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Live in Canada and work in the US

ozonezone234

Star Member
Mar 11, 2011
128
16
I need help from you all. I am about to apply to renew my PR card. I live in Windsor and commute to work in the US so I need to have a card that is valid. I had periods when I had to be in the US for weeks or months at a time so I had to rent an apartment there. my family was always in Canada so I kept my apartment in Canada also.

1. Problem is I had residencies in both countries at once and I’m not sure what address to use?

2. I had at least 500 exit from Canada over past 5 years so There is a high likelihood that I will get selected for secondary review. However all my exits was to the US. What is the best way to avoid secondary review? Should I submit the documents they ask for secondary review in advance?
 

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
4,772
1,858
I need help from you all. I am about to apply to renew my PR card. I live in Windsor and commute to work in the US so I need to have a card that is valid. I had periods when I had to be in the US for weeks or months at a time so I had to rent an apartment there. my family was always in Canada so I kept my apartment in Canada also.

1. Problem is I had residencies in both countries at once and I’m not sure what address to use?

2. I had at least 500 exit from Canada over past 5 years so There is a high likelihood that I will get selected for secondary review. However all my exits was to the US. What is the best way to avoid secondary review? Should I submit the documents they ask for secondary review in advance?
So far as Canada is concerned, what matters most is that you are in compliance with the PR Residency Obligation. A PR does not need a valid PR card to enter Canada via private transportation.

So, unless you need the PR card for some other reason, even if the PRC application is referred for Secondary Review that should not be too problematic.

In particular, assuming you commute via private automobile, you do not necessarily need a currently valid PR card in order to return to Canada daily or weekly. Indeed, a pattern of regularly commuting is readily apparent to border officers, and while presenting an expired PR card may occasionally result in additional questions and sometimes a referral to Secondary, that should go relatively smoothly, and the likelihood of a referral to Secondary should decrease significantly after the second or third time (if not the first).

Obviously, a pattern of daily commuting better establishes the extent to which you maintain ties in Canada, as compared, say, to periodically returning to Canada for weekends or holidays.

While you do not describe the commuting pattern in detail, there is some suggestion (given the apartment in the U.S.) it has NOT been a DAILY commute. On the other hand, you refer to "500 exits" from Canada during the preceding five years, which does suggest a regular pattern of some sort.

Assuming you either entered Canada through a regular PIL (booth) examination, presenting PR card to booth officer, OR you have used NEXUS driving your own vehicle, IRCC will be able to readily access a record of the times you entered Canada. Unless you are a U.S. citizen, it should also be able to access the record of your exits, as reflected by entries into the U.S.

By the way, 500 entry dates into Canada automatically documents at least 500 days presence in Canada, and assuming these all involved staying in Canada overnight, this practically documents a minimum of 1000 days presence in Canada. Easily meeting the PR RO.

In other words, especially if you are indeed predominantly based in Canada, unless the extent of your absences is significantly greater than you suggest, you should have minimal problems . . . no problems being allowed in at the border even without a valid PR card . . . no problem being issued a new PRC (and even if the PRC application is referred for a Secondary Review, that should not be so long as many report in the forum).

As for how to fill in the application: use your best judgment and be honest. Obviously, if you were staying outside Canada for more than a calendar month, you should list the actual address where you were living for that calendar month. Otherwise, list the address at which you were actually living for any given calendar month. Your history of absences will detail where you were actually staying anyway.


Submitting Additional Documents:

Probably no reason to submit any additional documents; no reason to submit any documents other than those called for in the application instructions and checklist.

In following PR and citizenship cases for a decade now, I have seen near zero credible evidence that including additional documents with an application will help. I have seen isolated claims otherwise, on occasion, but those are invariably unverified and largely suspect claims. On the other hand, there are scores and scores of reports, anecdotal and in official sources (IAD and Federal Court cases, and in the past some internal CIC memos), illustrating instances in which additional information made no difference.

And that is what makes sense. IRCC procedure is to make a decision based on the information specified in the forms for applying (be that for a PRC or a PR TD or citizenship). If that information is sufficient to make a decision, the decision is made accordingly. If that information is not sufficient, if IRCC has concerns requiring further examination of additional information, there is a process for that (such as a referral for Secondary Review), and thus the application will be referred to that process.

That is, if IRCC has questions which will typically result in an application for a PRC being referred to Secondary Review, it is NOT as if a processing agent will review additional information before deciding to refer the application to SR.

