AOR stands for "Acknowledgment of Receipt." It is an official document issued by the Canadian government that confirms an application for permanent residence status in Canada. Typically, immigrants to Canada must hold permanent residence status for a period of time before applying for Canadian citizenship. The AOR does not give the applicant any rights within Canada; however, it still contains important information that the applicant will require during the application process for permanent residency.
The AOR is the first official document issued by the Canadian government in response to an application for permanent residence status. Having an AOR gives the applicant no particular rights of work, residence or any other special privileges in Canada. It is simply an official acknowledgement that a person's application to immigrate to Canada has been received, and that the application will be processed if it is eligible to be processed. However, the AOR nonetheless contains important information, including any required medical documentation and applicant interviews. The AOR also includes a receipt of the fees paid to the Canadian government, the file number that will be used throughout the application process, and an indication of the expected length of time it will take for the application to be processed.
Classes of Immigrants to Canada
Applicants for permanent residence status must apply under one of several categories: Skilled Workers and Professionals; Quebec-selected Skilled Workers; Canadian Experience; Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-employed People; Provincial Nominees; and Family Sponsorship. Choosing the appropriate class depends on whether the applicant wants to settle and work in Canada, start a business in Canada, has recently worked in Canada or has family in Canada who are willing to sponsor the applicant. Provinces and territories can also nominate applicants to settle and work in a particular province.
Applying For Permanent Residence
If the applicant is outside Canada, he must either visit a visa office in the his home country, or access the permanent residence application online and mail it to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This is not an option for the applicant: under which class the applicant is applying will determine the method of submission. (See Resources) In the case of family sponsorship, the family member in Canada must first apply within Canada to sponsor the applicant, and the applicant must submit a corresponding application at a visa office in his home country.
If the applicant is in Canada, applications must generally be mailed, but depending on the class of immigrant, applications will need to be forwarded to either a central processing centre or to a visa office. (See Resources)
Refugees are those who fear persecution or risk of serious harm if they return to their home country. Refugee claimants can apply at the point of entry into Canada or at a Citizenship and Immigration Canada office. (See Resources)
An AOR is not confirmation that the individual's application is being processed. Rather, it is only confirmation that the application has been received and will be processed if it is eligible to be processed. If it is not eligible to be processed, fees paid will be refunded to the applicant.
Visa offices should issue an AOR within four weeks of receipt of the application. Processing time of the permanent residency application varies greatly depending on the class of immigrant. Information on the particular applicant's expected processing time will be included on her AOR.
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