Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with Attorney David Cohen

CIC News
Published: June 6, 2017

Every month, Attorney David Cohen will answer a few general Canadian immigration questions submitted by our readers. These questions cover immigration programs, eligibility, processing, language requirements, investing in Canada, landing, admissibility, studying in Canada, working in Canada, and much more. Here are this month's questions and answers.

1. I have a Portuguese passport, but I’m a permanent resident of Canada. I’m going to Portugal for two weeks. Do I need anything to come back to Canada, like a visa?

Permanent residents of Canada must carry and present their valid Permanent Resident (PR) card or Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) when boarding a flight to Canada, or travelling to Canada on any other commercial carrier. Permanent residents who do not carry their PR card or PRTD may not be able to board their flight, train, bus, or boat to Canada.

It is the permanent resident’s responsibility to ensure that his or her PR card is still valid when he or she returns to Canada, and to apply for a new PR card when his or her current card expires. Permanent residents do not need to apply for a visa (such as a Temporary Resident Visa) or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before travelling to Canada.

2. For international students and graduates in Canada, is Express Entry the only way to go when it comes to permanent immigration, or are there other potential options?

The Express Entry immigration selection system is popular among international graduates who studied in Canada, who benefit within the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) on account of their Canadian education, for which they may obtain additional points. Indeed, since these additional points were first introduced to the system last November, the number and share of former international students being invited to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry has risen significantly.

That being said, Express Entry is not necessarily the only option for these individuals. Canada’s provinces and territories have the facility to welcome former international students as new permanent residents, particularly those who studied in the given province or territory, through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Many provinces have dedicated PNP streams for students and graduates, while other streams may assign points to these individuals, as the case may be.

In addition to Express Entry and the PNPs, international students and graduates in the province of Quebec may apply to the Programme de l’expérience Québécoise, or PEQ, otherwise known as the Quebec Experience Class.

In summary, there are many immigration options for international students and graduates in Canada. For a full overview, click here.

3. I am travelling abroad while my application for permanent residence is being processed. If I receive my request for a medical while I am away, will I be able to do it with an approved doctor overseas, or will I have to return to my home country and have the medical performed there?

Panel Physicians (PP) are available in most countries, and you and your family, if applicable, may take the medical examination wherever Panel Physicians are located and available.

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