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Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD)


From time to time, we receive enquires about unable to obtain an eTA to enter Canada. It turns out that most of them are still Permanent Residents of Canada, at least technically. Instead of an eTA, Permanent residents need a valid PR card or Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) to return.

Most of them left Canada after landing with their PR Visas and did not return for quite a while, with their PR card expired or even lost. Some of them assume their PR status are long gone. On the contrary, Canada do not take away one’s PR status automatically for failing to meet residency obligation. Some procedures are required.

The answers to them are easy:

  • They may choose to voluntarily give up their PR status and then apply for an eTA to enter Canada
  • Or they may choose to apply for PRTD by providing proof that they meet the PR residency obligation

One common reason for meeting the residency obligations while not living in Canada is by accompanying a Canadian citizen. For instance, if an applicant’s spouse is a Canadian citizen, one can count each day accompanying the spouse for meeting the PR residency obligation.


What are the Requirements to Apply for a PRTD?

A PRTD is a counterfoil placed on one of your passport pages to prove your status as a permanent resident of Canada. This document will allow you to travel back to Canada without a valid PR card.

To be eligible to apply for a PRTD, you must:

  • Be a Canadian permanent resident and are not in possession of a valid PR card;
  • Be outside of Canada and will be travelling to Canada by plane, boat, train, or bus;
  • Not be a PR who wants to renounce your PR status;
  • Have not lost your PR status;
  • Not be a Canadian citizen;
  • Be able to prove and confirm your identity as a Canadian PR, and
  • Provide proof that you meet the residency obligations of a permanent resident.


Who Should Not Apply For a PRTD?

  1. Canadian citizens
  2. Canadian permanent residents with a valid PR card in possession
  3. Past permanent residents who have lost their PR status
  4. Permanent residents who want to renounce their PR status voluntarily
  5. Foreign nationals who do not have a PR status


How Can I Meet the Residency Obligations to Apply for a PRTD?

To apply for a PRTD, you will need to prove and confirm your identity as a Canadian PR and provide proof of meeting the residency obligations as a PR.

If you have been a PR for 5 years or more:

You must submit proof that you have been physically present in Canada for at least 730 days within the last 5 years on the day you submit your application. These 730 days do not have to be consecutive but are on a cumulative basis.

If you have been a PR for less than 5 years:

You must show that you will be able to meet the minimum of 730 days of physical presence in Canada within 5 years of the date you became a PR.


If You Have Time Spent Outside Canada

If you were outside of Canada for more than 1095 days, you may count the days you spent outside Canada toward the days required for you to meet the residency obligation in these 3 situations:

Situation A: You have been employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province

Situation B: You have been accompanying a Canadian citizen who is your spouse or common-law partner, or in the case of a child, your parent

Situation C: You have been accompanying a PR who is your spouse or common-law partner, or in the case of a child, your parent, and who is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province.


You may not meet the residency requirements if your total time spent outside Canada (excluding reasons A, B, or C) is equal to 1095 days or more.


Accompanying a Canadian Citizen Outside of Canada as Part of Your Residency Obligation

One common reason that one may meet the residency obligations while not living in Canada is by accompanying a Canadian citizen who is your spouse or common-law partner. You can count each day you accompanied your Canadian spouse / common-law partner outside Canada to meet the PR residency obligation.


Mandatory supporting documents for the application include:

  • All passports or travel documents that you and the person you are accompanying used in the last 5 years before the application;
  • Documents showing the citizenship of the person you are accompanying, including the date the person became a Canadian citizen;
  • Marriage license or proof of common-law partnership;
  • Proof of the residential addresses of yourself and the person you are accompanying for the 5 years before the application


You may also include:

  • Associations with any clubs or memberships
  • Canadian Income Tax Notice of Assessment (NOA) for the past 2 years (if any)
  • Employment records
  • Any other supporting documents you would like to be considered as part of the application


Accompanying a Canadian PR Outside of Canada As Part of Your Residency Obligation

If you are accompanying a spouse / common-law partner who is a Canadian PR, you may only count each day spent outside Canada to meet the residency obligations if:

Your spouse or common-law partner is working outside Canada full-time for a Canadian business, or the Canadian federal, provincial, or territorial government.

You will also need to provide supporting documents to show that:

  • The person you are accompanying is a Canadian PR;
  • The person you are accompanying meets the PR residency obligation;
  • You are the spouse or common-law partner of this person


Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

If you do not meet the residency obligation, it may still be possible for you to keep your status as a Canadian PR. To have your application considered on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, you will need to provide supporting documentation and information showing that there are compelling reasons or factors in your personal circumstances that would justify keeping your PR status. Please bear in mind that this is not an easy battle, and you will also need to present very strong supporting documents to back up your arguments.  


You Might Lose Your Canadian PR Status if Your PRTD Application is Refused

It is important to know that failing to meet the 730 days requirement might lead to losing your Canadian permanent resident status when your PRTD application is refused by IRCC. However, according to Paragraph 63(4) of IRPA, a candidate whose application is refused can seek an appeal of the decision of a visa officer in Canada who has denied PRTD.  A candidate has 60 days to appeal the decision from the date of the result of their previous application (or 30 days if your residency obligation was assessed negatively at a port of entry).  You may need to attend a hearing held by the IAD for this if you have been in the country for 365 days.  Therefore, it is very important for you to know what your chances are before submitting your application.


Interested in Applying for a PRTD?

If you would like to obtain professional assistance in applying for a permanent residence travel document, speak to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) recognized by the Canadian government. We have represented many candidates in the past and would be delighted to assist you.

Our professional team is also dedicated to assisting clients on a personalized basis based on their individual’s needs and qualifications with suitable immigration programs towards attaining immigration to Canada.

For further enquiries, please contact us at 28683780 or email inquiry@rothe.com.hk




The information provided above is for general private reference purposes only and is not intended to be a comprehensive explanation of Canadian immigration laws or a substitute for professional legal advice. Rothe International Canada is not responsible for any losses caused by the use of the above information.

If you have any specific questions, you are welcome to contact Rothe International Canada directly at (852) 2868-3780 or fill in our online enquiry form.