How Soon Should You Move to Canada After Your PR is Approved?

Published on: April 8th, 2022
Last updated: October 13th, 2022

If your overseas Express Entry permanent residence (PR) application has been approved, you will eventually need to move to Canada. Many new confirmed PRs choose to delay their move to Canada to complete work, school, or familial responsibilities in their home country. So, how soon do you have to move to Canada once your Express Entry PR application gets approved?

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Landing in Canada

Once you’ve received your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), you will need to land in Canada before the expiry date on your CoPR document.

If you included dependent family members on your PR application, you must land before or at the same time as them. All dependent family members must also complete the landing process before the CoPR expiry date.

If you are already in Canada, you can confirm your permanent residence status through IRCC’s online portal.

CoPR validity

At the end of the processing of your application, you will receive a CoPR visa in your passport. The COPR expiry date will typically be based on the validity of your medical exam results. Medical exam results are valid for one year. Therefore, if you took your medical exam in June 2021, your CoPR visa expiry date would be in June 2022. However, if your passport expires before your medicals, the CoPR validity is based on your passport expiry date instead.

Applying for your first PR card

Once you have landed in Canada, you will become a Canadian permanent resident and can apply for a PR card. Since you need to prove you are a PR to re-enter Canada, it is a good idea to apply for your PR card right away. IRCC does not mail PR cards to addresses outside of Canada, so if you are staying in Canada temporarily and don’t have an address, you may want to have it sent to your immigration lawyer, or schedule to pick it up in person once its ready.

A new PR card can take over three months to process. If you need to travel back to your home country in the meantime, you will need to apply for a PR travel document. A PR travel document is an official document issued by a Canadian visa office abroad that can be used in lieu of a PR card when returning to Canada.

How long do I need to stay in Canada after completing the landing process?

Once you complete the landing process and become a Canadian permanent resident, you must fulfill your residency obligations. That means being physically present in Canada for at least 730 days within a five-year period. If you decide to return to your home country after completing the landing process, you should ensure you return in time to spend at least 730 days in Canada to satisfy this obligation.

There are a few exceptions to this requirement. For example, if you are residing outside of Canada, but accompanying a close family member that is a Canadian citizen, or employed full-time by a Canadian company. Visit our Residency Obligations page to learn more about how to fulfill this requirement.


Interested in learning more about how you can become a Canadian permanent resident? Start by completing our free online assessment form today!

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