Landing in Canada as a Refugee: What Documents Will You Need to Have?

You've been authorized for refugee status in Canada via one of the country's several application channels, and you're ready to go! However, you may still have some worries regarding this hectic procedure, such as "what papers will I need when I arrive in Canada?" Our Ottawa and Orleans physicians explain

While you may have completed the application procedure, the last step in obtaining refugee status in Canada is to arrive in the country and become a resident! While this phase may be stressful, as it often is with travel, you now have all you need to properly enter the nation and begin your new life in Canada!

When you arrive at the Canadian border, whether by vehicle, boat, or aircraft, you will be asked some questions and will be required to present certain papers and information to a Canadian border official before being allowed to enter the nation.

What Documents Will I Need?

After arriving in Canada, you will need to present a collection of documents to Canadian border officials. The most important thing to remember is to keep them together and on your person while travelling. They should not be stored in your luggage, where they may become inaccessible or lost.

A valid travel document is required (for example, a passport or a travel document issued by the Government of Canada). You must also have a Canadian permanent resident visa. If you have a passport from your home country, the officer will ask to see it, as well as other travel documents.

The officer will check to see if your permanent resident visa is still valid. The visa includes an expiration date. Make certain that you use it within the time limit. We are unable to extend permanent resident visas. The officer will issue you your Permanent Residence Confirmation (COPR), which you must sign.

What Happens After I Provide the Officer With All of My Documents?

The officer will question you briefly. The questions will be similar to those on your Application for Permanent Resident Status in Canada. The officer will determine whether or not you are eligible to enter Canada. You may be denied entry into Canada if you provide false or incomplete information at the point of entry, or if you do not satisfy the officer. Secondary documents, like medical records, can help the process here.

If no problems arise at the port of entry, the officer will permit you to enter Canada as a permanent resident. Your permanent resident card will be mailed to your new address in Canada. You should double-check the Canadian address on your COPR card, as we will send your permanent resident card to that address. If you intend to change your address in the future, or if you do not yet have a permanent address, please provide us with the correct information as soon as possible.

Do I Need to Tell the Officer of Any Funds?

Yes. You must notify the CBSA officer if you are travelling to Canada with more than CAN$10,000 in your possession. If you do not, you may face a fine and have your funds seized.

These funds can include:

  • Cash
  • Securities that belong to you (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures or treasury bills)
  • Bank drafts, cheques, traveller’s cheques, or money orders

What Happens After I'm Granted Entry?

After you have been admitted to Canada, you will be met by someone from a settlement organization or a sponsorship group. They will transport you to a location where you will spend the first few days. They will also assist you in finding a permanent residence.

Coming to Canada soon and need to make sure you have all the required documents? Our immigration doctors in Ottawa and Orleans can make sure you have current medical certifications and tests for Canadian border officials. Find out more today.

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