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Leaving Canada as permanent resident but w/o card 

Posts: 1

Posted On: 4 days ago
Posts: 1
Hi there

My common-law spouse and I have applied for permanent residence after being rejected the first time due to some missing documents. We are confident we will be accepted any day now based on similar applications that our friends have received. Our current working visas have expired so we are on "implied status".

The problem is that we don't think that we will get our permanent residence cards in time before we have to travel. I am going to Peru for work in the middle of February, and my spouse is going to New Zealand for a wedding at the same time.

From what we've been told, it will take a minimum of 2-3 weeks from when we get our "your application is approved, please send in your photos" email to when we get the piece of paper with which we can "land" as permanent residents. From there - it would take 2 months to get our permanent residence cards, which clearly will be well past February.

I've been told that if I land as a permanent resident before I leave in February, then I can take all that evidence with me and enter via the land border at Buffalo on the way home (I won't be allowed on the plane from Lima without a PR card or an eTA, and I won't have an eTA once my PR goes through). Does this sound possible? I have heard that the main risk is that commercial carriers won't let you on the plane/ship without your PR card or eTA, so I'm thinking that flying to Buffalo and taking the bus would get me to the Canadian border, where they can verify my status.

For my spouse, it seems to make sense to only "land" as a permanent resident when she returns from New Zealand. Right?

Any advice appreciated since it's a complicated situation!