I am a researcher from Germany who came to Canada on June 1st to work on a research project. I am coming under the 120 day work permit exemption and hold a German passport. I immigrated directly from Germany.

When I passed the border, no document of any kind was issued to me. However, apparently the border officer was supposed to have issued a visitor record form (IMM 1097?) to me, indicating the 120 day exempt status. Unfortunately I need this form to apply for a social insurance number, and I am a bit lost as to how to get this sorted out.

I already went back to the airport (YUL, Montreal) where I was told that there was nothing they could do for me and that I should call the immigration office. I checked their website, but it did not turn up anything that exactly matched my situation. I also called the immigration office hotline (+1 888 242-2100), but they would not connect me to an agent.

I have certified hard copies of hopefully all relevant documents with me.

What can I do to obtain this document?

  • Although they should probably have informed you of the potential need for the visitor record, technically it is only issued upon your request. If you are in Montreal, flagpoling at the land border probably would be the easiest.
    – xngtng
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 13:18
  • 1
    @xngtng I was prepared to ask for that, but I never got to speak to a border officer. I was kind of thrown off script when the officer I went to looked at my immigration form, said "you have been selected for a random Corona test" and then ushered me away. I expected to get back to the border control after that, but this was apparently not the case. By the time I noticed something went wrong I was already outside of the border control area.
    – FUZxxl
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


Drive to the border, cross it and turn around immediately. That’s what some persons have done in the past to (re-)immigrate after obtaining PR. Perhaps this can work in your case too? I remember that I came in via Ottawa (YOW) first and they didn’t grant me the work permit as expected. I left again and came back on my next travel via Toronto (YYZ). The officers there were making fun of their Ottawa colleagues because they were wrong and I got all my papers (that was 2009 mind you).

  • 1
    I came to the same conclusion after researching the situation some more and will probably try that. Unfortunately I'm in government mandated quarantine right now, so it'll take another week for that to happen.
    – FUZxxl
    Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 10:05
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    Worked like a charm! I crossed today at the Champlain border checkpoint.
    – FUZxxl
    Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 20:52
  • 2
    Great! I'm glad it worked out for you. The first time that I'm getting feedback like this on a StackExchange answer. Even better - it is for a compatriot :-D. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 0:54
  • @FUZxxl with reference to your (now deleted) comment to another user, unfortunately this solution isn't as simple for people who are inadmissible to the US or who lack a required visa, especially since visa processing times are often well in excess of 120 days since the end of the coronavirus pandemic. I just checked, and for first-time B visas (i.e. an interview is required) the appointment wait time is 745 days in both Toronto and Ottawa. That's two years and two weeks. Montreal is accepting emergency appointments only. Canada ought to offer another solution to correct such errors.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 26, 2023 at 7:10
  • @phoog Yeah, that kind of sucks. I guess one could try to do that without a visa and tell the border control officer that you do not wish to enter the US (and so get rejected entry), but I guess this may go terribly wrong if you would in fact require a visa.
    – FUZxxl
    Commented Aug 26, 2023 at 10:29

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