Record keeping

Things all immigrants should keep from their first day in Canada under any visa or immigration status:
1. Download online bills or banking statements every month. Most banks and utilities only keep your bills online for 12 months.
2. All expired visas. Do not allow the border guard to dispose of your old visa when issuing a new one.
3. Keep track of all travel dates outside Canada, including day trips.
4. Travel ticket stubs or receipts, including car rental contracts.
5. Bank statements
6. Medical records
7. Rent receipts, leases or mortgage documents
8. Tax documents and notices of assessment
9. School report cards, documents or receipts
10. Hydro bills
11. Make colour photocopies of all travel documents

* If you have lost track of any of these documents, do not worry, you did not do anything wrong. The CIC provides no forewarning that these documents may be required. Just do your best and find as much as you can.

3 responses to “Record keeping

  1. Now, I am reminded to download all the bank statement. It’s going to be a lot of work but once it turns into a habit it is to one’s advantage.

    Apart from keeping all the records (hard copy), make a digital copy as well. It a tedious task but it will give you a peace of mind.

  2. Some have suggested, if you cross the border frequently, that you get an ATM receipt just before leaving and immediately upon return. Alternatively, you can ask to have your passport stamped, but since not all exit/entry portals have such stamps (e.g. certain ones in Washington state), this could be more of a hassle.

    Speaking of passports, these are the only travel documents of which you need colour copies; and many copying places refuse, as a matter of policy, to duplicate these. So use your home computer printer instead. Good idea to copy each page as you see it is filled, and keep copies in a safe place, because it is always possible to lose a passport and then you will have no way to prove your visits to other countries. Since Canadian exit records are nonexistent and entry records spotty,
    these may be lifesaving backups in the event of loss.

    Although it’s not a bad idea to have medical record copies, you are entitled to a free summary for the prior 6 years or so from most provincial health plans. This summary does not disclose your private medical information except the name of the practitioner.

    • Thanks Louise,
      I may try to integrate this information into my post when I have the spare time. Regarding the inclusion of personal medical records though, I would advise against it just from a privacy standpoint. The RQ is so invasive as it is. Medical information itself is completely irrelevant to the appraisal of residency. Inclusion of provincial records (such as Ontario’s Personal Claim History) gives the CIC the pertinent information (client appointment history, doctor name, etc.) but leaves out the nitty gritty personal stuff one runs across in true medical records.

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