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Dealing with the bureaucracy of Canada’s immigration system can be a daunting task. The laws, rules and regulations create a complicated process that results in misinformation being passed around as truth. The following five myths are common falsehoods, all of which can confuse your journey as permanent resident, or worse, cause you to accidentally become expelled from the country.
When you successfully apply for permanent residency within Canada, there’s a temptation to believe that permanent residency is permanent, regardless of how you decide to proceed once you’ve received your card. However, if the government of Canada believes that you haven’t been meeting your obligations to maintain your permanent residency, you may find yourself in a situation where your status as a PR becomes challenged.
The information provided by the Government of Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship website outlines the loss of permanent residency if “an adjudicator determines that you are no longer a permanent resident following an inquiry” or if “a visa officer determines you do not meet the required residency when you apply for a permanent resident travel document or temporary resident travel document.”
Another method through which permanent residency is lost is through Canadian citizenship. Alternatively, you may also apply to voluntarily renounce permanent residency, which is a good idea if you wish to travel to Canada but foresee that you will not be able to meet the obligations to maintain your status as a permanent resident.
Often, permanent residents of Canada spend plenty of time outside the borders of Canada, whether travelling for family, business or pleasure. While the Canadian government doesn’t restrict entry and exit of permanent residents, some permanent residents may be surprised to find that they must spend a certain amount of time within Canadian borders to maintain their obligations.
If you spend two out of five years living outside of Canada, you may find yourself in danger of losing PR rights and status. Making matters more complex is the fact that the five-year window may shift, so that any stretch of five years in which you’ve been away for more than two may be counted against your obligations.
The information that you provide as you apply for your permanent residency becomes a part of permanent records, which may be accessed and fact-checked at any time. As a result, if you provide misinformation, whether accidentally or purposefully, you risk losing the privilege to work and live within the borders of Canada.
There are a variety of reasons why the government of Canada would check the information of your application after awarding status, which means that misinformation could be discovered at any time. In fact, providing the wrong information on any government application form could lead to the Canadian government expelling you from the country as a permanent resident.
Some people worry that their status will be revoked if they accidentally lose their permanent residency card. If this happen to you, all you need to do is contact your local government immigration office to arrange a replacement.
Your PR card is identification that reflects your status, similar to how a passport or a birth certificate isn’t Canadian citizenship, but a reflection of status as a citizen. It’s important to replace your PR card as soon as possible, but you won’t be kicked out of the country if you lose this document.
It’s especially important to replace your card to avoid headaches at the border. If you don’t have it with you when you return to Canada, you’ll be required to get a Permanent Resident Travel Document to return via commercial jet.
One of the most common permanent residency myths involves the belief that you need to be married in order for an application to be successful. However, Canada doesn’t consider marriage as a obligation to apply for status.
Typically, the minimum requirement is for a couple to be living as married for a year, which is considered to be a common-law arrangement. The Canadian government is aware that there are scenarios which may have made it impossible for couples to spend the required time together. In these cases, you may apply for status as conjugal partners while explaining the circumstances behind the problem, such as religious or ethnic persecution.
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