Read all about the steps we went through to prepare for our Canada immigration: Family sponsorship application.

In this blog post, we intend to share the steps (and suggestions!) we followed to apply for Family Sponsorship in Canada and obtain a Permanent Resident Card.

Canada Family Sponsorship

Gather Documentation

Once we made the decision to immigrate to Canada via Family Sponsorship, the next crucial step was to confirm our eligibility to apply.

We downloaded the application package from the IRCC website, which is very clear and easy to follow. We took note of all required documentation we were expected to provide, and started preparing our application.

More details on how we prepared our Family Sponsorship Application for Canada Immigration.

Submit Application to IRCC

We spent 3 months preparing and finalizing our application prior to submitting it to IRCC. The printed application, including all supplementary documentation had over 300 pages. We paid our immigration fees and used a courier with tracked delivery to send our application to IRCC.

Biometric Instruction Letter

The first correspondence we received from IRCC was a letter for the principal applicant to submit biometrics at a VAC (Visa Application Centre) within a stipulated timeframe. There are many VACs across the world, however if you live on a tiny island (like we did!), chances are that you won’t have one available locally. In that case, you can choose to visit any VAC in the country most convenient to you.

You should contact the VAC you choose and book an appointment in advance.

The logistics of travelling abroad during the peak of COVID-19 did not make for an easy task. Given that many countries were imposing strict quarantine rules, we finally managed to book an appointment with the VAC in Istanbul, Turkey. The biometrics were provided 2 months after receiving the letter from IRCC.

Medical Instruction Letter

The Medical Instruction Letter from IRCC was received only 1 day after we received the Biometric Instruction Letter.

We then found an eligible doctor in our country of residence.

We were required to land in Canada within 1 year of providing our medical exam (otherwise we may have had to re-take the medical exam). For this reason, we submitted the Principal Applicant’s medical exam only after biometrics were provided (2 months after receiving the letter).

Submit Passport & Photos to IRCC

2 months after we submitted the Principal Applicant’s biometrics and medical exam, we received another letter from IRCC asking us to submit the following:

  • Copy of passport (A copy was enough in our case, since we did not require a VISA)
  • 4 photos (make sure to follow IRCC’s photo guidelines)
  • Updated Client Information Chart (An 1-page attachment to the letter)
  • VAC Consent form + fees

Receive COPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence)

We received our COPR 2 weeks after submitting a copy of the Principal Applicant’s passport. It took a total of 7 months for us to receive our COPR from the day we submitted our family sponsorship application. Based on what we read online, we were actually expecting much worse!

The COPR would have expired a year from the medical exam date. This gave us more than enough time to settle our affairs in our home country and prepare for our move to Canada.

Landing in Canada

We left our home country and landed in Canada to become a permanent resident, approximately 3 months after receiving the COPR.

Whilst going through Canada border immigration, the CBSA officer collected the original copy of the COPR and gave us a copy. Do make sure that the CBSA officer signs and dates the copy they give you (ours was not dated, and this delayed our Ontario Health card application later on).

Received PR Card

So far, the process had went smoothly; however actually receiving the Permanent Resident Card proved to be more complicated.

IRCC publishes the expected processing times for new permanent resident cards; however our PR card did not arrive within the expected timeframes.

IMPORTANT: If you decide to leave Canada once you become a permanent resident , you will not be able to fly into Canada without a PR Card. This was a problem for us, since we intended to travel soon after landing in Canada.

2 months after arriving in Canada, we received an email saying that the photos we had submitted as part of our application were rejected (no reason as to why they were rejected was provided). We immediately took a new set of photos and submitted them to IRCC. For months after providing the new set of photos, we heard nothing about status or if IRCC had even received them.

Eventually, 5 months after landing in Canada as a permanent resident, we received an email stating that the PR card had been sent. We received the PR card in the mail 3 weeks later.


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