February 22, 2023
Can I leave Canada while waiting for my Permanent Resident card?
As a general rule, it is not recommended that you leave Canada while you are waiting for your permanent resident (PR) card. Leaving Canada while you are in the process of becoming a PR may affect the processing of your application. It is understandable, however, that in some cases, you may need to travel outside of Canada while your PR card application is being processed.
Travelling while waiting for a PR card depends on whether you are travelling by a commercial vehicle or a private vehicle. You need a valid PR card to return to Canada by plane, train, bus or boat. If you know your card will expire before you plan on travelling overseas, you should obtain a new one before you leave as you can only renew your card in Canada. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada will not send PR cards to non-Canadian addresses or allow third parties to pick them up.
If, however, you are outside Canada and do not have a PR card, you can apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) to return. Without a PR card or PRTD, you may not be able to take a commercial vehicle across the border. You may apply for a PRTD while you are outside Canada and need to re-enter.
A private vehicle is any vehicle that you own, borrow, or rent. To return to Canada without a PR card by a private vehicle, use a travel document and carry proof of permanent residency with you. It is still recommended that you apply for a PRTD or an urgent processing of a PR card, which may be found at: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/new-immigrants/pr-card/apply-renew-replace/urgent.html. You still may be subject to examination upon your return to Canada.
Book a consultation today to discuss your PR case with a member of our legal team.