A permanent resident is an individual who has obtained permanent residence status through immigration. Permanent residents are not Canadian citizens; rather, they are citizens of other nations.
In order to sustain the permanent resident status, permanent residents must meet certain requirements, just like the residency obligation.
As a permanent resident, an individual receives a notable number of benefits:
- Access to Canadian healthcare and social services.
- The right to reside, work, and study anywhere in Canada.
- Protections under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- The ability to enter and exit Canada.
- The power to apply for Canadian citizenship after requirements are met.
Many immigration pathways can enable an individual to become a Canadian permanent resident.
Economic immigration, business immigration, sponsorship, and refugee/humanitarian programs offer different options for becoming permanent resident in Canada.
Permanent Residence Cards
Once an individual is approved for Canadian permanent residence, they’re eligible to apply for a Canadian permanent resident card (PR card).
This card indicates a person’s permanent residence status in Canada and may be used to travel in and out of the country. Applications for permanent resident cards are submitted to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Permanent Residence Card Renewal
Most permanent resident cards have a validity of five years. However, certain PR cards are only valid for one year.
Permanent residents are recommended to keep track of their expiration dates and apply for a renewal within six months of it expiring.
Permanent Resident Travel Document
Suppose a permanent resident is outside of Canada and wishes to enter Canada. In that case, they can apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) if they do not possess an authentic permanent residence card.
The permanent resident travel document (PRTD) is usually good for one entry into Canada. It allows permanent residents to enter the nation before applying for a PR card or renewing their PR card.
To maintain permanent resident status in Canada, an individual must fulfil a residency requirement. The residency requirement relates to a person’s physical presence in Canada for a set amount of time.
Canada’s residency obligation for permanent residents requires an individual to be physically present within the vicinity of Canada for a minimum of 730 days within a five-year period or to fall into one, amongst several exceptions.
Foreign nationals who want to become Canadian citizens must meet a number of criteria, including having legitimate permanent resident status in Canada.
Furthermore, permanent residents who desire to become citizens must meet different residency requirements than those required for permanent resident status renewal.
Renouncing Permanent Resident Status
Permanent resident status isn’t automatically lost when a permanent residence card expires. Permanent residence status can only be lost through a formal process.
If an individual wants to renounce their permanent resident status, they apply to voluntarily hand over their permanent resident status.
This might save time during travels if an individual knows they did not meet their residency obligation and they have future intentions to visit Canada.
Permanent residency in Canada is an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a high standard of living, and it is a step away from being a full citizen of Canada.
Make sure you seize this opportunity.
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