Permanent Residency Requirements
As a permanent resident, anyone may travel outside Canada after you arrival in Canada. However, you must meet certain residency obligations to maintain your status as a permanent resident. To meet these residency obligations, you must be physically present in Canada for at least 730 days (2 years) in every 5-year period.
This means that you can spend a total of up to 3 years outside of Canada during a 5-year period. However, if you leave the country for an extended period of time, it is up to you to prove to Citizenship and Immigration Canada that you will be able to meet your residency requirements.
If you are outside Canada for extended periods of time, you can accumulate residency days if you are:
- Travelling with a Canadian spouse or common-law partner, or are a child accompanying a parent, or
- Employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or the Public Service of Canada, or
- The spouse, common-law partner or child of a permanent resident who is outside Canada and who is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or the Public Service of Canada.
If you are in Canada and an immigration officer determines that you have not complied with your residency obligations, the officer may issue a departure order that requires you to leave Canada.
If you are outside of Canada and do not meet residency obligations, immigration officers abroad may inform you in writing that you have lost your permanent residence status.
If you lose your permanent resident status, you can appeal this decision. If you appeal, the officer may consider humanitarian and compassionate reasons before making a final decision about your permanent resident status.
If you know that you will be out of the country for an extended period of time it is very important that you contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada and let them know that you will be returning. Citizenship and Immigration Canada no longer issues Returning Resident Permits.
Permanent Residents Rights
- Get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage,
- Live, work or study anywhere in Canada,
- Apply for Canadian citizenship,
- Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Must pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.
Permanent Residents Not Allowed
- Vote or run for political office,
- Hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance.
Permanent Resident Card Renewal
Most permanent resident (PR) cards are valid for five years. You should renew your card six months before it expires.
To renew your PR card, you must:
- Fill out and submit the application form;
- Include two photos that follows our specifications;
- Include supporting documents; and
- Pay the $50 fee.
You will need to follow these steps each time you renew or replace your PR card.