Wanted to appreciate and thank every member who shared their soft landing experience during this pandemic and helped me to make a decision to do a soft landing to be able to validate my COPR before expiration.
I wanted to share my experience which could help people who are on the same boat.
My COPR was due to be expired in February 2021 and I wanted to complete the process of landing to avoid the hassle of extending my COPR date and doing the medicals again for which there is no certain timeline.
I planned my trip similar to this post- Soft Landing at Peace arch crossing, WA on 23rd Oct'20
I flew into Seattle from Florida on 12/19/2020 and took a rental and drove to Bellingham where i stayed the night so i can relax and go to the border the next day. On 12/20/2020 i started to the border at around 8:30AM and reached the CBSA location at the Peace arch border at 9:00AM. The officers at the US Border asked me why i am going to Canada and i said to complete my PR process and they let me go. At the Canadian border as the borders are closed mine was the only car at the border. The immigration officer at the border asked me why i was there, i said to complete by landing process and i have my CoPR and i also said i would prefer to go back USA as i am not planning to settle immediately. i gave my CoPR and my passport and he asked me to park my car and meet him at the office which is right next to the parking. After i went to the office he took me to a counter and asked a few questions if i understand the criteria to get a citizenship after the PR process and asked a few security questions like firearms, drugs and all, then i was asked to wait for 10 minutes and the officer went ahead and processed in the system and called me for the address for PR card. i gave the address and i signed(initials) on the CoPR copies and the process has been completed. Officers have been polite and gave me a small Canada Flag and congratulated on getting the PR.
They escorted me to take a U-turn to USA and at the USA border they asked me why i went to Canada, i said to complete the PR process and i do not have any plans to move immediately but eventually i would. She updated my i-94 and allowed me to USA. There was no customs check that happened neither at USA or Canada border. The whole process took around 45 mins from the time i left USA and returned to USA.
I believe as long as we tell the officer that we want to return back to USA immediately they are fine to process the landing.
As a backup, i had a 14 day quarantine plan and i booked a Marriott and the rental car for 14 days in case they ask me to quarantine. I was able to cancel hotel and rental car with no additional charge.
I felt it is a hassle to extend the PR so I took a chance by trying the soft landing.
Can help you with any questions as per my knowledge.