The first thing IRCC does upon receiving your application package is to make sure you have included all the required forms and supporting documents and that you have included your receipt for payment of all relevant fees.
- If not, your application package will be returned to you as incomplete and will not be processed.
- If your application has all the forms and supporting documents, you’ll receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter or email and an application number. That means you’ve passed the first hurdle and your application will now be processed.
Assessing Sponsor Eligibility
Remember that IRCC is assessing both the sponsor and the principal applicant.
The first to be assessed by IRCC is the Sponsor, who will be examined to see if they meet the eligibility requirements that we listed at the beginning of the tutorial in Chapter 3 where we covered form IMM 1344 where the Sponsor applies to sponsor the applicant and agrees to the undertakings they are responsible for as a sponsor.
IRCC will send an email or letter to the sponsor advising them of their decision as to the sponsor’s eligibility.
ü If your sponsorship application is approved, then the principal applicant’s application for permanent residence will be forwarded to the appropriate processing office for further review. The principal applicant will then receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt letter or email, indicating that their application for permanent residence has been received and is now being processed.
ü If your sponsorship application is denied, the IRCC will send the sponsor an email or letter explaining why. See the next chapter to understand the options you have if your sponsorship application is refused.
If the principal applicant receives any requests for further documents – something that can happen fairly frequently during the processing of a permanent residence application – then you should respond to the request as soon as possible.
- If you delay too long or don’t respond to a request from IRCC for further documentation, your application may be refused.
- IRCC will do medical, security, and background checks on the principal applicant.
- IRCC will then contact either the sponsor or the spouse/partner to confirm the interview for permanent residence where the final decision will be made on whether to approve the principal applicant’s request for permanent residence status.
Family Class Sponsorship (outland) Approvals:
When the principal applicant is approved for permanent residence status, IRCC will:
- Issue a visa and a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) document and a Permanent Resident Visa to the principal applicant and any accompanying family members (usually the dependent children and any dependent children of theirs).
- Inform the principal application that they must be the first to enter Canada – this means that any accompanying family members can travel to Canada with them or after the principal applicant travels to Canada, but NOT BEFORE the principal applicant does. If they arrive before the principal applicant they will NOT be eligible for permanent residence status and can only come on a visitor visa.
The principal applicant and any accompanying dependents (or other family members) must travel to Canada before their COPR and PR visa expire – check the expiry dates and make sure your flight is at least a week or two before that date.
Additionally, they must present these documents (COPR & PR Visa) to an immigration officer during 2 (usually brief) screening interviews at the Port of Entry (usually the airport your flight arrives at).
- The first screening interview is similar to an interview at any immigration booth in airports around the world. You’ll show your visa (in your passport or other travel document) and answer questions about your health and status – how much money you have with you, how long you plan to stay, have you been convicted of serious criminality, etc.
- The second screening interview is similar to a customs check at any airport. You’ll be asked about any personal goods you are bringing with you – please don’t try to bring firearms for example or any goods like exotic plants or pets; it will only complicate what is already an exciting but stressful process.
Note: If the principal applicant is a conjugal partner they will not be listed as such on the COPR since it is not a legal term in general Canadian law, only a recognized category within the IRPA (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act).
Finally, as long as you have provided a mailing address in your application forms – often this will be the sponsor’s address in Canada where you will be living together – then IRCC will mail you your Permanent Resident Card within a month or 2 after you arrive in Canada.
- If you have not provided a mailing address in Canada, then you must go here to IRCC’s online tool for changes of address and provide your address in Canada within 180 days of becoming a permanent resident or your PR Card will be cancelled.
- You will then have to start a new application for a PR Card and pay a set of fees associated with that new application. Save yourself this trouble and make sure you have provided your address in Canada in your application package.
Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada Class (inland) Approvals:
The Case Processing Centre (CPC) that has handled the application will send a letter or email to the principal applicant instructing them to schedule an appointment at the nearest local immigration office in Canada for the final stage of processing.
The local immigration office will:
- Ensure any dependents are still eligible – that their medical exams are still valid and that their background checks are clean.
- Verify that the Right of Permanent Residence fee has been paid (which we recommend be paid with the other fees rather than waiting for approval of the application – but that is your choice).
- Issue the COPR and initiate the process for the Permanent Resident card.
- Inform the visa office that is processing any overseas family members the principal applicant may have, that permanent residence has been approved for the principal applicant.
The visa office then issues COPRs and Permanent Residence visas to any dependents (or other family members) living abroad.
Wondering if your paperwork is right?
Worried a mistake might mean weeks and weeks of delay?
We’ll make sure everything’s correct, so you can have peace of mind.