By the way, it appears that many if not most PRC applications referred for SR do not result in the PR being required to submit additional information. Often, if not usually, the PR simply has to wait.[/S]
 

ozonezone234

Star Member
Mar 11, 2011
128
16
So far as Canada is concerned, what matters most is that you are in compliance with the PR Residency Obligation. A PR does not need a valid PR card to enter Canada via private transportation.

So, unless you need the PR card for some other reason, even if the PRC application is referred for Secondary Review that should not be too problematic.

In particular, assuming you commute via private automobile, you do not necessarily need a currently valid PR card in order to return to Canada daily or weekly. Indeed, a pattern of regularly commuting is readily apparent to border officers, and while presenting an expired PR card may occasionally result in additional questions and sometimes a referral to Secondary, that should go relatively smoothly, and the likelihood of a referral to Secondary should decrease significantly after the second or third time (if not the first).

Obviously, a pattern of daily commuting better establishes the extent to which you maintain ties in Canada, as compared, say, to periodically returning to Canada for weekends or holidays.

While you do not describe the commuting pattern in detail, there is some suggestion (given the apartment in the U.S.) it has NOT been a DAILY commute. On the other hand, you refer to "500 exits" from Canada during the preceding five years, which does suggest a regular pattern of some sort.

Assuming you either entered Canada through a regular PIL (booth) examination, presenting PR card to booth officer, OR you have used NEXUS driving your own vehicle, IRCC will be able to readily access a record of the times you entered Canada. Unless you are a U.S. citizen, it should also be able to access the record of your exits, as reflected by entries into the U.S.

By the way, 500 entry dates into Canada automatically documents at least 500 days presence in Canada, and assuming these all involved staying in Canada overnight, this practically documents a minimum of 1000 days presence in Canada. Easily meeting the PR RO.

In other words, especially if you are indeed predominantly based in Canada, unless the extent of your absences is significantly greater than you suggest, you should have minimal problems . . . no problems being allowed in at the border even without a valid PR card . . . no problem being issued a new PRC (and even if the PRC application is referred for a Secondary Review, that should not be so long as many report in the forum).

As for how to fill in the application: use your best judgment and be honest. Obviously, if you were staying outside Canada for more than a calendar month, you should list the actual address where you were living for that calendar month. Otherwise, list the address at which you were actually living for any given calendar month. Your history of absences will detail where you were actually staying anyway.


Submitting Additional Documents:

Probably no reason to submit any additional documents; no reason to submit any documents other than those called for in the application instructions and checklist.

In following PR and citizenship cases for a decade now, I have seen near zero credible evidence that including additional documents with an application will help. I have seen isolated claims otherwise, on occasion, but those are invariably unverified and largely suspect claims. On the other hand, there are scores and scores of reports, anecdotal and in official sources (IAD and Federal Court cases, and in the past some internal CIC memos), illustrating instances in which additional information made no difference.

And that is what makes sense. IRCC procedure is to make a decision based on the information specified in the forms for applying (be that for a PRC or a PR TD or citizenship). If that information is sufficient to make a decision, the decision is made accordingly. If that information is not sufficient, if IRCC has concerns requiring further examination of additional information, there is a process for that (such as a referral for Secondary Review), and thus the application will be referred to that process.

That is, if IRCC has questions which will typically result in an application for a PRC being referred to Secondary Review, it is NOT as if a processing agent will review additional information before deciding to refer the application to SR.

By the way, it appears that many if not most PRC applications referred for SR do not result in the PR being required to submit additional information. Often, if not usually, the PR simply has to wait.[/S]
Hi dpenabill. You are a ROCK STAR in this forum. Thanks for replying. To provide more context. I will actually be eligible to apply for citizenship Jan 2019. Unfortunately my PR Card also expires Jan 2019. However the only reason I wanted to renew the card was so I could continue to enter Canada between Jan 2019 when I apply for citizenship and when I actually become a citizen (hopefully mid 2019). I AM NOT AWARE THAT I CAN ENTER CANADA WITH AN EXPIRED PR CARD? ARE YOU ABLE TO PROVIDE A LINK? I cross the border always in my private vehicle.
I actually have a NEXUS card which is valid until 2020 which I usually use to enter Canada. In my past 50 enteries I think I have been asked for my PR card maybe once or twice but I figured I should have a valid card just in case they asked. Maybe 500 enteries is an exaggeration but I would say I have at least 250. Since I am compliant with my RO It would be great if I save my time and money

