I am French and my husband is Canadian. We met in Iceland, Europe when we were both traveling in 2008. We love each other and have a daughter together. It should be simple. But it is not. The genuinety of our love and many other things are being closely examined as we speak. We are undergoing a permanent residence application under family class so that I can work, study and do everything Canadian (without the hassle).
You will need to:
- Be patient. It can take between 5 to 26 months depending on your country of origin, based on a complete application package “once Step 1 has been completed”. What is Step 1? It is the assessment of your sponsor. In our case, the Paris office has a 8 month-time frame.
- Save Up. It costs money. To give you an idea, we are up to $ 1400 not including two medical examinations (they expire) which are 400 dollars each, and passport pictures.
- Don’t get easily offended. Yes. Be ready to tell them everything about your relationship with your partner. Click on this link if you wanna know what the Spouse/Common-law partner Questionnaire is about which, I believe, is a newer/shorter version of what I had to fill in: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM5285E.PDF Sample of the funniest/strangest or most offending questions: “Did your sponsor give you any gifts?”, “Did you and your sponsor go on outings/trips together? – Describe the type of outings/trips and attach photos if any”,”if your sponsor has been involved in more than one relationship, use a separate sheet of paper to provide details.”
- Be Healthy. The Medical Examination includes general check-up, personal health questions, urine sample, blood work, weight, height, and chest X-ray.
- Be Extremely Patient. Or make sure your application is top-notch as you might need to provide missing documents at a later date thus slowing down the already-long application process.
- Get Yourself a (love) Keepsake Box. And USE IT. It will come handy. You will have to prove your relationship with pictures, travel tickets and others. So even if you aren’t the romantic kind, you are gonna have to be !
- Keep faith. It will happen eventually. You just don’t know when.
- Be able to speak/read/understand one of the two official languages of the country. English. French. Or even better, BOTH.
- Outside or Inside application. Make the right choice. Or you may not be legally entitled to work in Canada or travel outside the country.
- Finally, you will have to provide police clearance certificates from every country you have lived in for 6 months and up. I had to pay about 80 dollars to prove I didn’t commit any crime in London at the age of 20 and at the age of 25. And it took forever to get this document.
We are now (impatiently) waiting for me to be granted permanent residency. Fingers crossed ! I will keep you updated !
From which country are you applying for permanent residency? And if you are a PR, how long did it take you? Was it easy, or did you struggle? Do you advice for other people in your situation? Thank you !