Overview of Permanent Resident Cards
A permanent resident (PR) card is an important document for all Canadian permanent residents.
You will have to present it when you enter Canada by plane, train, bus or boat to prove your PR status to border officials.
If you need to enter Canada without a PR card to prove your permanent resident status, you should instead apply for a permanent resident travel document. You should then apply for another PR card as soon as you re-enter Canada.
- Overview of Permanent Resident Cards
- Who Should Apply for a Permanent Resident Card?
- What Are the Minimum Residency Obligations for a PR Card?
- How to Complete the PR Card Application Form
- Additional Forms for PR Card Applications
- What Documents Do I Need to Provide?
- What are the Fees and Processing Times for PR Cards?
- How to Submit Your Application
- What if My PR Card Application is Urgent?
- What Happens After I Apply for a PR Card?
- How Can Total Law Help?
Who Should Apply for a Canada Permanent Resident Card?
New Permanent Residents
If you’re a new permanent resident, you normally don’t have to submit an application for a permanent resident card.
Instead, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will send you a PR card if you inform them of your Canadian mailing address after immigrating. You will have to do this within 180 days of your arrival to Canada.
If you don’t inform IRCC of your address within 180 days, or you didn’t receive your PR card within this period, you will have to submit an application for a PR card.
Existing Permanent Residents
If you’re an existing permanent resident, you should only apply for a PR card if any of the following apply:
- Your card has expired or will expire in less than 9 months
- Your card is lost, stolen, or destroyed
- You need to update your card to:
- Legally change your name
- Change your citizenship
- Change your gender designation
- Correct your date of birth
All PR card applications must be submitted in Canada by legal Canadian permanent residents.
Note that you won’t be eligible for a PR card if you’re a Canadian citizen, were asked by the Government of Canada to leave the country, or have been convicted of an offense related to the misuse of a PR card.
What Are the Minimum Residency Obligations for a Canadian PR Card?
You must meet the minimum residency obligations in Canada in order to maintain your permanent residence status and be eligible for a permanent resident card.
If you have been a permanent resident for five years or more, you must have been physically present in Canada for a minimum of 730 days within the past five years.
If you have been a permanent resident for less than five years, you must show that you will be able to meet the minimum of 730 days of physical presence in Canada within five years of the date you became a permanent resident.
In some cases, you may also count the days you spent outside of Canada if any of the following scenarios applied to you:
- You were accompanying a Canadian citizen outside Canada
- You were accompanying a Canadian permanent resident outside Canada
- You were employed by a Canadian business to work full time outside of Canada
You must provide supporting documents and proof that you legally met the residency requirements in these situations.
How to Complete the Permanent Resident Card Application Form
To apply for a permanent resident card, you must fill in both of these forms:
- Application for a Permanent Resident Card or Permanent Resident Travel Document (IMM 5444)
- Document Checklist (IMM 5644)
The first form is the main application for a PR card itself and will ask for information such as your personal details, immigration history, PR card history, and details to ascertain if you’ve met the residency obligation.
The second form is a checklist of all the supporting documents you need to include with your application.
You will need to fill out all sections on the forms. If a section does not apply to you, write ‘Not Applicable’ or ‘NA’.
Note that if your application is incomplete it may be returned to you, which will delay the processing of your new PR card.
If you need more space to write in for any section, you will have to print out an additional page with the appropriate section. Fill out this page and submit it with your application.
Additional Forms for PR Card Applications
Depending on your situation, you may also have to submit more forms in addition to the two already mentioned.
These include the following:
- Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)
- Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475)
- Request form for a Change of Sex or Gender Identifier (IRM 0002)
- Confirmation of Eligibility for a Reclaimed Name Change Gratis Replacement Document Under Call to Action 17 (IRM 0004)
- Statutory Declaration to Reclaim an Indigenous Name on Canadian Citizenship Certificates or Permanent Resident Cards (IRM 0005)
These forms only need to be filled in if they apply to your circumstances. For example, the Use of a Representative form only needs to be filled if you’ve appointed a legal representative to liaise with IRCC on your behalf.
If you require more information about the forms you need to fill in for a PR card, or if you’re interested in hiring a legal representative to assist you with the application process, reach out to us today. Call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.
What Documents Do I Need to Provide for a Canada PR Card?
You will need to provide a range of documents with your permanent resident card application. These include:
- Your old or current PR card
- If you’re applying to renew your PR card, provide a photocopy of it with your application
- If you are applying to replace a damaged card, send the damaged card with your application
- A photocopy of valid identity documents, such as:
- A valid passport
- A valid travel document
- Two photos taken within six months of the date of application
- Proof of residency requirements
- A copy of the receipt showing that you’ve paid the appropriate application fees
- A copy of the legal documentation supporting your change of name (if this applies to you)
You will need to use the Document Checklist form to ensure that you have supplied all the relevant supporting documents you need with your application.
What are the Fees and Processing Times for PR Cards?
Permanent resident cards cost $CAN 50 to obtain.
In addition to this, you may have to pay an additional $CAN 85 if you need to give your biometrics as part of your application.
All applicants must pay their application fees online.
PR card applications generally take around two months to process. Applying for a new PR card may take slightly longer than applying to have a PR card renewed or requesting a replacement PR card.
How to Submit Your Application
Before submitting your application, you must make sure that you have:
- Answered all questions
- Signed your application and all necessary forms
- Included the receipt for your payment
- Included all the necessary documents
Your PR card application must be mailed by post or courier to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
What if My Permanent Residence Card Application is Urgent?
If your application for a permanent resident card is urgent, you may qualify for urgent processing.
To qualify, you must demonstrate that you need your PR Card within the next three months for one of the following reasons:
- For travel because of your own serious illness
- For travel because of the serious illness or death of a family member
- For travel because of work requirements
You must include all of the following documents to show that you need urgent processing:
- A copy of proof of travel such as tickets or an itinerary showing the destination and dates you will be travelling
- A copy of proof of payment for travel showing the date, full amount and method of payment
- A letter explaining the reason for the urgency
- Proof of urgency (ie. a doctor’s note, death certificate, letter from employer, etc.)
You must provide English or French translations for any documents that are not English or French.
You must send all of this information with your application and write “Urgent” on your envelope. If you don’t do so, your application may not be processed urgently.
What Happens After I Apply for a PR Card?
If your application has been properly completed and you meet all the requirements for a PR card, you will receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt of your application from IRCC.
You will then either receive your PR card in the post, or receive a letter telling you where and when to pick up your card.
If you need to go and pick up your PR card in person, you must bring your old card and the original documents of the photocopies you included with your application.
If your application has not been properly completed, or if you don’t meet the requirements for a PR card, your application will be returned to you.
If you’re unsure as to why your PR card application has been refused, or need any information about the next steps to take, Total Law can help. Chat to one of our immigration advisers on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.
It’s important for all Canadians with permanent resident status to own a valid PR card so they can travel in and out of Canada freely and without any restrictions.
If you’re in the process of applying for a PR card or have any questions or concerns about the process, Total Law can help.
We are expert legal advisers specialising in Canadian immigration and citizenship law. We can help you through every step of the process, including establishing your eligibility for a PR card, helping to assemble your documents, and liaising with IRCC to check on the status of your application.
We can also help if you require assistance with any other type of Canadian immigration legal document, travel document or document applications.
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