Permanent Resident Card

Permanent Resident Card

Just as the United States of America has a green card, so does Canada.

This is known as the Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) Card. It allows the holder to work and move around for as long as they wish in Canada.

To get this card, permanent residency in Canada has to be applied for. The PR Card is the official proof of your being a permanent resident of Canada.

You will require this card if you are a permanent resident and you plan on travelling outside of Canada and returning by plane, train, boat, or bus. If you are not carrying this card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD), you will not be allowed to board the vehicle.

Your card must be valid when you return to Canada. Also, you must apply for a renewal of this card before its expiry date.

Eligibility Criteria

You will be considered eligible if:

  • You are a permanent resident of Canada.
  • You are physically present in Canada.
  • You meet all the residency requirements.

You will not be considered eligible if:

  • You are under an effective removal order.
  • You are not a citizen of Canadian citizen.
  • You have been convicted of an offense related to PR Card misuse

Benefits of PR Card

As mentioned before, having this card means you can live, work, and move around anywhere in Canada. So, you are not bound to any single province and can look for employment opportunities along the length and breadth of the Great White North.

Yet another benefit is sponsoring your family. With a PR Card, you can get your family to be with you in Canada. Also, your children would be able to avail the free education provided by the Canadian government till Grade 12.

You can avail the universal healthcare services that Canada provides too. Lastly, if you or your spouse gives birth in Canada, your child shall be granted Canadian citizenship.

With a permanent residency, you shall be called a landed immigrant. You can start your own business legally once you have this card. You can become a franchisee, sole proprietor, or partner, or even start a corporation legally.

Importance of Maintaining your Permanent Residency

As mentioned before, if you have a PR Card, you can leave the country as and when you wish to.

But, if you want to maintain your permanent residency, you will have to reside physically in Canada for 730 days within a five-year period.

These days need not be consecutive and you can spread them out over these five years. If this is not done, your permanent residency might be revoked by the government.

When you return to Canada, you will have to show your PR Card to the visa officer and so you must carry it along on your travels and keep it safe.

In case you do not have a PR Card and have to travel outside Canada, you will have to obtain a permanent resident travel document before your return via a commercial vehicle.

Points to Note

  • In almost all cases, a PR Card is issued for a period of five years. There is no prescribed limit on how many times a visa can be issued, though.
  • In certain cases, it may be issued for one year.
  • The PR Card is valid till the expiry date mentioned on it.
  • These cards are sent to addresses within the country only.
  • Sometimes, a person may have to visit a Canadian government office to pick the card up.
  • In case there is a mistake in the card, you can request a reissue.
  • A new permanent resident automatically receives their new card by mail when they first arrive as part of the immigration process.


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