Here are some tips for preparing your Permanent Residency (PR) application to submit to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
1. Keep copies of your documents
Retain complete copies of whatever you submit to CIC for your own records. You should know what your application for permanent residency contained and said. If you are requested to attend an interview or CIC is questioning something, you need to know what was in your application when you submitted it.
2. Follow the CIC Checklist
Make sure you read and understand every word of that checklist so you know exactly what they are looking for. Ensure that you have included everything they are requesting if it is applicable to you. You can also add additional documents if you believe your application needs them to prove that you should be granted permanent residence. Remember, the onus is on the applicant to prove that they meet the requirements of the program.
3. Don’t use staples
Use paper clips or binder clips to hold your application together. When CIC gets an application they drill a hole in the upper left hand corner of the documents and insert a fastener to hold the application together. It frustrates them to have to remove a bunch of staples, so make it easy on these people. You’re trying to impress them.
4. Track your package
Send your application by a trackable method such as Xpress Post or a courier, and save the receipt. This is your proof that your application has been submitted. And ensure you send it to the right address, which will be on the checklist.
5. Complete the application forms on a computer
Do the application forms on a computer. Don’t handwrite them. This should be a no-brainer in this age, but it’s worth stating and repeating. Completing the form electronically is easier and reduces the risk of errors that can slow down the application process.
If you’ve got something special to say to CIC about your case, include it in a cover letter.
7. Be complete and accurate
If you need more space for any section, use an extra sheet of paper and submit it along with your application. On the top of each additional sheet, write:
- the name of the principal applicant,
- the form number (e.g. IMM 0008), and
- the number and/or letter of the section you are completing.
8. Keep track of the expiry date on your passport
Applications can be delayed or denied because the applicant has failed to notice that their passport is out of date or will be out of date imminently. Don’t be the one who makes this elementary error.
9. Don’t leave gaps in time
CIC want to know where you’ve been, why you were there, and when you went there — and that’s just for vacation. You will also have to supply a detailed employment and study history (if applicable). Gaps in time are deemed as incomplete applications and will delay or hinder your overall application.
10. Never lie when applying for permanent residency
Not even a little white lie. Lies can and will hurt your application for permanent residency, even if you don’t get caught immediately. If it is found that you’ve obtained permanent residence through fraudulent means, which includes misrepresenting the facts on your application, they can even take away citizenship many years later. Don’t risk it. Tell the truth and nothing but the truth.