At the beginning of your arrival to Canada as a permanent resident, you should provide your mailing address to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Your permanent resident card (PR Card) will be mailed to the address you provide. If you have not provided your mailing address and have not received your PR card within 180 days, your card will be destroyed.

Permanent Resident

When you initially immigrate to Canada, you will be given a permanent resident status. This status does not have the same meaning as a Canadian citizen yet but citizen of other countries. As a permanent resident, you have the right to:

  • Get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage,
  • Live, work or study anywhere in Canada,
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship,
  • Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

As a permanent resident, you must pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. You are not allowed to:

  • Vote or run for political office,
  • Hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance.

When you become a permanent resident, you can live in Canada as well as live outside of Canada. However, to maintain your permanent residency, you must live in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. If you live outside of Canada for longer, you may lose your permanent resident status.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I be eligible to apply for a Permanent Resident Card (PR card)?
May I apply for a permanent resident (PR) card?
What if I loss my PR card?
What about if my PR card has expired or will expire soon?
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Residency Requirement

In order to secure your permanent resident status, you must maintain your minimum residency obligations:

You must meet the residency requirement in order to be eligible to obtain a Permanent Resident Card.

If you have been a permanent resident for five (5) years or more

  • you have to be physically present in Canada for a minimum of 730 days within the past five (5) years.

If you have been a permanent resident for less than five (5) years

  • you have to show that you will be able to meet the minimum of 730 days of physical presence in Canada within five (5) years of the date you became a permanent resident.

It is important to understand if your time spent outside of Canada would be counted towards your residency obligation

The time you have spent outside Canada may be counted towards your residency obligation in the following circumstances:

Situation 1. Accompanying a Canadian citizen outside Canada

If you accompany your spouse, common-law partner or parent (if you are a child under 19 years of age) who is a Canadian citizen outside Canada.

You must provide supporting documents to prove that:

  • The person you are accompanying is a Canadian citizen; and
  • You are the spouse, common-law partner or child of that person.

Situation 2. Employment outside Canada

The time you have spent outside Canada may be counted towards your residency obligation if:

  • you are an employee of, or under contract to, a Canadian business or the public service of Canada or of a province or territory and
  • as a term of your employment or contract, you are assigned on a full-time basis to:
    • a position outside Canada
    • an affiliated enterprise outside Canada or
    • a client of the Canadian business or the public service outside Canada; and
  • you will continue working for the employer in Canada after the assignment.

Situation 3. Accompanying a permanent resident outside Canada

The time you have spent outside Canada may be counted towards your residency obligation if:

  • the person you accompanied is your spouse, common-law partner or parent (if you are a child under 19 years of age); and
  • he or she was employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the public service of Canada or of a province or territory during the period you accompanied him or her.