The importance of keeping track of your immigration paperwork
Congratulations! You have survived the wait and stacks of forms and paperwork. You landed and received your Confirmation of Permanent Residence and PR card. You are officially a Canadian Permanent Resident -Fantastic! Now feel free to lose track of your paperwork -You won’t need that anymore!
An article published today in the Toronto Star details the struggles of retired Toronto school teacher Elisabeth Horley McLeod who was denied her Old Age Security pension because she was unable to produce her landing papers showing the date she arrived in Canada. In order to access the Old Age Security pension, Canadian citizens who were not born in Canada must provide proof of the date they arrived in Canada in order to demonstrate they meet the requirement of a minimum 10 years of residence in Canada after reaching age 18.
Understandably, as McLeod arrived in Canada when she was just 4 years old (over 60 years ago), she had trouble locating her record of landing. Although she was able to produce her Canadian passport, citizenship document, and tax returns, unfortunately none of this documentation proves the date she arrived in Canada. McLeod goes on to explain her struggles to find the appropriate way of requesting a replacement record of landing, including futile searches, unanswered inquiries, and finally reaching out to her local MP.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Like many immigration matters, the information available can sometimes feel daunting. But, staying organized and asking for assistance when needed is your best strategy. Here are some tips to keep in mind once you have obtained your permanent residence status in Canada:
-Keep a copy of your landing papers (known either as “Record of Landing” or “Confirmation of Permanent Residence”) and keep them in a safe place
-Keep track of all days you travel to ensure you meet the residency requirements to both maintain your permanent residence status as well as to apply for citizenship
-Track the expiry of your PR card – it is needed for any international travel by commercial carrier
-Apply for citizenship when you are eligible
-Contact a lawyer for advice and assistance
For more information on permanent residence applications, or any Canadian immigration matter, please contact the PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.
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