Apply abroad or in Canada?

Old Apr 21st 2008, 1:16 pm
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Default Apply abroad or in Canada?

Hi. I am a Canadian citizen living in the US for the past 10 years and am now returning to Canada in July/August 2008. I met my wife here in the US. She is British and has also lived in the US for about 10 years. I have started filling out the application forms for sponsoring her from the US before I arrive in Canada. I have a job offer and she stays at home with the kids so a work permit is not necessary right now. I have several questions that I hope some one may be able to answer:

1. Is it a good idea to start the process now while in the US? Is 3 months enough time to have it processed?

2. What happens if we move to Canada while her application is in process?

3. Is it better to have her enter as a British tourist/visitor for 6 months and start the application from within Canada as soon as we arrive?

4. If we do that, what happens if 6 months pass and she hasn't received her residence? Can she extend her stay?

I could have the whole package sent off by next week- just the FBI background check to wait for- if anyone has any experience with this kind of choice please respond or email me directly. Thanks for any information.

Colby
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Old Apr 21st 2008, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Apply abroad or in Canada?

hi,

I am not an expert, but i think the earlier you submit the application, the better. I dont think it would be completed in 3months (please confirm). As a British citizen she can enter Canada as visitor(ie if everything is ok).

i have seen many threads similar to yours in this forum. make a search for it and you surely would get a lot of information

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Old Apr 22nd 2008, 4:27 am
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Default Re: Apply abroad or in Canada?

Originally Posted by czaph
Hi. I am a Canadian citizen living in the US for the past 10 years and am now returning to Canada in July/August 2008. I met my wife here in the US.
Outland spousal applications are much quicker than inland spousal applications. Outland applications typically are processed in half the time. It might be about six months for an outland application and a year (sometimes even eighteen months) for an inland application.

While your wife would have the option of submitting an inland application once you were living in Canada, it would be way quicker for her to submit her application to the Canadian High Commission in London. She could do this regardless of the place in which you were living at the time of her application.

As a British citizen, you wife most likely will be admitted to Canada as a visitor for six months. That is not guaranteed, but it's the norm.

If she has not received her permanent residence visa a month before her first six months as a visitor is up, she should submit an application to extend her stay as a visitor. Once she has submitted the application for an extension, and until she hears back from the government, she has what is called implied authorization to remain in Canada.

Oh yes, I've just remembered, some members of this forum who were in your wife's position have reported here that the immigration officer (IO) at their port of entry authorized them to stay in Canada for 12 months right off the bat. That is, when the IO heard that the visitor was accompanying a Canadian spouse to Canada, he/she just issued a 12-month authorization then and there.

Issues that may arise while your wife has visitor status is whether or not she is eligible for the health care insurance plan of the relevant province and whether or not she is eligible for a driver's licence in the relevant province.

In Alberta, where I live, a spouse who is here on visitor status, but who is married to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, is eligible for the provincial health care insurance plan.

If I remember correctly, the driver's licence issue becomes more problematic for a visiting spouse after the first few months.

You would need to find out the rules for the province to which you're moving.
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Old Apr 22nd 2008, 5:18 am
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Default Re: Apply abroad or in Canada?

Thanks for the replies. I just got off the phone with Health Insurance BC and Andrew on the phone assured me that I can add my wife as long as I include copies of the marriage certificate and her visitors visa. I will definitely try to get a 12 month visa at the border.

So I guess the last question is do I send the application to London or to Buffalo? Anyone have experience at either- I know which place I would rather travel to for an interview...

Again thanks for all the info.

Colby
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Old Apr 22nd 2008, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Apply abroad or in Canada?

Originally Posted by czaph
Hi. I am a Canadian citizen living in the US for the past 10 years and am now returning to Canada in July/August 2008. I met my wife here in the US. She is British and has also lived in the US for about 10 years. I have started filling out the application forms for sponsoring her from the US before I arrive in Canada. I have a job offer and she stays at home with the kids so a work permit is not necessary right now. I have several questions that I hope some one may be able to answer:

1. Is it a good idea to start the process now while in the US? Is 3 months enough time to have it processed?

2. What happens if we move to Canada while her application is in process?

3. Is it better to have her enter as a British tourist/visitor for 6 months and start the application from within Canada as soon as we arrive?

4. If we do that, what happens if 6 months pass and she hasn't received her residence? Can she extend her stay?
Much, much better usually to get the right visa before arriving in Canada. Arriving as tourist with a hope of sorting it out afterwards is asking for trouble.

Have both of you got your American citizenship, and if not, have you thought about the pros and cons of obtaining that before leaving?
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Old Apr 22nd 2008, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: Apply abroad or in Canada?

