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Permanent resident cards are important pieces of government-issued identification that will allow you to travel in and out of Canada while offering proof of your permanent resident status. However like all government-issued identification, you will have to renew it periodically because it has an expiry date. Citizenship and Immigration Canada recommends that you apply to renew your permanent resident card at least six months before your card is set to expire. But what if you are unable to do this?
When your permanent resident card expires while you are in Canada, nothing really happens. However, you still need to renew your card as soon as possible or you can run into problems.
When your permanent resident card expires while you are outside of Canada, it can become a bit more difficult. This is because your permanent resident card is your ticket back into Canada and your proof of status.
If you are abroad with an expired permanent resident card, you must visit your closest Canadian consulate to obtain a travel document that will allow you to return to Canada and re-enter so you can renew your permanent resident card in the standard fashion.
However, to obtain a travel document you must still be able to demonstrate that you have met the residency obligation for permanent residents in Canada just like you would when you are renewing your card itself. This means you must be able to demonstrate that you have spent at least two of the past five years physically present and living in Canada.
Are you concerned about meeting the residency requirement for renewing your permanent resident card, or are facing issues because your card expired while you were outside of Canada? We can help you! Give us a call for assistance.
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