Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) will be testing a pilot project that will provide a select group of Permanent Resident (“PR”) applicants the opportunity to complete the landing process in person at a local IRCC office in Canada.
Between March 19 and April 20, 2018, IRCC will be contacting a select group of PR applicants via email, from an address ending in “@cic.gc.ca”. The pilot project will extend to certain PR applicants residing in the Montreal, Fredericton and Halifax areas, who have recently received their Confirmation of PR documentation. However, only PR applicants who are contacted by IRCC via email will be able to use this landing process and participation in this pilot project cannot be requested. This landing alternative is also not available for applicants who reside outside Canada. The email received from IRCC will list the dates and times the applicant may visit their local IRCC office to complete the PR landing process.
The current process requires PR applicants to either contact IRCC to schedule an appointment to visit their local IRCC office, or to leave Canada and return to the country through an international airport or Canadian land border, often referred to as “flag poling”. The current process can pose difficulties for those who do not live close to a land border or who are not able to make immediate international travel plans. Although PR applicants may contact IRCC to schedule an appointment and visit a local office, getting through to an IRCC agent over the phone can also be difficult.
Upon completion, and based on the results of the pilot project, IRCC will determine whether this landing process should be expanded to include other areas in Canada and form part of the normal landing process.
Similar to previous initiatives, such as the pilot project to land via telephone interview, IRCC continues to develop ways to provide more flexibility and convenience in an effort to improve client service.
This initiative may offer an efficient alternative to flag-poling at a Canada-U.S. land border, scheduling international travel or scheduling an in-person landing interview with IRCC.
For more information on Canadian permanent residency and/or the PR landing process, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.