Operational Bulletins 141 – August 6, 2009

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Changes in photo specifications for the Permanent Resident Card


The permanent resident (PR) card was introduced in June of 2002 as a secure and reliable proof of status document for permanent residents of Canada. In 2007, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) initiated a project to update the card design and its security features. The new PR card will be in circulation shortly.

The new PR card will have a larger integrated photograph of the document holder with a higher resolution than is found in the current PR card design. In order to achieve this improved photo quality, a small change is required to the specifications of the photograph submitted with the application.

New photo specification for facial size

While the overall dimensions of the photograph remain the same, 35 mm (1.375 inches) by 45 mm (1.75 inches), the new specification for the facial size within the photograph – crown to chin – is between 25 mm (one inch) and 30 mm (1.181 inches). The previous size was between 25 mm (one inch) and 35 mm (1.375 inches).


The photo specifications section of the PR card application kit and all applications for permanent residence (APR) are being amended to reflect the change in the photo measurements.

There will be a transitional period to minimize the effects of this change. During the transitional period, photo retakes will not be required for photos that meet the old specification, but not the new specification. Arrangements have been made with the Case Processing Centre in Sydney to adjust for the change in photo specifications for the purpose of printing the new PR card.

Canada Border Services Agency ports of entry and CIC offices are funded by the PR card program for photo retakes and should continue carrying out this task when the photograph submitted does not meet the specifications for reasons other than the new facial measurement.

The PR card application kit and website-based APR kits are being updated. Offices that have hard copies of these applications will be required to dispose of the obsolete application kits and start using the new ones as soon as they become available.

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