Permanent Resident Status > PR card

PR card

A permanent resident card is issued for five years and is required to return to Canada by plane, bus, boat or train. A permanent resident card is automatically issued to new immigrants (i.e., no need to apply for the one), however, could only be sent to the Canadian mailing address.

Permanent residents are obliged to have a valid PR card or permanent resident travel document to return to Canada by train, plane, boat or bus. Without any of those, you may not be able to board.

Your PR card must be valid at the moment you show it to the officer. If your card expires, you need to submit an application for a new one. You should know that you don’t lose your permanent residence status if your card expires.

New permanent residents don’t need to apply for a PR card. Authorities will mail one to you when you immigrate to Canada. But don’t forget to provide your Canadian mailing address. After immigrating, you have 180 days to send it back. If you don’t do that in time, then you will have to apply for your card. Also, you need to be aware that there is a processing fee for PR card applications.

To be qualified for a PR card, you must be:

  • A permanent resident, and
  • Submit your application in Canada.

You are supposed to only apply for a PR card if:

  • You didn’t obtain your PR card within 180 days after immigrating to Canada.
  • Your PR card will expire in less than nine months or is already expired.
  • You legally changed your name and need to update it.
  • Your PR card has been stolen, destroyed or lost.

Note that you are not eligible for a permanent residence card if the Government of Canada asked you to leave the country. Also, if you are a Canadian citizen, you can’t have (and don’t need) it. If you get Canadian citizenship, give back your PR card at your citizenship formal procedure.

Prepare before applying

A PR card is usually valid for five years, but can sometimes be for one year instead. It is valid until the expiry date that is on the card.

Replacement of a lost, destroyed or stolen PR card

You need to inform the authorities what happened before you submit an application. If you are abroad, go to the nearest visa office. Then you need to apply for a permanent resident travel document to return to Canada.

If you are inside the country, inform what has happened using a special web form and then continue with your application.

How to apply

Follow the steps below to apply for a permanent residence card. Be aware that if you forget something, your application will be returned to you and you will have to submit a new one. Also, the processing fees are not refundable.

1. Prepare the application package

To your application add:

  • Your PR card:
  • If you are applying to replace a card because it is damaged or the information on it is wrong, send the card with your application.
  • If you are applying to renew your card, keep your current card and include a photocopy of it with your application.
  • A clear copy of:
  • Your valid passport or travel document, or
  • The passport or travel document you held at the time you became a permanent resident.
  • Any other identity documents.
  • Two photos (make sure that your photos follow the requirements).
  • A solemn statementif your PR card was stolen, lost, destroyed or you didn’t receive it within 180 days after immigrating to Canada.
  • A copy of the receipt of the processing fee.

2. Pay your application fees

You must pay the application fee online. After you pay, print the receipt and add it to your application.

3. Submit your application

Make sure you that you have answered all questions, signed your application and all documents, including the fee receipt, and all the supporting papers.

4. After applying

During processing time, you can see the standard processing times and check the pr card status of your application.

If your application gets approved, you will receive a mail with a PR card. In some cases, you may need to collect it up at one of the offices. For that, you need to have your passport or another travel document with you, and the original documents you sent when you applied. Remember that if you don’t collect your card up within 180 days, they will destroy it and you will need to apply again.

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