Permanent resident card
A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries. The permanent resident (PR) card can be used to show that someone has permanent resident status in Canada.
Understanding PR card and PR status
A PR card is usually valid for 5 years from the date of issue, if your PR card expires, it does not mean a permanent resident has lost their permanent resident status. To keep the permanent resident status, a permanent resident of Canada must have been in Canada for at least 730 days during the last 5 years, and these days do not need to be continuous. Even if a permanent resident does not meet the residency obligation, they are still a PR until an official decision is made on their status.
Permanent resident (PR) card vs Permanent resident travel document (PRTD) When travelling outside of Canada, apart from a valid passport, a permanent resident must carry and present their valid permanent resident (PR) card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when they come back to Canada on a commercial vehicle.
It is the permanent resident’s responsibility to ensure that their PR card is still valid upon their return from outside Canada, or they need to apply for a PRTD before coming back. A PR card can only be applied from inside Canada, and a PRTD can only be applied from outside Canada.
When to apply for a permanent resident (PR) card?
A permanent resident (PR) card application can only be submitted from inside Canada. A permanent resident should only apply for a PR card if:
• Their card has expired or will expire in less than 9 months
• Their card is lost, stolen, or destroyed
• They did not receive their card within 180 days of immigrating to Canada
• They need to update their card to:
o Legally change their name
o Change their citizenship
o Change their gender designation
o Correct their date of birth
When to apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD)?
A permanent resident travel document can only be applied from outside Canada and is normally only valid for one single entry. A permanent resident of Canada should apply for a new PR card as soon as they resume residence in Canada.
A permanent resident can apply for the travel document if they:
• Are outside Canada
• Do not have a valid PR card showing their PR status; and
• Will return to Canada by a commercial vehicle (airplane, boat, train, or bus)
Need help applying for your permanent resident card or travel document? Contact us today for assistance.