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Leaving Canada for More Than 6 Months With a Canadian PR Card

By Michael Niren November 20, 2009 (Updated July 6, 2021) 2 min. read
canada permanent resident

Many times individuals who are living in Canada with a Permanent Resident card will want or need to leave for a specific reason and plan to return to Canada once that trip is over. We then receive messages from those concerned that they will face complications when returning to Canada, just like this one:

“I have a valid Canadian PR card and lived in Canada for quite a while but unfortunately, I have to go outside of Canada for more than 6 months to help my sick grandfather. I heard somewhere that I won’t be allowed back into the country if I am not physically in Canada for more than 6 months. Is there anything I can do before leaving in order to make things easier when I am coming back?”

The Permanent Resident card (also known as a PR Card) is issued by the CIC to be used as a valid identification for those traveling 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.

Interested in becoming a permanent resident in Canada? The IRCC aims to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021 through the Government of Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan.

How Long Can a Permanent Resident Stay Out of Canada?

We often get the question “how long can you stay out of Canada if you are a permanent resident?” and we’ll answer that for you. The “6-month rule” used to be in place a number of years ago but things have changed and this information is false! Canadian PR Cards are valid for a 5 year period and allows you to freely travel outside of Canada during that 5 year period. However, upon renewal of your PR Card, you should have accumulated at least 2 years of residency in Canada within that 5 year period, unless there are humanitarian and compassionate grounds to explain your absence or you were outside of Canada accompanied by your Canadian spouse.

How to Calculate Residence/Physical Presence

Absences will be calculated only for days where an applicant spent no time at all in Canada. Dates, where an applicant left Canada or returned to Canada, will not be counted as an absence since the applicant was physically present in Canada for a portion of both days. You can count the day that you left Canada and the day you arrived as physical days you spent in Canada.

Worried About Losing Your Canada Permanent Residency? We Can Help!

If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for VisaPlace Legal an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1 on 1 consultation now or call us at 1-888-317-5770.

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Arash Sorkhabi

I’m satisfied with the expertise and professionalism with which my case was managed and handled. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the firm for its support. Although it has been a long process time due to Covid, Nadia has always been one of the first people to guide me step by step through the path during this stressful and unprecedented time. I strongly recommend VisaPlace to anyone seeking legal counsel.

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Sarb walia

I am thrilled to share that , We have just got our Permanent residence status under humanitarian and compassionate category. It was great experience to get professional service from visaplace. All team members very knowledgeable, hard worker, polite and professional. Special thanks to Yasmeen Ali, who always guide me through out processs. Its not easy task to get positive output in HM Category. I am highly recommend visaplace for any kind of immigration needs.

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Shannon Wilde

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Julia Rood

I reached out to VisaPlace kind of on a whim, knowing that I needed to apply for permanent residency in order to stay with my spouse and our two cats. They were immediately and incredibly responsive, and almost instantly made me feel that I was dealing with professionals who cared about my case.

I reached out to them August last year, and today got the confirmation that my permanent residency has been approved. The people I worked with in VisaPlace stuck with me through the whole process, answering any questions and assuaging any fears that I had about the process, my application, or what I needed to do. Even when my anxiety made me snappy (I apologized immediately!) they handled my case and me with professionalism and compassion. Immigration is a stressful, scary process. I wanted professionals who knew the ins-and-outs so that I had the best chance of being able to come to Canada.

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Sanjida Prima

Had a great experience working with the people at VisaPlace for a Permanent Residency application! The team I dealt with (Nadia B., Krisztina T., Mansi S.) was extremely knowledgeable, prompt and handled the case with care. I would definitely recommend their services to anyone in need!

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Jen Wilbert

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Alison Pinto

Truly a very systematic, professional and pleasant team. My student file was with Gunjan and Yasmeen. They handled my case so well, always replied to all my queries and really did the best they can to keep me calm during the process. Yasmeen is truly very professional and completed my application in a timely and very organized manner. Would definitely recommend this organization to everyone.

VisaPlace is the perfect place to start your path to immigration.