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Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with Attorney David Cohen

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Every month, Attorney David Cohen will answer a few general Canadian immigration questions submitted by our readers. Here are this month’s questions and answers:

What are CAIPS notes? How can I request them?

CAIPS notes usually refers to the information that Canadian Visa Officers store in their files in relation to their evaluation of immigration applications. Canadian residents are entitled to obtain copies of this information under the Access to Information laws of Canada. If you are a foreign national residing outside Canada, you will need to authorize a Canadian representative to make an Access to Information request from the Government of Canada. Please contact Campbell Cohen if you need assistance with obtaining a copy of the notes relating to your Immigration File under the Access to Information laws of Canada.

Quebec now awards points for reading and writing. I have already received French test results, but they are only for speaking and listening. Am I required to retake a test?

You may submit only your speaking and listening test results, but you will not be awarded reading and writing points based on these results. The new regulations issued by Immigration Quebec now awards points for reading and writing skills in both English and French. You are required to submit test results from approved testing organizations in order to be awarded points for language proficiency. For more information about French language testing, please consult the French language testing page on

If I am waiting for the results of my permanent residency application, can I come visit friends in Canada? Is there anything special I need to do in this situation?

You are allowed to visit Canada while an application for permanent residence is pending. However, Canadian Immigration Officers will only admit you as a visitor if they are convinced that the visit is temporary and that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit. Please consult the “dual intent” page on for more information. Depending on your country of citizenship, you may need to apply for a visitor visa prior to visiting Canada.

I know that dual citizenship exists. Is there such a thing as dual permanent residency?

Permanent residence is defined differently by different countries. In Canada, a permanent resident is a foreign citizen who is entitled to live and work in Canada without any restrictions. Canadian Immigration laws require a permanent resident to accumulate 2 years of residency days out of 5 years to retain their permanent resident status. Please consult “residency obligations” on for more information.

It is, therefore, possible under Canadian laws for an individual to be a permanent resident of Canada while holding residential status in another country. However, there are other countries that impose restrictions on dual residential status.

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