Entry and Renewal of PR card

My family and I gained PR status and Landed in June 2016. We had to fly back to the UK to finalise house sale etc but while back my father in law was diagnosed with a terminal illness and we had to stay outside of Canada After various issues that were outside of our control, we are ready to return to Canada and pick up where we left off but it is now Feb 2021 and our PR cards expire in August of this year. Will we be allowed to enter as PR cards are still valid even though we have not maintained the criteria. I know we can apply under H&C grounds to renew our PR cards but not sure if we should do this before we try to return or after... but face being rejected at the border. I dont know the best way forward.

Riley Haas

Staff member
So: you can definitely travel to Canada until your PR Cards expire. The issue is what will happen when you get to the port of entry. There are three possibilities:
  • You will be let in without incident
  • You will be let in with the understanding that when you renew your PR Cards they will be granted for less than 5 years (usually 1 year) and you will be given a warning/lecture about maintaining status in Canada
  • Your status will be revoked at the port of entry - because you have not met the residency requirement and cannot make it by August - and you will either be admitted as visitors (because you're British) or sent home.
Because you are British the last of these options strikes me as quite unlikely. (Canada tends to treat visa-exempt nationals, such as yourselves, much better than those who are not visa-exempt.) But it's a possibility depending upon the CBSA officer you speak to and what answers you provide to the entry questions.

As for H&C: you're getting ahead of yourself. You definitely shouldn't do anything while you're outside of Canada. Try to enter first, and if you're denied, then you can think about applying from overseas.

If you are admitted you should wait at least two years to apply for new PR cards. Alternatively, at this time you can attempt to renew your PR Cards through H&C. I have no idea how likely your chances are - the burden of proof is no you to show that you could not come back to Canada because of your father-in-law's illness.