Top 5 things to do before you submit your Canadian Immigration Application
Some Canadian Immigration applications are still processed the old fashioned way – by paper. If you are applying to sponsor a family member, to renew your PR card, as a Provincial Nominee or applying for Canadian Citizenship, here are our best tips to consider before sending your application out the door.
1. Check forms validity.
Every Canadian immigration form or document checklist has its publication date in the bottom left-hand corner of the form. Anytime the form is changed, the new publication date is recorded. When submitting a paper application, you need to ensure that you are sending the most recent version of each particular form. Ensure that you check the online version of each form and compare the publication date to the forms you have prepared. If the online form has been updated, then you need to also update your copy before you submit your application.
2. Double check signature dates.
Forms will only be accepted as valid by IRCC if the signatures on each form are less than 90 days old on the day that the application is received by IRCC. If your forms are too old when received at the processing center, IRCC will return your entire application to you and tell you to start over. Also, it’s important that your forms have not been signed before you actually qualify for the application that you are making. For example, if you are applying for a common-law sponsorship, ensure that your forms are signed and dated after you have met the requirement for 1-year of cohabitation. If you sign your forms too early, you will be refused because you don’t actually qualify.
3. Keep a complete copy of your application, exactly as you are sending it.
Immediately before sending your application, take a complete scan of the application, or make a complete paper copy. This is important for so many reasons. Envelopes can get lost in the mail, IRCC can lose pages of your application, and at some point, you may need to remember all of the dates you have provided (like when you apply for Citizenship, or PR card renewal). Further, if IRCC comes back to you at a future date and says they are not satisfied that you qualify for the program you have applied for, you will be given a period of time to make new submissions to show them that you do qualify. At that point, it will be very important for you to be able to review what you have provided, in order to understand what additional information you can provide to bolster your application.
4. Send it using a method that you can trace – either Express Post or courier.
You need to be able to prove that your application was received by IRCC and when it was received. There are many instances when you may need this information – to help IRCC track down an application that is taking longer than expected, or to prove one application in the context of another (for example, if you need to make a work permit application on the basis of your PR application in process). Once you have sent the application, ensure that you track the delivery and save proof of the delivery until you have some kind of communication from IRCC that tells you they have received your application.
5. Double check your photos.
The passport size photos that need to be included with a paper immigration application cause all kinds of problems, and in some cases, can even cause your application to be returned to you, unprocessed. Pay close attention to the photo specs for the type of application you are submitting. Measure the frame size of your photo to ensure it matches the requirements of the specs. Measure your photo from your chin to the top of your head and ensure that the size of your head is within the minimum and maximum measurements indicated on the photo specs. Check to see what kind of information is required on the back of the photos. You generally require the photographer’s name, address and the date the photo was taken along with your own name and date of birth.
The Way Immigration has developed a robust quality assurance process to ensure that files leaving our office will meet the standards of IRCC. Often the most valuable service that we provide to our clients is the assurance that your application is done properly, and you don’t need to worry. Immigration is stressful – let us help you reduce your stress with our expert approach.