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If you are a permanent resident of Canada, your permanent resident card is an important document that allows you to re-enter Canada should you leave and go abroad. All permanent resident cards have expiry dates, and they must be renewed accordingly. The catch is, you need to be in Canada when you do this.
Problems can arise when a permanent resident is abroad and their permanent resident card (PR card) expires on them. This means they cannot use their card to get back into Canada, and they cannot renew their card because they’re not in Canada.
So what can you do? Don’t panic! This happens often and there is an option available to you.
When your permanent resident card has expired outside of Canada, you will need to go to your closest Canadian consulate and apply for a travel document. This travel document is what will allow you to return to Canada and renew your card in the usual manner.
Applying for a travel document as a permanent resident will still require that you can show proof of your identity and proof that you have met the residency requirement for maintaining permanent residence in Canada – this means you need to have lived in Canada (been physically present) for two years of the last five. You must be able to prove this in order to obtain your travel document.
If you cannot prove that you have met the residency requirement or you need assistance in obtaining a travel document and renewing your card, please speak to a licensed immigration lawyer as soon as possible. We are available to help you with renewing your permanent resident card, even in cases where you may be facing difficulties.
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