Basic Information about Canadian Permanent Residency

Application for permanent residency - Copy

Who is a Permanent Resident (PR)

A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries. A person in Canada temporarily, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident.

How to Become a Permanent Resident

Examples of some programs that you can apply to become a Permanent Resident including:

  • Express Entry: Immigrate as a skilled worker
  • Family sponsorship: Sponsor your relatives, including your spouse, partner, children, parents, grandparents, and others to immigrate
  • Provincial nominees: Immigrate by being nominated by a Canadian province or territory
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot: Immigrate by graduating from a school or working in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Caregivers: Immigrate by providing care for children, the elderly or those with medical needs, or work as a live-in caregiver
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot: Smaller Canadian communities supporting their local economy through immigration. Pilot opens to permanent resident applicants later in 2019.
  • Agri-Food Pilot: Immigrate by working in specific agri-food industries and occupations
  • Temporary resident to permanent resident pathway: The temporary resident to permanent resident pathway is a limited-time pathway to permanent residence. It is for certain temporary residents who are currently working in Canada and their families.
  • Permanent residence pathways for Hong Kong residents: Two pathways to permanent residence for eligible Hong Kong residents who are currently in Canada.

The Permanent Resident Card

Your PR card can be used to show that you have permanent resident status in Canada. If you travel outside Canada, you will need to show your card and your passport when you come back on a commercial vehicle, like an airplane, boat, train or bus.

PRs traveling outside Canada who do not have a valid PR card, or who are not carrying it, need to apply for a permanent resident travel document before returning to Canada by commercial vehicle.

Current processing time (only for reference): 

  • Renew or replace PR Card: 80 days
  • New PR card: 132 days

Maintaining Permanent Resident Status

To keep your permanent resident status, you must have been in Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years. These 730 days don’t need to be continuous. Some of your time abroad may count towards the 730 days. See what time abroad counts towards your permanent resident status. To help you track your time in Canada, use a travel journal.


Disclaimer: The information from the newsletter is directly derived from IRCC. The material and information contained on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Although best efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of all information. As information may change without notice, always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.