Last Updated on June 30, 2022 by Visa Journal
Canada issues its permanent residents an identification document that is commonly known as Canada PR card. Whenever a Canadian permanent resident is travelling back to Canada, PR card proves the legal status in Canada. Airline staff and immigration officials ask for PR card before they allow passengers to board Canadian bound flights. It acts as a travel, identification, and immigration status document.
Who is eligible for PR card
PR card as the name suggests is for all Canadian permanent resident status holders. Each year Canada grants PR status to hundred of thousands of people from around the world. These include skilled migrants from outside of Canada, family members of Canadian citizens and PR holders. Student and work permit holders can also obtain PR after stay of few years. Thousands of refugee seekers are able to obtain Canada PR each year. Following category of residents are not issued PR card.
- Study permit holders
- Work permit holders
- Foreign diplomats
How to apply for Card
New permanents residents do not need to apply for it. Card is mailed to them within 180 days from them becoming PR. They must provide Canadian mailing address at the time of their PR landing. If address is not provided within 180 days then there is a fee of 50 C$ for card application. Applicant must be present in Canada at the time of application.
PR cards are valid for a period of 5 years from the date of issuance. The expiry date is mentioned on the front side of the card.
PR card renewal
If PR card expires, is about to expire, or gets stolen/lost then one can apply for renewal. The steps for card renewal application are as follows:
- Download the document checklist
- Gather the required documents ( Card or copy of it, copy of passport, 2 passport size photos)
- Solemn declaration in case card was lost or stolen
- Make fee payment online
- Courier or mail the application package
Address for Courier
Case Processing Centre – PR Card
49 Dorchester Street
Address for mail
Case Processing Centre — PR Card
P.O. Box 10020
SYDNEY, NS B1P 7C1
PR card processing time
The processing can vary depending on many factor. In general card’s are mailed out within 180 days from the date of application. To check the current average processing time for a Canadian PR card visit the official link
If your card has not been processed within 180 days from the date of application then there is something wrong. And that is when you need to take some actions. If one has to travel outside of Canada and the PR card is still in processing expedited processing can be requested.
What to do in case of lost PR card
If your PR card gets lost you must report that to IRCC. This must be done at the earliest. This will help prevent any possibility of fraud using your PR card. You are required to complete a Solemn Declaration for your lost PR card and the provide reasoning to IRCC as to how your card was lost. In the case that you know for sure that your PR card was stolen then the same must be first reported to the police. For a lost or stolen PR card replacement once you report to the police and/or inform IRCC then you follow the normal process of PR card renewal application.
Frequently asked questions
Can I leave Canada while waiting for PR card
Yes, you can leave Canada and travel to other countries even when you are awaiting the issuance of your PR card. You need to have a valid passport to travel. PR card is not needed to exit Canada.
Can i work if my PR card is expired
Yes, you can work in Canada even if your PR card is expired. You need to have a valid SIN number and proof of landing in Canada as PR.
Can I mail PR card outside Canada
No, PR card cannot be mailed outside of Canada. Legally speaking only the person to whom PR card belongs can carry it when travelling outside of Canada.
Can I return to Canada with an expired PR card
In most cases airlines will only let you board a plane if you present a valid PR card. If you are looking to cross land border between USA and Canada then you may be allowed to enter on an expired PR card, if you can provide your landing paper. In case you are outside of Canada and your PR card is expired then you may apply for Permanent Resident Travel Document(PRTD) so that you can fly back to Canada on an expired PR card.
Can I travel within Canada with an expired PR card
Yes, you can travel anywhere in Canada even when your PR card is expired. Your PR status does not expire even when your PR card is expired. In Canada there is right of mobility so just because PR card is expired does not mean you are not allowed to travel within Canada.