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Canada’s “Green Card”: Canadian Permanent Residency

Published on: May 25th, 2023

Did you know that Canada has its own version of the United States Green Card? The Canadian Permanent Resident Card allows individuals to work and move freely within Canada as permanent residents, for as long as they wish.

Canada's "Green Card"

A Green Card is a popular term for the United States Permanent Resident Card that allows an individual to legally enter, reside and work in the US as a permanent resident. Canada’s own version of the “Green Card,” is known as the Canadian Permanent Resident Card. Similarly to the US, the Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) Card gives holders the right to enter and live in Canada.

To be eligible to obtain a PR card, one must apply for Canadian permanent residency. Canada accepts more immigrants per capita than any other country in North America. If you want to learn more about how to immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident, start by completing our online assessment form to assess your eligibility.

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Canadian Permanent Resident Card vs American Green Card

The Canadian PR Card and American Green Card are both given to foreign-born individuals that immigrate to the countries but have not yet become a citizen.

One of the main differences between the Canadian PR card and the American Green Card is the rights given to the cardholders.

A Canadian PR Card is an identification and travel document for permanent residents. Canadian permanent residents are not required to hold their PR card and are granted rights that are not inherent to the card itself. The PR card is only required to re-enter if travelling outside of Canada.

The U.S., on the other hand, legally requires Green Card holders over 18 to always carry their cards with them. Green Card holders can be stopped by U.S. authorities at any time and asked to show their status documents.

Benefits of Permanent Residency

There are many benefits of having permanent resident status in Canada. Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, permanent residents have the right to live and work anywhere in Canada. Canadian permanent residents can move freely throughout the country and pursue employment options in any province.

Another benefit of permanent residency is the ability to sponsor their family if they are in Canada. This can be a great option for bringing one’s spouse or child that may be residing in another country. If an individual gives birth in Canada, that child will be given Canadian CitizenshipPermanent residents also have access to Canada’s universal healthcare services.

Canadian permanent residents are afforded many of the same rights as Canadian citizens and can apply for citizenship after living in Canada for just three years.

Maintaining Permanent Residency

Permanent residents are free to leave and re-enter Canada as they wish. However, it is important to note that, to main PR status, permanent residents must physically reside in Canada for at least 730 days for every 5-year period. These 730 days can be spread throughout the 5 years and do not need to be consecutive.

If a permanent resident does not stay in Canada for the allotted time, they may have their permanent residency revoked. When returning to Canada, permanent residents must present their permanent residency card to the visa officer.


Interested in learning more about how you can immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident? Complete our free online assessment form today!

Do you qualify for Canadian PR? Find out today!

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