The Permanent Resident Card is the document that proves that you are allowed to re-enter Canada and is very important if you are travelling abroad.
Before you leave Canada you should first plan out carefully what your itinerary will be so that you will be able to return without your PR Card expiring. It is also advisable that you call Citizenship and Immigration Canada to make them aware that you are travelling abroad.
If you find it unavoidable to re-enter Canada before your Permanent Residency Card expires you should visit a Canadian consulate and obtain a travel document before you try to Re-enter Canada.
If you travel outside of Canada a lot it is important to make sure that you continue to meet residency requirements or your Permanent Resident Status may be considered to be abandoned.
- You have to have lived in Canada for at least two out of the five years you have held Permanent Residency in Canada.
- If you travel abroad with a spouse or parent (provided you are under 22 years of age) who is a Canadian citizen you can count these days to meet the residency requirement. This means that you will also have to prove this status with either a birth certificate or a marriage certificate, whichever is more appropriate.
- Under certain circumstances you can also claim work outside of Canada for the residency requirement provided it meets a rather detailed list of requirements itself.
As a general rule it is a good idea to ensure that your Permanent Resident Card will be valid for the duration of your trip. You can always apply for a new Permanent Resident Card outside of Canada, but this process takes significantly longer to get your card to you.