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Returning after 2 years 11 months with job

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
4,907
2,025
As promised, below is my return landing experience on 30th Dec at MTL after being out of Canada since Feb-2017.
Would read like a story -apologies for that with a further cry for help towards the end of the post.
Foremost, the detailed report of the PoE experience is very much appreciated. It is especially helpful that you report particular facts more than conclusions.


-Machine would take photo (remove spectacles)-my most horrible photo after 21 hours of traveling
Sidebar: these may be some of the machines somewhat recently put on line which do a lot more than take a photo, but do things like measure eye movement and other aspects of facial expression, and are analyzing other behavioral characteristics of the traveler, including even toe movements, which are purportedly capable of identifying travelers more likely to be engaged in deception during the PoE screening. Not sure if the software employed constitutes AI but that's the direction.

[an officer] . . . looked at the PR card and said I am returning close to 3 years since becoming PR. He then typed something and made 2 lines on the card and asked me to collect my baggage. He said another colleague will decide after reviewing further.

. . . . . .

[another lady officer] looked at the PR card & mentioned that I have been a PR since 2017 and am returning after close to 3 years.She mentioned about the $800 allowance that Canadians have for new goods and that above that tax is payable. I explained what happened when I landed in Toronto.She said nevetheless it doesn't make sense to hand the lists now. Made a quip about me being a Canadian now & following laws.

-So, here is my problem-both times I landed I spent a lot of time preparing the goods accompanying/to follow lists & never managed to hand them over or get them sealed.
-I never intended to flout the laws willingly,but am worried if this is going to be a problem going forward-even for entering Canada and potentially when applying for new PR card or citizenship.
Declaring importation of household and personal goods attendant settlement in Canada is a subject I have not kept current regarding. So I cannot offer much about that aspect of this event.

As mentioned by others, your file may be flagged to watch for PR Residency Obligation compliance issues. Because you are returning after a very lengthy absence and are clearly cutting-it-close. Very close actually. Close enough that you have very little leeway to travel abroad now for the next two years.

It is possible that the first officer's typing was information for the next officer involved in screening your entry. But the second officer's specific reference to the same thing, regarding returning close to 3 years, indicates the referral to Secondary included reference to this issue, and in turn indicates the likelihood there was a note to your file about this. Whether that is indeed merely a "note," or carries the weight of being "flagged," does not matter so much. Yes, this is likely to be seen and considered by officers and processing agents handling you and your case in the coming year or three.

BUT that will NOT be a problem UNLESS you leave Canada in the somewhat near future and more or less add days absent which put you closer to falling short, closer to being in breach of the PR RO. And even then, NOT a real problem UNLESS you go abroad long enough to fail to be in compliance with the RO.

All that means is that the officers recognized you are cutting-it-close and that you have been advised of that, so if you are traveling abroad again in the next two years, officers examining you upon your return are aware of the history and can evaluate your situation accordingly.

BUT sure, it signals that traveling abroad and failing to comply with the RO is likely to be noticed and if you breach the RO, the risk of being Reported for inadmissibility is elevated.

As noted in previous posts, given the length of your absence, IF KEEPING PR is a priority for you, there is very limited room to travel abroad again for the NEXT TWO YEARS.

Regarding potential impact on PR card application or citizenship. No application for a new PR card should be made for at least the next two years, and applying for citizenship in particular is at least THREE years off at the very soonest. So if do indeed stay in Canada for the next two years, that should adequately counter the weight of a file note about your cutting-it-close in late 2019. Your actual IN Canada versus Absent from Canada calculation will have far more influence for either application.


Another sidebar: there is another conversation in this forum about PR's being "Canadians." Which they are. But some here challenge that. Isolated anecdotal reports do not support definitive conclusions, but of course it helps to have reports of actual experience that is consistent with one's understanding of how things work.

Again, really appreciate the level of detail you provided.
 

pitra426

Full Member
Jan 1, 2016
30
3
I still think the secondary inspection was triggered because of me mentioning that I have goods to follow to the 1st officer.Only after that did he look at the PR card to check landing date & mentioned that I am returning close to 3 years & said the next officer will decide whether to collect the forms or not.In the secondary inspection,which was brief & not stressful,the questions were restricted to asking about what goods are accompanying/following later & when these were acquired.The officer here did not check any record of me online while I was there.It was only when I wanted to submit 186,186A that she looked at the PR card and mentioned about the allowances & taxation & that I have been away for close to 3 years.

