Foremost, the detailed report of the PoE experience is very much appreciated. It is especially helpful that you report particular facts more than conclusions.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.
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.-Machine would take photo (remove spectacles)-my most horrible photo after 21 hours of traveling
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.[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.
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.