Call Centre Adventures: Correct but Bad Advice is Common

By Author: Admin | March 8, 2014

A client with a permanent resident card renewal in progress sought advice from the call centre. The client explained to the call centre operator that he lodged his permanent resident card renewal application with solid proof of living in Canada for more than 730 days but the new PR card had not yet arrived. The client wanted to leave to China to see his recently born granddaughter. without possessing a valid permanent resident card.

The call centre provided advice to the client.  It was free advice.  More significantly, it was correct but bad advice. The call centre advised this client that he may leave Canada without a valid permanent resident card, because he could always apply to a Canadian visa office for a travel document to return to Canada once the renewed PR card was ready to be picked up.

The above advice is correct. However it is correct only in theory; one may apply for a travel document to return to Canada in the above situation. The reality is that if one applies for a travel document, the visa office will conduct an assessment of the amount of days the applicant acquired in Canada. The amount of days in Canada is calculated as at the time the client lodges the travel document application. This calculation often leads to a finding that the client has not acquired the minimum 730 days. Thus leading to the loss of permanent resident status and necessitating an appeal to regain the PR status.

The appropriate advice would have been to gauge the importance of leaving Canada without a valid PR card against the reason for leaving Canada, along with an assessment of how many days were accumulated inside of Canada. After acquiring the aformentioned information then a decision could be made to either leave or remain in Canada pending the issuance of the new PR card.

Call centre agents have little training; they are neither officers entrusted to make decisions nor have they been called to the bar. As the answers given are spoken over the telephone, they are not responsible for the advice they give. Many clients have told me that they have spoken to two different agents and received two different, conflicting answers. If you have an immigration question that goes beyond the status of an application already in progress, you should consult a Toronto Immigration Lawyer..

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