August 19, 2021

Is Permanent Resident Card Permanent?

Posted by Alexandra Goncharova - Bellissimo Law Group PC

In the majority of cases, whether you applying for an initial or subsequent PR card, the card will be valid for 5 years, pursuant to section 54(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

However, in some circumstances the card will be issued for only one year. Pursuant to section 54(2) of the IRPR, such circumstances may include:

  • If you are a subject of section 44(1) report, alleging you are inadmissible to Canada, for example for criminality, misrepresentation or other reasons;
  • If you were found inadmissible by the Minister or the Immigration Division, the removal order was issued against you, and you are in the process of appealing the removal order where there has been no final determination of the appeal.

Importantly, if any of the above apply to you, you must disclose these circumstances when applying for a renewal of your PR card, to avoid potential misrepresentation allegations made against you.

Also, it is important to note that you remain permanent resident even if your PR card has expired. Pursuant to section 46 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, you lose your permanent resident in any of the following circumstances:

  • You become a Canadian citizen;
  • When there was a decision made outside Canada that you have failed to comply with the residency obligation and you have not appealed that decision, or if appealed, your appeal was refused;
  • When the removal order made against you comes into force;
  • There is a final determination that your refugee protection has ceased for any reasons described in section 108(a)-(d);
  • When there is a final determination to vacate a decision to allow your claim for refugee protection
  • When the officer approves your application to renounce your permanent resident status.

As such, if neither of the above applies to you, you remain a permanent resident of Canada even if your PR card has expired. Unknown to many, you are also not required to have a valid PR card when applying for Canadian citizenship, assuming you meet all requirements to make such an application.

However, you are required to have a valid PR card to re-enter Canada if travelling by commercial vehicle, such as an airplane, train, bus or boat. If your PR card expires while you are outside Canada, in order to return you will be required to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document, and such application can only be made from outside Canada.