The Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) is not only a status document, but also a travel document. If your PR card expired, and you do not have a valid card in possession when you return to Canada, you will have a great chance of being turned away at the border. At our office, we have the knowledge and experience to assist you renewing your PR card and we can also assist you to renew your PR card on an URGENT basis should you have urgent need to travel.

How to keep your PR status?

Within every five-year period, on each of a total of accumulated at least 730 days in that five-year period, you will need to be

  1. Physically present in Canada, or
  2. Outside Canada accompanying your spouse or common-law partner, who is a Canadian citizen. In the case of a child, you are outside Canada accompanying your Canadian parent, or
  3. Outside Canada employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province. or
  4. Outside Canada accompanying a permanent resident who is their spouse or common-law partner or, in the case of a child, their parent and who is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province

How can I return to Canada without a valid PR card?

You will need to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document to return to Canada as a permanent resident. Processing time varies at difference visa offices, and many visa offices have specific local instructions about the documents and procedure. At our firm, we will help you to make sure you include all the correct documents and submit your application to the right office. And our job will not stop there. We will continue to follow up with immigration office until a decision is made.

Can I appeal the decision if my application for PR card renewal or travel document is refused?

Yes, you can appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board within 60 days after you receive the decision. The Appeal Division will hold a hearing to decide if your permanent resident status be taken away or not. At the hearing you can present the humanitarian and compassionate grounds along with the legal basis related to the appeal. The appeal will be held in Canada.

You can obtain a Travel document to return to Canada to attend the hearing if you have been in Canada at least once within the last year, or you will be determined by the Appeal Division whether you presence in Canada is necessary for your appeal.
If the Immigration Appeal Division denies the appeal a further appeal to the Federal Court may be made.

Travel Document

A valid permanent resident card (PR card) is required when you return to Canada as a permanent resident. If your are outside of Canada, and you have lost your PR card or your PR card has expired, you need to apply for a Travel Document through a nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate before your return.

Generally speaking, the following documents are required when you apply for a travel document:

  • your Record of Landing or Confirmation of Permanent Residence
  • your Canadian personal tax return issued by Revenue Canada
  • proof of your property in Canada
  • school or employment documents
  • your marriage certificate or evidence of common-law relationship if you are accompanying spouse or partner who is a Canadian citizen outside of Canada
  • documents showing that your accompanying spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian permanent resident working for a Canadian based company outside of Canada
  • any other documents testifying your fulfillment of residency obligation

If you want to give up your permanent resident status and come to Canada as a visitor only, you need to apply for a Voluntary Renunciation of Permanent Resident Status.

Voluntary Renunciation of Permanent Resident Status

As of November 21, 2014, permanent residents who want to voluntarily give up their status can relinquish their PR status under a legislative mechanism. They do not need to go through lengthy administrative procedure such as residency obligation assessment, IAD appeal and CBSA determination before they can re-enter as a visitor.

Once you renounce your permanent resident status, you will lose all the social and federal benefits. If you are in Canada, you will automatically become a visitor and can stay in Canada for 6 months. You will need to apply for an extension of visitor status if you want to remain longer. You cannot work or study in Canada without a work or study permit.

If you live outside of Canada and you are from a visa required country, you will need to apply for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit, depending on the purpose of your return. The visa or permit application can be submitted together with your PR status renunciation application. If you are from the visa exempt country and want to return as a visitor, your entry will still be assessed and determined by the border officials at your port of entry.

Not sure what to do? Contact our office in Markham, Ontario in the Greater Toronto Area.