But,still,thanks for all the mentioned points about maintaining RO which are now important to me.
I won't have job-related travel outside Canada with my current employer.But,it will become an issue incase I switch employers.
I now have a buffer of 40 days to travel in the next 2 years and still be compliant with RO.My original plan was to travel home for a max. of 10 days each in the next 2 years.
Looking at the comments here & my secondary inspection this time,I am now worried about leaving Canada even briefly, despite theoretically still having 20 buffer days after above-said travel plans in the next 2 years.
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
37,363
8,689
I still think the secondary inspection was triggered because of me mentioning that I have goods to follow to the 1st officer.Only after that did he look at the PR card to check landing date & mentioned that I am returning close to 3 years & said the next officer will decide whether to collect the forms or not.In the secondary inspection,which was brief & not stressful,the questions were restricted to asking about what goods are accompanying/following later & when these were acquired.The officer here did not check any record of me online while I was there.It was only when I wanted to submit 186,186A that she looked at the PR card and mentioned about the allowances & taxation & that I have been away for close to 3 years.

But,still,thanks for all the mentioned points about maintaining RO which are now important to me.
I won't have job-related travel outside Canada with my current employer.But,it will become an issue incase I switch employers.
I now have a buffer of 40 days to travel in the next 2 years and still be compliant with RO.My original plan was to travel home for a max. of 10 days each in the next 2 years.
Looking at the comments here & my secondary inspection this time,I am now worried about leaving Canada even briefly, despite theoretically still having 20 buffer days after above-said travel plans in the next 2 years.
As long as you are compliant you are fine.
 

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
4,907
2,025
I still think the secondary inspection was triggered because of me mentioning that I have goods to follow to the 1st officer.Only after that did he look at the PR card to check landing date & mentioned that I am returning close to 3 years & said the next officer will decide whether to collect the forms or not.In the secondary inspection,which was brief & not stressful,the questions were restricted to asking about what goods are accompanying/following later & when these were acquired.The officer here did not check any record of me online while I was there.It was only when I wanted to submit 186,186A that she looked at the PR card and mentioned about the allowances & taxation & that I have been away for close to 3 years.
It is indeed feasible, if not most likely, that customs questions triggered a closer look overall. After all, the goods-to-follow question was like a flashing signal that you have not, not before now, settled permanently in Canada. (Reminder: purpose of PR is for the individual to settle in Canada PERMANENTLY, and thus this tends to be a key factor in how RO compliance is screened and enforced.)

In contrast, it is not uncommon for PRs who have breached their RO who, still during their first five years since landing, past the third year anniversary of landing with a PR card still valid beyond the coming calendar year, are waived through without a referral to a Secondary examination as to RO compliance.

The latter is somewhat to the chagrin of those who favour stricter enforcement, if not absolute enforcement, of the RO. But it is what it is. Thus, and this is mostly about PRs still within the first five years of when they landed, the best chance those in breach of the RO have is to be waived through the PIL (Primary Inspection Line) with no referral for a Secondary examination. The RISK of being Reported increases dramatically once a PR in breach of the RO is referred to Secondary and asked questions about RO compliance.

As @canuck78 stated, "As long as you are compliant you are fine."

And, indeed, if you now stay long enough to show you have established IN-FACT residence in Canada, BRIEF trips abroad should not be a problem. And the longer it appears you are settled in Canada to stay, the less risk there is that a PoE officer will even have questions. That risk is elevated some, now, because it is likely there is a note or flag in your file, but as long as it appears you are settled in Canada, which will require staying for a good while before a trip abroad, and after that only brief trips, and you are in fact settled in Canada, the risk of a problem is low.

If and when there is a formal determination of RO compliance, that decision-making is based on a calculation of days present, so those falling short are at risk for being Reported and potentially losing status. BUT PoE officers generally do not go there UNLESS it more or less clearly appears the PR is in breach AND it appears (quite a bit of emphasis on how it appears) the PR is not actually settled in Canada permanently. Casual, general questions, sure, and if it then still appears, again, (1) the PR is not blatantly or obviously in breach of the RO, and (2) the PR is well-settled in Canada PERMANENTLY, there is a fairly low risk of a formal calculation of compliance, even if the PR is a little short.


