Canadian PR Process: Apply, Renew Or Replace

The Permanent Resident card (also known as a PR Card) is issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to be used as a valid identity document for persons travelling abroad and returning to Canada by any other means of transportation. Therefore, it is important to have a valid PR card in order to be allowed to enter Canada.

If your PR card expires, you will have to apply to renew. If your PR card is damaged or stolen, the process has same following steps to replace your PR Card. If your PR Card is expired, you are still think about a permanent resident but it is necessary to renew as soon as possible!

You must have been in Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years, to keep your permanent resident (PR) status.

Who Can Apply?

New permanent residents don’t need to apply for a permanent resident card (PR card). To be eligible for a PR card, you need to be a permanent resident and submit your application in Canada. You should only apply for a PR card if:

  • your card has expired or will expire in less than 9 months
  • your card is lost, stolen, or destroyed
  • you didn’t receive your card within 180 days of immigrating to Canada
  • you need to update your card to, legally change your name, change your citizenship, change your gender designation, correct your date of birth

How Long Will the Renewal Process Take?

Commonly, it take a few weeks for the process to renew a PR card. So, it is advisable that you renew your PR card well in advance of the expiry date, especially if you predict to travel outside of Canada. CIC suggest that you file an application for renewal two months earlier to expiry.

How Do I Renew My PR Card?

If you know your card will be expiring soon, you must make an application for a PR card renewal which is submitted to CIC (Central Information Commission). The application requires that you confess your travel outside of Canada, your address and employment history for the past five years. This information helps the immigration officer reviewing your application to determine whether or not you meet the residency obligations.

If the immigration officer is satisfied that you in fact meet the requirement, you will be asked to attend the local immigration office to pick up your card. You will have 180 days from the notice of the letter to pick up your new card. It is no longer required that you submit your old PR card with the application. Instead, CIC now requires that you bring your old card to the local immigration office at the time you are ready to pick up your new card. This is a welcomed change as it allows permanent residents to travel abroad and to return to Canada as long as they have a valid PR card, while their application for renewal is in process in Canada.

What If My PR Card Does Not Mention an Expiry Date?

Old permanent resident cards did not indicate an expiry date. But that does not mean that it has an endless validity. If you do own such an old version of the permanent resident card then you need to renew it as the old card is no more valid.

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About the Author: Jyotika Thakur