Who needs a PR Card and why?
A permanent resident card is the main way Canadian permanent residents (formerly known as landed immigrants) prove their status to government agencies though a Record of Landing is also valid in certain circumstances.
As a Canadian permanent resident travelling outside of Canada, if you hold a passport from a country whose citizens are required to have a visa to visit Canada, you will be asked to present your Permanent Resident Card before you board the carrier (airline, ship, etc) that will take you back to Canada. All Permanent Residents of Canada must show their PR card to a Canada Border Services officer when returning to Canada from international travel. The Permanent Resident Card is the only ID which shows proof of permanent resident status when returning to Canada on a commercial carrier (airplane, ship, bus, or train).
Travelling without a PR card
- Do so at your own risk
- Do you hold a valid Passport on the below list?
- Do you have your expired Permanent Resident Card?
- Have you already filed your PR card application with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and have a copy of the full application to take with you? Having a copy of the application is extremely helpful when the customs agent asks for proof that you are a permanent resident. If the decision has been made on the application, it is also beneficial to show a printed copy of this as well; if not, print the page showing that the application is received and in process. Click here for Application Status.
You may advise the customs agent that the application has already been filed, the a positive decision has been made (if applicable), and that you will make sure not to leave without it in the future. Remember, they hold all the power, so be pleasant.
- Please feel free to contact us if you need help or aren’t sure what to do
Countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter Canada as a visitor
Permanent residents from countries whose citizens do not require a visa to travel to Canada may be allowed entry into Canada based on the strength of their passports alone, but entry is not guaranteed (attempt at your own risk).
Andorra Estonia South Korea Poland Switzerland Antigua and Barbuda Finland Latvia Portugal Taiwan Australia France Liechtenstein Saint Kitts and Nevis United Kingdom Austria Germany Lithuania Samoa United States Bahamas Greece Luxembourg San Marino Barbados Hungary Malta Singapore Belgium Iceland Monaco Slovakia Brunei Ireland Netherlands Slovenia Croatia Israel* New Zealand Solomon Islands Cyprus Italy Norway Spain Denmark Japan Papua New Guinea Sweden
- Citizens of Israel require an Israeli passport to waive the visa requirement. Holders of any other type of Israeli travel document require visas
- Citizens of Lithuania and Poland require biometric passports to enter Canada without visas
- Citizens of Taiwan must have passports containing their ID number in order to enter Canada without a visa
Worst Case Scenario
If you left Canada without your valid Permanent Resident Card card, you may not be allowed to enter Canada and you may have to stay in the country you are traveling from.
You will likely be told that to enter Canada without your valid PR Card, you must visit the closest Canadian Diplomatic Mission (Canadian Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission) responsible for issuing a Permanent Resident Returning to Canada Single Entry Travel Document. A Permanent Resident Travel Document is similar to a visa which is attached to your passport. This document is valid for a limited period of time and enables you to gain entry to Canada only once.
I don’t have one of the above Passports
Immigroup does not advise any permanent resident to leave Canada without a valid Permanent Resident Card. If you must leave under emergency circumstances and do not have time to wait for your PR card to be issued (2-4 weeks with urgent processing), click here to read about the Permanent Resident Travel Document. To have your Permanent Resident Card application processed with urgency the following are required:
- Minimum 3 weeks between the date your application is submitted and your departure date
- Completed application free of errors and omissions. NOTE: When applications are returned by IRCC, the officer may only indicate some of the mistakes they have noticed rather than every problem which needs to be corrected for the application to be processed. If your application has more than one mistake, up to a month can be added to the processing time each time the application is returned. However, if your application has been returned, this means that a IRCC officer is assigned to your file and you do not have to start from the beginning again.
- Proof of Urgency. This must be in the form of a travel itinerary or ticket on a commercial carrier for which at least partial payment has been made.
I can’t wait 3 weeks before travelling
If you need to travel before your PR Card can be issued, you must apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document at the nearest Canadian Diplomatic Mission (Canadian Consulate, Embassy, or High Commission).
Please remember the following:
- Have the Travel Document application filled out correctly before you leave.
