blogs

Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

New Permanent Residents Arriving at the Canadian Border

New Permanent Residents Arriving at the Canadian Border

Things to Consider when Arriving at the Canadian Border as a Permanent Resident

Obtaining permanent residency in Canada can be a very exciting but anxious time for many foreign nationals. It can be exciting because Canada is full of prosperous opportunities; however, it can also be a very anxious time because many foreign nationals do not know what to expect. This is especially the case when arriving at as Canadian border or port of entry. It is important for foreign nationals to understand what will happen once they arrive. Therefore, in order to better prepare yourself for what to expect when arriving in Canada, in this article, I will explain in detail what to expect at the Canadian border or at a Canadian port of entry as a permanent resident.

What is Permanent Residence

For those who don’t understand what permanent residency status is in Canada, I will define three important terms to know about permanent residency. The first important term I will define is permanent resident status. As per Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)’s website, permanent resident status is defined as the position of a foreign national who has legally immigrated to Canada but is not yet a Canadian citizen. Furthermore, the second important term I will define is a permanent resident. As per CIC’s website, a permanent resident is a foreign national who has legally immigrated to Canada and acquired permanent resident status and has not lost that status under section 46; they are also not yet a Canadian citizen. Lastly, the third important term I will define is permanent resident card. As per CIC’s website, a permanent resident card is a wallet-sized plastic official document that is issued to all new permanent residents of Canada, as well as to existing permanent residents, when requested, to confirm and validate their status in Canada. Note that this card includes identity details and the signature of the foreign national it was issued to.

How to Verify Permanent Resident Status

When arriving as a permanent resident of Canada through the Canadian border or at a Canadian port of entry, the first and most important way to validate your identity and status in Canada is by providing your permanent resident card to the Immigration officer. Keep in mind, your permanent resident card is the only valid proof of permanent resident status in Canada. Therefore, it is very important to make sure you have it with you when you travel in and out of the country. Additionally, there are also additional documents that you may present to validate your permanent resident status in Canada, such as:

  • The original Landing Record
  • A certified copy of the Record of Landing document that was issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
  • An official letter issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) verifying your permanent resident status
  • Your foreign passport stamped indicating the date in which you obtained permanent residency status, only if you have been granted permanent residency prior to 1973
  • A confirmation of permanent residency status official document

Arriving at the Canadian Border without your Permanent Resident Card

It is very important to recognize that the Immigration officer examining your entry into Canada has the authorization to either allow your entry into the country or deny your entry depending on your status in the country. Additionally, they may also deny your entry into Canada if you do not have the appropriate travel document to enter, i.e. your permanent resident card. If the permanent resident cannot provide documentary evidence of their status in Canada, the Immigration officer at the Immigration Secondary Inspection will be required to establish the foreign national’s permanent residence status through questioning and probing the individual’s status in FOSS. FOSS is a system of Immigration Officer’s notes.

You should be well-prepared if you are a foreign national going through this specific circumstance; you may be asked questions, such as:

  • What is your country of citizenship?
  • What is your purpose in Canada?
  • What is your purpose of exiting Canada?
  • What establishment ties do you have within Canada?
  • Where is your employment in Canada?
  • Where does your family live in Canada?
  • When did you obtain your permanent residency status in Canada?
  • When did/will it expire?

At this point, the foreign national must duly satisfy the Immigration officer that they are in fact a permanent resident of Canada and explain why they are travelling without their permanent resident card or why their permanent resident card is expired. If the Immigration officer is satisfied that you are a permanent resident, they will allow you into the country. However, if you are a permanent resident of Canada and your permanent resident card has expired, then your entry into Canada can become a more difficult challenge than expected. Additionally, if you have not met your residency requirements in Canada and your permanent resident card has expired, then the Immigration officer does have the right to deny your entry into Canada. Therefore, it is very important that your permanent resident card is valid and with you when travelling.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you have recently obtained permanent residency status in Canada and will be travelling to the Canadian border or port of entry, it is important to take all of the aforementioned information into consideration before entering. Obtaining permanent residency in Canada is difficult to prepare for and pursue on your own, especially if you are unfamiliar; it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients enter Canada and obtain permanent residency status. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency status, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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