Everything that you need to know about the Canada PR Card

Everything that you need to know about the Canada PR Card

Abhishek Rai Abhishek Rai
[Published 13 Nov, 2021 | 02:50 PM]
About Author - 9 min read

A Permanent Resident is an individual who has received the status of Permanent Resident through immigration to Canada. However, the person is not a citizen of Canada but a citizen of another nation.

You are not a Permanent Resident if you are in Canada provisionally like an overseas worker or student. Refugees that resettle from abroad acquire PR status through either of the following two modes: 

  • Refugee Program Assisted by Government
  • Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program

An individual who submits a claim as Refugee in Canada does not acquire the PR status at that time. The claim has to be first approved by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Later they must obtain the PR status by submitting the application. 

Canada Permanent Resident Card or PR Card

The PR Card offered to you demonstrates that you have the status of Permanent Resident in Canada. You must show your Passport and PR Card when you travel overseas from Canada and return. This is through a commercial vehicle such as Bus, Train, Boat, or Airplane. 

You must apply for a PR travel document before reentering Canada through a commercial vehicle. This is if you are overseas with the PR status but do not possess a valid PR card or have not carried it with you. 

Dos and Don’ts for Permanent Residents

As a PR Cardholder, you possess the right to:  

  • Receive majority of the benefits offered to citizens inclusive of healthcare coverage 
  • Study or work and reside in Canada anywhere 
  • Apply for Citizenship of Canada 
  • Receive protection under Laws and Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada 

You have to make payment of taxes and abide by all laws in Canada at the Municipal, Provincial, and Federal levels.

You are not permitted to:

  • Cast vote or contest for political office 
  • Be employed in a few jobs that require security approval at high-level 

Validity of the Canada PR Card 

The majority of the Canada PR Cards have a validity of 5 years. However, some can also have a validity of just 1 year. The date of expiry of the Card will be printed on it. 

You cannot use your PR card as a travel document after it expires. You must file a renewal application if the Card is due to expire within 6 months. You have to be staying in Canada. If you are re-arriving in Canada through a commercial vehicle and have a PR card that has expired, you must get the PRTD. 

Time resided in Canada

For maintaining your status as PR, you must have resided in Canada for a minimum of 730 days in the past 5 years. These days need not have to be continuous. A part of your time stayed overseas can also be counted towards the calculation of 730 days. 

You can use a travel journal for tracking your time spent in Canada. Other ways for calculating your stay in Canada include asking the Border Officer of Canada when you arrive in Canada. 

Understanding the Permanent Resident status

You should hold and display the legitimate PR card or PRTD being a Permanent Resident of Canada. This is while boarding an Airplane to Canada or arriving in Canada through any other commercial vehicle. If you do not have either the PRTD or the PR Card, you may not be allowed to board your Boat, Bus, Train, or Flight. 

Losing your status as Canada Permanent Resident

You do not lose your status as PR in Canada upon the expiry of the PR Card. The status is lost only if you undergo a formal process. 

You can forfeit your PR status through any of the following ways: 

  • It is determined by an adjudicator that you are not a Permanent Resident following a PRTD appeal or an inquiry. 
  • You renounce your PR status voluntarily. 
  • An Order for Removal passed against you becomes effective. 
  • You obtain Citizenship in Canada. 

If in case you do not fulfill the obligations for residency, still you remain a Permanent Resident till a formal verdict for your status is announced.

Voluntarily forsaking the PR Status 

Your Canada PR Status cannot be given up automatically. At times, it is possible that you do not wish to continue with your PR status. You can then apply for renouncing your PR status voluntarily.

For instance, if you:

  • Are aware of not fulfilling the obligations for PR by remaining overseas for a long duration of time.
  • Wish to arrive in Canada.
  • Would not like to wait for a formal assessment of your PR status by a Visa Officer.


  • Wish to evade processing hindrances at the Port of Entry.

It may not be possible for you to arrive in Canada till your PR status is resolved. This is either by obtaining the PRTD or forsaking your PR status voluntarily.

Arriving in Canada lacking a PR Card

You will require an authentic PR card for returning by Boat, Bus, Train, or Plane to Canada. If you do not possess a genuine PR card or it is due for expiry:

  • Apply for a PRTD for returning to Canada if you are overseas.
  • Get your PR card renewed prior to your exit if you wish to exit from Canada.
  • File application for PRTD from overseas if you do not receive the Card within a time.

Moving with your Canada PR Card

As a PR status holder, you must possess a genuine PRTD or PR Card for arriving in Canada. This is by Boat, Bus, Train, or Plane lacking which you will not be able to board the vehicle.

When you display your PR card, it must be valid. You must apply for a new card if it has expired. Even if your card expires, you remain a Permanent Resident.

Processing times for Canada PR Card

Usually, the time taken for processing PR Card is 45 days for fresh Permanent Residents. This is after IRCC has received the complete application from you after fulfilling the requirements for residency. This includes obtaining the cut-off score for Canada PR Visa calculated through the CRS Calculator.

Renewal applications for PR cards normally are processed in 104 days.

Nevertheless, it has been observed in many cases that the processing of PR Card takes many months.

How will I obtain the Canada PR Card?

IRCC will send the PR card by mail after your arrival in Canada if you are a fresh permanent resident. In this case, you need not apply for a PR Card. 

Even if you are a PR Cardholder who has submitted a renewal application, you will also get the fresh Card mostly by mail. 

Best Immigration Consultants in Delhi

Nationwide Visas is the leading Visa consultant in Delhi that has assisted thousands of candidates to obtain their Canada PR cards. You can be assured of presenting a complete and fully compliant PR application through assistance from our experienced and accredited Immigration Consultants. 

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