Am I Still a Permanent Resident if My PR Card Expires?
Even after your PR card expires, your status as a permanent resident doesn’t change. The PR card usually expires after 5 years. As a permanent resident, you have certain obligations which you must meet or your status as a permanent resident will be considered invalid. It’s one thing to have an expired PR card and another to lose your permanent resident status. Don’t confuse the two.
What is a PR card?
A PR card is a travel document that proves you are a permanent resident of Canada. If the card is lost, stolen, damaged, or expired, it doesn’t mean that you stop being a permanent resident. It may mean that travelling to places and returning to Canada will be a problem. You’ll either have to wait until you get a new PR card or apply for a Travel Document in order to return to Canada on a commercial flight.
What is required to renew the PR card?
If you are a permanent resident of Canada and you often travel to and from Canada, once your card expires, you will have to meet a residency requirement in order to renew your card and maintain your status. IRCC requires you to have lived in Canada for 730 days (2 years) within the last 5 years when you apply for the new card. However, there are a few exceptions such as if you are employed abroad, traveling with a Canadian citizen spouse, or if there are humanitarian and compassionate grounds that are sufficiently compelling to overcome the breach of the residency requirement.
If you often travel to and from Canada and spend a lot of time away as a permanent resident, there is a higher risk of losing your permanent resident status because of failure to fulfill the residency requirements.
Do you lose your rights once the PR card expires?
Certainly not. Even though permanent residents of Canada enjoy a lot of the same benefits that Canadian citizens do, they have not been awarded the citizenship status. Permanent residents are able to renew their PR card every 5 years so long as all the residency requirements are met. Even after your card expires, you still retain the right to live, work and study anywhere in Canada.
What can make you lose your permanent resident status?
Most people lose their permanent resident status because when they apply for a new PR card or Travel Document, they are unable to show that they meet the residency requirement. If IRCC determines that you have not met the residency requirement, they will take away your permanent residence. In this situation you can appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division within 60 days if you believe there is a valid argument why you should be allowed to keep your permanent resident status.