Understanding of PR Status
Permanent resident status is granted to a person who immigrated to Canada under one of the federal or provincial immigration programs. However, a permanent resident is not a Canadian citizen. A permanent resident of Canada is entitled to social benefits, can live, work, or study in Canada without restrictions, or apply for Canadian citizenship once eligibility requirements are met. At the same time, a permanent resident has obligations, such as to abide by the laws and regulations and pay taxes. A permanent resident of Canada must live in Canada at least two years in a five-year period. Otherwise, permanent resident status could be lost. A permanent resident of Canada can also voluntarily give up permanent resident status.
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. So, new immigrants have to notify the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada about a new address in Canada (within 180 days from arrival). If a permanent resident is outside Canada with the expired permanent resident card, then this person has to apply for a permanent resident travel document to be able to return to Canada.