- Have all necessary supporting documents. Document check list for Travel Document application
- Before leaving Canada, find out which Canadian Diplomatic Mission is responsible for the country you are travelling to. NOTE: Not all Canadian Diplomatic Missions issue Travel Documents. Diplomatic Missions are very busy, and it is always safer (and sometimes faster) to take your application in person rather than mailing your personal documents to them. Reasons not to mail your application include: potential loss of personal documents, difficulty in communicating with the Diplomatic Mission, and lack of options to check the status of your application.
- If you don’t have a choice and you must mail your application then follow these guidelines:
- Research the nearest Canadian Diplomatic Mission to your travel destination before sending your application
- Determine how you are allowed to check the status of your application (phone, fax, email)
- Just because it’s written on the website does not make it so: confirm everything by phone.
- Give yourself ample time for this process.
- Did you know? Immigroup can be your representative and communicate with the Canadian Diplomatic Mission on your behalf as well as review your application before you go. Click here if you need our assistance with the Travel Document process.
The Permanent Residence Questionnaire
When applying to replace your expiring or lost Permanent Resident Card, you may receive a residence questionnaire. Residence Questionnaires are sent out to any applicant who appears to fail the residence requirement as well as to 10% of all applicants at random. If you receive the residence questionnaire, you must complete it accurately and honestly and you must return it within the time requested. If you do not comply you could lose your status and possibly be deported. Some applicants who receive the residence questionnaire may also have to attend an interview. Failure to attend this interview may result in loss of status or deportation. To see a sample of the questionnaire, please click here.
Immigroup statistics for Permanent Resident Card service
- Average processing time for Permanent Resident Card regular: 5-6 months
- Average processing time for PR Card urgent: 35 business days
- Average processing time for Permanent Resident Card top priority: 31 business days
- Status in Jeopardy or Unusual Case Success Rate: 100% in 2012
- Mistakes made by Immigroup per 100 applications: 0% in 2012
- Updated - monthly on the same date, by 3rd day of month More info
- We guarantee our work
- 6 month – card replacement guarantee
- Purchase a Right of Citizenship application and receive a 20% discount
- Receive a 20 minute in-depth consultation on complex immigration matters More info
Cost of Service
Including legal & government fees
REGULAR PR CARD
Select one that suits you best.
- Complete the form online.
- We'll contact you to complete any missing information.
- Receive your PR card in the mail
- Call us toll free: 416-962-2623 / 1-866-760-2623
- Complete the Permanent Resident Card application and send to one of our representatives for processing
- Receive your PR Card in the mail
Walk-in Service (Toronto)
Our office is open between 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and appointments are available between 9:30am – 4:15 pm. Please contact us to schedule an appointment (Address and contact info). Please note that while walk-ins are welcome, priority is given to clients with appointments. Expected appointment length is one hour.
Please have the following documents with you. All necessary documents are listed.
- Proof of Residency (if applicable)
- Proof of current residence
- Driver’s License
- Provincial / Territorial Photo ID Card
- Health Card
- PR Card
- Any document with your name and current address
At our office we will do the following:
- Fill out the entire application
- Make a full copy of your application
- Help you troubleshoot problems
- We will track your application with regular status checks and inform you of any additional documentation you need to provide.
- If you are required to complete a residence questionnaire, we can assist you with this.
- If approved, you will receive your Permanent Resident Card in the mail.
Mail-in Service - Worldwide
- Download our simplified instructions and application by clicking here
- Follow the instructions. Please complete one (1) permanent resident card application per person. Please ensure there are no gaps in your address history and employment timelines.
- Fax or email all forms and copies of documents to us for a quick review, or mail your application and copies of supporting documents to our office at: 2558 Danforth Avenue, Sutie 202, Toronto, ON M4C 1L3
- We will track your application with regular status checks and inform you of any additional documentation you need to provide.
- If you are required to complete a residence questionnaire, we can assist you with this.
- If approved, you will receive your Permanent Resident Card in the mail.
Filing an application FAQs
What is a Permanent Resident Card?A permanent resident card is the main way Canadian perment residents of all ages(formerly known as landed immigrants) prove their status to government agencies You must show your PR Card when returning to Canada after travelling internationally by any commercial carrier (i.e. plane, train, boat or bus). If you hold a passport from a country where the citizens are required to have a visa to visit Canada, you will be asked to present the Permanent Resident Card before you board the carrier that will take you back to Canada. You will also need to show your PR Card to the Border Services officer at the Canadian port of entry to prove your permanent resident status.
