Monday, July 14, 2008

Canadian Permanent Resident Application

As mentioned before, no two immigration stories are identical though we all follow incredibly similar routes. This truth probably arises because immigration rules change frequently. What was "true" for me and mine might not transpire or be pertinent for you and yours. Good timely research is key.

I read several times while researching that I could expect a reduced application time for Permanent Residence if I had already procured Canadian employment. I have also been told, and I might add, did not read, that the above process is made more difficult and lengthy if one is already living and working in Canada. Quite contradictory, eh?

My partner Eric and I will be moving to Canada - living and working there for the next two plus years on Temporary Work Permits. It's very exciting to know Toronto will be home on August 1st. And we will also be applying for Permanent Resident status. Indeed, we have already begun collecting the necessary information and documentation.

I do not know of, nor have I read about, an immigrant like Eric and myself, who applied for PR while living and working in Canada on a Temporary Work Permit. All our contacts obtained their permanent residence status first. Will having prior Canadian employment shorten our application time? Does living and working in Canada on a work permit make the PR process more difficult or lengthy? I'd really like to know. Aside from contacting the CIC and asking them directly, which I intend to do, I believe it is time to reach out and ask anyone who might be reading this blog to share their experience. Please shout back and tell us your story.

We will apply for PR status no matter what the answers. But it would be nice to plan ahead.

The truth is out there.

15 comments:

hhw said...

hello - I'm considering immigrating to Canada and have been reading the UStoCA blogs, which is how I found yours. I have friends who moved from the US to CA a few years ago when one of them got a faculty position at a university. When they finally applied for PR 2+ years after moving, it took less than a year to be approved (June 2008). They intended to apply for PR from the beginning; the delay was due only to procrastination.

Scott M. said...

During the 90s, I worked as a Customs Officer at Lansdowne, ON. My information and experience is from that time, so YMMV.

In general, PR applications go much faster when you're in Canada. Among other things, they have more offices, a toll-free number where you can actually talk to someone, right away, without waiting forever, etc. From the folks I talked to, the average waited about 9 months from application entry until approval (they were at the border to leave and re-enter).

But don't take my word for it, CIC has wait times posted on their website:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/index.asp

Scott M. said...

Heh. I say that, and they don't show the PR status anymore. Perhaps the COO (country of origin) must process them now. See what happens in a mere decade? :)

That being said, many of the checks needed for the PR app were done for the temporary permit and you're already in the system. I still think it'll go faster. But don't trust me, call the CIC!

cls said...

Prairie Road a US to CA blog you can find at WMTC applied for PR while in Canada. In fact, today's posting is all about sending off the last of the paperwork to get landed status. Perhaps this blog will be of use to you in knowing what to expect and how long it takes.

MSEH said...

An acquaintance of mine applied while in CA on a work permit and it took about the same amount of time as ours, having applied from the US. This was in the 2005-2007 time frame.

ErinOrtlund said...

Thanks for the comment! I hope your transition to Canada goes well. I had not heard about it taking more or less time depending on whether you apply for PR from in or out of Canada. I have heard it can go more quickly for people married to Canadians, but I'm not sure.

Apparently, applying through a provincial nomination program speeds up the process too, which is what we did. But it hasn't been fast! I'll post a timeline on my blog sometime but we applied to the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program in August 2007. Nominated by them in May 2008. Now we have applied for PR in July 2008 and we'll see how long it takes!

L-girl said...

It looks like you're receiving very positive feedback - excellent!

Adam said...

Yes, indeed. Great feedback! Keep it coming. The more info the better!

Brandon said...

All I can say is good luck, I hope to be able to message you with some other questions sometime about moving from San Francisco to Canada... I first visited Toronto when an online friend invited me up for a tour in May of 2002, I was only 20 years old. Ever since that time I was hooked and wanted to move to Canada. Unfortunately I can't ever seem to get an employer to even consider me, although I did once and the work permit was denied because I didn't know HRSDC confirmation was required as I read that NAFTA allowed some exemptions... What a mistake and a missed opportunity.

Anyway, my question about moving from SF is this... I was born in Tennessee and moved to Chicago and Portland, OR looking for substitutes here in the US in lieu of my Canadian dream never working... Unfortunately Portland didn't do it for me, I lived every day up there still wanting to move to Canada and found myself visiting Vancouver as much as spending a weekend in downtown Portland exploring what was locally available.

