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milo23

Can you enter Canada without activating PR?

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milo23
Posted (edited)

So my parents received their PR (entry valid until Feb 2020) though the parental sponsorship route a few weeks ago. 

They had already booked a trip to us in May/June. 

The PR came through in 14 months - processing time online was 20-48. So it’s takem them by surprise and they don’t have all their ducks in a row yet. 

Can they enter in May using their previous multiple entry Visitor visa and not activate their PR? 

Edited by milo23
Typo

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CharleneK

Why wouldn't they want to activate their PR? Activating PR doesn't mean you cannot leave again. They can activate their PR, have a vacation and return to SA. You can mail their PR cards to them, and they can come over permanently when they're ready.

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milo23

Quite a complicated situation. 

My brother and I live in different provinces. Not sure where they want to be and how they will split time up and obviously implications for health care etc. 

And obviously their prerequisite number of days to maintain permanent residency will start counting. 

As I said. We were all expecting this to take at least 2 years so quite surprised it has taken 14 months. 

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CharleneK

That still does not preclude them activating their PR when they visit in May. They don't have to settle in or even decide where to settle in right away. They can activate PR, simply visit one or the both of you, and return to SA. It would not even impact the residency requirement. To meet these residency obligations, you must be physically present in Canada for at least 730 days (2 years) in every 5-year period. This, even if they go back to SA for a full year after activating PR, they still need to spend only two of the next four years in Canada to maintain PR.

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milo23

Yes, I understand the physical

presence part. 

Saskatchewan gives permanent residents 6 months to apply for local drivers licence. So they will have to do that within six months of activation. 

And health care? Do you just not apply for provincial health insurance and use travel

insurance until such time as you decide? If you’re not physically present in Saskatchewan/BC for 183 days a year you lose that? 

Those are our two main concerns. 

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M_Richard

Hi all, interesting topic! 

I am planning a trip to Canada next year May/June for vacation and plan on possibly immigrating a year or so thereafter. My approach at the moment is to try get PR through express entry before my trip next year, with the goal to activate my PR on my arrival and then leave again after my vacation. And then if we decide to move to Canada in a year or two, we have that option. 

My main concern is the PR card which is required to re enter Canada. We will not be in Canada to have it delivered to us and also no one to have it delivered to and couriered to SA. Hopefully we can get a temporary PR travel document if we want to re enter or some other solution. 

However, this thread has now raised even more queries for me. Surely you can apply for a drivers license any time? I see that in BC you can use your international drivers license for 3 months, but have to apply for a BC license afterwards. Nothing about a time limit from entering with PR that I can see? 

Also for health care, if you are not going to be in the country and not going to use it, do you still have to apply in a certain period from activating your PR? Or can you only apply when you start living in the province full time, and will adhere to the presence requirements? My research on Canadian health care is very limited at this stage. 

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Nelline
3 minutes ago, M_Richard said:

 

Also for health care, if you are not going to be in the country and not going to use it, do you still have to apply in a certain period from activating your PR? Or can you only apply when you start living in the province full time, and will adhere to the presence requirements? My research on Canadian health care is very limited at this stage. 

I can't answer all your questions but I believe you have to have proof of residence (in that province) to apply for Provincial Healthcare - not just PR

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M_Richard
14 minutes ago, Nelline said:

I can't answer all your questions but I believe you have to have proof of residence (in that province) to apply for Provincial Healthcare - not just PR

Thanks, I think the answer here to only apply for healthcare once you are actually permanently residing in Canada (and have a proof of address) and use travel insurance for vacation. I doubt that there will be some sort of time limit in which you have to apply for healthcare from activating PR. 

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MaryJane

Hi @milo23, I'd agree with @CharleneK that there shouldn't be an issue of activating their PR on their May visit.

