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Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Applying for Canada PR

Immigration applications can be lengthy and confusing. It’s possible to complete a Canada PR application alone (see my personal experience here) but it can be helpful to seek advice from a professional in the field. Immigration Consultants know what errors often lead to applications being returned or refused. 

Today, Jade Calver from Calver and Associates Canadian Immigration Services shares the top 10 most common mistakes people make when applying for Canadian Permanent Residency.


1. Using the wrong version of the application form

It’s important to double-check that you are using the most recent version of the form you are completing for your Canada PR. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regularly updates forms and you must submit the current version for your application to be approved. 


2. Using a different name

If you use a different name on your application form than you’ve used on previous immigration documents, your application may be returned. The name you write on your Canada PR application form should be the same as the name of your previous PR card or your original IMM1000 Record of Landing. 


3. Incomplete travel history

You must keep track of your travel outside of Canada – this includes every overnight trip you took outside of Canada. Day trips are not counted against your residency requirement. However, if you spend the night outside of Canada, this counts as one day outside of the country. The Government of Canada has a helpful travel log you can use to keep track of your time spent outside of Canada. 


4. Inconsistent information

You should review all of your forms to ensure that all personal information, such as your name, height, eye colour, and date of landing are the same on all forms for your Canada PR. Inconsistencies in information may raise a red flag for a visa officer reviewing the application.


5. Not including all pages of your passport

You must include every page of the passport you’ve held for the last 5 years. Even if pages are blank (contain no stamps), the passport has expired, or you hold a passport for more than one country. Regardless, you must submit copies of all pages to IRCC to demonstrate you meet the Canada PR requirements. 


6. Photos

There are specific requirements for the photos you submit with your PR application. These requirements differ from passport photo requirements. 

  • There are size requirements for your face (31-36mm in height)  and the size of the actual photo (50mm x 70mm).
  • On the back of the photo, you must print your name in addition to the name and address of the business who took your photos.
  • Your face cannot be obscured in any way (i.e. by your hair, a head covering, or a hat).
  • The photos must be current; they cannot be older than 1 year.


7. Gaps in time

You should account for every event that took place in the five year period of your form. This includes information about your travel history, employment history, and study history. If IRCC sees gaps in time, your Canada PR application may take longer to process or be returned altogether. If there are gaps in any of these areas (e.g. unemployment), make note of this and offer as much information about this period of time as possible. 


8. Dates

When you sign your application forms, be sure to write the date you signed the application on. Some applicants accidentally fill this section with their birth date instead. 


9. Additional documents

You should provide a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Notice of Assessment for at least the previous two years. If you’re a student applying for Canada PR and you don’t file taxes, you should provide copies of official transcripts from your school for the last two years (or more). These documents will help show you were in Canada during this time. 


10. Secondary ID

You must include a copy of your IMM1000 Record of Landing and a piece of Canadian provincial ID. You could include, for example, a Canadian driver’s license. It’s important to note, however, that Health Cards are not accepted as a form of secondary identification.


These are the most common errors applicants make on the Canada Permanent Residency application. Oftentimes, a careful double- or triple-check can save you from having your application returned or refused. It can also be helpful to review the Canada PR eligibility requirements to ensure you meet each one. 

Best of luck with your application!  Do you have any further questions or would like to share your advice for the PR application process? Comment below.

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