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August 27, 2018

Renewing Permanent Residency Cards: The Basics

Posted by Mario Bellissimo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Renewing permanent residency cards can be straight forward but not always. So here are five key factors to keep in mind.

1. What is the relevant period of residence? It does not necessarily mean an applicant within Canada must apply as soon as the permanent resident (PR) card expires if the physical residency of at least 730 days in a five-year period is not met. A permanent resident must permanent resident obligations pursuant to section 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). So, a delayed filing may at times be a strategy worth exploring.

2. There is not only one way to meet the residency obligation. Pursuant to section 28 of the IRPA there are different manners in which a permanent resident complies with the residency obligation with respect to a five-year period if, on each of a total of at least 730 days in that five-year period, including they are:
(i) physically present in Canada,
(ii) outside Canada accompanying a Canadian citizen who is their spouse or common-law partner or, in the case of a child, their parent,
(iii) outside Canada employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province,
(iv) outside Canada accompanying a permanent resident who is their spouse or common-law partner or, in the case of a child, their parent and who is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province.

3. So, each of these possible circumstances must be explored. Accompanying a qualifying family member usually does not present too onerous a burden to establish while proving full time employment with a Canadian business can become very complicated in certain circumstances. As can be demonstrating physical residency in certain cases.

4. Processing times and a permanent resident’s physical location are relevant factors when planning to apply for a renewal of the PR Card in particular for applicants that may not be in Canada after applying.

5. When a permanent resident does not meet the residency obligation a determination by an officer that humanitarian and compassionate considerations relating to a permanent resident, considering the best interests of a child directly affected by the determination, may justify the retention of permanent resident status and overcome any breach of the residency obligation prior to the determination. Oftentimes though this option is seen as a panacea to solve all residency breaches. However, the residency test is quite generous as it stands so this provision is better viewed as an exceptional response to exceptional circumstances.

In all, some basics to keep in mind when applying for the renewal of your PR card.

Good luck! For more information on Permanent Migration, click here.