A couple of months ago, I had blogged about our immigration story in order to share our experience with the world. In particular, I had mentioned details about our son’s case, since he was born outside Canada (a non-PR) and faced difficulty getting a tourist visa to join us.
For those of you who read the series, you know that he eventually got a Temporary Resident Permit and flew in to Canada with me. Post reading my blog series, many young parents have contacted me with questions. Some are in India, some here in Canada; some already have a child without a PR and some are expecting a new baby. I have tried my best to help and advice in each case and it is heartening to know that others have been able to benefit from our experience.
I realized, while speaking to these new parents, that I have not yet shared the final chapter in my son’s immigration story. So here’s a post about how he eventually got his Canadian Permanent Residence.
To briefly recap, my husband and I were PRs of Canada before our son was born in India. When we all decided to move to Canada, my son’s first application for Temporary Resident Visa was rejected. My husband flew down to Canada then and began the sponsorship process for our little one. For six weeks, the baby and I waited in Ivory Coast, following which we got a Temporary Resident Permit. The two of us were finally able to fly in to Canada and reunite with my husband.
We got on with our lives here, but at the back of our minds the concern remained that our son’s papers were temporary and his sponsorship was yet to be completed. Two months after the sponsorship application had been submitted; we received a note from IRCC asking for our son’s medical tests to be conducted. We drove down to the nearest Panel Physician as per the list provided to us and paid nearly $150 to complete this formality too.
After another month had lapsed, we received the much awaited email asking for our son’s passport to be submitted. Unfortunately, there was a roadblock once again. The mail asked us to send the passport to the embassy at Senegal which had been handling our case while we had been in Africa. After moving to Canada, we had recorded our change of address with IRCC and informed both Canadian authorities as well as the embassy in Senegal about the child’s relocation to Canada. Now we were confused as to whether his passport did indeed have to be sent all the way back to Africa.
Emails to Dakar, Senegal went unanswered for weeks. We were fast approaching the 30-day deadline they had issued us. Finally, we were able to get on a call with the immigration helpdesk in Canada. The lady on the line told us not to courier the baby’s passport outside Canada and to continue trying to contact Dakar. We can’t do anything, she said, until Dakar does not transfer your case on to Canada.
The deadline came and went by. I was frightened. Would we have to start the entire sponsorship process all over again? Finally, a good six weeks after we had first tried to establish contact, Dakar responded. They had transferred our case to Ottawa. The passport had to be couriered there.
Five months after we had initiated sponsorship, our son finally received his passport with a visa and his Confirmation of Permanent Residence. He now needed to do an “official landing” to become a landed PR. Further research told us that we could book an appointment with the IRCC office in Etobicoke and take our son there for his ‘landing.’
Two weeks short of his second birthday, our little baby, oblivious to all the confusion regarding his paperwork, waved a cheerful ‘Hi’ to the immigration officer behind the counter. She smiled and signed his COPR, and he became an official Permanent Resident of Canada.
If it is of any help, I am mentioning a brief summary of the dates of our applications:
Mid December 2017: We apply for our son’s TRV
Mid January 2018: TRV rejected
End January 2018: We apply for our son’s TRP
1 February 2018: My husband arrives in Canada and submits the sponsorship application
1 March 2018: Our son receives a Temporary Resident Permit allowing him to enter Canada
27 March 2018: Our son is asked to undergo a medical examination for the purpose of PR
3 April 2018: My husband receives confirmation of his eligibility as a sponsor
10 April 2018: Our son’s PR application is transferred to Dakar, post which we fill out their online form to update our address from Ivory Coast to Canada
30 April 2018: Letter asking for the passport to be couriered to Dakar. We try to contact them repeatedly about our relocation to Canada and hence, transfer of case to Canada
14 June 2018: Our case is transferred to Ottawa, Canada. We dispatch his passport.
11 July 2018: We receive our son’s passport with a visa for landing, along with COPR
24 July 2018: Our son ‘lands’ in the IRCC office at Etobicoke and becomes a PR
If any of you are in a similar situation or know anyone who is going through an experience like ours, feel free to contact me. I am happy to answer any questions in the hope that it will save others from the separation and angst we went through.
Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.