January 4, 2010
PR Card Expired One Year Ago
Q My mother is 82 years old and she is a Canadian resident since 2003. Due to some family problems, she had to return to Mexico unexpectedly in November. At the last minute we realized that her permanent resident card had expired in November 2008. We did not ask for a renewal, as she did not intend to travel abroad. My question is: what problems will my mother have when she comes back to Toronto with her permanent card expired? Moreover, she is waiting for the date for her citizenship oath so she needs to come back as soon possible. How can we go about this?
A. First of all, it is very good that your mother applied for Canadian citizenship, as this will give her the liberty to travel without needing to renew her PR Card every five years. To respond to your question in short, your mother will not be able to return to Canada on an expired PR Card. She will not be allowed to board the plane without a valid card. To overcome this, she should immediately approach the Canadian High Commission (visa office) in Mexico and ask for a travel document. She will have to provide all the background and fill out the necessary forms. If she lived in Canada since 2003 and meets the residency requirements, she should receive her travel document, valid just for the flight to Canada. She can then decide if she wants to renew then her PR card or if a grant of citizenship is close, this will not be necessary. Good luck!