A permanent resident of Canada is a foreign national who has been granted permanent resident status by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. He is a person who has obtained lawful status in Canada, by immigrating to Canada but he is not a Canadian citizen. Though a permanent resident of Canada is a citizen of some other foreign country, he is granted certain rights and privileges and to exercise those rights, he must satisfy certain residency requirements. People who travel to Canada on temporary basis, for education or tourism are not permanent residents of Canada and they may not be eligible to reside in Canada permanently. Permanent residents of Canada are granted permanent resident cards as a proof of their legal status in Canada.
As a permanent resident you may
- be free to reside and work anywhere in the country.
- receive social benefits similar to that of Canadian citizens.
- be protected by all the local and federal laws of Canada.
- be eligible to become a Canadian citizen on meeting the requirements for citizenship.
In turn, you must pay your taxes and abide by the federal and provincial laws of Canada.
As a permanent resident, you may not be eligible to
- vote in the elections.
- get a job that requires high-level security clearance and get jobs that are limited only to the citizens of Canada.
- stay back in Canada if you had involved in criminal activities and if you were ordered to be deported.
Maintain Your Lawful Status in Canada
>Canada grants permanent resident status to foreign nationals but that status is not valid for life time. Though that status allows the holder to live and work in Canada, the permanent resident cards are valid only for five years. Moreover a permanent resident may not live outside Canada for an extended period of time. In order to retain your permanent resident status in Canada, you may not remain outside the country for more than three years within a period of five years.
You may lose your permanent residence status in Canada if
- you do not meet the residency requirements.
- you involve in criminal activities which may lead to deportation from Canada.
Benefits of the Permanent Resident Card
This card may be used as an official travel document and it may be used to prove that you are a lawful permanent resident of Canada, while outside the country. Similarly you must present a valid permanent resident card at a Canadian port of entry while you re-enter Canada.
On being a foreign national, if you seek to become a Canadian citizen, you must be a lawful permanent resident of Canada. An adult who is a permanent resident of Canada must have resided continuously in Canada for a period of three years within the past four years, to be eligible for Canadian citizenship. Apart from the residency requirements, there are few other requirements to be met, in order to qualify for Canadian citizenship. You may not be required to hold a permanent resident card once you become a citizen of Canada.