Are you planning to travel outside Canada? There are new entry rules that require you to have a Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) to be allowed back into the country. Once you attain a permanent resident status, you automatically qualify for a PR Card.
A PR Card is evidence of your permanent resident status. It’s a mandatory document that must be presented to customs upon return from outside Canada. You might want to first get an immigration lawyer to establish whether your application should be submitted together with a supporting affidavit.
To apply for a permanent resident card, you are required to provide the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada with your Canadian mailing address within six months. Should you miss this window, you will be required to undergo the following application process, which takes a bit longer.
1. Have All the Required Documents Ready
To apply for a PR Card, you will need to have a complete checklist of all the required documents; your damaged PR card, if you are seeking to replace it; a copy of your identity document, which could be a travel document, a certificate of identity or a passport. The document should display your photo, date of birth, date of issue and an expiry date. Your application should also be accompanied by two identical photos taken within the last six months. The photos should, however, meet acceptable specifications.
2. Fill out the Application
The application form should be fully and accurately filled out. Avoid misrepresenting or withholding information as this may lead to a rejection of your application. You could also choose to fill out an application to appoint a permanent resident lawyer to help you with the permanent resident card application. This is especially important if you do not meet some of the requirements, such as that requiring applicants to have been in the country for at least two out of the last five years immediately prior to the application.
3. Settle the Application Fee
Each application for a PR Card attracts a $50 CAD fee that can be paid online. You should then attach a copy of the payment receipt with your application. Failure to pay the application fee will lead to an automatic rejection of your application.
4. Submit Your Application
Once you have all the application documents ready and properly filled out, and you have paid the $50 CAD fee, go through your application checklist once more to be sure you have fulfilled all the requirements. Once you are satisfied that all is in order, submit your application for processing to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You will then receive an acknowledgement of receipt. Once approved, the IRCC will put your new PR Card in the mail, or email you with instructions on where to pick it from.
There are many reasons why you might need to apply for a permanent resident card. You can apply for a PR Card if your current card is about to expire, or perhaps you are applying outside the 180-day window. You may also need to replace a damaged, stolen or lost card; or, for one reason or another, you might want the sex designation on your PR card changed.
While applying for a PR Card is a relatively straightforward process, if you have been out of the country for two out of five years, your immigration lawyer will have to do a good job of explaining your absence. A permanent resident without a valid PR Card is deemed not to have returned to Canada. To properly return to Canada, you will need to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document, but only if you meet all the requirements. If in doubt about your eligibility, contact a Canadian immigration law firm for guidance and clarity.