How do I get a Permanent Resident Card?To get a permanent resident card directly through the government, you should go to IRCC’s website and read the instruction guide (IMM 5445 ). You should complete the application forms and pay the application fees (making sure you get your fee receipt and submit it with your application). Finally, mail your application to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia.If you would like to use Immigroup to file your Permanent Resident Card application, download the forms and submit them to our office by fax (416-640-2650), email, mail, courier, or in person . If you are using a service like Immigroup’s, you will need to complete a "Use of Representative" (IMM 5476 ), included in our package.
I am new Permanent Resident of Canada, when will I get my PR Card?You should get your Permanent Resident card within approximately 60 days of landing in Canada Sometimes it can take slightly longer. If you have not received your PR Card within 60 days of landing in Canada, you should contact IRCC.
Where do I mail my Permanent Resident Card Application directly to IRCC?
If you are sending your application by regular mail, you should address the package to:
Case Processing Centre
P.O. Box 10020
However, if you are sending your application by courier, you should address the package to:
Case Processing Centre
210 George Street
If you would like our office to assist you with the application, address your package to:
2558 Danforth Avenue, Suite 202
How do I pay the Permanent Resident Card fee?All IRCC fees must be paid in Canadian dollars. You can pay the $50 fee in one of two ways:
- Online with
- A Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card
- A printer and
- An email address
- In person at a Canadian financial institution. In order to do so you must get an original fee receipt (IMM 5401 ) from IRCC.
- Online with
How long does it take to get a PR Card?A Permanent Resident Card will be mailed out to all new immigrants usually within 60 days of landing in Canada. The processing time for renewals, replacements for lost or stolen PR Cards, or Permanent Resident Cards for applicants who entered Canada before June 28, 2002 is currently 151 calendar days as of August 2014, but is subject to change at any time. For updates in processing times for Canadian Permanent Resident cards, please check the Refugees, Immigration and Citizenship Canada website.
What are the PR Card photo requirements?The Permanent Resident card photo should measure 35 mm x 45 mm (1 3/8? x 1 3/4?) . The photos can be either back and white or color. Photos must have been taken within the last 12 months to ensure an up-to-date likeness. You must be facing the camera directly, with a neutral expression. The back of the photo should bear the date the photo was taken. You should take the photo specifications from Appendix B with you to the photographer.
The PR Card application asks for work and educational history but I do not work or go to school. What do I do?You are only required to provide work and educational history for the years that you have been a Canadian Permanent Resident. If you have not worked or gone to school within the past 5 years, simply write “Not Applicable” for this question.
What if I have changed my name?You may change the name on your Permanent Resident Card if you have legally changed your name through the province of your residence or through marriage. To change the name on your PR Card, you must include the following with your application:
- a certified copy of the change of name document (divorce certificate , marriage certificate , provincial legal change of name certificate )
- a certified copy of a provincial document bearing the new name such as a driver’s license, health card, or provincial photo ID card
- a copy of your Record of Landing . If you do not have your Record of Landing, you must apply for a Verification of Status document (link) to change your name on your PR Card
How do I check the status of my application once it has been sent to IRCC?Please visit https://services3.IRCC.gc.ca/ecas/?app=ecas&lang=en where you can check the status of your application. You must have the following information to check the status of your application online:
- The applicant’s date of birth
- The applicant’s country of birth
- The applicant’s last name
- ONE of the following:
- Applicant’s client ID number
- Applicant’s Record of Landing or Confirmation of Permanent Residence number
- Applicant’s IMM5401 receipt of payment number for the receipt submitted with the application
- Applicant’s Immigration File number
- Applicant’s Permanent Resident Card number
- Applicant’s Citizenship Receipt number
- Applicant’s Citizenship File number
Without this information you will not be able to check the status of your application. If you are missing the required documentation and / or you would like assistance with this process please contact us at Immigroup at 1-866-760-2623.
What should I do with my old PR Card now that I have received a new one?You should destroy your old Permanent Resident card by shredding. Do not throw your PR card in the garbage as this could facilitate identity fraud.
