Leaving Canada for more than 6 months with a Canadian Permanent Resident Card

Canadian Permanent Resident Card Q&A

Hi,

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?

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How Long Can a Permanent Resident Stay out of Canada?

The information you received is incorrect. Canadian PR Cards are valid for a 5 year period. You are free to 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. The” 6 month rule” used to be in place a number of years ago but now, you have just to be in Canada for a total of 2 years within the 5 year period to maintain your PR Card upon renewal.

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

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