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Well-settled In Canada Factor in RO Enforcement

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
5,436
2,410
I have been responding to queries off-topic in the "PR Card Renewal & New - 2022 Processing Timeline" topic.

The last of those queries specifically asks about a factor in RO enforcement I often mention, the APPEARANCE of being well-settled in Canada factor.

May be time to give this factor a thread of its own.

I should and do acknowledge upfront that I am not sure many others consider this to be a significant factor. After all, there is no requirement to be settled in Canada. So, some may ask why would this be a significant factor, let alone a big one.

As I referenced before , the two biggest factors are:
-- the calculation itself (number of days in breach; the more days in breach, the lower the odds of leniency; a small breach, good odds of leniency)​
-- extent to which the PR appears to be PERMANENTLY settled in Canada​
Whats the best way to prove to IRCC that you are settled? I will be completing 730 days in Canada since my last entry next week. These 730 days were continuous, without even a single exit and I plan to submit the renewal application soon after. I entered Canada on June 15, 2020 and never left afterwards (had valid PR card at that time and was 4 months short on RO, was allowed in). I would wait until 740 continuous day inside and plan to submit renewal after that. As far as I remember from the instructions, they do not ask for tax returns or some other papers to prove that you are settled. I have been working continuously in Canada since then and have also bought house, but I dont think IRCC ask for job letters/tax returns or mortgage papers to prove you are settled.
Caveat: I do not actually answer this query. The PR card application requires the PR to give address history, work history, and travel history, and that is plenty of information which will either give the impression the PR has settled in Canada or not. It is not about proving settling in Canada, but about whether it APPEARS the PR has settled in Canada.

Clarification: for the PR who is short, that is NOT in RO compliance, they are in effect relying on H&C relief when they apply for a new PR card. So, in addition to the two factors I referenced, of course another key factor is the strength of their reasons for the length of absence.

And as often discussed, the extent of the breach, how many days the PR is short of being in compliance with the Residency Obligation, is the biggest factor in most cases, almost all cases.

Those are about what influences the outcome when the PR is NOT in compliance.

The other "big factor" I referenced, and the subject of this query, is the extent to which it appears the PR is well-settled in Canada.

To be clear, the extent to which a PR is settled in Canada is not a direct factor. PRs are NOT required to be settled in Canada. As long as they meet the PR RO, that satisfies their residency obligations.

For purposes of the H&C case, the extent to which a PR is well-settled in Canada is a direct factor in terms of ties-in-Canada; the more and stronger ties a PR has IN Canada, the more positive H&C weight this factor has.

But that is not really what I was referencing above (and in the other topic) in regards to the situation for @bhavik121083 and not what I am typically referring to when I say that the extent to which it appears a PR is well-settled in Canada is a big factor in how things go. Note, in particular and for emphasis, I referenced the extent to which the PR "APPEARS" to be permanently settled in Canada. This is not an easily defined factor. It is akin to the credibility factor. PRs do not need to be credible to keep PR status, but if the PR appears to lack credibility that can have a huge impact on how things go. In particular, if IRCC officials PERCEIVE a PR is not credible, that can cause things to go badly quickly.

A person has a lot less control over how things APPEAR than how things really are. There is no "proving" the APPEARANCE of being well-settled in Canada. That said, being actually IN fact well settled in Canada is likely to give the appearance of being well-settled in Canada. And of course the longer the PR has been living in Canada, the more it APPEARS the PR is settled in Canada. And yeah, work history and incidentals, like property ownership, paying taxes, and so on, are all factors which can influence how things APPEAR, and thus affect the extent to which a PR appears to be well-settled in Canada.

All that said, I should be clear about how this factor influences things and why I say it is a big factor.

Again, it is quite like the credibility factor. A PR is not required to be credible or to prove their credibility, and there are no positive points for being credible. In dealing with IRCC PRs are expected to be honest, to be credible. The real influence of this factor is whether, and if so when and to what extent, there are things indicating to IRCC officials that the PR is NOT credible. That is, being credible does not help, but rather lacking credibility (or appearing to lack credibility) hurts, and can hurt a lot.

