How not to Lose Your Status as a Permanent Resident in Canada

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As a permanent resident of Canada, you have to meet residency requirements to maintain your Permanent Resident Status:

  • You have to have been physically present in Canada for 730 days (2 years) out of the last 5 years as a Permanent Resident.
  • If you do not comply with this requirement then you can lose your PR Status and face:
    • A Deportation Order if you are in Canada when IRCC deems you to have not met the requirement, OR
    • A notice from IRCC that you have lost your status and cannot return to Canada if you are abroad when IRCC deems you to have failed to comply with this requirement.

While this sounds harsh – you’ve gone through all this involved process to get that PR Status and now you’re going to lose it – spending only 2 out of the last 5 years in Canada is not a very stringent requirement and one that you can fairly easily comply with.


Keeping a PR Travel Journal

Start and keep a Travel Journal of every one of your trips abroad.

Here’s what your Travel Journal should look like:

Departure Date Return Date Destination Reason
2022/06/18 2022/06/27 Curitiba, Brazil Visit Family
2022/08/12 2022/08/16 Cincinnati, Ohio Business trip (suppliers)
2023/01/11 2023/01/22 Ocho Rios, Jamaica Winter Vacation
2023/04/15 2023/04/15 Watertown, New York Weekend day trip

However, there are trips abroad that are exempt from the residency requirement. That is, they count as days lived in Canada. We suggest recording them all anyway in your travel journal just in case there ends up being some trips that aren’t judged to be exempt by IRCC officials.

As we explain in plenty of detail in our article about the residency requirement, the following trips abroad are considered exempt from residency requirements:

  • Accompanying a Canadian citizen travelling abroad.
  • Working abroad for a Canadian company or the Federal or a provincial government.
  • Accompanying a Permanent Resident abroad who is working for a Canadian company or the Public Service (Federal or provincial).
  • Compelling Humanitarian or Compassionate grounds for travelling abroad as assessed by immigration officials.

You will need supporting documentation in each of these cases.

PLEASE NOTE: If your PR Card expires this DOES NOT mean a loss of PR status. It merely means you must apply to renew your PR Card as we explain in the chapter on PR Cards.

However, it is always important to remember your expiry date for your PR Card and to renew it in a timely fashion to avoid problems when you travel and return to Canada. We even suggest renewing it within 8 or 9 months of its expiry date.


How You Can Lose Your Canadian PR Status

Summing up, there are 3 main ways to lose your PR Status:

  • You fail to meet your residency requirements as we have just explained.
  • You are indicted for serious criminality.
  • You become a Canadian Citizen.

In other words, don’t engage in serious (or any) criminality, keep your travel journal and comply with the residency requirements and then once you apply for and take your citizenship test and are granted citizenship, your residency requirements are over!


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