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Canada Permanent Resident (PR) Card Renewal | Citizenship Application


Many of Canada’s hottest immigration programs such as the Stream A PR pathwayfederal skilled workers program (express entry)start-up visa (SUV), and certain provincial nominee programs (PNP) provide a means for applicants to apply permanent residence in Canada. Once you secure permanent residency, you may choose to renew your PR card by meeting residency requirements, or you may apply for Canadian citizenship once you are eligible.


What Does It Mean to Have PR Status in Canada?

A permanent resident (PR) is someone who has been given PR status by immigrating to Canada but is not a Canadian citizen.


How Can I Prove PR Status in Canada?

Your PR card proves that you have PR status in Canada. A PR card allows Canadian permanent residents to prove their status both in Canada, and when returning to Canada after travelling abroad (like by airplane, boat, train or bus).


What Rights Do Canadian Permanent Residents Enjoy?

When you become a Canadian permanent resident, you have the right to:

  • Receive most federal and provincial social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, such as health care coverage (i.e. OHIP and MSP);
  • Freedom to live, work or study anywhere in Canada;
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship;
  • Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

All Canadian permanent residents must respect all Canadian laws and regulations at the federal, municipal, and provincial level, which include the responsibility for paying taxes. There are only a few main differences in the rights between Canadian permanent residents and citizens, which is that permanent residents do not have the right to run for political office, the right to vote, as well as hold government positions that require a high-level of security clearance.


What are the Requirements to Maintain Permanent Resident Status?

Canadian permanent residents do not hold a Canadian passport. If you would like to travel outside of the country, you will need to do so using a valid PR card, or a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) along with your passport from your original country of citizenship. A PR card will normally be valid for 5 years. If your PR card expires while you are outside of Canada, you can apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) to return to Canada. Nonetheless, you should apply for PR card renewal before the expiry date printed on the card. Although you do not lose PR status if the card expires, certain residency requirements need to be met to be eligible for PR card renewal.


Am I Eligible to Renew My PR Card?

To maintain your PR status and renew your PR card, you need to:

  • Be a Canadian permanent resident;
  • Meet the residency requirement; and
  • Be physically present in Canada when submitting your PR card renewal application.

You should not be a Canadian citizen, not be under an effective removal order, and not be convicted of an offense related to the misuse of a PR card.


Time Lived in Canada - What are the Residency Requirements to Maintain My PR Status?

You must meet the residency obligation to renew your PR Card. To keep your PR status, you must have been in Canada for at least 730 days (two years) during the last five years immediately before application. These 730 days do not need to be continuous, and some of your time abroad may count towards the 730 days you need under specific situations.


If You Have Been a Permanent Resident for Five Years or More:

  • You must have been physically present in Canada for a minimum of 730 days within the past five years.

If You Have Been a Permanent Resident for Less Than Five Years:

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


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.


Will I Lose My PR Status If My PR Card Expires?

You will not lose your PR status when your PR card expires.

You will only lose your PR status if:

  • An officer determines you are no longer a PR after an inquiry or PRTD appeal following a refusal;
  • You decide to voluntarily renounce your PR status;
  • A removal order that is made against you comes into effect;
  • You have acquired Canadian citizen


How May I Prove That I Meet the Residency Obligations to Keep My PR Status?

You must provide supporting documents that can show that you have been in Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years immediately before you apply to renew your PR card. These documents may include:

  • Employment records or pay stubs
  • Bank statements
  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Notice of Assessment for the last 5 years immediately before the application
  • Evidence that you received benefits from Canadian government programs
  • Rental agreements
  • Club memberships
  • Any other documents that prove you met your residency obligation


The application for PR card renewal can only be submitted inside Canada. If you are a PR outside Canada without a valid PR card, you should apply for a PRTD.


Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

If you cannot meet the residency requirements, it may still be possible to keep your status as a Canadian PR. To assess your application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, you must show that there were exceptional circumstances or factors beyond your control that have kept you living outside Canada. 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. 


What Are the Requirements to Apply for Canadian Citizenship?

To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You are a permanent resident of Canada
  • Have met the residency requirement of living in Canada of at least 3 years out of 5 years (1095 days)
  • Have passed the citizenship test (If you are between the ages of 18 and 54)
  • Meet the language requirements in English or French
  • Have filed your income taxes, if applicable

If you meet the conditions above, after passing citizenship test and taking the Oath of Citizenship ceremony, you will officially become a Canadian citizen. As a Canadian citizen, you will be able to apply for a Canadian passport, be able to run for political office and entitled to voting rights. After you become a Canadian citizen, you do not have to meet certain conditions to maintain your citizenship. If you do not voluntarily renounce your Canadian citizenship, you will not lose your status.


Renew Your PR Card Before It Expires Or Enquiring About Your Canadian Immigration Options

If you are unsure whether you meet the requirements to maintain your PR status, would like to obtain professional assistance in renewing your PR card, or would like to inquire about your options for immigrating to Canada, speak with our professional team today. Our professional team is 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. We have represented many candidates in the past and would be delighted to assist you.

For further enquiries, please contact us at 2868 3780 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.