So what I was wondering is what your experience is like coming from SF, one of the more interesting places in the US, in relation to a move to Toronto? Did you feel much like I did in Portland, an otherwise amazing city, just feeling that you're stuck in an overall situation in the US that can't be changed?? That's what I felt like in Portland, I felt like I was in an outpost in an otherwise right-leaning nation that is hopeless. LOL

Its more complicated than that, but wanted your comments...

In the mean time, I moved back to where I grew up to gain some financial footing and try to save money for a permanent move to Toronto. I decided it was easier to move to TO from here in the eastern US than to move from Portland... But living in TN is taking a toll on my sanity. LOL

Brandon said...

Oh, and one addition, I had an immigration consultant review my application and apparently all of my moving over the past few years (I've had 6 jobs in the past 4 years) has really reduced the liklihood of an application being accepted unless I have an employer willing to sponsor... Have you heard whether or not that has any bearings on a case? I only got one opinion and didn't know what anyone else would have to say.

Adam said...

You should continue your research on Nafta Visas. To my understanding, they are the easiest and with the right qualifications (e.g. a college/University degree) you may be able to get a Canadian Work Permit without having to get a Canadian Sponsored Labor Market Opinion First. I had not heard of CIC denying anyone based on the number of times they change employment. Could be, but, if you have the work skills they need...Anyway, please take a look at the "advise" links on the blog, "We Move to Canada". Apparently they have suspended accepting *any* applications for permanent residence at this time.

In regard to our S.F. experience, we loved the S.F. Bay Area. We both have family there and besides the extreme cost of living is a great place to live...we are just tired of U.S. politics.

Brandon said...

Thanks for the information. I have read a little about the new government's changes to immigration, but still it seems no one understands the new ramifications 100%.

BTW, you sound kind of like me then. There are some amazing places in the US, but I just feel like overall the context will never change regardless whether there is a Republican or Democrat in office. That's just politics, another thing for me is simply a lifestyle issue. I like the way Canadian cities feel compared with US cities. I know that one probably has several people puzzled, but its true that when you talk about crime levels, the amount of small businesses, and just a different ambience there is a subtle difference to the Canadian way of life.

I have always loved to compare Detroit with Windsor. While Windsor is one of Canada's more industrial cities, its still not a depressed craphole like its neighbor across the river. You see a lively downtown and lots of small businesses that seem to thrive in the area, real estate never seems to skyrocket out of control in Toronto like it would in San Francisco or New York...

For me its a holistic thing. Politics, culture, lifestyle. The fact you're not paying taxes to feed a world police hungry war machine...

So yea, that's my reasoning. Hopefully someday this dream will be realized, I'm hoping by the time I'm 30 that I will have full Canadian residency on a permanent basis, and I'm going to keep trying to get something temporary in the mean time to fill that in... I just get tired of waiting (don't we all)! ;)

Adam said...

Brandon
You have much of the "whys" covered. I look forward to further exploring the vibe of Toronto and other Canadian cities and comparing that to those of the U.S. During my recent week in Toronto both Eric and I noticed a very specific Toronto city character and liked it a lot. And in regard to the U.S., I, like many others, don't think the political climate will change the character much in the near future. Even if Obama wins the general election I believe that it will be "business as usual". If the U.S. is lucky the damage BushCo has inflicted might be repaired in a decade. There's more but I think you already get the idea.

Yeah! Don't wait to immigrate. Keep doing the research and post your resume on the Canadian job sites. Keep it all active and with some luck an employer may show some interest. The amount of work for a Canadian employer is not extreme. Eric's Toronto employer at first hesitated. Become an expert at that as well so you can make short the LMO learning curve of your potential employer.

Keep trying!

Kevin said...

Your story gives me hope. I'm in the process of trying to figure out the immigration policies now. While I ultimately want to end up in Vancouver, BC; I'd take anything in Canada, honestly. I love the people, the political climate, and the idea of "We're all in this together" that I feel in Canada.

Please keep blogging. Those of us starting our Canadian hunts need your stories to give us strength.

Adam said...

Kevin
My Eric and I also strive to live in Vancouver some day...but the perfect job was in TO and after doing the research we knew we would love it there as well. I agree with all your sentiments regarding Canada. Keep reading, check out the other "worthy" blogs - all are U.S. to Canada immigration blogs and are full of great info and insights.