I have been instructed by IRCC to pick up my PR card in person. What should I bring with me?Most PR cards are mailed directly to the applicant at the mailing address indicated on their application. However, some applications are randomly selected to have the Permanent Resident card picked up in person at the local IRCC office. If you have been advised by IRCC to pick up your PR card in person, you should bring the following documents with you:
- All Original documents you submitted copies of with your Permanent Resident card application (Record of Landing, Notices of Assessment, Driver’s License, etc)
- All passports in your possession
- Original pickup notice mailed to you by IRCC
Can I send all my family members’ PR card applications together?Yes, but you should be sure to put each application in a separate envelope in case they are processed at separate times. IRCC attempts to process family members’ applications together, however this is not always possible and is not guaranteed.
My PR Card is expiring soon or has already expired. What do I do now?If you want to travel outside of Canada, you must apply to renew your Permanent Resident card and take the new card with you when you leave Canada. You do not need to have a valid PR card to remain a permanent resident of Canada, and the act of not having a Permanent Resident card does not change your status as a permanent resident. However, you may have trouble proving your status to apply for jobs or obtain government services such as healthcare if you do not show a valid PR card.
Can I renew my PR Card outside of Canada?No, you cannot renew your Permanent Resident card from outside of Canada. You must be physically present in Canada to submit an application for a PR card, and you must state the city on the application where you are signing and dating the declaration. In order to maintain permanent resident status in Canada, you must have spent at least two years out of the previous five years living in Canada.
What is a Record of Movement?Every time you enter a particular country, your passport is scanned by the customs official. If you are a permanent resident of Canada, your Permanent Resident card is scanned as well when you enter Canada. You may request a list of your entries to any country to be provided with your PR card application in the event that you do not have two Notices of Assessment from the past 5 years, or you are specifically instructed to do so by IRCC. NOTE: Records must be obtained from each country individually. Also, only your entries to a country are recorded; there is no record of your exits from the country.
I am in big trouble - HELP! FAQs
How do I get back to Canada if my PR card has already expired?You must apply for a Travel Document before returning to Canada.
I think I have lost my Permanent Resident status.In order to meet the residency requirements, you must spend at least two years out of five inside Canada to remain a permanent resident. This means you must spend 730 days out of every 1825 days inside Canada. Any permanent resident who has spent more than 1095 days outside of Canada during a five year period is considered not to have met the residency requirement and has forfeited their status as a permanent resident if they are not inside Canada when they go over the limit. The only way to get back into Canada is to apply for a Travel Document at the nearest Canadian Diplomatic Mission. NOTE: Permanent residence status may be revoked at the discretion of IRCC. This means that you could lose your status even though you have spent fewer than 1095 days outside of Canada within the past five year period if IRCC thinks that you have not fulfilled your obligations as a permanent resident. We recommend that you spend as much time in Canada as possible and, if you hold a passport from a country where citizens are required to have a visa to visit Canada, you should limit your time outside of Canada to around half as many days as the maximum (about 500 days per five years) just to be safe. Keep in mind that Permanent Resident status in Canada is a privilege with obligations that must be met, and not a right that you are entitled to once you have been granted this status. To find out whether you are in danger of losing your status next time you renew your Permanent Resident card, you can contact us for a consultation.
What if my permanent Resident Card is lost, destroyed, or stolen?If your PR card has been lost, destroyed, or stolen, you should contact the police and file a report. When you apply for a replacement, you should complete page 4 of the application detailing the circumstances of the loss or theft. If you landed in Canada after 2002 but never received your first Permanent Resident card, you should write the circumstances on page 4 of the application.
My PR Card contains a typo – how can I fix it?This depends on both what the typo is (incorrect date of birth, misspelled name, etc) and why the typo has occurred. If the same incorrect information is listed on your Record of Landing, you must request an amendment to your Record of Landing. If the typo does not appear on your Record of Landing, but is simply a mistake by IRCC, you must apply for a new PR card. You may contact IRCC about these problems at 1-866-242-2100. If you would like assistance with this, please contact us at 1-866-760-2623.
I have a criminal record. Can I still renew my PR card?If you have been convicted of a crime since becoming a permanent resident of Canada, this does not affect your status unless you have specifically been advised by IRCC. However, you could have problems gaining entry to other countries, especially the United States, if you decide to travel internationally. Also, a criminal record may affect your Canadian citizenship application whenever you choose to apply. If you have concerns about becoming a Canadian Citizen because of a criminal record you should contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or you can call us for a consultation at 1-866-760-263.
