Many people, like international students, temporary workers, and families waiting to reunite, dream of getting Canadian permanent residency (PR).
Even when you become a permanent resident in Canada, you might still have connections and responsibilities in your home country. This means you might have to travel back and forth and stay longer than expected.
What can permanent residents do?
Being a permanent resident in Canada comes with benefits. You can access social benefits like health care coverage. You can live, study, or work anywhere in Canada. You can even apply for Canadian citizenship if you meet the requirements.
You also get legal protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, there are some things you can’t do, like voting, running for political office, or certain jobs with high-level security clearance.
Obligation to stay in Canada
How to calculate your residency obligation
If you’ve lived in Canada for at least 730 days in the last five years from your PR card renewal application date, you’re in compliance. The days don’t have to be consecutive, and they must be within the five-year period before you applied for renewal.
If you meet this obligation, you can renew your PR card and status for another 5 years.
Short on residency days?
You can still meet the requirements if:
- You worked full-time for a Canadian business or government.
- You traveled with a Canadian citizen spouse or common-law partner.
- You traveled with a permanent resident partner working full-time for a Canadian business or government.
Days spent outside Canada in these scenarios can count toward your residency obligation.
Losing your PR status
Your PR status won’t be lost just because your PR card expires. You only lose it if an officer decides you’re no longer a PR after an inquiry or appeal following a refusal. You can also choose to give up your PR status voluntarily.
Your status may be revoked if a removal order is issued against you. Even if you don’t meet the residency obligation, you’ll still be a PR until an official decision by IRCC is made on your status.