Your permanent resident(PR) card is your means of identification as a Canadian permanent resident. If it expires, it loses its validity, and you will no longer be able to use it. Usually, the card is valid for five years, or in some cases, one year.
If it expires or will expire in less than nine(9) months, you can apply for a new one. The new card will carry a new date of expiry. You will remain a permanent resident even if your PR card is expired. However, it would help if you renewed it soon.
If you wish to travel and your PR card is expired, you will need to apply for a new one before you travel. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to re-enter Canada when you want to return. However, if you are already outside Canada and your PR card is not valid or don’t receive your PR card in time before you travel, you can apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document(PRTD).
This document will enable you to access Canada if you are using commercial transport such as bus, aeroplane, train or boat. The PRTD card is for one-time use.
Please note that you can only renew/apply for a PR card when you are in Canada, and you can only use for a PRTD when you are outside Canada. PR cards cannot be sent to non-Canadian addresses and cannot be received by someone on your behalf– you have to collect the card by yourself.
For you to be eligible to renew your PR card, you must have been inside of Canada for a total of 730 days within five years.
You can renew/re-apply for a PR card if:
- Your current PR card has been lost, stolen or damaged. You will be required to show proof of this.
- Your PR card has expires or will expire in less than nine(9) months
- You need to update your card in order for you to legally change your details such as name, citizenship or date of birth.
Generally, the process of renewing your PR card takes a few weeks, usually an average of 149 days. This is why it is essential to begin the process early, especially if you expect to travel outside of Canada soon.
How To Know if You are Eligible for PR Card Renewal
You are eligible for PR card renewal if you are:
- A permanent resident of Canada
- Physically present in Canada
- Not under an effective removal order
- Free of conviction for any type of offense
- Not a Canadian citizen or registered Indian under the Indian Act.
In some cases, you may need urgent processing of your PR card application or renewal. For your renewal application to qualify for this, you must be travelling within the next three months due to any of the following reasons:
- Your own severe illness
- Severe illness of a family member
- Employment opportunity for you
- Work related to your present job
- Death of a family member or other family emergency
- Overseas and you have lost your PR status
- Need to travel urgently
Steps to Renewing Your PR Card
1. The first step is to receive an application package.
This application package includes your application guide, a set of forms to complete and submit, details of your application fees and further instructions. The price for PR card applications is $50.
You will need the following documents to submit your application:
- A photocopy of your current PR card.
- A clear copy of your valid passport or travel document. Alternatively, you can provide a clear copy of the passport or travel document you had at the time when you became a permanent resident.
- Two photos with the following specifications:
- They must be identical and unaltered.
- They must be coloured or be in black or white.
- 50 mm wide X 70 mm high (2 inches wide x 2- 3/4 inches long) and sized such that the height of the face measures between 31 mm (1- 1/4 inches) and 36 mm (1- 7/16 inches) from chin to crown of head (natural top of head).
- The photos must be taken by a commercial photographer and must not be modified from an existing photo. They must be original.
- They must be taken with a neutral facial expression. Photos with a smiling face or an open mouth are not acceptable.
- The photographs must show the full front view of the person’s head and shoulders. The full face must be in the middle of the photograph.
- They must be clear, sharp, not show shadows or reflections, in focus and with uniform lightning.
- They must be taken in front of a white, plain background.
- They must reflect natural skin tones.
- They must be taken within the last six(6) months.
On the back of one photo, your name and state of birth must be written, together with the name and complete address of the studio in which the photo was taken, as well as the date it was taken.
- Copy of receipt of the processing fee
- Records to prove that you are not convicted of crimes.
- Proof that you have been inside of Canada for a total of 730 days in the past five(5) years, meaning that you are meeting the residency obligation.
- If you are not meeting the residency obligation, then you must have proof that
- You were outside of Canada as an accompanying spouse/common-law partner of a Canadian Citizen (if applicable). In this case, you will need to provide your Canadian partner citizenship paper and the proof of your relationship with him/her i.e. Marriage Certificate or proofs of common-law relationship and additional proofs that you were with your Canadian citizen spouse or common-law partner during the whole time you were absent from Canada.
- You were working as a full-time staff in a Canadian company or business or accompanying a permanent resident spouse partner who is working for a Canadian company or business during the whole period of your absence from Canada. In this case, you will need to show the documents that indicate that the company you or your spouse are a staff of, has a head office in Canada and is primarily being operated and managed from within Canada. Also, if your spouse is working for the Canadian company you need to prove your relationship with your spouse by providing your Marriage Certificate or proof of common-law relationship as well as further proofs that your spouse or common-law partner was with you during the whole time you were absent from Canada.
- Other documents in the application package, as required.
2. Pay your application fees online.
For this, you will need a PDF Reader, printer, valid email address, and a credit or debit card. After payment, you are required to print out the receipt, make a copy of it and attach it to your application.
3. Submit your application.
While submitting your application, ensure that you answer all questions, sign your application and all forms, including the receipt for your processing fee payment and have all the supporting documents required of you. You can send your application by mail or courier to Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.
- If you are sending your PR renewal application by mail, then you should send it to this address: Case Processing Centre – PR Card P.O. Box 10020, Sydney, NS B1P 7C1, Canada
- If you are sending your PR renewal application by courier, then use the following address: Case Processing Centre – PR Card 49 Dorchester Street, Sydney, NS B1P 5Z2, Canada
What to Do After You Apply
Processing your application will begin after you. The office has received a complete application accompanied by the required supporting documents, photos in the correct format, and proof of payment of the processing fee.
The average period from when your application is received to the time a decision is made as to whether your application should be approved or not is about 137 days. If your application has been approved, your card will be mailed to you. It can neither be sent to an address that is not in Canada nor to the address of a third party.
Sometimes, you may be asked to pick up the card by yourself from the office. In such a case, you will be required to come along with your passport or another travel document, as well as the original documents you sent when you applied to the office. If you do not pick up your card from the office within 180 days, the card will be destroyed, and you will have to re-apply to get another one.
If you have not received your card within six weeks of your application via mail, please get in touch with IRCC to know your PR card renewal application status despite the card being mailed to you.
Please note that this time frame is applicable where you are meeting the residency obligation of PR. If you are not meeting the residency obligation, the processing time will depend on how complex your application is.
What To Do With the Old Card
When you receive your new card, you should cut the old one in half. You should destroy it if it is expired, damaged or has a name you used previously.
Your Canada permanent residency card should be renewed before expiry to avoid the last-minute rush. If you have any enquiries, you can contact the IRCC office. Best of wishes.