I am travelling and need a PR Card fast.IRCC will process applications on an expedited basis if you have proof of travel, such as a plane ticket and proof of purchase. You must include this proof with your application. If you need help applying for expedited processing of your Permanent Resident card application, you may contact IRCC at 1-866-242-2100 or you may contact us at 1-866-760-2623.
My application was sent back to me. What do I do?
- Correct all mistakes indicated by the officer and follow any instructions
- Double check your entire application to make sure there are no other errors
- Return the whole application back to IRCC with the letter and instructions attached
- Send the package to the attention of the officer who sent your application back to you
I did not tell the truth on my application and the government just contacted me. What should I say?You should always tell the truth and disclose any pertinent information when dealing with the government. Otherwise you may be accused of misrepresentation and your Permanent Resident status may be revoked. If you are not sure what to do, you can call Immigroup for a consultation.
Using Immigroup FAQs
Why should I use Immigroup?
- We have helped thousands of clients obtain their Permanent Resident Card. This gives us the experience that you can utilize.
- We make sure that we submit the best possible application for every single client.
- We have been in business since 2004.
- Our staff members have years of experience in the immigration field.
- You can call us between 8:00am and 6:00pm Eastern Time and speak to a live professional.
- More than half a million people visit www.immigroup.com each year to use our great tools and information.
- Our legal fees are disclosed on our website. Not many law firms are willing to do that!
- We make it easy for you to get started on your application by email, phone, or fax.
- Customer service and sound and ethical advice are our highest priority. Once you have used us you will feel the difference knowledge, service, and loyalty makes.
- We think outside the box to help you with your case, but we don’t take clients on just because they can pay! Expect an honest opinion – we will advise you if applying is not in your best interest. Click here to see our firm’s application statistics
- We go out on a limb to give you the highest level of service.
- We don’t take short cuts - we are perfectionists!
I am traveling and need my card fast. How quickly can you get it?
Can you guarantee everything will work out if I use you?No application has a guaranteed successful outcome whether you submit it yourself, use our company, or hire the most expensive lawyer in Canada. However, the great thing about Immigroup is that you can see statistics of the success rate of our past applications. If your PR card does not come in the time frame, we will refund the difference between urgent and regular service. Click here for detailed statistics
What if Immigroup makes a mistake on my application?Immigroup has the highest standards in hiring and training. Mistakes that effect the processing time of your application are extremely rare. However, if Immigroup makes a mistake on your application which causes a delay in processing, we will take full responsibility and process a refund appropriate to the situation. Click here to see statistics on these incidents and our terms of reimbursement to you.
Why should I hire Immigroup when I can do the application on my own?You can definitely do any application on your own without hiring a company to help you. However, when you use Immigroup, you gain these advantages over people who do it themselves:
- can be completely sure that the best possible application was submitted. This means that there will be no mistakes, errors, or omissions which could cause delays or refusals of an application.
- This also means that Immigroup will offer you the most ethical and sound advice regarding your application. We will tell you if something in your application works against you or could cause problems in the future.
- Immigroup has years of experience which can be leveraged in your favor to know what works and what doesn’t in an application.
- Using Immigroup will also save you time because you don’t have to fight with the government to submit an application or follow up on it. You can simply call or email any time you want to know the status of your application.
- Immigroup offers 20% off our service fee for every additional application.
- Immigroup offers 20% off our service fee for returning clients.
Can you give me free support or where can I get free support?We are committed to helping everyone with their immigration needs. This is why www.immigroup.com offers free tools and information to answer all types of immigration questions. We have also accumulated a database of free government and non-for-profit agency information which can be searched: click here and start searching. Immigroup does charge a fee for all services, but we are always looking for feedback on how we can further help our community. Our email address is [email protected]
I have one important question, but I don’t need the full service. What can I do?You can easily search our database of FAQs. However, if you still can’t find the answer to your question, email us your question and you will receive a response within 2 business days. Depending on the complexity of your question, you may be advised to schedule a consultation with one of our immigration practitioners to ensure that you receive the best advice. The cost for a consultation is $84.75 (tax included) which is up to 30 minutes; however, if you retain Immigroup for a full service after the consultation, this fee well be deducted from the cost of the service. Consultations are available in person at our Toronto office or by phone. (Other options are available for hearing-impaired persons.) Call us at 1-866-760-2623 or email at [email protected] to schedule your consultation. Click here for More Information.
