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.