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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

What to do if PR Card Expires While Outside of Canada

What to do if PR Card Expires While Outside of Canada

Steps to do if PR Card Expires While Outside of Canada

As a permanent resident of Canada, there are many conditions and requirements that must be met in order to maintain permanent residency. Additionally, a permanent resident card does not renew automatically, and therefore, does expire. It is extremely vital for your permanent residency status in Canada that you renew and keep your permanent resident card valid. If it expires, you must renew it; however, this can be somewhat complicated, especially if you are abroad. Therefore, in this article, I will address what to do if your PR card expires while you’re outside of Canada and how to apply for a permanent resident travel document.

Understanding Permanent Residency Status

In order to be a permanent resident of Canada, you must have been approved for permanent residency by the Canadian government. As a permanent resident of Canada, you may live, work, study or visit in any place in Canada; there are no restrictions. Additionally, it is important to know that there are certain rights and responsibilities that you must abide by in order to maintain your permanent residency.

All permanent residents of Canada have the following rights:

  • Social Benefits, including Health Care coverage
  • Live, study or work anywhere in Canada
  • Protection under Federal, Provincial & Municipal law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • May apply for citizenship after permanently residing in Canada for a specific amount of time

In addition, permanent residents of Canada will also have the following responsibilities:

  • Must abide by all laws of Canada (Municipal, Provincial & Federal)
  • Will face conviction or charges should they commit any serious criminal offence which may cause PR to be revoked

When granted permanent residency in Canada, you must also obtain a permanent resident card in order to verify your status within Canada. Specifically, if you need to travel outside of Canada, you will need to show your permanent resident card and your foreign passport when you travel by car, airplane, boat, train or bus. If you by chance do not have your PR card while travelling or it expires while you are outside of Canada, you will need to apply for a permanent resident travel document prior to returning to Canada, even by car.

PR Expired While Outside of Canada

As previously mentioned, there are certain requirements and conditions that permanent residents of Canada must abide by. For instance, as a permanent resident of Canada, you must always carry and present your valid PR card while travelling. Specifically, this is still the case if you are travelling via airplane, train, bus, boat or car. It is the permanent resident’s responsibility to make sure they abide by these requirements and make sure their PR card is still valid while they travel. If the PR card expires while the permanent resident is outside of Canada, then they must apply for a new PR card once they return to Canada.

In the meantime, trying to return to Canada can be an unexpected endeavor for many permanent residents who realized their permanent resident card had expired while travelling outside of Canada. Keep in mind, a permanent resident of Canada cannot renew their permanent resident card from outside of Canada. Therefore, in order to return to Canada successfully, they must apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document. If you are coming to Canada in a private car, you do not need to apply for the Permanent Resident Travel Document; you can provide other documents to denote their identity to re-enter the country, such as a Driver’s License issued by a province or territory of Canada.

On the other hand, if the permanent resident plans on re-entering Canada by a commercial vehicle such as an airplane, bus, boat or train, then they must apply for a permanent resident travel document prior to travelling. If they do not apply for this document, they will be unable to re-enter the country. Once and if they successfully re-enter the country, then they may apply to renew their permanent resident card from within Canada.

It is important to note that there are certain rules and regulations for each visa office depending on which country you are applying from for the permanent resident travel document. It is always advisable to contact the nearest visa office in the country from which you are applying from to determine what is needed from you prior to applying.

How to Apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document

If you are planning on returning to Canada via airplane, bus, boat or train, then you must apply for a permanent resident travel document. In order to apply for this document, you must provide Immigration Canada with certain documents to validate your identity and your permanent residency in Canada. For instance, you must provide at least two pieces of your permanent residency in Canada, such as employment records, bank statements, taxation documents, club memberships, etc. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to understand and acknowledge what is required from you in order to apply for a temporary resident travel document. If you do not submit all of the required documentation and information, your travels may be delayed or you may be denied entry into Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration if your PR card has expired while you were outside of Canada. If you want to apply to renew your PR card or if you need to apply for a permanent resident travel document, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients renew their permanent residency in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible to renew your PR card, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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