I called your office and did not get the answer I needed. What can I do?Only general information is available when you call our office. If you are still unsure how you should proceed, contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss the details of your specific case. Click here for more information.
How can I check the status of my application?Checking the status of your PR card application is simple. If you have filed an urgent application, please contact us 10 business days after your application has been submitted. For a Regular PR application you may contact us after 45 days to check the status. You can check the status using one of two methods:
- By phone
Contact our office during business hours and state you are a Permanent Resident card client that needs a status check on your application. We will confirm your contact information and then contact you within one business day to advise of the status of your application.
- By email
Email us at [email protected] and advise us that you are a current client and you would like to check the status of your application. Your message should contain following:
- applicant’s first and last name,
- type of service: the subject should be PR card status check
- By phone
I used Immigroup but I lost my PR Card. do I have to do the entire process again?Yes, the application process will have to be completed once again. The good news is we have a copy of your application, so this will speed up the process. Also please note that if you lost your card 6 month from the date you paid we will offer you a 50% discount on our service fees.
Do you offer any discounts?Yes, returning clients are offered a 20% discount on our service fees. Clients who submit multiple applications are also offered a 20% discount on any additional services after the first application.
I need your help, but I can’t afford the fees? Can you help?We do our best to keep things affordable, but unfortunately we are unable to offer any discounts in addition to the ones above.
My case is complex, are you the right firm to use?Immigroup is an industry leader in Permanent Resident card application processing and assistance. In addition to PR card applications, we also have years of experience processing much more complicated. When it comes to PR card applications our firm is the leading firm processing these applications. You can rest assured you are in good hands. If we feel something is out of our understanding the agent will let you know.
Do you know something that the government does not?No, but we have 8 years of experience dealing with Permanent Resident Card applications. We are aware of changes in the application procedure as they happen, and we know what IRCC will accept and what they won’t, which is sometimes not exactly what is listed on their website. Please see our case knowledge in the PR Card Application area:
- Request for urgent processing of your Permanent Resident Card
- Name change or date of birth issues
- Lack of sufficient supporting documents to apply for a Card
- Your Embassy or Consulate will not provide your passport before you obtain your Permanent Residence Card in Canada first
- Your application has been returned to you be the processing centre
- You need to check the status of your Permanent Resident Card application
- You have already submitted your application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada but now need to travel urgently expedited
- IRCC has requested that you provide additional information
- You have over stayed outside of Canada and you feel your Status may be in Jeopardy
Can I pay you in installments?Yes, you may pay a minimum deposit of 50% of the amount due to start your case. The balance must be paid in full before the application can be submitted.
Do I pay you when I get my card?Your fees must be paid in full before your application is submitted to IRCC.
Do you work weekends or evenings?You may call our office between 8:00am and 6:00pm Eastern Time, or you may come in person between 9:30am and 4:15pm. You may drop your documents at the Toronto office 24 hours a day in our drop box. You may also leave a voicemail at 1-866-760-2623 or send an email 24 hours a day at [email protected] and you will receive a response within one business day. To meet with an immigration practitioner outside of these hours, please contact us during business hours to schedule an appointment at a time convenient to you.
How accurate is your website?We strive to maintain accurate and up to date information on our website by getting up to the minute news from IRCC and other government agencies. However, you should always confirm information before acting on it to ensure its accuracy.
I had something happen to me that is not posted on this webpageGreat, we really would love to hear from you and what happened. By sending us your experience you are helping others in the future. We post all information that will be valued by future visitors.
I can’t find an answer to my questionSend us an email or enter your question in the box below and we will get back to you within one business day.
Basic info FAQ’s
What is Permanent Resident Status?Permanent Residents have been granted the right to live in Canada indefinitely, provided they continue to meet the obligations that are required by this status such as spending a minimum amount of time in Canada. Permanent residents are also entitled to government services such as provincial health insurance as well as a SIN number which enables them to be employed.
History of the PR Card
The Canadian Permanent Resident Card became the legal proof of status document required for Canadian Permanents Residents to re-enter Canada on any commercial carrier (i.e. airplanes, boats, trains or buses) on December 31, 2003. The Permanent Resident Card was created as a proof of status replacement for the IMM 1000 Record of Landing Document previously issued to new permanent residents of Canada upon arrival.
