Maintaining Permanent Residence and PR Card

Canadian permanent residents need to comply with the residence requirement in order to maintain their status. Specifically, they must be physically resident in Canada for 730 days in any 5-year period. There are certain exceptions to this requirement, such as where a permanent resident is employed by a Canadian business working abroad or accompanying a spouse who is Canadian citizen or permanent resident and who is employed by a Canadian business working abroad.

Since 2002, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) requires that Canadian permanent residents hold a valid permanent resident card (“PR card”), which is the primary document evidencing a person’s permanent resident status. The PR card is valid for a period of five years, after which it must be renewed.

If you know your card will be expiring soon, you should make an application for a PR card renewal. If you need to travel abroad but your card has expired or is in the process of renewal, it is possible to expedite the process and to obtain your PR card within a shorter time frame. Contact us for further information on this subject.

An application for permanent residence card renewal may be refused if the permanent resident does not appear to meet the residence obligation and the exceptions. However, there are often compelling reasons why a permanent resident cannot meet the residence obligation. In this situation, one may still make an application requesting exemption from the residence requirement based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

If your PR card has expired while you are outside Canada, you may apply for a Travel Document to a CIC office abroad in order to return to Canada. The criteria for issuing a Travel Document are similar to those in PR Card renewal.

If your application for PR card renewal is refused, you may appeal this decision to the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board in Canada. The application to appeal must be made within 60 days of receiving the refusal. You may provide additional humanitarian and compassionate arguments as well as new documentation in support of the appeal.

If the appeal at the Immigration Appeal Division is unsuccessful, you may apply for a judicial review of the Immigration Appeal Division’s decision with the Federal Court of Canada.


Related Articles

Canadian Citizenship Applications

Canadian Permanent Residence Applications

Appeal and Judicial Review

Immigration Services at the Law Office of Jeff Li

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