What if your PR card expires?
Permanent resident cards (PR cards) all have an expiry date, and the government recommends that you take the necessary steps to renew your card at least six months in advance of this expiry date. However, often times permanent residents are unable to do so and end up with an expired card.
So what happens if your permanent resident card expires while you are in Canada? Well, it’s not like a driver’s license where it’s illegal to drive with an expired license. You’re still a permanent resident of Canada, just with an expired card. However, you need to take the steps to rectify the situation and renew your card.
What if my PR card expires outside of Canada
If your permanent resident card expires while you are outside of Canada, that’s where the real obstacles are. This is because to renew your card, you need to be in Canada. But you cannot re-enter Canada with an expired permanent resident card. Instead, you will need a travel document to re-enter Canada, and this can be applied for at the Canadian consulate in the country where you are staying.
But obtaining a travel document is a lot like renewing your permanent resident card, because you need to prove to United States immigration authorities that you have met the residency obligation in order to maintain your permanent resident status – that you have been in Canada for at least two of the past five years. If you can’t, you can run into difficulties in getting a travel document and may have to make a humanitarian and compassionate case for yourself.
Do you need assistance with your permanent resident card? Whether your card is expired, you need to renew your card, you need a travel document or you haven’t met the residency requirement for permanent resident status – give us a call. We can help.
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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