The Canadian Permanent Resident card was introduced in an effort to increase Canadian border security after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. The US government was concerned that potential terrorists could be using Canada as a means to enter the United States and wanted the Canadian government to equip their permanent residents with an ID card instead of the paper document they had used as proof of status previously. This standard has been applied to Canadian citizens as well as permanent residents, as Canadian citizens now must present their passport, (or at land borders their enhanced driver’s license, which contains similar security features to the PR Card) – to US Customs and Border Protection in order to enter the United States . It is now easier for both the US Customs and Border Patrol and Canadian Border Services Agency to determine who travelers are – and whether or not they could pose a risk – regardless of citizenship.
In addition of being a photo ID card rather than a paper document, the Permanent Resident Card has many security features and is designed to provide Permanent Residents of Canada with a more secure, convenient means of proving their status. The PR Card is designed to protect the privacy of the cardholder as well as being more difficult to tamper and duplicate illegally. Security features include:
- Only non-secure personal information is printed on the card. Personal information that was previously included on the IMM 1000 Record of Landing document, or the Confirmation of Permanent Residence document, is encoded on the card and available only to authorized officials with the appropriate equipment.
- The photograph and signature of the Permanent Resident Card’s holder is laser-engraved in the card.
- Security features aimed at preventing duplication and tampering include ultra-violet images, tactile lettering and micro-text printing.
- The card expires every five years so appearances are kept up to date
Canadian Permanent Residents who do not have a PR Card, are outside of Canada and wish to return via commercial carrier must contact there nearest Canadian visa office to apply for a limited use travel document.
Who is eligible for a PR Card?In order to be eligible for permanent residence cards, the applicant must:
- Permanent resident status in Canada.
- Be physically present in Canada.
- Not be subject to a removal order.
- Not be a Canadian citizen or registered Indian under the Indian Act.
Who is a Permanent Resident of Canada?A permanent resident is a foreign national who has immigrated to Canada and plans to live there permanently. To maintain permanent resident status, a permanent resident must live in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. For more information on permanent resident status, please see What is a Permanent Resident?
How to become a Permanent Resident in CanadaIn order to become a permanent resident, you must first immigrate to Canada through either the federal or provincial immigration programs. The first time you enter Canada as an immigrant after your application for permanent resident status has been approved is called “landing” in Canada. Once you have landed in Canada, you will be given your permanent resident card and Record of landing. Those here on temporary status such as temporary residents or work permits are not permanent residents. You may apply for permanent resident status from inside Canada or from outside of Canada depending on the class you are applying under. Please see How to Apply for Permanent Residency in Canada.
What is the cost for a Canadian Permanent Resident Card?The application fee for a Permane Resident Card is $50 CDN. The cost of the PR card using Immigroup depends on the processing time. Please see the fee grid above.
How do I keep my Permanent Resident status?Your permanent resident status allows you to live in Canada indefinitely and travel freely outside of the country. However, there is also a time limit on how much time you can spend outside of Canada. To maintain your status as a permanent resident in Canada, you must live in Canada for at least two years within any five-year period. If your status as a permanent resident in Canada is questionable because of the number of days you have been abroad, it could be risky to complete the PR Card application; it may be better to remain within Canada until there is less risk of losing your status.
What is a Permanent Resident Travel Document?A Permanent resident travel document is a one-time-use replacement for a Permanent Resident Card for Canadian permanent residents overseas who do not have a valid PR Card but who wish to return to Canada. This document is issued at Canadian diplomatic missions abroad and attached to the bearer’s passport.
What is a Record of Landing (IMM 1000)?This paper document is literally the record of your landing in Canada as an immigrant.
Do I need to renew my PR Card when I move?No, you do not need to renew your Permanent Resident Card just because you moved. You only have to renew it when it expires.
What happened to the IMM 5455?The supplemental identification form has been retired. You no longer have to fill out a paper copy in order to apply for a PR Card.
I am a foreign citizen with a Canadian PR Card. I am moving home to work. I need to give up my residency in Canada so I can work at home. How do I do this?You cannot renounce your PR status. However, you shouldn't have to do this to leave Canada or to work in your home country. Your permanent resident status in Canada will expire automatically after you have lived in your home country.