Step 2: Applying for PR

So, your profile has been selected to apply for PR — congratulations!!! You now have 90 days to get all your supporting documents together, so lets get started.

When you log into your profile you should now see a personal document checklist showing all the documents you will need to submit with your application along with instructions for each document requested. Below I have given some tips and shared our experience for some of the more difficult parts.

1. FBI Report (police certificate)

This piece of paper will most likely take the longest to get. Hopefully you are already working on this one, since it was included under “Step 1”.  If you haven’t started, go back to the “Step 1” instructions and hit the ground running, since it can take up to 14 weeks to process.

2. Money

Canada requires that you show that you have enough money to support yourself, and you will need to provide proof of these funds. As of September 2017 the requirement is $12,300 CAD for one person and $15,312 CAD for two, add $3,314 for each additional family member.

Funds must be “readily available”, so this means that a 401k, stock, or property cannot be used to fulfill this requirement (unless you liquidate the assets).

For proof of funds, you will need to obtain an official letter from your bank(s), since your monthly bank statement will not be sufficient. We found that the best way to get these was by going to a branch location with a print-out in hand of the requirements. This is not a routine request for them, so it is important that you stress that it must meet all requirements. If necessary, request to speak to a manager, and be patient, this might take more than one visit.

For a detailed description of the requirements go here:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/funds.asp

3. Employment Records

Get ready for some awkward conversations. You will need to get letters from all of your employers in order to provide proof of your work experience. If your employer already knows that you have DACA, it might just be as simple as telling them that you need it for “immigration purposes” and leave it at that. If not, you might need to get a little creative. If you don’t want your employer to know you are moving to Canada, you can have them address the letter “to whom it may concern”, since there is no requirement that the letter say anything about Canada. At the beginning, this was one of the requirements I was dreading the most, but it I am gland to report that it really wasn’t that bad.

In addition to the letters from employers I also submitted copies of all of my offer letters, plus copies of all of my pay stubs from my current job. I did this because the two companies I have worked for were not willing or able to give me a letter that met all of the requirements. I suspect that this was because large companies have strict rules on what they will provide in terms of employment verification. On the other hand, my husband was able to work with his employer to get a letter that met every requirement. If you, like myself, are having a hard time obtaining a letter that meets all requirements, don’t stress, and instead look into what other documents you can provide as support.

4. Medical Exam

I have heard that depending on where you live these can take a while to schedule, but in our case we got an appointment right away. Only a panel physician can perform the medical exam, and there aren’t that many of them. In the state where we live there is a whopping 2 doctors. So don’t wait on this, and schedule your appointment as soon as possible.

The medical exam itself consisted of a chest x-ray, blood and urine samples and a quick chat with the doctor while he checked our stomachs and back. From the documents we received it looked like the blood samples where being used to test for HIV and syphilis, but I am not sure what they were looking for in the x-rays and urine sample. As far as cost, I can’t seem to remember anymore, except that it was expensive.

You can find a panel physician here:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/pp-md/pp-list.aspx

5. Other Documents

Make sure that you provide support for every single item requested. If you are reading ahead and don’t actually have a profile yet, some of the other documents you will be asked to provide are copies of passports, marriage certificates, copies of college diplomas, birth certificates, etc.

Finally…

6. Fees

You have the option of paying your application fees now, or when your application is approved. However, it is strongly recommended that you pay them now instead of later in order to avoid delays. You can expect to pay about $1,000 CAD per person. Also, before submitting the payment make sure you call your bank to give them a heads-up, that way payment won’t be denied for looking suspicious, since this will be an international transaction.

After Submitting your application

Once you submit your application Canada has 6 months to either approve or deny your application. In our case our application got approved in less than 3 months. We submitted our application on May 31st and on August 2nd we received an email from CIC  saying that we were “Ready for Visa”. So  if you have a pretty straight forward case you can expect shorter processing times. For this last step we had to physically mail them copies of our passport (you may need to send your actual passport if your country of origin is not visa exempt) and passport pictures. Note that US passport pictures are not the same as Canadian pictures. To make sure you get the size correct I recommend you skip CVS and go to a professional passport pictures place. After mailing the requested documents to Ottawa we had to wait another 20 days to finally have the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) documents in our hands. These are the documents that need to be presented at the border or when landing into Canada.