In terms of my US apartment. I usually go to work in the US on Monday come back Monday, go on Tuesday come back Wednesday and go on Thursday and come back Friday. That way I get full credit for Residency Obligation. I only sleep in the US Tuesday and Thursday only. However in the past there has been periods where I had to sleep in the US for weeks. My longest stay I had in the US was 2-3 months ( this happened 2 or3 times). I have few that are also a week or two long but most have been daily absences. DO YOU STILL THINK I SHOULD LIST THE US ADDRESS? ESPECIALLY SINCE I WAS THERE FOR THE 3 MONTHS AT A TIME AT SOME POINT? I want to be honest. I am thinking of including both my Canadian and US address for the same date and include a note explaining why I have 2 address for the same. I don’t know if that will complicate issues.

Thanks in advance
 

ozonezone234

Star Member
Mar 11, 2011
128
16
Also just wondering does applying for PR renewal and having them do all the background checks now make my citizenship application faster in 6 months time or so since those background checks have already been done. Or would they need to do everything all over again for citizenship
 

Rigly68

Hero Member
Apr 16, 2013
768
88
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
Hi dpenabill. You are a ROCK STAR in this forum. Thanks for replying. To provide more context. I will actually be eligible to apply for citizenship Jan 2019. Unfortunately my PR Card also expires Jan 2019. However the only reason I wanted to renew the card was so I could continue to enter Canada between Jan 2019 when I apply for citizenship and when I actually become a citizen (hopefully mid 2019). I AM NOT AWARE THAT I CAN ENTER CANADA WITH AN EXPIRED PR CARD? ARE YOU ABLE TO PROVIDE A LINK? I cross the border always in my private vehicle.
I actually have a NEXUS card which is valid until 2020 which I usually use to enter Canada. In my past 50 enteries I think I have been asked for my PR card maybe once or twice but I figured I should have a valid card just in case they asked. Maybe 500 enteries is an exaggeration but I would say I have at least 250. Since I am compliant with my RO It would be great if I save my time and money

In terms of my US apartment. I usually go to work in the US on Monday come back Monday, go on Tuesday come back Wednesday and go on Thursday and come back Friday. That way I get full credit for Residency Obligation. I only sleep in the US Tuesday and Thursday only. However in the past there has been periods where I had to sleep in the US for weeks. My longest stay I had in the US was 2-3 months ( this happened 2 or3 times). I have few that are also a week or two long but most have been daily absences. DO YOU STILL THINK I SHOULD LIST THE US ADDRESS? ESPECIALLY SINCE I WAS THERE FOR THE 3 MONTHS AT A TIME AT SOME POINT? I want to be honest. I am thinking of including both my Canadian and US address for the same date and include a note explaining why I have 2 address for the same. I don’t know if that will complicate issues.

Thanks in advance
You can use your COPR with your NEXUS and passport: http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html - …… "Permanent residents of Canada who are members of the NEXUS or FAST programs must travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence, and may be asked to present these documents to the officer upon arrival at the border."
 

ozonezone234

Star Member
Mar 11, 2011
128
16
You can use your COPR with your NEXUS and passport: http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html - …… "Permanent residents of Canada who are members of the NEXUS or FAST programs must travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence, and may be asked to present these documents to the officer upon arrival at the border."
You bring up an excellent point. I have actually re-entered Canada using COPR and passport in the past through land border and I had no issues. however that was several years ago before I received PR card. I wasn’t sure if I could do that on an expired PR card. Will look into it. Thanks
 

ozonezone234

Star Member
Mar 11, 2011
128
16
Based on the initial comments above (plus I will do some more research) I am leaning towards NOT renewing my PR card. I’ll continue to use NEXUS card once PR card expires and hopefully become a citizen a few months after that. I will carry COPR and expired PR card and passport as backup just in case.
Wondering if any other experienced members have any opposing views on this
 

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
4,772
1,858
I AM NOT AWARE THAT I CAN ENTER CANADA WITH AN EXPIRED PR CARD? ARE YOU ABLE TO PROVIDE A LINK?
This is commonly and clearly understood; there is no question about this.

As for IRCC authority, this is implicit but not explicitly stated in the IRCC information which describes, with some emphasis, that the PR card (or PR TD) is necessary "when boarding a flight to Canada, or traveling to Canada on any other commercial carrier."
See https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/new-immigrants/pr-card/understand-pr-status.html

As in, the IRCC information does NOT assert a PR card is needed to enter Canada.

