Canadian PR Card Never Picked Up

Q. I was accepted in Canada as a “Convention Refugee” in early 199 and later received my Canadian Permanent Residence. I have four Canadian kids. I moved with my husband to US in 1997 because my husband got a job in America. By 2003 we became US Citizens. A number of times Immigration Canada contacted me to pick up my PR Card (Permanent Residence Card) but I was unable to go Canada.

My husband left for another country. 12 years have passed and I visited Canada a couple of times as an American. Now my Canadian kids want to go back to Canada and I wish to move back with them. But I’m not sure about my status in Canada. I want to get back my status.  Is that possible? Can I get back my Canadian PR from US before I move back to Canada? What should I do?


A.  Assuming that you landed in Canada in the early 90s, your settlement in the US since has resulted in you abandoning your status in Canada as a Canadian permanent residence. As you have not picked up your PR Card, and have remained outside Canada, you have lost your status. You therefore have to re-apply for Canadian permanent residence. Your children who are born in Canada are Canadian citizens. However, you will have to apply for Permanent Residence again to get your status back.

Generally, when issued a PR Card, you have to remain in Canada for at least 2 years within a 5 year period in order to renew it.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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