A person in Canada temporarily, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident.
Someone who makes a refugee claim in Canada does not become a permanent resident at that time. To become one, the Immigration and Refugee Board must first approve their claim. Then, they must apply for and get permanent resident status.
If you travel outside Canada, the permanent resident card is your proof that you are a permanent resident of Canada. If you leave Canada, you will need this card to re-enter the country on a commercial vehicle, like an airplane, boat, train or bus.
If your permanent resident card expires, it does not mean you have lost permanent resident status.
As a permanent resident, you have the right to:
You must pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.
You are not allowed to:
When you are a permanent resident, you can live outside of Canada, but must live in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. If you live outside of Canada for longer, you may lose your permanent resident status.
For more information on how long you have to live in Canada, see Appendix A: Residency obligation of the PR card application package.
Your permanent resident status can be taken away if:
You do not lose your permanent resident status if your PR card expires.
When you become a Canadian citizen, you are no longer a permanent resident.
The permanent resident card (PR card) is the official proof that you are a permanent resident of Canada. You use this wallet-sized plastic card to show you can enter and stay in Canada when you return from another country.
You must show this card when you re-enter Canada on a commercial vehicle, such as an airplane, boat, train or bus. If you return to Canada in a private vehicle, such as your car, there are other documents you can use.
If you plan to leave Canada, check your card’s expiry date to make sure that it will still be valid when you return. Most cards are valid for five years.
If you do not plan to leave Canada, you do not need the card.
You may also need a passport to re-enter Canada. Please see the Canadian Border Services Agency website for the documents you will need at the border.
If you are immigrating as a permanent resident, CIC will mail your card to you when you get to Canada. You do not need to apply for a card.
You may want to apply for a PR card if:
Make sure you are eligible to apply for a PR card.
Find out what you need to do to apply for a PR card. This application can be for your first card, to renew a card or to replace one.
You can also apply for urgent processing if:
There is a different process to fix a mistake or make a change to your PR card.
Find out how long it will take CIC to process your application.
You can also view the service standard when you immigrate to Canada. This standard shows how quickly we should be able to process applications.
Find out what you should do after you apply for your PR card.
Find the status of your application online.
First, check your application's status online. (It can take up to six weeks for your application to show up in the system.)
Based on its status:
Contact us by email or fax to request urgent processing.
Send an email to CIC-Telecentre-Contact-PRC-CRP@cic.gc.ca. In your email:
Print the Urgent Processing Template (PDF, 531 Kb). Enter your information into all the boxes. You must enter a valid email address.
When the form is complete, fax it to 1-844-438-8670.
If you send us all the information we ask for, including a valid email address, we will email you within two business days to tell you if we can speed up your application. If you do not give us a valid email address, we will not be able to contact you.
When your card is ready, we will usually mail it to you. In some cases, we may ask you to pick it up in-person at a local office.
If you do not provide all of the information we ask for, we may not process your application urgently. We will continue to process it normally.
What happens next: When we get your application, we will review it and decide if you qualify for urgent processing.
When your card is ready, we will mail it to you. However, we may ask you to pick it up in-person at a local office.
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