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Canadian Citizenships, Visas and Passports

Senior Citizen Card versus PR Card

Q. First of all may I say we all at the office enjoy your column immensely. I hope that you may be able to answer my question. I am a landed immigrant from Scotland since 1965. I am still gainfully employed (although I am now 65 and collect Canada Pension. In the near future I may need to travel overseas to attend a wedding. I have my card saying I am a senior citizen. I have not as yet obtained my Canadian Citizenship, hope to in the very near future. My question is: do I still need to apply for a permanent residence card? I have called several departments of the government, but was unsuccessful in obtaining the proper answer. At one point I was told that, as long as I had my card saying that I was a senior citizen that would suffice when traveling overseas. I feel this is incorrect. Could you please help me on this?

A. Your “feeling” that a senior citizen card is not the same as having a permanent resident (PR) card is correct. A senior citizen card proves that you are of a certain age and entitles you to various benefits granted to people over 65. A senior citizen card does not confer immigration status even though it would be logical to think so because of the title in the card – “citizen”. You need to have a PR card to prove that you are a permanent resident of this country and be able to travel. If you apply immediately to CPC Sydney for your PR card and mark it “urgent” and also attach your travel ticket then they might process your request faster. Otherwise, being a citizen of Scotland you do not require a visitor visa to enter Canada and would travel on your passport as long as it is valid of course. Remember though it is not too late to apply for your Canadian citizenship and you should to avoid all this in the future. Good luck!

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