The PR visa activation is different from actually settlement. I had a look at the website with regards drivers, and your parents can apply when they eventually settle in Canada for good. If they activate the visa, but don't intend to settle just yet and decide to go back to SA to wrap things up, then maybe it's better to get the licence when they get back to Canada. It may raise some questions as to why they have not applied when they landed, but I'm sure it will be easy to show on the passport that they left and came back. Please note I'm not saying they shouldn't apply on their initial visit after landing, just saying that it is possible to do it afterwards.

Same goes for health insurance. I believe your parents should not apply for insurance until they have decided to settle. There are insurances available for new immigrants with regards this if not covered by the province's health insurance.

Note though that some of these comments are based on an unknown return date. I'm assuming they'd be back soon enough?

The way I see it, if they activate now and sort out what needs to be done in SA, they have more time to stay out of Canada before they need to be back. If they use the visitors visa now (and not activate the PR), they will have to come back in a year's time and activate it anyway. I think it just makes more sense to activate it now and go back to tie loose ends and then come back. It's not an unusual situation and many have done it.

Anyways, congratulations to them on getting the visa and good luck with everything else! Please tell them to have a safe trip and enjoy.

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MaryJane
4 hours ago, M_Richard said:

My main concern is the PR card which is required to re enter Canada. We will not be in Canada to have it delivered to us and also no one to have it delivered to and couriered to SA. Hopefully we can get a temporary PR travel document if we want to re enter or some other solution. 

Applying for the travel document shouldn't be an issue. I believe you will need proof of landing and activation of PR visa and then it should be okay. (Yes, of course, there is an application form to fill out too and a fee involved).

Someone did ask recently about getting it delivered to SA but I think applying for the travel document is still the best option, second to having it personally delivered to you by someone you trust.

 

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milo23

Thanks for the input and advice everyone. 

 

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LidiaS77
Posted (edited)
On 4/23/2019 at 4:08 PM, M_Richard said:

Surely you can apply for a drivers license any time? I see that in BC you can use your international drivers license for 3 months, but have to apply for a BC license afterwards. Nothing about a time limit from entering with PR that I can see? 

Yes, you can apply for a driver's license at any time, but getting a full driver's license normally takes a lot longer in Canada than it does in SA. In BC new drivers have to do the knowledge test to become a learner, then the novice test to become a Novice driver and only after 2 years can they then take the test to get a full license. If you have an SA drivers license you have to do the knowledge test and you can then book the test to get your full driver's license (Class 5) immediately, if you do this within 90 days of arriving (not after 90 days) in Canada and if you had at least 2 years driving experience in SA. You can read more about this rule here (SA falls under the "Non-reciprocal licence exchange" category): https://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/moving-bc/Pages/Moving-from-another-country.aspx. You do not need an international drivers license for Canada. An international drivers license is not an actual license but rather a translation and since your SA driver's license is in English and English is an official language in Canada it is not necessary to get an international license, your SA one is sufficient. In BC you have to hand in your SA drivers license when you do the Class 5 test and you don't get it back.

Edited by LidiaS77
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M_Richard
Posted (edited)

Very helpful, thanks! For me, unfortunately, I will not be able to get a licence in 90 days, as I will only be going to active PR first and then leaving. Maybe you can somehow prove that you have not been in the country for 90 days (with passport stamp etc)? 

A novice licence seems sufficient for me though. You are only limited to one passenger it seems?

Edited by M_Richard
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LidiaS77
Posted (edited)

@M_Richard If you can, try to do the Class 5 (full) license directly. As far as I can tell the Novice test is harder than the full license test, which is really just driving around with an instructor (and some minor checks and reverse parking, no parallel parking, other stops and turns etc.).

Edited by LidiaS77
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Jaco_W

Regarding the issue of activating PR, only moving later, and the implications on driver's license conversion: 

- ICBC (who issues driver's licenses in BC) says you have to switch your license within 90 days of moving to BC.  It is not linked to your PR activation, therefore if you want to do PR activation at one point and only move here some time later, the 90 days will start from when you move here.  As long as you have some sort of documentation showing when you actually moved here I reckon you'll be fine because you are within the letter of the law.  And this documentation is only really relevant if you ever have to proof whether you were driving with a valid license.  