PRACTICAL RISKS in cutting-it-close:

Cutting-it-close poses practical RISKS. If there is a family emergency in the home country, for example, a PR in your situation may face balancing priorities, having to weigh how important it is to spend more time abroad versus keeping PR status. Then, it is rather common for contingencies to occur which turn a brief trip abroad into a longer or even much longer trip abroad. Additionally, as you recognize, cutting-it-close may mean losing employment opportunities which involve travel abroad. Then there is the possibility of losing one's PR card while abroad, and having to apply for a PR Travel Document to return to Canada; in addition to potential delays and the inconvenience of that, a PR TD application triggers a formal RO compliance determination, in which the PR is PRESUMED to NOT have valid PR status, so cutting-it-close can be a problem -- the PR still actually in compliance should be "fine," but there is a real risk of being denied a TD if the PR is short of being in compliance, even by a little. Visa officers abroad appear to be significantly more strict in making decisions about RO compliance than PoE officers are.

And then there is an elevated risk that a new PR card application will be referred to non-routine processing, including the prospect of a referral to Secondary Review which reports here suggest a timeline approaching many months or even a year is common.
 

Saudamini

Star Member
Mar 31, 2017
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Mumbai
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Soon :)
Hello All,

First of all,Happy New Year 2020 to everyone. Hope everyone realizes their full potential & acheive their good genuine goals in 2020..

As promised, below is my return landing experience on 30th Dec at MTL after being out of Canada since Feb-2017.
Would read like a story -apologies for that with a further cry for help towards the end of the post.

-Note that I was not given a Declaration card by the airline staff unlike in Feb-2017 when I landed in Toronto.Unsure when this started or if this is unique to MTL.
-Walked with the crowd to the arrivals section one level down.
-Multiple self-service machines here for the customs declaration-you would be guided by the staff to queue up to use these, depending on the crowd & the availability (keep your PR card ready).Front portion of card should face you when you place it on the top LHS corner of the scanner
-Questions around whether food is brought in,goods to follow,cash more than 10K CAD etc.
-Machine would take photo (remove spectacles)-my most horrible photo after 21 hours of traveling
-CBSA Officers at the end of each row of machines to talk to next. Most likely,PRs would be asked to follow the line with the Yellow direction indicator.Was asked preferred language to converse in.
-No questions on why I am landing close to 3 years mark,but I invariably led him to ask that when I said I have goods to follow-was planning to send 1 suitcase with personal effects through mover or bring along with me the next time.
Note that when I did initial landing,just carried 1 suitcase and said no goods to follow.Officer at that time did not collect BS-186 (accompanying goods list).
-The officer now started asking me abt the value,content of goods following.I offered to show hm the detailed list. He then looked at the PR card and said I am returning close to 3 years since becoming PR.He then typed something and made 2 lines on the card and asked me to collect my baggage.He said another colleague will decide after reviewing further.
-Collected 2 suitcases and stood in one of the 3 lines to Customs-office looked at my card and pointed me to 'secondary inspection' area.
-Stood 1st in the line (just another person after me) of a large hall with many officers,mostly idle.I could see some officers going through someone's luggage.Now,I was getting worried -more due to having to repack the luggage again rather than about the contents themselves.
-A lady officer called me over-I handed over the declaration card,PR card and passport.Was asked similar questions as before-content & value of goods to follow.She then asked about when the goods accompanying & goods to follow were acquired-before or after 2017.
90% were genuinely old stuff except for a few shirts and winter clothing and I mentioned that.
She looked at the PR card & mentioned that I have been a PR since 2017 and am returning after close to 3 years.She mentioned about the $800 allowance that Canadians have for new goods and that above that tax is payable. I explained what happened when I landed in Toronto.She said nevetheless it doesn't make sense to hand the lists now.Made a quip about me being a Canadian now & following laws. She said that in a non-aggressive but polite & in a matter of fact way. She said everytime I land I could just come in & explain to the officers like I did to her now and then let me off.

-So, here is my problem-both times I landed I spent a lot of time preparing the goods accompanying/to follow lists & never managed to hand them over or get them sealed.
-I never intended to flout the laws willingly,but am worried if this is going to be a problem going forward-even for entering Canada and potentially when applying for new PR card or citizenship.

I am landing now in end of Jan, however, my husband hasn't got the Visitor Visa yet. Lets see what they say. I have acquaintance who landed just few days before his 3rd year anniversary, also went through secondary inspection. I assume I'll also go through such secondary inspection.