There are a number of reasons for why someone might change their name and along with the name change there is some work to be done with the government.
When your name officially changes you will have to have your name changed on all of your official documentation including your PR Card.
While you and the people who are close enough can recognize that you are the same person as before your name change, a government official is unlikely to be that familiar with who you are. That’s why it’s important to have a trail of documentation.
For most people, the reason for changing one’s name is typically a marriage. The name change is documented in the marriage certificate and is an important part of showing that your name has changed legally.
If there is another reason for why you are changing your name, you will have to provide similar documentation more appropriate for your case.
Why Get a New PR Card
Getting a new PR Card is something that most immigrants in Canada should do regularly. Although a person’s immigration status does not disappear as their PR Card expires, it does make it somewhat difficult to do certain things without a PR Card.
You’ll need a PR Card to
- Apply for Employment Insurance
- Health Care
- Get a driver’s license (in fact, PR Cards are great forms of personal identification)
PR Cards typically expire every 10 years (unless you have a conditional PR Card, in which case it will expire earlier), but you may have to have it replaced earlier. As is the case if it is lost, stolen, damaged or if any of the information on it has changed.
Changing your name is among those reasons.
How to Get a New PR Card
Citizenship and Immigration Canada conveniently uses largely only one application for PR Cards.
If you need to get a new PR Card you should use Form IMM 5444. There will be a field on this form for why you need a new PR Card. If your name has changed you will check that reason on the form.
You will also need to submit identification that shows that you have changed your name as mentioned previously in this post.
How Much Does it Cost and How Long will it take?
Getting a new PR Card comes with a fee of $50 dollars for name change.
The processing time listed by the CIC is the amount of time that it takes to process 80% of PR Cards. This listing is helpful for finding out how long it will take for you to receive your new PR Card after you have filed.
The processing time for a new PR Card is 89 days, or about three months.