Applying for Permanent Residence in Canada is the first step to becoming Canadian Citizen. Permanent Residents may live and work anywhere in Canada, and enjoy most of the same benefits and privileges of Canadian citizens, with the exception of some voting rights. There are a number of ways to become a Permanent Resident, including applying through one of Canada’s economic immigration programs, or being sponsored for Permanent Residence.
Once you obtain Permanent Residence, you must renew your status every five years and meet residency requirements in order to maintain your status. After a required residency period in Canada, Permanent Residents may apply to become Canadian citizens.
Becoming a Canadian Permanent Resident means you are allowed to stay in Canada permanently. You will gain access to most of the same rights and privileges as Canadian citizens, including the right to freely live and work anywhere in Canada and access Canadian social services.
In order to maintain your status as a Permanent Resident, it is important that you continue to make Canada your home. You may lose your status as a Permanent Resident if you become a non-resident of Canada or if you are convicted of a serious crime.
Permanent Residents are required to live in Canada for 2 out of every 5 years. For this reason, Permanent Residents should track all their entries and exits from Canada in order to ensure that they continue to maintain their status. You will need to provide this information in order to prove your continued Permanent Resident status when you renew your Permanent Resident card.
Your Permanent Card is proof of your Permanent Resident status. You will need to carry this card with you whenever you leave Canada and plan to re-enter Canada. If you are a Permanent Resident, you do not need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Please note that if your Permanent Resident Card expires you cannot fly into Canada on your passport and you can expect significant delays in your travel plans if you do not have a valid Permanent Resident Card. If your Permanent Resident card has expired, it does not mean that you are no longer a Permanent Resident. But, you will need to apply for a new card. When applying for a Permanent Resident card, you will need to provide information about all of your time away from Canada. We advise all clients to keep a record of this information to ensure a smooth renewal process. You will also need this information to demonstrate residency should you choose to apply for Canadian citizenship.
You may apply to renew your Permanent Resident card up to six months before it expires. Because card renewal applications take many months to process, we recommend you apply as soon as you are eligible.