September 7, 2009
Can I Reactivate my Permanent Residency Status?
Q We would like to pursue the possibility of returning to Canada as residents. My husband and I became permanent residents in 2002. We received our PR cards in 2004 which expired in August 2009. We lived in Canada for a total of only 8 months.
We are Malaysian citizens but we have been living in Iowa, USA, for the last 9 years as students and now with H1B visas. Is there anything we can do to reactivate our Permanent Residence? We are willing to reapply for our PR if all fails.
A. As previously written on other occasions, unfortunately, you have compromised your permanent resident (PR) status by not complying with the residency obligation, mainly, to be in Canada for at least two years out of any five. Eight months in Canada since 2002 (six years) is way short of the requirement. There are various options. One, you could look into the possibility of making another permanent residency application, but as the law has changed since 2002 you must determine if you qualify. If you seek to reapply for permanent residency status at some point in the process you will have to renounce your permanent resident status. Another alternative would be to continue your studies in Canada as temporary residents. Third, you could attempt to maintain your permanent residency status on a humanitarian basis and attempt to justify why you have been outside of Canada for such a lengthy period of time. There are various options and you should contact an immigration lawyer and carefully weigh the possibilities. Good luck!