Q. At the moment I am a Ph.D student in USA on a foreign visa. I have received landing documents and must land prior to the completion of my degree. Will I be eligible for the Returning Resident Permit to complete my education? If not, will I forfeit my status in Canada?
Answer: As a general rule, applications for RRP in cases where the individual had not resided in Canada for a significant period of time are risky. It should be remembered, however, that the RRP does not grant status in Canada, nor does its refusal revoke such. As long as the individual remains able to demonstrate that no effort to abandon Canada as the place of permanent residence, status in Canada should be intact.
If you do decide to complete your PhD, you should land as late as possible within the validity of your landing documents. In this way, you will minimize the time spent absent from Canada following landing.