A permanent resident card (PR Card) is an identity document issued to Canadian permanent residents which serves as proof of their permanent resident status in Canada. A PR card is valid for five years and is renewable every five years so long as the residency requirements are met.
A Permanent Resident Card is necessary if you are a permanent resident who wishes to travel abroad and then use a commercial carrier such as a plane, train, boat or bus to return to Canada. You will need to show your PR Card in order to board the commercial carrier, therefore it is absolutely necessary to have it with you when you travel.
What are the residency requirements to renew my Permanent Resident Card?
You can renew your PR Card so long as you have physically resided in Canada for at least 2 years in a 5 year period. Exceptions to the 2 out of 5 year rule include:
- You were outside Canada accompanying a Canadian citizen who is your spouse or common law partner;
- You were outside Canada employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian Business;
- You were accompanying your spouse, common law partner or parent who is a Canadian permanent resident and was working abroad for a Canadian business.
If you fall under the exceptions, then this means that the period of time you were away will be considered as time in Canada.
What can I do if I need to renew my Permanent Resident Card but do not meet the residency requirements?
If you need to renew your Permanent Resident Card but do not meet the residency requirements, then you may be eligible to submit an application to renew your PR Card on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Humanitarian and compassionate grounds means that there are compelling factors in your personal circumstances that justify maintaining your permanent residence. You need to convince an officer, among other factors, that you would suffer hardship if you were to lose your permanent residence status.