Since 2002, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) requires that Permanent Residents of Canada hold a valid permanent resident card (“PR card”).
The PR card is to be used as a valid identity document for persons traveling abroad and returning to Canada by car, bus, airline or any other means of transportation.
Therefore, it is important to have a valid PR card in order to be allowed to enter Canada.
- Persons who receive their permanent residence after 2002 will automatically receive their first PR card upon landing in Canada. Other permanent residents who hold Record of Landing documents but who have not yet applied for a PR card will need to make an application to CIC.
- Typically, when a permanent resident makes an application for a PR card, it takes a few weeks for the card to arrive in the mail. If you need to travel outside of Canada for an emergency situation, and your card has expired, there are ways to request expedited processing.
Do You Qualify for a Canadian Permanent Residence Card?
If you lived outside of Canada for more than three years in the last five years and do not meet any of the traveling with family or business exceptions, than you may be at a risk of losing your Canadian permanent residence status.
- Even though you may not meet the requirements, you can still make an application provided that you formally request an exemption under humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
- Under the immigration regulations, a permanent resident who has not met the minimum physical presence in Canada may ask the immigration officer to consider special circumstances that have prevented the applicant from residing in Canada.
- Typically there are compelling reasons why the permanent resident was not able to reside in Canada, which will convince the immigration officer that in fact there exist grounds upon which an exemption for residency obligation may be made.
- However, the final decision remains with the immigration officer who will review your humanitarian and compassionate arguments and supporting documentation to determine whether an exception can be made.
Obtaining a Permanent Residence (PR) Card- We Can Help
Immigration laws are only second to tax laws as far as complexity, so that is why not preparing your application documents properly or even missing a crucial section can mean delays of months and months, in some cases years and in worse cases, a denied application.
Niren & Associates has over 14 years of experience in helping thousands of people successfully apply for a Canadian Permanent Residence Card:
- We exclusively specialize in Canadian and US immigration and therefore our firm is equipped with the infrastructure that is customized for immigration
- We have a proven track record in our Ottawa office for handling US and Canadian visa cases and you could become one of our new success stories
- Our Canadian lawyers are fully licensed and ready to help you right now
This firm was extremely helpful in my visa application process. The lawyer that was assigned to me was very professional, experienced and friendly. The lawyer was prompt and responsive in addressing all my questions and processing documents. He was truly knowledgeable and well connected with all the resources. Emma R.
Important Updates and More Information About Canadian Permanent Residence Card
Renewing your PR Card for Canada
- The PR card is issued for a period of five years, after which it can be renewed if the Canadian resident has met the Residence Requirements.
- If you know your card will be expiring soon, you must make an application for a PR card renewal which is submitted to CIC.
- The application requires that you disclose your travel outside of Canada, your address and employment history for the past five years.
- This information helps the immigration officer reviewing your application determine whether or not you meet the residency obligation.
- If the immigration officer is satisfied that you in fact meet the requirement, you will be asked to attend the local immigration office to pick up your card.
- You will have 180 days from the notice of the letter to pick up your new card.
Generally speaking, the process to renew a PR may take a few weeks. It is therefore advisable that you renew your card well in advance of the expiry especially if you expect to travel outside of Canada. CIC recommends that you file an application for renewal two months prior to expiry.
It is no longer required that you submit your old PR card with the application.
Instead, CIC now requires that you bring your old card to the local immigration office at the time you are ready to pick up your new card.
This is a welcomed change as it allows permanent residence to travel abroad and to return to Canada as long as they have a valid PR card, while their application for renewal is in process in Canada.
In situations where you must travel abroad but your card has expired or is in the process of renewal, there are ways to expedite the process and to obtain your PR card relatively quickly.
Can my PR Card application be refused?
An application for permanent residence card may be refused for several reasons.
- One reason is that the permanent resident does not appear to have been in Canada for 730 days in the past five years.
- However, an immigration officer may also refuse an application on the basis that the applicant did not satisfy the officer about the applicant’s identity or supporting documents submitted with the application.
What if I am outside of Canada and my Permanent Residence Card has expired?
This is a very common situation for many permanent residents.
- If you find that your PR card has expired and you are outside of Canada you must obtain a Travel Document which will allow you to travel back to Canada.
- The process of obtaining a Travel Document will require the permanent resident to make an application to the Canadian office abroad.
- If you show that you have resided in Canada for at least two years in the five year period, than the Canadian office abroad will most likely issue you the Travel Document and allow you to return to Canada.
- However, if you have not met the residency requirement you may make humanitarian and compassionate arguments as to why you have been outside of Canada for longer than two years. The decision whether to grant you a Travel Document in this scenario will depend on the immigration officer reviewing your file.
What if my application for a PR Card was refused?
If your application for permanent residence is refused you may appeal this decision to the Immigration Appeal Division in Canada.
- The application to appeal must be made within 60 days of receiving the refusal.
- Upon receiving the appeal notice, the Immigration Appeal Division will hold a hearing in Canada where they will determine whether the decision to deny your PR card application was correct.
- During the hearing, the Immigration Appeal Division is allowed to consider additional humanitarian and compassionate arguments as well as new documentation and submissions in support of the appeal.
- The appellant will also be required to testify in front of a member of the Immigration Appeal Division.
- If you are outside Canada you can still appeal your application. You also have the option to request that you return to Canada for your appeal.
- The right to appeal at the hearing in person is not automatic and a request must be made with the Immigration Appeal Division.
- If your appeal at the Immigration Appeal Division is unsuccessful, you do have the option of making a further appeal to the Federal Court in Canada.
Not All Law Firms Are Created Equal
Here at Niren & Associates we exclusively focus on US and Canadian immigration. We don’t practice other types of law and our immigration lawyers are fully licensed in Canada to be able to help you.
Today’s interview went very well, and we have been asked to collect our passport with visa tomorrow. The full credit goes to your hard work and your team’s dedications. Trivedi S.