Thanks for the reply-

What do you mean by the right visa? I thought the only option would be a visitor's visa-
Recently I have heard that some people in my position have been given 12 month visitor's visas for their UK spouse at the border after explaining that the application is in process. If you are aware of other "safer" visas to apply for, I would love to know about them.

I have been in the US on F, J and TN visas for the 10 years- so I never had the opportunity to get a green card let alone citizenship.

Thanks.

Colby
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Old Apr 22nd 2008, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: Apply abroad or in Canada?

Originally Posted by czaph
Thanks for the reply-

What do you mean by the right visa? I thought the only option would be a visitor's visa-
The "right" visa is a spousal immigrant visa, issued by the Canadian Embassy or Consulate.
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Old Apr 22nd 2008, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Apply abroad or in Canada?

Originally Posted by JAJ
The "right" visa is a spousal immigrant visa, issued by the Canadian Embassy or Consulate.
Jeremy, I am mystified by your response. The original poster is a Canadian citizen with a British wife. There are many forum members who are in the same position as this couple. We've seen several instances of British spouses of Canadian citizens coming to Canada as visitors (without visas, since they're citizens of a visa waiver country). They have then lived in Canada as visitors while they've waited for their permanent residence applications to be processed.

AlexinBC is an example of a British spouse of a Canadian citizen who, without asking, received authorization to remain in Canada for 12 months when the immigration officer at her port of entry realized her situation.

I realize a foreigner cannot assume that he/she will be admitted for more than the usual 6 months. Indeed, he/she cannot assume that he/she will be admitted to Canada at all, since the IO has the authority to use his/her discretion in admitting a visitor to Canada.

But the norm that I've seen on this forum has been for British spouses of Canadian citizens to be admitted to Canada for at least 6 months when they've presented themselves as visitors at Canadian ports of entry.

Jeremy, perhaps you were just trying to warn the OP that the visitor route was not entirely without risk and that the only really safe route was for him to sponsor his wife and for his wife to apply for a PR visa.

I take your point, but it sounds as if the OP doesn't have enough time to do that. From one of his original questions, I gathered that he was hoping to move back to Canada within 3 months. If his wife's application was couriered to a Canadian visa post today, the PR visa might be granted within the next 3 months. (Within the last couple of days, someone reported that London had issued a PR visa for his spouse in 68 days.) But I've seen several instances in which it has taken considerably longer. I don't think it's at all safe to plan around a PR visa being issued within 3 months.

So, if time is of the essence, and if I were in the OP's spouse's shoes, I think I'd submit my sponsorship / PR application as soon as possible. If my PR visa had not arrived when it was time for my family to move to Canada, I'd risk entering as a visitor.

Colby, I don't know which visa post would process your wife's application more quickly -- London or Buffalo. I take your point that Buffalo would be more convenient if your wife was asked to attend an interview.

I believe your wife would have the option of applying through Buffalo only if the application was submitted while you still were living in the USA. Once you move to Canada, I believe the only option for an outland application will be London.

Hope that helps.
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Old Apr 22nd 2008, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: Apply abroad or in Canada?

Thanks Judy and Jeremy- I really appreciate the comments- I have heard (on this site) about entering while in process and getting 12 month visitor status- but I have also seen on several websites that entering as a visitor with a PR application is "dual intent":
(this is taken verbatim from http://www.canadaimmigrationlaw.net/...ual_intent.htm)
The concurrent intent to be a visitor and an immigrant is referred to as dual intent. According to the Canadian Immigration Selection and Control manual which immigration officers are legally bound to adhere to, an individual who has applied for Canadian permanent residence (PR) is subject to the same requirements as others when seeking entry into Canada as a visitor. The individual should therefore possess reasonable purposes for entry and should understand that he or she must leave Canada in order to receive the immigrant visa.

The implications for this vary with an individual's place of residence. For countries where residents enjoy relatively easy flow across Canadian borders, PR applicants may utilize the ease of entry in order to better acquaint themselves with their intended destination. Those residing in regions that do not enjoy this benefit will not necessarily suffer in their PR application, however.

A non-immigrant application may be more closely scrutinized in the presence of a concurrent immigration application, as there is an apparent tendency to immigrate. If the ties of the applicant to his/her home can be demonstrated, however, such an application may succeed. The presence of a non-immigrant application should have no effect on an immigration application.


So this is a concern that I think Jeremy was trying to point out- but I agree with Judy in that I would risk it and try to enter Canada with my wife as a visitor and try to get a 12 month visa. I am going to apply to Buffalo as soon as the FBI check comes back- and if it does not arrive in time then I think the options are to contact my politically connected employer (longshot), my MP (longshot) or enter and wait (likely).

Again thanks for the input- it really has put my mind at ease. I will follow up with the timeline of things- hopefully I can beat the 68 day record!

And I was wasn't thinking about convenience...have you been to Buffalo?

Cheers, Colby
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