Moving to Canada with PR with spouse having vistor's visa

Hello all,

I am a Canadian PR who soft landed about 2.5 years ago but lives in US because of my employment. I have ensured that I satisfy residency requirement. I will be moving to Canada very soon with a job offer and my spouse will accompany me. We plan to fly into Canada and have a moving company bring in the household items via road separately.

While I have a PR, my spouse has a visitor’s visa (we got married after I got my PR). We have visited Canada once in the last year for a few days. We intend to apply for my spouse’s PR via family class sponsorship once we move to Canada. I am concerned if my spouse will have any problems when we try to enter Canada at the airport since my spouse only has visitor’s visa and since we have clear intentions of moving into Canada permanently. We obviously will make sure that my spouse will only stay in the country legally (6 months or with allowed extensions), but I was wondering if we should be concerned about the border personnel not being convinced about this?

If anyone who has moved in the past has been in a similar situation or knows how this works I would greatly appreciate your advice and comments.

Thank you very much in advance!

@avj @usa2can @ak45 @th1ru @ntn: Since you have been so helpful in the past, just wanted to check if you have any information on the above. Thanks a lot!

That shouldn’t be a problem. My wife entered Canada on a tourist visa while I was living here in Canada as a PR. I applied for her PR after she left a Canada. As long as you follow the visitor visa rules you should be fine.

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I would hurry up and enter Canada as a PR and not stretch it close to 3 years outside Canada if I were you though.

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Thanks @avj! True, unfortunately because of my employment situation I could not move sooner, but I will move very soon now. I hope as long I satisfy the < 3years window, I should not have trouble entering Canada?

Also, if you would not mind sharing, did you apply Inland or Outland application for your wife? I have heard that stepping out of Canada (even for short trips) becomes a problem if we apply Inland?

Thanks, appreciate your time and help.

Hello AVJ,

First of all thanks for being very helpful to lot of folks sharing your experiences.

I just want to check did you sponsor your wife while she was in Canada?

I am in a similar boat, my wife and son don’t have PR, but I have PR and I got an offer for job in Vancouver, BC.

Checked with Immigration Lawyers they said I can file for an inland PR and open work permit for my wife, however I am checking if anyone had gone through similar experience to share any insights.


What would happen if we aren’t able to satisfy the 730 day rule, but move permanently to Canada with less than 2 years of validity, do we have to apply for renewal or we have to go back to our home country?

They really can’t stop you if you’ve still not crossed the 3 year mark. If you come before the 3 year mark, the worst that can happen is they’ll ask you more questions or warn you not to leave Canada for next two years (which you can’t anyway), but you’re still entitled to enter Canada.
If you cross the 3 year mark, they may deny you entry, assuming they actually check. But it’s a risk you should not take.

If your spouse is with you in Canada, you can apply inland or outland; in case of inland, the thing that could be an issue is if your 6-month limit is close and the application is still in process. I know people who have done it this way and had no issues, but further research is warranted.
In case of outland, your spouse has to go through the consulate in country of residence (so a country outside Canada): which means biometrics, medical exam, PPR will happen in that country.

Thanks @avj. Quick question on this point, could you help me understand what would happen if 6 month is over and open permit is still not issued? Is there a way to extend stay (on visit visa without leaving) in Canada explaining that open permit application is still in process? Appreciate your help, thanks!