Q. I am planning to immigrate to Canada in 2 to 3 year time frame. Should I start the application process now, before any changes take place in Canadian law? or should I wait for some time before applying? Once I start the process would I be able to put it on hold?
Answer: That depends, largely, on the location to which you intend to submit the application. If the processing queues at that office requires 1.5 years or greater (most visa offices worldwide do so), then now would be a good time to submit the application.
Applicants have one year from the completion of medical examinations to land in Canada. This typically allows a duration of approximately 6-9 months, from the time of issuance of landing documents, within which the individual is required to land as a permanent resident. There is no minimum time prior to which such an individual may subsequently depart Canada.
[Comment: Once submitted, there are means of keeping a case open, while delaying issuance of landing documents. As a general rule, however, applicants should not assume that they may simply place an application on hold. Given the processing times at most locations worldwide, most applicants are given ample time to conclude the application and arrive in Canada.]