We landed - our experience

Canada Immigration Forum (discussion group)

Subject: We landed - our experience
  Hi all,

Yesterday we got our permanent residency status, very happy after 2 years of processing. For those who might be in a similar case, I think it might be good to share a few things we went through yesterday. We have been in Canada for 2 years under work and study permit (my wife and I). All the application process (CSQ first for Quebec, then the Federal process) was done while here in Canada (Montreal). We went through all the regular processes, got our passports stamped and decided to drive yesterday to the border to get our permanent status.

What we want to share (for those in a similar case) is what happened at the US border. In short, when asked our reason to visit the US, we truthfully said that it was mainly to go back into Canada to get our residency. The officer then said that then we would have to be refused entry into the US (eventhough we had everything in order to make a visit to the U.S. i.e. passports and u.s. visas), and now everytime are asked in the future if we have been refused entry before, we will have to say ´yes´. That was pretty strange. She said that since our primary reason was to settle paperwork in canada, we first had to settle that... and that we had to go into the U.S. side offices because they had to give us some paperwork we needed before turning back to the canadian side. That really sounded weired, since what would they have to say about us getting permanent residency in canada. We asked that what if we go first to have dinner at some place in the U.S.... well, we could not do that anymore since we already told her what our intention was. She said it was the ´process´... the refusal ´should not affect us´... but honestly, I´m sure now we´ll have to be explaining every single time we visit the u.s. why we were refused and see if it really does not affect anything. I think they don´t understand the process really well... they even said that if we had just gone to the u.s. to visit, when returning to the canadian side we would not have been able to change our status, since the u.s. officer wouldn´t have given us some paper we needed... WELL...the only paper they gave us in the u.s. side was a ´refusal to entry´ letter. We then went to the canadian side, and applied without problem for the residency, that letter had nothing to do... ofcourse, they asked all the questions about if we didn´t buy anything in the U.S... they have no idea we had been ´refused´ entry in the US.. There was no reason at all for the U.S. side to refuse us entry... ofcourse nothing they did has anything to do with us getting our status changed in Canada.

So, if you are in that situation... forget about explaining to the U.S. officer about why you are at the border. Just say you are going to visit some city... then at some point you can just turn around back if you want (of course, if you don´t have visa or papers to enter the u.s. you´ll have to say that it´s just to go back in to canada... since you can´t go into the U.S. anyway).

I am not confident at all that our ´no-reason-at-all´ refusal to entry to the U.S. will have an effect on further entries... maybe now we´ll have to go through additional ´question periods´??? I hope they documented very well the reason in their system.
HOWEVER... eventhough it is not our case (we are from Mexico, so we always need a visa to enter the u.s.)... I just read something where people from US Visa Waiver countries might want to be careful (i.e. from Austria, Australia, Italy, UK, and quite a few others...). I read that even if you are from one of those countries, if you have been refused entry to the U.S. in the past, then you will need to apply for a U.S visa to enter... so if you have this stupid refusal on file... that will surely affect you. So again, just say you are going to visit some place...

So... just a heads up. That was our experience.. quite stupid from the U.S. side. We were treated well, but quite a stupid ´process´ that may have some effect later on... In terms of coming into the canadian side... very pleased. We were treated very kindly and welcomed very nicely (eventhough we have been here for 2 years already).

Anyway way, our timeline:

August 2004 applied for CSQ (Quebec)
July 2005 got CSQ
August 2005 applied Federal
Sept 2005 AOR
Oct 2005 additional paperwork/ medical request
Nov 2005 medicals
May 2006 PPR
June 2006 sent passports
July 2006 passports back
July 2006 landed

take care everyone...

(in reply to: We landed - our experience)
Congraluations!!! by the way, can tell us what was your category? Why it is takes long after medicals? Any idea. thanks
(in reply to: We landed - our experience)
Can you tell us whay port you came through to the US please. And congrats on landing!!
(in reply to: We landed - our experience)
et merci pour l´histoire

(in reply to: We landed - our experience)

the category was skilled worker, as Quebec selected applicants. As for the delay between medicals and PPR... not sure, I actually sent an email around April to ask about the status, and got it in May... it may have triggered them to review and note that all was ready.

The port of entry was at Lacolle, QC (by land).

(in reply to: We landed - our experience)
I will be immigrating from New York to Quebec through Lacolle in a month or so. Hopefully mine will go smoothly too...
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