Twelve Tips On How To Prepare For Your Permanent Residence Application

Over the years, Canada looks out to welcome a lot of people into the country as permanent residents and the number keeps increasing as the year goes by. In 2019, Canada welcomed about 341,000 people from across the globe, and in 2021, about 351,000 permanent residents got into the country and even more (361,000) in 2022.

Canada has gradually increased their immigration level using this approach, if not for anything but the incredible advantages gotten such as job opportunities and the fulfillment of skills and labour shortages across the country.

Are you willing to be the next in line to ace it the first time when you apply for permanent residence in Canada? If yes, you just have to adhere to our top 12 tips to preparing your Canada PR application to submit to Immigration Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and they are:

12 Tips On How To Submit A Successful Permanent Residence Application 

Please kindly note that the tips below apply to all types of Canada Permanent Residence applications which include Provincial Nominee Programs, Express Entry Programs, and Family Class Programs.

1. Find the best out of over 100 visa programs you are eligible for

  Interestingly, Canada has numerous immigration programs within its three vast categories (economic, family class, refugee, and humanitarian) and this implies that you have more chances of qualifying for a visa compared to other top immigration destinations with fewer available options. 

While some of the Canadian programs are based on points, others are first-come, first-served, and some need a sponsor while others do not. Some of the programs have restricted intake targets, therefore, do not remain open for a long time while some are designed to fulfil temporary skills shortages.

Sadly, with the numerous programs available, it could be more tasking for you to figure out the right program for you and your family. You may be wondering how to start? 

What are the eligibility requirements? How you can shortlist your best options? You can employ the use of our immigration guide to ensure that you know the best pathway for you before diving in.

2. Consider seeking professional help of RCICs and/or representation from an expert

We understand that the first step can be daunting, this is why we advise you to seek professional help from Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) since they have legally authorized representatives and members in good relationship with the immigration consultants of the Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and can answer your questions, give a detailed explanation of the process, and if you desire, they can provide representation on your behalf to the Canadian immigration authorities to ensure optimal results from the beginning to the end.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that it is possible to complete the Canada Permanent Resident application alone but we just want to let you know that help is always available.

3. Get your documents ready even if you have not been asked to submit them.

In the course of your permanent residency application process, you will be required to provide certain documents and some of these documents can take months before you can obtain them simply because of the slower procedure in your resident country. Immigration programs like the Express Entry system require you to submit your permanent residency application to the IRCC within 60 days.

Do not be tempted to wait until you are formally asked to submit your application before you can start gathering your documents or you may risk missing the application deadline. One of such documents that may require time to process is a police background check. While the law enforcement agencies of some countries issue these background checks within days or weeks with little or no fuss, others can be very slow at completing the background checks, sometimes it may take months before the documents are issued. Other such documents that need to be collected earlier depending on your situation are; work reference letters, civil status documents, and so on.

4. Cross-check the expiration dates of your documents.

Sometimes, permanent residence applications are rejected or delayed not because the candidate is not qualified but because the applicant did not go through the instructions, confirm an assumption, address a concern or accidentally submit an expired document. Though we earlier advised that you should gather your documents in advance, nevertheless, there are certain documents with shorter expiry dates that you should keep in mind.

The aforementioned risk can be avoided if you carefully go through the material, check and double-check the document checklist, and get someone who can provide answers to your questions to address your concerns if any.

5. Adhere to the instructions carefully

Truthfully, there is no particular checklist for immigration to Canada that is why during your Canada PR application, IRCC will provide a specific checklist based on the immigration program you are applying to. The checklist has been developed based on your unique circumstances, and it is expedient that you adhere to them.

When trying to fill out the government forms for Canadian immigration, you should be very careful because spelling mistakes, illegible handwriting, and not correctly addressing a question could make them send back your application and in worst cases, even reject it. 

You can mitigate this by reading the instructions carefully, for instance, if a question does not apply to your case, you are required to write N/A instead of leaving it open to interpretation.

