If you need to renew your PR card because it has expired, you will need to submit a full application, including supporting documents. Leaving out any required documents can slow your processing time and can create delays. While the documents you need will depend on your application, you will generally need:
- A photocopy of the main identification document. This document is typically a travel document or a valid passport. It must be an official document with your name, photo, birthday, and an expiry date. The photocopy should be clear.
- Photocopies of two additional forms of identification. These can include a driver’s license, an identification card from the province where you reside, identification from a college or university you attend or other eligible official documentation.
- Evidence of residency. You must be able to show you meet residency requirements by sending eligible and complete photocopies of Income Tax documents, school transcripts, school attendance records, or other eligible documentation.
- Two photos which have been taken in the last six months before you applied. The photos must be placed in a small envelope with the name of the applicant written on the envelope. Write the name on the envelope before placing the photos inside to ensure the photos are not damaged. In addition, do not use paperclips or staples with the photos. Make sure the photos meet current Photograph Specifications before sending.
Keep in mind that you may be asked for additional documentation at any point when you apply for a PR card renewal. If you are asked for more documentation, provide it at once to avoid delays with your application.
To ensure you have all the right documentation for your application, be sure to read and fill out the documentation checklist, IMM 5644. Complete IMM 5644 and include the completed form with your application.
Do you need help ensuring your application is complete? Failing to submit required documents with your application can mean your application is returned or delayed and if your PR card expires you will not be able to travel to and from Canada without getting additional travel documentation.
If you want to ensure you get the right documentation and fill out your PR card renewal application correctly, ImmigrationDirect has resources to help you. We have step-by-step guides to assist you through the application process in plain language and we explain everything clearly, so you understand what you must do to get your PR card. Since we use the latest forms and the most up-to-date information, you can be assured you’re using the correct versions of forms, too. We even have free information to help you understand PR cards better.
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.
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.
Once you receive a new PR card, it will remain valid for five years, although in some situations it may be valid for one year. Check the expiry date on your card to see how long you have to renew your card.
You can renew your card within six months of your expiry date. If you will be traveling within a year, it is best to apply as soon as you can so your card will arrive in time. You can check the government of Canada’s processing times online to see how long the process may take. You can also apply for urgent processing if you will be traveling sooner.
The Renewal Process
To apply to renew your PR card, you will need to:
- Get and complete your application package. You will need to include a photocopy of your card. Keep your PR card in a safe spot until your new one arrives. You will also need to provide clear copies of your passports or travel documents, two photos that meet the application requirements, the processing fee, a receipt copy for the fee, and any other documents required by the application checklist. To complete the forms, you will need to pay the fee online.
- Send in the application package by mail or courier.
- Wait to receive your card. In some cases, you may be asked to pick up your card in person. You may need to bring some of your documentation and paperwork to do so. Once you have received your new PR card, destroy your old, expired card.
My PR Card is Expired—Can it be Renewed?
The good news is that your immigration status as a permanent resident does not automatically expire just because your card has. You can still apply to renew your card and you should do so as soon as possible. Your permanent resident card is the easiest way to prove your status and your right to health care, residency, employment, and all the other benefits of being a permanent resident of Canada.
Whether your card is expired or not, applying correctly is important. Keep in mind that processing times start when a complete and correct application is submitted. Errors on your application can delay the process and can make it harder to prove your immigration status. Our resource for PR card renewal can help guide you through the process. If you have questions, be sure to check out our FAQs for more information.
After U.S. President Trump signed his March 6 executive order on immigration, permanent residents who are living in Canada could face prohibition from entering the United States. Although the immigration order is currently tied up in a court challenge, speculation on its implementation in terms of its application to Canadian permanent residents remains murky.
The order, commonly referred to as a travel ban, affects Iranian, Libyan, Somali, Sudanese, Syrian and Yemeni nationals. Citizens of these countries are blocked from submitting U.S. visa applications for 90 days. Refugees from those countries are blocked from entering the United States for 120 days.
For nationals from the targeted countries who live in Canada as permanent residents, the fallout leaves more questions than answers. According to one report, those who are considered “landed immigrants” in Canada are required to apply for waivers that “may be granted on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of a consular officer or another official from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP.)” The stipulation applies to foreign nationals in Canada who apply for visas at locations within Canada.
Among the factors in determining how the order affects Canadian permanent residents centres on consistency in terms of the application of the policy among consulates in various Canadian cities. U.S. government generosity in the cases is also a current unknown.
Compounding the confusion around the order are reassuring statements made by a Canadian official after the U.S. president issued his initial travel ban order on January 27. In response, Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, “initially assured Canadian permanent residents who held a valid U.S. visa that their travel rights should not be affected.”
