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Originally Answered: What is the complete process of Canadian PR?
I completed this process, and will be happy to share my experiences, however it should be noted there is no “one way” to get PR.
There are many different programs with differing qulifications and steps to take (which come with varying timelines to match). Also, even within each type of program, the individual will have many different variables which affect processing time and necessary steps.
To give the most general type of answer possible, I will stick to what should be universal for all applicants.
You may apply for PR from within or outside Canada; this is a personal decision with pluses and minuses in each category — however for most application types, processing times are MUCH faster if you apply from outside Canada. . The obvious benefit to applying within Canada is you get to live there while the application is being processed (but, if you are on a visitor visa while applying, you cannot hold a Canadian job or attend a Canadian school while doing so — the government’s website expressly states you may work jobs which are owned and operated by other countries, i.e. online, so that is an option). However, if you choose to apply from within Canada, you must ensure you do not lose your protected status (i.e. make sure you renew whatever visa you are currently under and keep it current throughout the entire application).
When you begin the application, you provide the government with an extremely detailed overview of not only why you are applying (for economic, education, or familial reasons, to name a few), but a summary of your life over the past 10 years. This includes every address in which you have previously lived, as well as all jobs, schoolings, and community organizations in which you have participated. You must provide the months in which you sarted and ended these activities and include information for all of the past 10 years (or until you reach your 18th birthday, if you are not yet 28 and older at the time of the application). You will also need to provide all of your legal documentation (social number from your homeland, birth certificate, valid visa in Canada, etc) to prove who you are.
One note, although I highly doubt it will apply to you as you speak English, for those applying from a country wherein all their official documentation is not in French or English, they will need to get everything translated to one of the two official languages This takes time and slows things down considerably.
Typically alongside this initial application packet, you will want to provide any and every piece of supporting documentation you have (if you are here to be reunited with a spouce, for example, letters from the spouces family, as well as the sponsoring spouce verifying your relationship is true and commmited are a good idea — as well as any history of communication and photos you have of the two of you together. If you are being offered a job, obviously proof of said job is a must. The same for schooling).
I applied for PR here in Québec, and it is the only province in which you must apply for provincial PR status seperately, and in addition to federal PR status. So this section will be highly dependant on you applying there. While your Federal application is being processed, you send basically the exact same application (but it being in French is a huge plus) and pay almost the exact same fees again to the provincial government in Québec. Your federal application will reach a point where it will be unable to continue until the province gives you what is known as a Certificat de sélection du Québec . At this point, you will be eligible to apply for a temporary open work visa, and given free (online and in-person) French classes (if needed) by the québécois government. Your federal application will also resume once you provide this certificate to them.
The next step is usually a Medical Exam which clears you as not posing a signficant burden on the Canadian medical system, and then a Background Check. During this background check, you will need to get your fingerprints taken by the RCMP, who will run a criminal-record search across Canada. You will also need to provide a Police Certificate from your homeland showing you have not commited any crimes therein.
After that, if the government deems an interview necessary to verify your information or address any concerns, they will schedule it. Usually this is not the case if everything checks out.
Finally, you will provide them with your passport so they can verify you haven’t broken any border laws in the past (if you have not already provided the passport), and after that, they request offical portraits for your PR card and schedule a “landing interview.”
This “interview” involves waiting in a large, open room with everyone else who is getting their PR that day, walking up to a window, and answering about 3 questions (1. Are you who you say you are, and is all entered infromation on this application valid? 2. Have you committed any crimes in Canada? 3. Do you have any children you plan to bring with you to Canada not mentioned on the application?). After you answer, you get a landing document and wait for your PR card to arrive in the mail! Everyone there is super nice, as getting this appointment basically means you are approved, and they are happy to share the good news!
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