In any event, a PR is statutorily entitled to enter Canada. All the traveling PR needs to do is establish identity and status. A passport will ordinarily suffice, but presenting some additional documentation which clearly shows PR status, such as the CoPR or an expired PR card, generally facilitates things at the PoE. Makes the officer's job easier. Only question then is whether there are any PR Residency Obligation compliance questions. For someone frequently traveling back and forth over a period of several years, there is little or no reason for the border officer to have concerns about PR RO compliance.

CAVEAT: I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH PARTICULAR RULES FOR TRAVELING WITH NEXUS. I am not familiar with what documentation a NEXUS traveler is required to carry and present on request.


I actually have a NEXUS card which is valid until 2020 which I usually use to enter Canada. In my past 50 enteries I think I have been asked for my PR card maybe once or twice but I figured I should have a valid card just in case they asked. Maybe 500 enteries is an exaggeration but I would say I have at least 250. Since I am compliant with my RO . . .
As I noted previously, the main thing is compliance with the PR RO and the more overtly clear this is, the better.

Without attempting to assess your particular circumstances in detail (remember, I am NOT qualified to offer personal advice), it appears that you easily meet the PR RO and that is readily apparent. If this is indeed the case, you really should have minimal or NO problems continuing to cross the border even after your PR card expires.


CITIZENSHIP versus PR CARD:

I do not have time to get into the weeds about this, but the CROSS-BORDER COMMUTER scenario has very different implications for a citizenship application in contrast to a PR card renewal/replacement application. For present purposes, being a cross-border commuter appears to NOT raise issues or cause problems relative to PR RO questions, at least so long as the individual readily appears to be in compliance with the PR RO. In contrast, cross-border commuter cases APPEAR to invite non-routine processing and a more skeptical approach in citizenship cases. Proof of presence for the required days will ultimately suffice for the citizenship application, but it appears that cross-border commuter applicants may be subject to more intensive even skeptical scrutiny.



In terms of my US apartment . . . DO YOU STILL THINK I SHOULD LIST THE US ADDRESS? ESPECIALLY SINCE I WAS THERE FOR THE 3 MONTHS AT A TIME AT SOME POINT? I want to be honest. I am thinking of including both my Canadian and US address for the same date and include a note explaining why I have 2 address for the same. I don’t know if that will complicate issues.
I do not have an opinion about how you should populate the address history OTHER than to use YOUR BEST JUDGMENT in honestly reporting where you lived. Yeah, that can get complicated. It is for you to sort out what is the most appropriate way to answer these things.

Sure, disclosing both and clarifying the situation is likely a good idea. A good approach.

Note, for purposes of the PR card application so long as you completely and accurately disclose your absences, based on what you have described there is NOT likely to be much of an issue when it comes to the PR card application.

This could be a more complicated matter when it is time to apply for citizenship.

Also just wondering does applying for PR renewal and having them do all the background checks now make my citizenship application faster in 6 months time or so since those background checks have already been done. Or would they need to do everything all over again for citizenship
There is little or nothing which will "make [a citizenship] application faster." BUT it might help to avoid questions or concerns which might, otherwise, trigger non-routine processing leading to a slower process.

Based on the initial comments above (plus I will do some more research) I am leaning towards NOT renewing my PR card. I’ll continue to use NEXUS card once PR card expires and hopefully become a citizen a few months after that. I will carry COPR and expired PR card and passport as backup just in case.
If you are well within PR RO compliance, you can apply for a new PR card well before you make the citizenship application. There is a cost but it is not a lot. Even though you do not really need the new card, just having the application in process could make a positive difference (mostly in terms of how easy and quickly things go) JUST IN CASE there is a referral to Secondary when crossing the border. As I noted, even though applying for a new PR card will NOT accelerate the citizenship application process, it could have a positive influence and help to avoid triggering non-routine and slower processing.

But this is very much a PERSONAL decision and there are many other factors in play, not the least of which is whether there is any prospect you might want to travel internationally via airlines pending the outcome of the citizenship application.
 

palak.pandya

Full Member
Sep 24, 2014
34
4
Hi, need some guidance with my PR renewal as a daily commuter. I did my soft landing in September 2015, however due to job situation, i made my final move to Canada in January 2018. Since then, Canada has been my only residence and i have been daily commuting for work. I have around 900 days for my RO.

I am applying for my PR renewal next week and intend to submit all the required documents including my daily entry/exit log sheet that I maintain. Wanted to ask if anyone else had a similar experience and is it advisable to send additional documents like (all passport pages, lease agreements, utility bills etc) to prove my residency since 2018?