6. Give accurate information in your Canada PR application (Never lie)

Are you tempted to attach a few more hours of work experience to your application? You should resist the urge to lie during this process because it could jeopardize your chances of pursuing a new life in Canada. 

After all, the IRCC considers lying on an immigration application as ‘misinterpretation’ and you can be criminally prosecuted or banned from getting into Canada for a minimum of 5 years.

If for whatever reason you are not able to provide the answers to the questions on the list, IRCC may be open to receiving an explanation in the form of a letter including a letter to back up your claims and you must be accurate about it especially when explaining why certain documents were not submitted.

7. Do not leave gaps in your life history

You are advised not to leave any gaps in time of your Canada PR application, you may be wondering why? It is simple – The IRCC requires a comprehensive report of your personal history and once any gap is noticed in your timeline, they would want to know where you have been, why you were there and when you went there. 

This may result in a delay in your application or even hinder your application. You must account for your life for the past 10 years including your study, travel history (countries visited, why and for how long), employment, and even period of unemployment.

 Though this may seem difficult, it is achievable. Go through your itineraries and email archives, they are good places to start, check the stamps in your passport if you are not sure of the exact date you entered or left a country, it should be available in your travel documents if you need help remembering it. 

Also, we advise you to provide more information than what is required to cover all your bases.

8.  Notify IRCC if there is any change in circumstance

You should inform the IRCC of any change in your situation through the use of the IRCC online web form. Such changes could be an addition to your family (a newborn or spouse) especially if you want the person to accompany you to Canada, an address change, completion of a higher level of education, divorced or separated and so on. 

You should try and keep the IRCC updated on any of such developments as your application is being processed.

9. Keep a record of expiry dates

We already highlighted the importance of keeping the expiry dates of your document in mind. If by any means you find it difficult to remember everything, you should consider setting up reminders for yourself through a calendar as this will assist you to stay on top of your application.  

Below are some of the documents that will be required in your Canada PR application and you should keep a track of their expiry dates:

  • Passport
  • Work/study permit
  • Police background check
  • Bank statement
  • Language test results
  • Medical assessment
  • Invitation to apply

10. Get copies of each of your documents

It is a good idea to keep copies of your documents and submitted forms whether they are in physical or electronic form. If you are applying via Express Entry, you could take snapshots of the various pages of your profile as your go through the process before submitting the actual Canada Permanent Residence form. 
This is necessary because you never can tell when you may need to refer to some aspect of your application along the line, so you are advised to always have copies of everything stored safely in electronic form and/ electronic form. Ensure that your scanner is your friend.

11. Talk to those that have gone through the same process

You are neither the first nor the last person to apply for immigration to Canada. Currently, there are thousands of other applicants in similar positions who are attempting to become permanent citizens in Canada. 

You can join the Moving2Canada Forum or check out the Moving2Canada PR/Express Entry Group on Facebook if you wish to interact with other applicants, it could also be an easier means of getting more information.

12. Get ready for your interview

Well, there is no need to panic because not everyone will be invited for an immigration interview. The interview solely depends on the category of immigration you applied for. 

For instance, Skilled immigration categories such as Express Entry applicants are not required to attend an interview. It is this interview that will serve as a determining factor on whether you are granted PR status or not. You will be sent instructions by the IRCC about what documents to bring with you, and the time and venue of the interview.

These are the popular questions that you could be asked in the interview;

  • Do you have any reason for wanting to relocate to Canada?
  • What can you say is your greatest challenge in moving to Canada?
  • What are your reasons for wanting to leave your home country?
  • Do you know the Canadian provinces and can you list them?
  • Do you know the average cost of living in Canada?
  • Do you have any relations (family or friends) in Canada?
  • If your application is not approved, what would you do?

In conclusion, we recommend that you consult with an RCIC before submitting If you want to ensure your best chances of getting approval on your Canadian permanent residency application.

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