Once an individual is a permanent resident of Canada, she or he will be provided with a Permanent Residence (PR) card. This card reflects that the individual is indeed a permanent resident of Canada.
When travelling to Canada, all permanent residents are required to present this card when boarding a plane to Canada and at the port-of-entry, be it at a Canadian airport or land border. One risks being refused boarding and entrance to Canada if they do not have their valid PR card on them or it has expires, and they do not have a travel document either.
Hence, it is crucial that a permanent resident keep their PR card with them when travelling to Canada and ensure that it will be valid upon their scheduled to return to Canada. If a PR card is going to expire, we encourage that one apply for a new card within 9-10 months of its expiry.
Once a permanent resident becomes a Canadian Citizen, she/he will not require a PR card to travel back into Canada.
Eligibility to apply for a PR card
In order to be eligible to apply for a PR card, an individual is required to be:
- currently have permanent residence status and not Canadian citizenship;
- presently in Canada; and
- have not been asked by the Government of Canada to leave the country.
Conditions to apply for PR card
There are specific circumstances under which an individual can apply for a PR card. They are:
- upon receiving permanent residency, the PR card is not received within 180 days of immigration to Canada;
- the PR card needs to be renewed as it has expired or will expire within 9-10 months;
- a name has been legally changed and need to updated on the PR card; and
- If the PR card has been lost, destroyed or stolen.
Please note that a PR card has a validity to up to five (5) years.
If a PR card expires while an individual is outside Canada, a Travel document needs to be applied for in order to re-enter Canada.