Canada Permanent Resident (PR)

A Canadian permanent resident is someone who has been granted permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada.

A permanent resident enjoys many of the same benefits as a Canadian citizen. However, unlike citizens, they must maintain their status by meeting certain requirements like the residency obligation.

Find out if you're eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence

Canadian permanent residence overview


Benefits of Canadian PR status

Becoming a Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) opens the door to a multitude of advantages, essential for those seeking a new chapter in life. It grants the freedom to live and work anywhere across Canada’s vast and diverse landscape, access to its world-class healthcare and educational systems, and the opportunity for economic prosperity through a variety of career paths.

PR status also paves the way towards Canadian citizenship, allowing for deeper integration into Canada’s multicultural society. Moreover, it includes the ability to sponsor family members, ensuring loved ones can share in the benefits and stability that Canada offers.

For those intrigued by these opportunities, a visit to our page Benefits of Obtaining a Canadian Permanent Residency (PR) will provide a comprehensive understanding of why obtaining Canadian PR is not just a change in legal status, but a gateway to a new realm of possibilities.

What is a Permanent Residence Card?

A Permanent Residence Card (PR Card) is an official document issued by the Canadian government to individuals who have been granted permanent resident status in Canada. It serves as a proof of their status when they travel in and out of the country.

Permanent Residence Card Renewal

Most permanent resident cards are valid for five years, though occasionally PR cards are only valid for one year. The Canadian government encourages permanent residents keep track of their expiration date and apply to renew their Canadian permanent resident card within six months of their card expiring.

What is a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD)?

If a permanent resident is outside of Canada and wishes to enter Canada they may apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) if they do not have a valid PR card. The PRTD is usually valid for a single entry to Canada, allowing the permanent resident to enter the country before applying for a PR card, or PR card renewal.

Canadian Permanent Residency Obligations

In order to maintain permanent resident status in Canada, a person must meet a residency obligation. The residency obligation refers to a person’s physical presence inside of Canada for a set amount of time. Canada’s residency obligation for permanent residents requires a person to be physically present inside of Canada for at least 730 days within a five-year period or to fall under one of several exceptions.

From Permanent Resident to Canadian Citizen

Becoming a Canadian Citizen is a significant step for foreign nationals living in Canada. To embark on this journey, individuals must first have valid permanent resident status. This foundational requirement ensures that applicants are legally recognized residents of Canada.

However, the path to citizenship involves more than just maintaining permanent resident status. Permanent residents aspiring to become Canadian citizens face distinct residency obligations, different from those needed for renewing their permanent resident status. These obligations are designed to ensure that applicants have a strong connection to Canada and have spent a considerable amount of time in the country, contributing to its society and understanding its values.

For those interested in learning more about the process and requirements for becoming a Canadian citizen, our guide: How to Get Canadian Citizenship, covers various aspects of the application process, eligibility criteria, and important considerations for prospective applicants. Consulting this resource can be an important step in understanding the pathway to Canadian citizenship and preparing for the journey ahead.

Renouncing permanent resident status

A Canadian permanent resident does not automatically lose their status when their PR card expires. A permanent resident’s status can only be lost through an official process. If a person wants to renounce their permanent resident status, they may submit an application to voluntarily give up their permanent resident status. This may save time during travels if a person knows they have not met their residency obligation and they intend to travel to Canada.

Is permanent residence the same as citizenship?

Canadian permanent residents are not citizens of Canada. Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for a Canadian passport, among other benefits enjoyed by citizens. Unlike Canadian citizens, they are also certain requirements a PR must fulfill to keep their status.

Can Canadian permanent residence be revoked?

The Canadian government may revoke permanent resident status for one of the following reasons:

  • serious criminality;
  • if an individual achieved PR status by means of misrepresentation; or
  • they are unable to meet their residency obligations

How long is Canadian permanent residence valid?

Unlike temporary status in Canada, permanent residence status does not expire. If a Canadian PR continues to meet their residency requirements, and the government does not revoke their status, they will continue to maintain their status as a PR.

Can a permanent resident leave Canada?

A permanent resident can leave Canada at any time but must continue to meet their physical presence obligations.

How can I become a Canadian permanent resident?

There are many immigration pathways that will enable a person to become a Canadian permanent resident. For example, permanent residence can be achieved through economic immigrationbusiness immigrationsponsorship, or refugee/humanitarian programs.

Complete our free online assessment to find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration.

Related Links

Ready to

Free Immigration Assessment

Discover your Canadian immigration options! Complete our free assessment today and a member of the Canadim Team will contact you to discuss your immigration to Canada.

Get Started
Free assessment

Discover your Canadian immigration options. Get your free assessment now!