Shortly thereafter, reports of CBP denials for some Canadian permanent residents to cross the border began to surface. In at least one case, a visitor visa was even canceled.
The March 6 executive order issued by President Trump came about after the administration’s decision to drop defense of the original travel ban, which included Iraq as one of the banned countries.
Canadian permanent residents who hold dual citizenship with any of the banned countries and who also possess a passport from a country not included in the travel ban are exempt from the ban.
In the wake of ongoing criticism, the Canadian government is pointing to the early results of its new Express Entry immigration program and touting the initiative as a major success story.
While critics of the new immigration program – which began on January 1st of this year – have accused the government of shifting the focus of Canada’s immigration from people to profits, the Harper government is pointing to the early results as proof the program is meeting both the needs of immigrants and Canadian businesses.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander recently traveled to Vancouver to personally greet two of the first foreign applicants accepted under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), respectively.
Alexander pointed to the fact that Thanikachalam Ananthakrishnan, a native of India, was accepted as a Front End Engineer under the FSWP, and Irish native Zoe Cremin has been hired under the PNP as a software engineer; Alexander said the two skilled immigrants’ permanent residency in Canada had been expedited as a result of the Express Entry program.
British Columbia (BC) is the first of Canada’s provinces to welcome an immigration applicant under the PNP, through the federal government’s Express Entry program.
The Express Entry program has long been touted by the federal government as the best way for Canada to address its immigration needs; the goal of the program is to match immigrant applicants with the evolving economic needs of the various regions in Canada. Under Express Entry, applicants submit an online application expressing their interest in permanent residency within Canada. Candidates meeting the minimum requirements are then submitted into a pool of names based upon their point score (points are awarded for various qualifications ranging from work experience to educational history and age).
The government has promised that most applicants processed under the Express Entry system will see their application completed within six months or less.
Critics of Express Entry say the plan focuses too heavily on economic factors, and overlooks Canada’s historical immigration policies that leaned heavily towards reuniting families and humanitarian concerns.
As of mid-April, the federal government reported that 6,851 Express Entry candidates had received an invitation to apply for permanent residency within Canada.
The federal government is also promoting the idea that foreign students studying within Canada are “well placed” for success under the Express Entry program due to their level of higher education, Canadian work experience, language skills and youth.
Under Express Entry, foreign students can transition to permanent residence within Canada under one of several existing immigration programs, including Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program or the Provincial Nominees Program.
According to the Conservative government, there are more than 22,000 individuals currently in the Express Entry “pool” of names, with candidates being considered from around the globe.
About half of the first applicants applying for permanent resident status in Canada under Express Entry, the country’s new immigration system, were already residing within the country.
That was the finding of a recent report based on information gathered as a result of a request by Canadian immigration attorney Richard Kurland. The report examined the first 775 immigrants who made it to the top echelon of the new “Express Entry” pool of applicants. Express Entry is the Canadian government’s highly touted new immigration system that is designed to attract the most qualified immigrants and match them to the country’s labor needs. The program began accepting applicants on January 1st of this year.
The data that Kurland requested indicates that about half of the first round of Express Entry accepted applicants were not recruited from offshore, but rather already residents in Canada. About 45 percent—or 346 of the accepted 775 top-tier Express Entry applicants—already resided in Canada. This would appear to undermine at least part of the government’s stated intention of replacing the previous system with Express Entry—that is, to recruit from other countries the ‘best and brightest’ skilled workers to fill job openings Canadians could not fill.
Of the remaining first round of applicants accepted under the new Express Entry program, approximately 13 percent were living in India, as well as 4.5 percent in the United Arab Emirates. The remaining percentages were from several additional countries; the Philippines and Pakistan were two of the other largest source countries for applicants. Some observers were surprised that China—which had been one of the largest sources for Canadian immigration—was not in the top tier of countries.
The Canadian government held its first Express Entry draw on January 31st of this year, and offered permanent residency to 779 applicants.
Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander pointed out that “everyone who was invited to apply for permanent residence in this round of invitations already has a valid job offer, or provincial nomination, and this shows that Express Entry is working to fill Canada’s existing labour market gaps.”
The Express Entry system is a significant departure from Canada’s previous immigration system, and the government promised it would both expedite applications, as well as ensure that immigrants granted permanent residency would match the employment needs of the country. Express Entry is designed as a “point system”, wherein applicants can receive up to 1,200 points based on several factors, including elements such as employment experience, and level of education. These factors help determine whether an applicant is placed into the “pool” of applicants to be considered for permanent residence in Canada.
Among those selected, a “draw” is then held by the government to determine which applicants will be invited to apply for actual permanent residence in Canada. If an invitation or permanent residence is offered, the immigrant has 60 days to either accept or decline If the applicant doesn’t receive an invitation after a 12 month period, he or she is required to start the application process all over again.
