Soft landing experience US-Canada land border - Oct 2020

I successfully completed the PR landing requirement at US-Canada land border. The process was smooth and everything got completed in an hour. Thanks to folks on this site for sharing their experience which helped me make this decision.

  • Official instruction: The current instruction on site clearly says that " You must be coming to Canada to settle permanently (you cannot come to Canada and leave to go live in another country, even if it’s temporary)". Hence the immigration officer does have some discretion to deny the entry.
  1. At Canadian border: The Canadian border is indeed closed for non-essential visits and when I was entering the border, I was the only one in that 15 minutes period. Officer did ask me why I am coming now when I don’t plan to stay. I also told him I plan to return today itself. He gave me a yellow slip and asked me to park the car and go to the next building.

  2. In Canadian immigration office: 30 mins process and usual questions were asked. Submitted GTF list and they attached my signed CoPR in my passport and told me that it can be used to cross land borders .

  3. At the US borer: I had valid H1B stamped on my passport. He asked me how long I had been in Canada and the purpose of the trip. Once I explained to him that I just took a U turn after completing the PR application, he immediately completed the check and allowed us to enter the US.

I just want to highlight all the points to consider before visiting the border. It might help you plan better.

  • At the Canadian border: Immigration officer can assume that your visit is non-essential and ask you to go back to the US. They can also ask you to quarantine for 14 days and ask for 14 days plan. I had planned for 14 days quarantine. I had an airbnb selected but not booked. I had taken a rental car which can be returned in Canada.
  • At the US border: Again the US immigration officer can assume that your visit is non-essential and deny entry. Even my employer immigration lawyer recommended me to fly back instead of using US land border as H1B holder being essential can be contested at the border.
  • Limbo state: I am not sure if this is a possible scenario but I thought about this as well. In case Canada refused to let me in, and asked me to go back, I would have to go through a US border check (as there is no way to simply turn back to US road). If the US also refused to let me in, then I could get in a limbo state. I felt that this is highly unlikely to happen and hence I was ready to take that risk. As a backup, I had researched some Vancouver immigration firms for assistance.

I wanted to complete my process because the steps involved in the expired CoPR entry are not clear and I feel some uncertainty is involved in it. So I wanted to get this thing done before my CoPR expiry. Canadian immigration officers were very professional and cooperative. Hope this post helps others to make informed decisions.
Disclaimer: This post was aimed to share my own experience. Please do your own research and follow official instructions before making any decision.


Thanks for sharing your experience. Good to know what the situation is like.

I personally think that it’s a good idea to complete the landing while your COPR is valid.

Nice of you to share your experience… What are the documents I need to carry with me for this process. also in which province did you make the landing

I went to Vancouver border. They only asked for passport, CoPR, GTF and a Canadian address to send PR card.
But I had taken some other documents with me for contingency which they did not ask to show: Proof of fund, Marriage certificate

Thanks for sharing. Could you elaborate on this line for officer’s question? Did you mean you were returning to Canada for permanent settlement on the very same day?

I’m not sure how you got to that interpretation.
The whole point of a soft landing is to come back to America immediately after landing and it sounds like that’s what the OP told the agent at the border.

I guess I got confused since the officers question was worded around permanent settlement. But after reading various other posts, I get the context now. Cheers

“I had an Airbnb selected but not booked.”

Not sure that will be sufficient if they ask you to quarantine. Don’t you need to have a confirmed booking? Also, I have heard several cases(from Canadian forums at work) of Airbnb booking being canceled by the owners after they realize that the AirBnB is being used by people from the US to quarantine.

what Does GTF means ??
Did the ask your local address where u want the PR card to be send to.

GTF means Goods to Follow.
Yes they ask local address to update to send PR card…
In case they don’t ask or they don’t update it then also don’t worry as you can call cic customer service and get it updated later any time…

For GTF , Can we mention our car as well. is there any limit what all we can mention. Is there any format we need to provide or it can be on a plane paper.

Can you please help? I recently got PPR request and I have submitted my passport waiting for COPR now. I can get my list of things ready for soft landing as I have to go to Saskatoon(PNP candidate ) for the same .

I see my dates are updated in CIC site . waiting for passports to be shipped back.

I was not aware of the “Limbo state” at the land border. Maybe air travel is more safer immigration-wise. But congratulations on completing the landing process.

Once we do soft landing- our i94 get changed upon reentry in USA, does our US employer get to know that? I want to do the soft landing without informing my current employer.

No… Mostly i94 changes unless officer at border thinks not required for a very short trip…
But if it changes there is no need to inform employer… Employer does not write i94 anywhere… So many people travel in and out of usa especially to india…

Hello Adi,
Thanks for the post! This is helpful for the folks on the forum migrating during Covid.
I had a minor question regarding the move. I read that you rented a car to complete your soft landing and if required could return in Canada.
Would you mind telling which rental company was this and the charges for the same?
We are planning to move to Toronto in couple of months and are currently gathering information for the same.

Appreciate it

Hi all,

Using valid COPR is the option I see people are using to Land in Canada rather than delaying it. I too want to use this valid COPR.

I got COPR recently with validity till Nov 12, 2021. I am thinking of doing soft landing(2 weeks of stay) if possible. I am currently on F1 Visa, so I can use AVR option. I will be applying for H1B, status (H1B Denied or H1B application approved or H1B application in progress) should not matter for me to use AVR option, is my understanding right?

If my H1B application is approved, I am thinking of going to Canada do my PR formalities in Oct or Nov and go to India in a day or two, this is fine too ?

Please can someone suggest me.