Exceptions To The Residency Requirements When Renewing PR Card

Accompanying a Canadian citizen spouse/partner

Each day that a Canadian permanent resident spends abroad accompanying (ordinarily residing with) a Canadian citizen, is considered a day of physical presence in Canada. However, the Canadian citizen must be the spouse or common-law partner of the permanent resident. You will be required to provide supporting documents to prove that the person you are accompanying is a Canadian citizen and you are the spouse/common-law partner of this person.

Generally speaking, the immigration authorities do not apply any nuances when assessing residency in this situation. When a permanent resident and a Canadian citizen travel outside Canada, it is not necessary to determine who is accompanying whom or the intent of their travel. As long as the permanent resident is accompanying the Canadian citizen, the purpose of their absences is irrelevant.

Similar rules apply when a permanent resident child is accompanying a Canadian citizen parent outside of Canada. The child, in this case, refers to a child under the age of 22 who is unmarried. If a permanent resident child is accompanying their Canadian parent abroad, then this time will be counted as time in Canada for purposes of the residency requirement.

Note that these rules apply to the residency requirement for the continuation of permanent resident status only. For purposes of qualifying for citizenship, time working for a Canadian company abroad or accompanying a Canadian spouse, partner or parent abroad do not count towards the residency requirement.

Working for a Canadian company abroad

Has your permanent resident card expired while working abroad for a Canadian employer? There are strict regulations that enable permanent residents to fulfill their residency while working outside of Canada.

Other than being physically present in Canada, the permanent resident may fulfill the residency obligation if he/she was or is employed on a full-time basis outside Canada by a Canadian business or in the public service of Canada or a province in Canada.

For the organization to be considered a “Canadian business”, it must:

  • Be incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province of Canada and has an ongoing operation in Canada
  • If not incorporated under the laws of Canada, it must be an enterprise that has an ongoing operation in Canada and is capable of generating revenue (is conducted in anticipation of profit) and the majority of voting or ownership interests are held by Canadian citizens, permanent residents or Canadian businesses.
  • Be an organization or enterprise that is created by the laws of Canada or a province.

A business that exists primarily to allow a permanent resident to satisfy the residency obligation while living abroad will not be considered as a “Canadian business”.

A permanent resident will have complied with the residency obligations while working abroad provided that:

  • The person is under contract to or a full-time employee of a “Canadian business” or public institution that controls all its assignments from the head office in Canada.
  • The person is assigned on a full-time basis as a term of their employment or contract to a position abroad either with a “Canadian business” or an affiliated enterprise/client.
  • The person maintains a connection to a “Canadian business”.
  • The person is assigned to work on an assignment on a temporary basis and
  • He/she will continue working for the “Canadian business” once the assignment is over.

Permanent residents can also satisfy their residency obligation if they accompanied a permanent resident abroad who is/was a full-time employee of a “Canadian business” or in the public service working outside of Canada for the total of 730 days.

We Can Help Renew your Canadian PR Card

This video explains the PR Card renewal process. Most PR Cards are valid for five years. In order to renew the card, it’s typically recommended that the applicant proves that he or she has been in Canada for a minimum of two out of five years.

A list of all absences must be documented and sent to the Immigration authorities. However, every case is unique. There are always variables to consider. If you fail to meet the residency requirements, there may be certain exceptions you can rely upon. 

We specialize in complex cases. If your attempt to renew your PR Card has been rejected, fill out our PR Card Renewal Assessment form.

Here’s how we can help you:

The Immigration Law Firm of Matthew Jeffery has over 20 years of experience and specializes in helping with PR Card renewals with high success rates. Fill out our FREE PR Card Assessment form to see if we are able to assist you.