New rules mean that if you are a Permanent Resident of Canada you must be able to present a valid PR (permanent resident) card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when coming to Canada by plane, train, bus, or boat to. You will not be able to board a plane or other public carrier into Canada without this documentation.
It is up to you to make sure your PR card or necessary documentation is still valid at the time you will be returning to Canada. If your travel plans are delayed or for some reason your PR card expires while you are outside of Canada, you have a few options:
- If you are returning back by private car or in a truck, on a motorcycle or in a private recreational vehicle, you may be able to re-enter Canada with an Enhanced Driver’s License or an Enhanced Identification/Photo Card. Once you are back in Canada, make sure you apply to have your expired PR card replaced.
- If you are returning by plane, train, bus, or boat you will need to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD). You will not be able to enter Canada without this document, so you will want to apply as soon as you realize your card is expired.
- If you left Canada by plane, train, bus, or boat and wanted to re-enter with the same method, you may be able to re-enter with a private vehicle if you don’t have a PRTD but do have acceptable forms of documentation.
To avoid this problem, check your PR car before you travel. Most cards are valid for five years but some are valid for one year. Apply well in advance of the expiry date to ensure you get your new PR card before you have to travel; your PR card is still your best way of proving permanent residency and your eligibility to re-enter Canada.
Having an expired PR card when you are not in the country is stressful. If you would like a kit containing everything you need to apply for a new card, Immigration Direct has resources to help you as well as informative pages with more information about PR cards.
For many young people affected by the news that DACA is being rescinded, there are worries about the future. While the Trump administration has said Congress will find a way to protect children of undocumented immigrants in the United States, not everyone is optimistic about the promise. With only six months before DACA is rescinded and close to 800,000 residents of the United States become eligible for deportation, many DACA program participants are looking for alternative options.
One such option might exist to the North.
Canada is an English and French-speaking nation with many cultural similarities to the United States. It also has a few options for immigration. In fact, there are a few options for getting to Canada:
1) Check to see if you are already a citizen. If your parents have Canadian citizenship or you were born in Canada, you may already be Canadian. The government has a page to help you determine your status.
2) Apply through Express Entry. If you have a degree and some work experience, this system gives you points for desirable skills, job offers, language skills, and more. If you apply to be in the Express Entry pool and score high enough, you will be asked to apply for permanent residency. After living in Canada for six years, you can then apply for citizenship.
3) Become a permanent resident. Each province has a different path to permanent residency and Quebec, especially, has a different immigration system. You can become a permanent resident by being an entrepreneur, by getting a job offer in Canada, by being sponsored through family and through other routes. Once you are a permanent resident, you will need to live in Canada for at least two years out of a five year period until you can apply for citizenship. Your residency requirements will be different if you are a Crown Servant or the immediate family member of a Crown Servant. After declaring your intent to reside in Canada and becoming a permanent resident, you can study, work, travel, and enjoy many benefits of being a Canadian.
4) Meet the requirements for citizenship. In addition to being a permanent resident, you will need to maintain a clean criminal record, understand French or English, and prepare for the citizenship test. You can study for the test with the Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship guide. You must also have at least four out of the last six years of tax filings before applying to become a citizen.
If you’re considering Canada as a location after DACA ends, start today to determine how you can move to and live in Canada. If you need help, Immigration Direct has numerous resources to help you, including a guide on how to become a Canadian citizen and kits including everything you need in order to apply to become a permanent resident through Express Entry.
Permanent residency in Canada gives a person immigration status in Canada, so they can travel in and out of the country and can live and work in Canada. Someone who is a permanent resident is a citizen of another country but still can travel and live freely in Canada. They can also receive benefits, apply for citizenship, and enjoy protections under Canadian law.
A Permanent Resident (PR) card is one of the simplest ways to prove you have permanent residency in Canada. The PR card is a plastic card, small enough to fit in your wallet. It should be carried with you when you travel, as it is required to prove your immigration status when you re-enter Canada.
I Lost My PR Card-Can I Travel?
If you lose your PR card, you should apply to have it replaced immediately. Even though you do not lose your immigration status when you lose your card, you do lose a document you are required to have when you travel outside of Canada. You may be denied entry without this document.
If you have lost your Permanent Residency card and wish to travel, fill out the IRCC Web form or apply with the Application to get, renew or replace a Permanent Resident Card (PR Card). You will want to do this before you leave Canada.
If you are outside of Canada and your card is lost or stolen, go to the visa office closest to you. If you are traveling back to Canada by airplane, boat, bus or train, you will need file an Application for a Permanent Resident Travel Document to get a travel document. If you are returning back by a private vehicle, you may be able to use other documents to re-enter. However, it may still be easier to apply to get a Permanent Resident Travel Document before returning.
Can I Travel if My PR Card is Expired?
