I am currently on an H1-B visa in the US and our COPR expires on Oct 23. My wife and I were planning to do a soft-landing in Oct and then settle in Canada in mid to late 2022. The restriction on soft-landing has made things quite complicated for us.
Asking for an extension may be complicated for us (more on that below) and so we are thinking that we will land in Oct, stay for 2-3 months (my job allows remote work till Dec 20), and then return and live in the US for 2 years (to wrap up some financial commitments) and then finally return for good to Canada.
a) The immigration restriction on soft-landing says don’t come if “… not settle here yet”. What does “settle” mean from an official standpoint? How is the immigration process different for “settle” vs “soft-landing”(when it was allowed)? How does IRCC track if we are settling or soft-landing? We were wondering if we can land now, stay for 2-3 months and then live outside Canada for 2 years without raising any alarms?
b) When we finally return to Canada after 2 years, is it likely to affect the PR extension or final Citizenship? Would the fact that we stayed for 2-3 months show that we had intentions to settle versus doing a usual soft landing for a few days?
c) From the customs perspective, what makes the goods-to-follow for soft-landing different from the goods-to-follow for settling? If we come now and show intent to settle, will they allow a second goods to follow once we come to settle for good?
I read that IRCC is asking people to just let their COPR expire and reach out to them when they are ready to settle so that they can generate a new COPR. That means we will be reaching out to them in 2022 (!!) since that is when we want to come to settle. Our medicals expired earlier this year. Our IELTS will expire on Sept. So we probably will have to re-do all of them - do you guys think so too? And then we may not get the same IELTS score and our CRS score may change! I think that if we give up our COPR now, we will have to get back on the EE and expose ourselves to many uncertainties.
d) Is there any way to get a -new- COPR now for soft landing / settlement later so that we are not in EE limbo for 2 years?
Any help and input would be really appreciated. I really wish I didn’t have to try and do these things that I have mentioned, to do the exact same thing (soft-landing) that was perfectly fine to do until a month ago. While I have total intent to settle in Canada, I have some commitments to meet family financial responsibilities which are met by only working in the US for 1-2 years. I hope I am still able to achieve both goals.