Do I Need a Permanent Resident Card in Canada?

The Permanent Resident card (also known as a PR Card) is issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to be used as a valid identity document for persons travelling abroad and returning to Canada by car, bus, airline or any other means of transportation. Therefore, it is important to have a valid PR card in order to be allowed to enter Canada.

When you are granted Canadian permanent residence, you are issued a Canadian PR Card. Other permanent residents who hold Record of Landing documents but who have not yet applied for a PR card will need to make an application to CIC.

The PR Card is valid for 5 years and should be used for travel when you return to Canada from abroad.

Upon expiry of your PR Card, you should consider renewing it if you wish to continue travelling outside Canada. You do not want to travel with an expired PR Card or you could get turned away.

How Do I Renew My PR Card?

If you know your card will be expiring soon, you must make an application for a PR card renewal which is submitted to CIC. The application requires that you disclose your travel outside of Canada, your address and employment history for the past five years. This information helps the immigration officer reviewing your application to determine whether or not you meet the residency obligations.

If the immigration officer is satisfied that you in fact meet the requirement, you will be asked to attend the local immigration office to pick up your card. You will have 180 days from the notice of the letter to pick up your new card.

It is no longer required that you submit your old PR card with the application. Instead, CIC now requires that you bring your old card to the local immigration office at the time you are ready to pick up your new card. This is a welcomed change as it allows permanent residents to travel abroad and to return to Canada as long as they have a valid PR card, while their application for renewal is in process in Canada.

How long will the renewal process take?

Generally speaking, the process to renew a PR may take a few weeks. It is therefore advisable that you renew your card well in advance of the expiry, especially if you expect to travel outside of Canada. CIC recommends that you file an application for renewal two months prior to expiry.

Need a PR Card Renewed Fast?

Is this your situation?

  • Family Emergency
  • Employment
  • Overseas and lost PR Status
  • Need to travel
  • Can’t enter Canada?

These are common situations that require URGENT PR Card processing.

We can help! Tell us what your situation is and we are on it!

Top 4 Most Common FAQs about PR Cards

  1. What if I do not meet the Residency Obligations?
  2. Can I renew my PR Card urgently?
  3. What if I am outside of Canada and my PR card has expired?
  4. What if my application for PR Card was refused?

What if I do not meet the PR Card residency obligation?

If you lived outside of Canada for more than three years in the last five years and do not meet any of the travelling with family or business exceptions, then you may be at a risk of losing your Canadian permanent residence status.

However, even though you may not meet the requirements, you can still make an application provided that you formally request an exemption under humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Under the immigration regulations, a permanent resident who has not met the minimum physical presence in Canada may ask the immigration officer to consider special circumstances that have prevented the applicant from residing in Canada.

Typically, if there are compelling reasons to convince an immigration officer why the permanent resident was not able to reside in Canada, an exemption for residency obligation may be made. However, the final decision remains with the immigration officer who will review your humanitarian and compassionate arguments and supporting documentation to determine whether an exception can be made.

What if I am outside of Canada when my PR Card expires?

This is a very common situation for many permanent residents. If you find that your PR card has expired and you are outside of Canada, you must obtain a Travel Document urgently which will allow you to travel back to Canada.

The process of obtaining a Travel Document will require the permanent resident to make an application to the Canadian office abroad. If you show that you have resided in Canada for at least two years in the five year period, then the Canadian office abroad will most likely issue you the Travel Document and allow you to return to Canada.

However, if you have not met the residency requirement, you may make humanitarian and compassionate arguments as to why you have been outside of Canada for longer than two years. The decision whether to grant you a Travel Document in this scenario will depend on the immigration officer reviewing your file.

What if my application for a PR Card was refused?

An application for a permanent residence card may be refused for several reasons. One reason is that the permanent resident does not appear to have been in Canada for 730 days in the past five years. However, an immigration officer may also refuse an application on the basis that the applicant did not satisfy the officer about the applicant’s identity or supporting documents submitted with the application.

If your application for permanent residence is refused you may appeal this decision to the Immigration Appeal Division in Canada. The application to appeal must be made within 60 days of receiving the refusal. Upon receiving the appeal notice, the Immigration Appeal Division will hold a hearing in Canada where they will determine whether the decision to deny your PR card application was correct. During the hearing, the Immigration Appeal Division is allowed to consider additional humanitarian and compassionate arguments as well as new documentation and submissions in support of the appeal. The appellant will also be required to testify in front of a member of the Immigration Appeal Division.

If you are outside Canada you can still appeal your application. You also have the option to request that you return to Canada for your appeal. The right to appeal at the hearing in person is not automatic and a request must be made with the Immigration Appeal Division.

If your appeal at the Immigration Appeal Division is unsuccessful, you do have the option of making a further appeal to the Federal Court in Canada.

Why Legal Help with PR Card Renewal is Vital

Whether your situation is urgent or not, getting a PR card renewed is vital.  The process needs to be done correctly, or you risk the consequences of not being able to enter Canada.

Legal assistance for renewing a PR card is important to ensure that you aren’t missing any details or providing incorrect information.  Preparing an application on your own may result in a refusal, and applying for a new PR card can be a tremendous burden.

Why Hire us to Help with Your PR Card Renewal?

With so many legal steps and rules involved in PR card renewals, it is a process best left to professionals.  Since PR cards were first introduced, we have been helping individuals prepare PR renewal paperwork and documentation.

We have helped thousands of individuals to successfully renew their Permanent Residence Cards. Our experienced immigration lawyers will be able to assess your case and recommend a course of action to best serve your needs.

The first step towards your PR Card renewal is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our free immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.

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