Most PR cards will expire in five years, although some expire in one year. You are expected to apply to renew your card before it expires. If your card has expired and you are traveling soon, you can apply for urgent processing when you apply to have your card renewed. This may give you enough time to get your card before you travel. If you travel with an expired card, you may need to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document before being allowed back in Canada.
Do I Need a PR Card to Take a Domestic Flight?
You do not need a PR card unless you are leaving and re-entering Canada. However, you should still carry your card with you. You need a piece of government identification on domestic flights and your PR card fulfills this role. If your plane is diverted or if your travel plans change, having your PR card can ensure you can re-enter Canada if you leave it.
If you need more information, Immigration Direct has resources about Permanent Resident Travel Documents and other topics. Our form kits can also help you apply for a PR card or renew your PR card if you do not have a valid version of this document.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created by the Obama administration to allow children of undocumented US residents to have some ability to remain the country legally. DACA allowed qualified residents to remain in the United States without deportation as long as they paid a fee and renewed their status every two years. Those who applied for deportation protection under this program were sometimes called “Dreamers,” so named because of the long-awaited but never passed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM).
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that the US will be rescinding DACA, leaving the approximately 800,000 individuals who have DACA protection vulnerable to deportation. Some of those young people may wish to consider Canada as an option.
Already, some within the Canadian system have stated that Canada should develop a system to bring young people living under DACA protections to Canada. Ontario Independent Senator Ratna Omidvar has proposed Canada pursue Dreamers through its economic migrant program.
Although there is no formal program in place right now for Dreamers to apply to get into Canada with special processing, those living in the United States under the DACA program may qualify to apply for immigration into Canada.
How to Apply to Immigrate to Canada
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated Congress will be tasked with finding ways to protect young people who are affected by the rescinding of DACA, but so far no specific solution has been created under the Trump administration. The DACA program will not be rescinded until March 5, 2018, which may give Dreamers time to find other solutions.
If you are living in the US under the DACA program you may wish to consider Canada as an option. If you have a degree and have some work experience, you may qualify under the Express Entry system. This system is points-based and allows Canada to invite people who have needed job skills. You can apply online by filling out a form.
You are awarded points based on your skills and education. Once you are in the Express Entry pool, you can start seeking a job in Canada. If you get a job offer, you can get additional points. If you are one of the higher-ranking applicants in the pool, you may be invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.
There are also routes to entry into Canada. Dreamers may be able to apply for permanent residency in Canada by applying under one of the economic classes as a self-employed person, caregiver, immigrant investor or other class. Another option is to apply for sponsorship. If you have an immediate family member who is a Canadian citizen, he or she may be able to sponsor you to immigrate to Canada.
If you are considering moving to Canada, Immigration Direct has useful resources as well as detailed and up-to-date information about family sponsorship applications and economic class immigration as well as Express Entry. You can find everything you need in one place so you can start applying right now.
Spurred largely by misinformation about Canada’s immigration system, more than 7000 asylum seekers have illegally crossed into Canada from the United States at unmanned checkpoints since June, according to the RCMP. Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen has denied claims his department and the government were unprepared for the influx. Nevertheless, Canada is now taking steps to prevent more entries.
Incorrect Information at Root of the Cause
Asylum seekers began entering the country ahead of stated US plans to end protected status for Haiti citizens in the US. According to Canadian authorities , many asylum seekers entered Canada with the mistaken belief that Canada’s laws would permit them to stay, misinformation which was allegedly spread via social media.
In fact, Canada has already ended its protected status for Haitian nationals. In addition, persons in the United States seeking asylum status in Canada are required by immigration laws to apply for asylum status within the United States. Those crossing into Canada across the border may be denied asylum status, according to authorities.
Efforts to Address the Increase in Number
Now, immigration and government authorities are trying to curtail the numbers entering Canada at unmanned border points by using social media to refute the inaccurate information. In addition, a Liberal MP has been sent to Miami to try to spread more accurate information about immigration policies while the Prime Minister meets with Haitian community members and a task force on irregular migration is established. While these efforts are ongoing, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) is taking steps to handle the growing number of claims.
Challenges in Immigration
At least some asylum-seekers have noted that Canada’s stated policies were one reason why they chose to enter the country. The Prime Minister tweeted In January that those who flee war and persecution are welcome in Canada. Authorities have pointed out that while this is true, anyone entering the country irregularly does so illegally. Nevertheless, critics of the Prime Minister have said his tweet sent “mixed messages” to asylum seekers and may have contributed to many crossing the border.
While the country seeks to find solutions to the increase of entrants across its borders, small numbers of anti-immigration protests have been staged in a number of cities, including Hamilton, Vancouver, and Quebec City. At one point, an anti-immigration banner was placed on the Montreal Olympic Stadium, which has been acting as temporary housing for asylum seekers. The banner was quickly removed and authorities, as well as counter-protestors, were quick to speak out against anti-immigration groups staging the demonstrations across the country.