Entering as visitors after CoPR

I am new here, anticipating my wife and I will soon be approved for PR under Family sponsorship (Parents and Grandparents). We make frequent visitor trips to Canada by car (to Toronto).

After receiving CoPR, if we are not ready with all paperwork for landing (goods to follow, car transfer, etc) can we continue to come in and out as visitors thru the land border crossing at Lewiston (using our Nexus cards)? Do we need to mention that we have been accepted as Canada residents but not landed ?

This is the first time I’m seeing this question: that you have a CoPR (and presumably a PR visa if you’re not from a visa exempt country) and yet want to visit as a visitor.

As far as visa-required citizens are concerned, once your PR visa is issued, your visitor visa is no longer valid, i.e. they may not physically remove it or stamp it as “canceled”, but you cannot use it to enter as a tourist. Doing might be a violation of the immigration laws. I’ve never heard anyone doing that so I don’t know what the consequences are. I don’t know if things are different for visa-exempt countries, but I presume you are still violating the law if you are an approved PR but don’t land as PR while “visiting” Canada.
But why take the chance if you’re already an approved PR.

If someone has a definitive answer please feel free to share.

Regarding the GTF and car transfer, you don’t have to do it during your landing, you can do it later while actually moving. In case case, GTF just involves broadly categorizing all your worldly possessions (throw in the car if you want) that you will be bringing into Canada. Took me about a day to do it.

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I presume this is sarcasm?

Thanks for the replies.
I would have liked to land in early 2021 also to avoid any Canada tax filing requirements for 2020. We also have a home that needs to be sold. We are US Citizens and make frequent trips to Canada to see family.
Anyway, perhaps better to be safe than sorry, and just do a landing if we want to travel after CoPR has been issued (I expect this will happen within a couple of months).

Just to add, the officer stamps your CoPR document on the day of your landing. That document itself is good enough for road crossings. You need physical PR card only if you are planning to use airports to get in.

Yes you can come and go. When you are ready, you can move. Goods to follow is not a big deal at all. You can export the cars only if you own them.

Thanks for your replies and help!

If I were you, I would get the landing out of the way as soon as possible to become confirmed PRs. It still gives you 2-3 years to actually move. CoPR is sufficient for border crossings (although you may get questioned more). Your PR cards can arrive at any trusted person’s address in Canada and you can collect them later.

Thanks for your explanations. One more question: Is it necessary to apply for a SIN right away, or can it be done later?
My concern is I do not want to be considered a resident in CA and have to file CA tax returns until I actually move to live there (a year or so later).

Having SIN does not warrant filing taxes in canada. You need to have a strong bond with Canada (job/home/car/residence, etc).

You can do it anytime. advantage is you can apply for a credit card and start building your credit history.

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I highly recommend getting SIN immediately and opening a bank account and credit card (even if you never use it); you will start building credit history right away which will come in handy when applying for a car/home loan etc.

You don’t have to file Canadian taxes unless you are earning and living in Canada (you won’t even get the T4 forms from the employer for e.g. if you’re not employed in Canada).

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Thanks for the helpful explanations.

We were able to drive to Toronto as visitors with no problems at all, twice, since getting COPRs. Thanks for the advice from all.

My new question for the experts is the following:
Can my wife (dependent) enter to do “soft” landing without me(the principal applicant)?
She will fly see her mother in Vancouver, after a month she will go to Toronto and return a few days later. My plan is to drive to Toronto when she gets there, to “soft” land myself, for a few days, and drive back to the US together in our US registered car.
We have a lot of things to do here before we can move permanently.
Do you think there will be any issues with this plan?


Wondering if someone was successful or unsuccessful doing this - entering Canada on Visitor Visa after getting COPR?

Our immigration consultant has advised to do the PR landing only when we finally move in February next year but in the meantime, we might be able to visit Canada on visitor visa, which we have. We want to look for housing and show our parents around in Canada in November and December. We live close to Detroit, Michigan and can travel by road into Canada. Thoughts if we can enter Canada on visitor visa post-copr?

If entering as visitors is not possible at this moment… should we do a soft landing in a November and go back and forth a couple of times via road between USA and Canada before finally entering for good?

Thanks for your help!

We have entered twice as visitors after COPR, land border at Lewiston-Queenston crossing.
The first time we asked the border officer if we were allowed to enter as visitors after COPR, he said it was our choice. (If they had insisted, we would have done the landing then, had all docs and a GTF list with us).
We are US citizens with Nexus cards. But I assume entering as visitors should not be an issue for anyone with a visitors visa. The second time we went as visitors we did not even mention that we had COPR and they did not ask.

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Thanks @StarMan.

Your response is helpful. As a US citizen, I am assuming you do not need a visa anyways to visit Canada. However, I am not a US citizen and I need a visa to enter Canada, so not sure how it plays out in my case.

What I have been hearing is all Canadian visas are void after getting COPR. But in your case I am assuming you did not have any other Canada visa to begin with.

Right, we don’t need visas to cross into Canada and back, makes it much easier for us to go back and forth to visit family several times a year.
Good luck!

We’re approaching the border at Peace Arch now to try exactly the same thing!

I (an American citizen) just got my CoPR but am not ready to move. My wife/sponsor is a Canadian citizen. We go to her condo in Vancouver approximately once a month. Now that I have a CoPR which expires in May 2022, I’d like to wait on using it until I’m ready to actually move. Meantime we have a long weekend and I want to go to Vancouver for just three days.

I’ll let you all know what the border officer says.

UPDATE: Officer asked my status, I told him my PR was approved recently but I preferred to enter as a tourist for the long weekend. He said that was fine and had no further questions!