- This is because when switching your license for a BC license,  ICBC does not check whether you are inside the 90 days or not.  That's right, ICBC told me they will allow you to switch your license at any time as long as you have a valid license from elsewhere - even if you are outside of the 90 day window.    The 90 days has more to do with when driving around, whether it is considered that you have a valid driver's license or not.  So for example during a traffic stop or when pulled over by police or if you are in an accident.   Saying that - I did get pulled over within my 90 day window before I had my BC license (lesson: a U-turn at any traffic light is always prohibited!)  I produced my SA license and that was enough - I was not asked for proof of having moved within 90 days.  Did not have to show PR card or passport or anything else.

- As Lidia said, you don't need International Driver's license, only your SA license.  I had no problem with only my SA license that time when pulled over by police.  Also not when  renting a car and buying and insuring a car.

- When you do move here, get onto switching your license sooner rather than later.  There can be a long wait for appointments for road tests so 90 days is not as long as it sounds, especially if you want to fit in a lesson or two. 

- @M_RichardIf you have a SA license I would definitely go for the conversion to full license rather than N (Novice) license like Lidia also said.  There are a lot more restrictions on N license (zero alcohol for example instead of 0.05 so not even one drink or cough medicine!).  I would also imagine that renting and insuring a car will be more difficult or expensive because the assumption is you have no driving experience.    If you convert your existing license the road test is not to test whether you can drive a car, it is to test whether you understand and can follow the road rules as it applies here.  So no parallel parking, 3 point turns etc etc tested, but a lot of emphasis on rules.  Still, don't underestimate this test. I think it is worth booking one or two sessions with a driving school to prepare you for this test.  When you go for the road test you have to hand in your SA license before you take the test and you don't get it back.  So if you don't pass the first time, as has happened to some people I know, you are then without any license and not allowed to drive until you can re-test, which can be a major inconvenience.  

 

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milo23

Hi all

They have decided to activate their PR when they land at the end of this month. They won’t apply for health cards just yet (in SK you are eligible straight away without a waiting period). 

I willtake them to SGI to have a chat with the ladies there. In SK you can only drive on an SA drivers licence for 6 months. Obviously with them coming and going 6 months continuously won’t be for a while but I think it’s better to get it done as soon as they are comfortable and to negate having to do the waiting period between learners and drivers tests. 

We’re in a small town so there shouldn’t be too long to wait. I’ve some them the link to study for their learners in the mean time and hopefully get that done while they are still here in June/early July. 

 

As as far as a SIN goes? Do we do that now or wait till they settle? I can’t remember if a SIN was required for drivers licence or not? 

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Jaco_W

Hi Milo

SIN is only required when you are going to earn money, though we have been asked for it when opening bank accounts and taking out car loans.  But we weren't asked for it for drivers license at ICBC here in BC, I doubt you will be over there in SK.  The website should tell you which documents you need.

Something else to consider if they are going to activate PR now, is whether to declare goods to follow.  There are threads about this topic elsewhere on here.  

But in short, my understanding is that you are supposed to declare goods to follow (form BSF186) when you enter and activate your PR, and have this declaration stamped.

We did not do this as we were unaware and was told afterwards (by the border services helpline!) that we would have to pay import duty and provincial taxes when our shipment arrive later.  In the end this did not happen: when I went to clear my goods at customs house, they looked at my landing documents, my inventory and stamped the manifest - all clear.  But we stressed about this so make sure you do it right as it sounds like some others had more scrutiny.  

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milo23

Thanks. Yes, I emailed our goods to follow lists (don’t know why I kept them 4 yrs down the line) but at least my mom has a template to work off. 

I will check whether SI N is needed for drivers licence but it is needed for healthcards in SK even if they will not be earning money. 

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