What happens if your Canadian Permanent Residency Card expires?

Canada’s immigration department recommends that permanent residents apply to renew their permanent resident cards about six months before they are set to expire, which happens every five years. Permanent resident card expired

Renewing your permanent resident card is an important part of maintaining your permanent residence status in Canada, but what happens if you allow your permanent resident card to expire? An expired permanent resident card does not mean that you are no longer a permanent resident, but it can present some problems.

Problems that can occur if you don’t renew your permanent resident card

Your permanent resident card serves as your proof that you are a permanent resident of Canada. If you allow it to expire, you will not be able to prove your permanent resident status properly and worse, you won’t be able to re-enter Canada if you travel abroad. While you may intend to get everything in order before you leave the country, there may be unexpected situations that arise where you won’t have time to renew your card before you have to leave.

If you find yourself outside of Canada with an expired permanent resident card, or even a permanent resident card that has expired while outside of Canada, you will have to go through the process of obtaining a travel document to return to Canada.

It is important to renew your permanent resident card so that you can demonstrate having met the residency requirement, which is necessary for you to retain your permanent residency status.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you’ve met the residency requirement, speak with a licensed immigration lawyer. We can help you!

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 “What happens if your Canadian Permanent Residency Card expires?

  1. A.C.

    Dear Colleague,

    I am living at Montreal, Qc, Canada.
    My PR card is expired 4 months ago and still waiting the the new PR card(I applied in sept 2015 for new one).
    Actually, I have an application to work at Micgill university, and they asked me for a proof of my status as a resident permanent at Canada.

    Could please help me to figure out how I can get a proof that I am a resident permanent in Canada !


    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello. You can contact CIC and ask them for a letter of identification that you can use for the university.
      Regards, Muga


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