After months of waiting we finally received our Canadian Permanent Residency this week!  We read countless forum posts trying to work out the expected timelines but in the end none of them were particularly accurate.  For anyone going through the same process my advice would be to stay patient and know that it is coming despite a lack of updates; don’t read too much into the panicky forum posts you’ll find around the net. Also, double and triple check all of your forms.  We had some friends that got forms sent back for being incomplete and that really seems to delay your application.  For reference our time line was as follows:

  • Jan 2013 - Applied for Provincial Nomination (PNP) in BC (we live in Vancouver)
  • Feb 2013 - Received our PNP approval and started collating all of the documents to send to CIC
  • March 2013 - Sent our application pack into CIC 
  • April 2013 - Received notification from CIC that they had received our application
  • May 2013 - Were asked to complete a medical exam (others we had read about received this request much later in the process, it seems to vary).
  • May 2013 - We booked our immigration medical (be warned; it’s not cheap and you can’t claim any of it on MSP or any other insurance policy).  The centre we went to on West Broadway in Vancouver sent the results directly to CIC for us (not for free of course!)
  • June 2013 - Noticed on the CIC website that our status updated to “Medical Results received” but the overall status was still just “Received”
  • September 2013 - We were asked to submit our Right to Permanent Residency fee along with most recent copied of our passports (mine was set to expire fairly soon) along with an updated list of our most recent activity in the country.
  • October 2013 - After sending off and received my updated passport we sent all the requested information to CIC.  That was the last we heard from them in a while (our status on the CIC tracking website still read “Received”)
  • Feb 2013 - Our status on the CIC website finally changed to “In Process” but we didn’t get any correspondence to go with it
  • March 2013 - Our status on the CIC website changed to “Decision Made”.  Again, no correspondence to go with this.
  • March 2013 - Our Confirmation of Permanent Residency letters arrived in the mail about 3-4 days after the status on the website changed to “Decision Made”.  If I hadn’t checked the status website these would have arrived completely out of the blue.  Unlike others we know we didn’t get any emails about these status changes.

Hopefully the above will help others in a similar position.  The wait times seem to change fairly frequently and the order you get emails/status updates seems to vary widely between applications so stay patient and it will come through!  We applied within Canada (we were on work permits before hand) so once we received our COPR we drove down to Peace Arch to activate the permits (you need to take the letter with you along with passports).  We had read that you needed proof of address but they didn’t ask to see it; we were just asked us to write down where we wanted the PR card to be sent. 

Next step, PR cards!  We were told they would take around 6-8 weeks to arrive but you won’t need them to get your new permanent SIN and MSP.