Landing in Canada as a Permanent Resident
Congratulations, you have received your Confirmation of Permanent Residency and can now land in Canada as a permanent resident! What does this mean though? What can you expect at the border. Here is a brief overview of the next steps.
You must enter Canada within the validity of your permanent resident visa (COPR). This cannot be extended. The validity date is connected to the expiry date of the medical examination results as well as to the validity of your passport.
If you are in Canada already, you can exit the Canada-USA border and re-enter, showing the border officer your Confirmation of Permanent Residency and supporting documentation. Or you can request an appointment at a Citizenship and Immigration Canada office. If you are outside of Canada, you will land at the airport and present your Confirmation of Permanent Residency to the officer. The principal applicant must land first. If family members are part of the application and were approved for permanent residency, they can land at the same time as the principal applicant or land at a later date, but not before the principal applicant.
When you are the border, you will show the officer your Confirmation of Permanent Residency and supporting documents outlined below. The officer will ask you some standard questions. If he is satisfied that you are still eligible for permanent residency, he will grant you permanent residency status.
Permanent Resident Card
The officer will ask for a Canadian mailing address to mail you your initial permanent resident card. There is no fee. The permanent resident card takes 2-3 months to receive and will be sent to the Canadian address. If you do not have an address in Canada yet, you can use a friend, family or your representative’s address. It can then be couriered to you since you will want the card for the next time you travel to Canada.
What Documentation to Bring
There are several documents you should have at the border with you. These are:
- Confirmation of Permanent Residency for you and accompany family members
- Passports or travel documents for you and your accompanying family members
- 2 copies of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) B4 forms
- 2 copies of detailed list of personal and household items you have with you (You can use the CBSA B4A form)
- 2 copies of detailed list of personal and household items you will bring to Canada at a future date (You can use the CBSA B4A form). Items coming to Canada at a later date must all be listed for you to not pay tax or duty.
- Proof of funds to show that you can support yourself for the first 6 months. This can be recent
You should also bring with you:
- Birth certificate or adoption papers
- Family records
- Medical records
- Official school records for children (if you have children accompanying you)
- Valid driver’s licence or other identification documents
- Vehicle registration documents (if you are importing a vehicle)
If you are arriving as a Skilled Worker (i.e. Canadian Experience Class, Skilled Worker, and Provincial
Nominee), bring with you:
- Education credentials
- Reference letters from previous and current employers (if you are arriving as a skilled worker)
- Professional or trade licences or qualification certificates (if you are arriving as a skilled worker)
- Up-to-date résumé or summary of work experience
After landing in Canada, you may decide to go back to your home country to finalize your move. There is no issue with this. Once you become a landed immigrant, you are free to travel in and out of Canada.
If you leave Canada before you receive your permanent residency card, you may need to apply for a single-use permanent residency travel document to return to Canada. If you hold a passport from a country that does not need a visitor visa to come to Canada, you should be able to enter Canada without your permanent resident card.
Visit our What it means to be a Permanent Resident Blog so you know what to expect as a permanent resident. Also, here are some great resources for your first few months as a landed immigrant!
Welcome to Canada Guide
Provides an overview of Canada – places to live, finding a job, understanding Canadian law, the postal
system and taxation
CBSA Settling in Canada
Gives details on how to import your personal items to Canada
Life in BC Guide
Provides overview of living in BC- where to live, education system, driver’s license and healthcare
You First Few Days in BC Checklist
An excellent checklist to help you when you first settle in BC, including how to get your Social Insurance
Number, healthcare, children’s education and banking
Details on BC’s Medical Services Plan
BC Driver’s License
Details on ICBC and BC Driver’s License