As a permanent resident living in Canada, you want to ensure your permanent resident card is always in good standing. So, it’s prudent that you keep an eye out and know when you need to apply for a permanent resident card renewal.

However, if you find yourself in a situation where your permanent resident card is expired, there’s no need to panic. Besides, an expired PR card doesn’t mean your permanent residency will be revoked.

Nevertheless, your permanent resident card renewal options will depend on your situation at the time of expiry. Some of the factors to consider when renewing your permanent resident card include:

  • Whether your card is already expired
  • Your current location (inside or outside Canada)
  • Whether you’ve been living inside Canada for a minimum of 730 days within the last 5 years

If your permanent residency card is expired or about to, below are some of the questions you might have.

What’s a Permanent Residency Card and Permanent Residency Travel Document and Why Do I Need Either?

If you have permanent resident status in Canada, the fastest and easiest way to prove it is to have a valid PR card. A PR card is essential as it allows you to work and live in Canada. Most importantly, it allows you to travel in an out of the country without going through the hoops that regular visitor’s go through.

Without a valid PR card, it’s unlikely that you’ll be allowed to board any mode of transport heading back to Canada. And as a permanent resident, you are not eligible for a visitor visa.

If for some reason, you permanent resident card expires when you’re outside Canada, you’ll need to apply for a permanent resident travel card document. It’s the only way permanent residents can be allowed back into Canada with an expired PR card.

The reason is because once you apply for permanent resident card renewal, you’ll only be able to pick the PR card personally in Canada.

What Do I Do When my Permanent Resident Card Expires?

You’ll need to apply for permanent resident card renewal in Canada when your PR card expires. However, before you tender your application, you must ensure that you meet the residency requirement of having cumulatively resided in Canada for at least 730 days or 2 years within the last 5 years.

If you’ve not met the above criteria when you’re applying for PR card renewal or for a PR Travel Document, you’ll most likely lose your PR status. The IRCC requires that all permanent residents live in Canada for a minimu number of days within a specific period.

When the IRCC realizes you have failed to observe the guideline, they’ll start evaluating you to revoke your permanent residency. Once your PR is revoked, the only way to get it reinstated is to file a Residnecy Appeal, a lengthy and cumbersome process.

If you’ve not been living in Canada for at least 730 days in the last 5 years, DON’T apply for a PR card renewal. You might end up losing it altogether. However, if you were accompanying a your spouse outside Canada and they’re Canadian citizens, the time you spent together is considered as time spent in the country.

How do I Apply for Permanent Resident Card Renewal?

If you are inside Canadian borders and meet the residency requirements, you simply have to put in an application for PR card renewal. If you still meet the residency requirements but are outside Canada when your PR card expires, you can still be allowed to travel back to Canada although you’ll need to apply for permanent resident travel document.

If you’re using a PRTD to travel back to Canada, you  can apply for PR card renewal before or once you’re back in Canada. Still, if you’re in Canada but have not been living in the country for a minimum of 730 days in the last 5 years, don’t apply for PR renewal until you’ve met the criteria.

What Happens if my PR Card Expires and I Don’t Meet Residency Requirement?

Unfortunately, if your PR card expires while you’re outside the country and you do not meet residency requirements, applying for renewal or for PRTD flags you for possible residency revocation.

However, with our help and guidance, you stand a higher chance of retaining your permanent residency.

There are several options available for those outside Canada to regain entry to the country and possibly retain the PR status. For starters, you’ll want to travel to the US and find a way to a Canadian border.

Obviously, you’ll need to apply for a US visa if you don’t have one. Before you make your way to the Canadian border through the US, our team will have prepared a H&C package that you’ll present to a CBSA (Canadian Border Service Agent). This package will have a compelling legal argument explaining your situation.

If the CBSA officer is satisfied with your legal argument, they may allow you to enter into Canada. Once you’re in the country, you’ll need to stay for at least 730 days before applying for PR card renewal.

While being allowed back into the country is a possibility, there’s also a chance that a CBSA officer will not be compelled by your H&C application. In this case, while they’ll allow you back into Canada, they’ll initiate a process that will lead to the issuance of a removal order.

The good news is that this is only a formality and does not guarantee that you’ll lose your PR status. Instead, what it signifies is the beginning of a residency appeal. With a firm like ours, we can help you throughout the process.

Among the solutions we can provide is filing the residency appeal on your behalf. Fortunately, the appeal is typically scheduled approximately 1.5 years from the date the appeal is filed. That means that you’ll have time to live and work in Canada as you deepen your ties to the country.

The benefit of being in the country as you await your appeal hearing is that often, it makes it easier for the law firm representing you to plead your case.

If, unfortunately, you’re unable to acquire a US visa and thus unable to get to a Candian border, we’ll have to file an appeal while you’re outside the country. The downside is that you won’t be allowed back into the country even as you wait for your appeal hearing date.

As a result, the more time you spend outside the country makes it even harder to make a compelling case for you. However, it’s not entirely impossible!

Canadian Visa Application


The best way of getting a permanent resident card renewal is to apply for it while you’re inside Canada and meet the minimum residency requirement. If your PR card expired while outside the country and the IRCC deemed you inadmissible, you’ll need to file an appeal with the Immigration Appeal Division within 30 days of being ruled inadmissible.

The best you can do is get in touch with us as soon as possible and we’ll advice you on the best way forward. 

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