Critics have raised many questions about what impact the new immigration system would have on Canada’s traditional focus on reuniting families and other non-economic factors when deciding who would be allowed to immigrate to the country.
Some observers, such as Kurland, believe that the Express Entry system may end up favoring temporary foreign workers—given the government’s recent tightening of rules governing temporary foreign workers, and the Canadian business community’s demand for those workers.
As of April 10th, the Canadian government had offered permanent residence to 7,776 applicants under the Express Entry program.
In keeping with its recent efforts to overhaul the country’s immigration system, the Canadian government may be considering stricter language requirements for immigrants’ spouses.
While a final decision has yet to be reached, Canada’s Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has raised the idea of stricter language requirements for immigrant spouses at consultation meetings with representatives of the immigrant communities. The stated goal of the changes, according to those in attendance, was to better ensure the integration and protection of immigrant spouses in Canada.
However, some critics of the idea are voicing concern that stricter language requirements may result in making it harder for immigrant spouses from developing countries—who speak limited English or French—to immigrate to Canada and rejoin their families. Raising additional concerns, there are also reports the government is considering requiring Canadian sponsors have a minimum income in order to be able to bring a spouse, or children, from abroad.
Alexander has held meetings with immigrant representatives from across Canada, seeking their input on how the government should move forward with reforming its immigration system, including the immigration spousal sponsorship program.
Other changes said to be under consideration by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) include new measures to deny entry to Canada to polygamists; raising the minimum age of sponsored spouses from 16 to 18; and creating incentives for self-employment for immigrant women.
Still, a spokesperson from Alexander’s office denied that any final decision on the changes had been reached, and that so far all that’s occurred is the “issue had been raised by stakeholders.”
The question of better protecting immigrant spouses has been in the forefront lately after a Canadian immigrant woman from Afghanistan was found murdered by her husband—in the same riding represented in parliament by the immigration minister.
Canada is a very welcoming country for immigrants to come to. Not only are there many different pathways to immigration, but there are also many programs designed to help immigrants start their new lives in Canada.
However, before you apply for immigration, familiarize yourself with how immigration works in Canada.
What Is Immigration?
Immigration is a specific kind of status in Canada and generally means that a person is a permanent resident.
Permanent residents of Canada have the right to live, work, study and travel throughout Canada freely for as long as they please. Most immigration programs result in permanent residency.
Temporary residency visits are not permanent and are therefore not considered a form of immigration.
How to Immigrate
The process of immigration has a few different steps:
- Find a sponsor (employer, family member or other) to support your immigration to Canada
- Apply with Citizenship and Immigration Canada for immigration
- “Land” in Canada (meaning arrive)
- Apply for your permanent resident Card!
Different Pathways to Immigration
There are many different ways to immigrate to Canada. Below are some examples.
- Canadian Experience Class – Parlay your education into a job in Canada!
- Family Sponsorship – Citizens and permanent residents of Canada can sponsor their relatives’ immigration to Canada
- Federal Skilled Worker Program – There are many jobs in high demand in Canada and if you do one of them the country might sponsor your immigration!
This is by no means a comprehensive list and after a bit of research you may find that there is a specific program that’s best for you!
The Road to Citizenship
Permanent residency is one of the requirements when applying for citizenship along with three years of residency.
With citizenship one can’t ever be deported and it makes it much easier to help your relatives immigrate to Canada too!
Immigration can be tricky, but with these helpful hints you can immigrate and become a Canadian in no time!
Know What Visa You Need
There are many different kinds of visas, all of which are used for different purposes. Do some research to find the best visa for your purposes.
Moving to a new country can be expensive and you will need some money to be able to live in Canada as you search for a job.
Start saving for your move before you apply for immigration so that you can transition even easier.
Renew Your PR Card
Permanent Resident Cards are granted to immigrants after a successful application. Be sure to renew your PR Card every five years.
Without a PR Card you won’t be able to sign up for government benefits or programs.
Continue Your Education
Citizenship requires a test that examines applicants’ knowledge of English or French and the history and culture of Canada. It is a good idea to study up on these topics while you live in Canada.
Not only will you do better on the citizenship test, but it will make adjusting to life in Canada just that much easier.
Pay Fees Online
While you do have the option to pay for your applications in person at a Canadian financial institution, it’s probably more convenient to pay these fees online.
This is especially convenient for people who may live in more rural areas.
File for Employment Insurance and a Health Card
After you land in Canada you will need to apply for an Employment Insurance Card almost immediately and then after about 90 days you can apply for your Health Card.
Bring a Coat
Canada can become rather cold in the winter time and it might be a good idea to get a sturdy coat before arriving at your new home!