For almost any application made to IRCC, I will often say that beyond actually meeting the requirements and properly completing the application, the next most important factor in how things go is the applicant's credibility, which really means whether the applicant APPEARS to be credible or there are circumstances creating the APPEARANCE the PR lacks credibility. In the meantime, the applicant does not submit any proof of his credibility.

The well-settled in Canada factor is similar in that a PR is not required to be settled in Canada, or to prove they have or are settling permanently in Canada, but the extent to which a PR appears settled in Canada will generally make a positive impression. BUT even more so, if the PR does NOT appear to be at least settling in Canada (if not appearing to be well settled), the level of scrutiny and concern in evaluating the PR's case is likely (not necessarily but likely) to increase. No expertise necessary to recognize that law enforcement tends to be more lenient and exercise more flexibility when dealing with individuals who appear to be acting consistent with the purposes of the law, and conversely they tend to be more strict, less forgiving, less accommodating, when dealing with individuals who appear to be acting contrary to the purposes of the law. The purpose for granting individuals PR status is so they can SETTLE and LIVE in Canada PERMANENTLY. So just like law enforcement generally, it should be no surprise that IRCC officials (and similarly CBSA officials) will tend to be more lenient and exercise more flexibility when dealing with PRs who appear to be acting consistent with the law's purpose, as in establishing in-fact permanent residence in Canada; and conversely they will tend to be more strict, less forgiving, less accommodating, when dealing with PRs who appear not be settling permanently in Canada.

This can influence things in various ways.

In regards to the H&C case, in which a big part of the analysis is determining whether the PR in effect *deserves* to keep PR status, no complex trigonometry necessary to figure that those seen to be settling in Canada permanently are more likely to be seen to deserve keeping PR status.

Its influence in other contexts may not be so obvious, but in a general sense it should be readily recognized that IRCC officials are more likely to be more friendly if not more accommodating when assessing the PR who appears to be well-settled, or at least in the process of settling in Canada, and not so much so toward those who appear to not be settling in Canada.
 
 

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
10,669
5,403
Whats the best way to prove to IRCC that you are settled? I will be completing 730 days in Canada since my last entry next week. These 730 days were continuous, without even a single exit and I plan to submit the renewal application soon after. I entered Canada on June 15, 2020 and never left afterwards (had valid PR card at that time and was 4 months short on RO, was allowed in). I would wait until 740 continuous day inside and plan to submit renewal after that. As far as I remember from the instructions, they do not ask for tax returns or some other papers to prove that you are settled. I have been working continuously in Canada since then and have also bought house, but I dont think IRCC ask for job letters/tax returns or mortgage papers to prove you are settled.
@SecularFirst :
@dpenabill has gone to some length on the concept in general, and I just wish to give a shorter answer specifically to you:

-If you have 730 days in-country (ideally plus say 2-4 weeks) you shouldn't - in general - need to go to any additional effort to 'prove you are settled.'

Just fill out the forms truthfully and completely. You shouldn't need to provide anything additional (except arguably if some special cases).

Note that in the forms, you can choose to share information from CBSA and CRA, and if you do so, that will provide IRCC the ability to 'quick check' whether the information those agencies have contradicts what you've stated in the forms. The check is necessary because you are making claims and formal statements, and IRCC does not have some 'perfect database' of who is in compliance at all times - they're fact=checking what you wrote.

So it's not hard to see how this probably goes*: they look at your file, they see you say you haven't been out of Canada in the last two years, they (probably) do some query to CBSA to see if any records of you entering/leaving (comes back negative or records prior to the entry two+ years ago), they look at your employment history part, they might query CRA if there's info that seems to coincide with that, they might do other basic checks (even googling you or the company or whatever), etc.

If all of this seems to basically support the same story of what you've claimed in the form, they probably move on to other bits that they have to check to approve your app.

Or returning to the cases where it mattered: 'evidence of being settled' might be critical in H&C cases (for those out of compliance), but for those in compliance, these basic checks are most likely only used to just check that it all seems to be true (and more inquiry needed if it doesn't seem to be true).

or shortest form: if you're in compliance, don't worry about it, just complete the forms.

*I of course have no direct info on how this is done within IRCC, so this is speculation. But it's informed speculation on my part.