What happens if your Permanent Resident Card expires?

The majority of the information available regarding what happens when your Canadian permanent resident card expires relates to what happens when your permanent resident card expires inside of Canada. Permanent resident card

The purpose of this article is to discuss what happens if your permanent resident card expires while inside of Canada.
So, what happens? Not much. When your permanent resident card expires, that doesn’t mean your permanent resident status expires. However, letting your permanent resident card expire can result in big problems.

Why do I need to renew your permanent resident card?

Your permanent resident card is an important document, because it serves as proof of your permanent resident status in Canada. Not only that, it allows you to re-enter the country after leaving. When you go to renew your permanent resident card after it has expired, the process can be much more problematic.

In addition, there is always the chance that you will have to leave Canada and travel abroad, whether you plan a vacation or you have an emergency abroad. In this case, you may end up scrambling and even then not get your permanent resident card in time, resulting in your being stranded outside of Canada with no way to get home.

If this happens to you, or your permanent resident card expires while you are outside of Canada, you will need to apply for a travel document and in order to obtain one you will have to provide evidence that you are a permanent resident of Canada and have met the residency requirement.

Need to Renew?

Renewing your permanent resident card before it expires doesn’t have to be a headache! There is paperwork to fill out, supporting documents to gather and you have to know where to file your application. Also it you have to file an urgent PR Card renewal, you can do so explaining the urgency but there are no guarantees your application will be processed on time.

We are a licensed immigration law firm that can help you with your permanent resident card renewal, even if you are facing difficulties or obstacles.

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

8 thoughts on “What happens if your Permanent Resident Card expires?

  1. Maria

    My permanent residence papers expired July 7/2016. I found a job and got
    injured. Am I covered by WSIB. I have been working at job for 2 months.

    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Marie. That is a question for Ontario WSIB.
      Regards, Muga

  2. Shahriar

    Hi Mr Niren.
    I received my PR card less than a year ago, and since I have a business in my home country to shut down before moving to Canada for settlement, it might take another year for me to be able to enter Canada again, but I’m not planning to leave again after this entery. With the new rules I heard rumors about, I wont be staying for the time required by the new act (4 years out of 6) to apply for Canadian citizenship by the time my PR card expires. What will happen at that time? With the worrying rumors I’ve heard recently, is it still possible to renew the PR while in Canada until I fulfill the 4 year requirement? Thanks.

    1. Mira Freiwat

      Hello Shahriar,

      Thank you for your post. The requirement is that you remain in Canada for 2/5 years of which your PR card is valid. Do not listen to rumors as they can easily misguide applicants…there is no update yet on the changes that you have mentioned as per CIC on their website. If the law does change, the way it can impact you is it will take you more time to be eligible for Citizenship, but you will be able to maintain your PR card in Canada in the interim. MF

  3. Dina

    I am out of canada and i want to renew my pr card is it possible and what is your fees we are a family 4 persons

    1. Michael Niren Post author

      Hello Dina

      Thank you for the post. If you wish to renew your PR Card, it can be done even if you are outside of Canada but it can be complicated. You can contact our office for a consultation or book one online at

      We can then advise you as to the process and fees.
      Michael Niren

  4. Ari

    Interesting article, it’s right, we just read about what to do if it expires outside Canada.

    There is a mistake in first paragraph: “…relates to what happens when your permanent resident card expires inside of Canada”.
    You meant “outside” not inside.

    1. Michael Niren Post author

      Thank you for pointing this out Ari


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