Applying for a PR Card Renewal

(Below is a transcription of this video)

Hi. This is Michael Niren. I’m an immigration lawyer and founder of Today I’m going to talk to you about PR card renewals. We
handle a lot of PR card renewal applications, and generally speaking in
order to qualify for a PR card renewal, you have to remain in Canada for
two years in the last five years of obtaining a PR card.

When permanent residents come to Canada, they are typically issued a PR
card, which are valid for five years. In order to renew it, you have to
show physical residency in Canada for two out of those five years. Of
course, there are exceptions to that rule. For example, if you are married
to a Canadian citizen and you are traveling abroad, those days could count
towards your residency if you’re accompanying your spouse.

When Do I Need to Renew a Permanent Residence Card?

But these are for permanent residents, and the other thing you should know
is that PR cards are for travel. So technically speaking, that, you could
be a permanent resident, and remain in Canada indefinitely without a PR
card. But for those who need to travel and most of us do, you need a
permanent resident card to return to Canada as a permanent resident.

Now, there are situations where you may need an urgent PR card. For
example, if you have an emergency, a family emergency, or you have to leave
right away and you don’t have a PR card, there are situations where you
could be outside of Canada, and then apply for a travel document from your
local embassy in order to get back to Canada, even if you don’t have a PR

Another situation is that even if you don’t meet the residency requirements
or the exceptions, you still could potentially get a PR card if you can
show that your absence beyond those two years is justified or there are
special circumstances. We call those Humanitarian PR Card Applications, or
PR Card Renewals. We do a lot of those.

So if you are abroad for a lengthy period of time and you don’t meet the
exceptions, you still could potentially get a PR card. But it’s more
difficult of course, and it’s lengthy, in terms of the process. So, if you
have any other questions about PR cards, feel free to go to our website at, or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help. Thank you
and have a great day.

Do You Need Help with Renewing Your PR Card?

Like all legal immigration matters, the process for renewing a PR card can be complicated, and any errors on the application can mean a refusal.  Enlisting the help of a professional lawyer with experience in Canadian immigration matters can make the difference of whether you are successful with renewing your PR card or not.

Contact our experienced team today, and let us help you renew your PR card.


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

2 thoughts on “Applying for a PR Card Renewal

  1. Mira Freiwat

    Hello Joe,

    Thank you for your post. This is an immigration inquiry that I get asked a lot! As long as your papers are in process and you meet the requirements to renew your PR card and you are not planning on traveling anywhere in the near future then you have nothing to worry about! You do not need to exit the country or take any other procedures other than to wait until your new card is available for pick up. In the event that you do need to travel and you have not yet received your card, then you will need to apply for a travel document. Otherwise everything is okay! Sometimes processing takes longer than anticipated! MF

  2. JOE

    I am a permanent resident of Canada and my card will expire on July 2015, and my renewal application is received on April 08th. Now I came to know that, the renewal need 68 days. Need I leave Canada, even if my application is under process and do they decline my status because of this. Moreover, I am full filling all required requirements .

    Please advice and need I apply for an another emergency application ? I am not traveling anywhere in near 6 months .

    I appreciate your reply,


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