February 28, 2024

Understanding Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD): What It Is and How to Apply

Posted by Lijing Cao - Bellissimo Law Group PC

The Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) serves as an official temporary document that affirms an individual’s permanent resident status in Canada. It provides evidence to transportation entities that the bearer is allowed to travel to Canada as a permanent resident, even in the absence of a valid Permanent Resident (PR) card.

If a permanent resident finds themselves outside of Canada without a valid PR card, they need to submit an application for a PRTD. A PRTD typically holds validity for a single entry into Canada. Nevertheless, individuals meeting the residency obligations and residing outside of Canada on a prolonged basis, such as a permanent resident accompanying their Canadian citizen spouse, may be eligible to request a long-term multiple entry PRTD. It is crucial to include a cover letter explaining the circumstances and expressly seeking a multiple entry PRTD. Note that the duration of multiple entry PRTDs cannot exceed the expiration date of the passport.

In order to qualify for a PRTD, an applicant should meet the following conditions:

· reside as a permanent resident outside Canada;

· substantiate your permanent resident status;

· fulfill the residency obligation as a permanent resident;

· not hold Canadian citizenship;

· lack possession of a valid PR card;

· not seek voluntary relinquishment (renunciation) of permanent resident status; and

· not have lost permanent resident status.

Should you find yourself unable to fulfill the residency obligation, there remains a potential avenue to maintain your status as a permanent resident of Canada. To evaluate your application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, it is essential to demonstrate the existence of exceptional circumstances or factors beyond your control that have necessitated your prolonged absence from Canada. Acceptable considerations may include unusual and undeserved, or disproportionate hardships that would arise should your permanent resident status be revoked.

To apply for a PRTD, you must submit a complete application package including all required forms and country-specific supporting documents. If applying online, you can submit your application and supporting documents through the designated Permanent Residence Portal. If you choose to submit the application on paper, and the country from which you’re applying accommodates paper-based applications, you could submit your application to the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC).

Upon submitting your application for a PRTD, you must pay the requisite processing fee. Additionally, ensure to enclose proof of payment (in the form of a receipt) along with your application, whether submitted in paper format or online.

This article is prepared for information only and it is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team.