Guide IMM 5445 - Applying for a permanent resident card (PR card)

Canada’s entry rules

Permanent residents (PR) of Canada must carry and show their valid permanent resident card (PR card) or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when boarding a flight to Canada, or travelling to Canada on any other commercial carrier.

If you do not carry your PR card or PRTD, you may not be able to board your flight, train, bus or boat to Canada.

It is your responsibility to make sure your PR card is still valid when you return from travel outside Canada and to apply for a new PR card before your current card expires.

You can now apply for a permanent resident card through the permanent residence online application portal.

You can benefit from:

  • Applying anytime, 24/7
  • Quick and easy upload of all your information, including payment
  • No printing required

This is not a legal document. The explanations and definitions are not legal definitions. In case of a discrepancy between the language in this document and the relevant legislation or regulations, the legal text in the legislation and regulations prevails.

For legal information, consult the following documents:


Overview

Application package

This application package has:

  • an instruction guide, and
  • the forms you need to fill out.

The instruction guide:

  • has information you must know before you submit your application, and
  • explains how to fill out the forms and gather your supporting documents.

Read the instruction guide completely and then fill out each of the applicable forms.

The forms are designed with questions that will help the processing of your application.


Symbols used in this guide

This guide uses these symbols to draw your attention to important information:

Required step
What you must do to have your application processed.
Important information

Important information that you need to know to avoid delays or other problems.

Get more information

Where to get more information.

Note: Tips that will help you with this application.


Before you apply

Permanent resident card (PR card)

The permanent resident card (PR card) is the official proof of your status as a permanent resident in Canada.

You need a PR card if:

  • you are a permanent resident (including a child);
  • you plan on travelling outside Canada; and
  • you plan on returning to Canada by any commercial transporter, such as a plane, train, boat or bus.

If you plan to travel

If you apply for a new PR card, your current one will stop being valid 60 days after the date we issue your new card. If you leave Canada with your existing card, you won’t be able to return to Canada with it if the new one has been issued and you don’t have it. If this happens, you’ll need to apply for a PRTD to return to Canada.

Keep this in mind before making any travel arrangements after applying for a new PR card.

You can check our current processing times to estimate when we will issue your new PR card.

You must have a PR card or a PRTD to re-enter Canada by train, plane, boat or bus. If you’re travelling in a private vehicle such as a car, truck, motorcycle or recreational vehicle that you own, borrow or rent, you can use your PR card, PRTD or other documents to return to Canada.

The following documents are not valid for travel to Canada:

  • Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688)

Who may use this application

  • Use this application if you are a PR in Canada and you’re applying for your first PR card,
  • renewal of your PR card that has or will soon expire,
  • you legally changed your name and need to update your PR card,
  • a replacement of your PR card that has been lost, stolen or damaged, or to change the gender designation on your PR card.

You’ll automatically get your first PR card by mail once you have become a permanent resident. This is part of the immigration process. You don’t need to apply for your first PR card. However, if you didn’t provide your mailing address and photo as required within 180 days of immigrating, you’ll need to apply for your first PR card. If you became a permanent resident before June 28, 2002 and never applied for a PR card, you can use this application to apply for your first PR card.

Important information: If your PR card is still valid for more than nine (9) months (270 days), do not apply for a renewal, unless your legal name or gender has changed. Otherwise, your application will be returned.


Are you eligible?

To be eligible for a PR card, you must:

  • be a permanent resident of Canada;
  • be physically present in Canada;
  • meet the residency requirement (see Appendix A: Residency obligation);
  • not be under an effective removal order;
  • not be a Canadian citizen; and
  • not be convicted of an offense related to the misuse of a PR card

Permanent Residents outside of Canada

If you are outside Canada and do not have a valid PR card to return, you must apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) through the portal or from a Visa Application Centre (VAC).

Important information: When you return to Canada, you should apply for a PR card right away.

If we made an error on your PR card, you can request a reissue within 60 days. In other cases, use this application to apply for a replacement PR card.


Biometrics

Most PR card applicants do not need to give biometrics unless they were previously exempt.

However, you’ll need to give your biometrics if

  • you were less than 14 years old when we received your application for permanent residence and you applied for permanent residence on or after July 31, 2018 or December 31, 2018 depending on your country of origin, and
  • you’re now older than 14 years old and are applying for a new permanent resident card, a replacement or a renewal

After submitting your application, you’ll get a biometric instructions letter (BIL) which will direct you to a list of biometric collection service points you may choose from. You must bring the BIL with you to the biometric collection service point. You can’t give your biometrics without this letter.

We encourage you to give your biometrics as soon as possible after you get the BIL. We’ll start processing your application after we get your biometrics.

Find out more about biometrics.

Where to give your biometrics

You need to book an appointment to give your biometrics at one of these official biometric collection service points. As of December 3, 2019, you can go to a designated Service Canada location to give your biometrics in Canada.


You may be eligible for Canadian citizenship

You may be eligible for Canadian citizenship if:

  • you are a permanent resident of Canada; and
  • regardless of your age, you have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days during the five years right before the date you sign your application and meet all other conditions.

You may be able to use some of your time spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person towards your physical presence calculation. Each day spent physically in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident within the last five years will count as one half day, with a maximum of 365 days, towards your physical presence.

You may be eligible to apply even if you don’t meet the minimum time lived in Canada if you’re a:

  • Crown servant (certain categories of public officials); or
  • family member of a Crown servant

Find out if you have lived in Canada long enough to apply to become a citizen.

We will not issue PR cards to Canadian citizens. Confirm your status in Canada before you apply.

If we cannot process your PR card application because you are a Canadian citizen, your application fee will be refunded.


Mistake in your name

If your Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688) has a mistake in your name:

We will only correct administrative mistakes made by the department in recording your personal information.


Indigenous names

If you’ve reclaimed your Indigenous name, you can change the name on your PR card by applying for a new one at no cost to you until May 31, 2026. You must fill out and include the declaration below with your application:

Note: If you’re requesting that your PR card reflect your reclaimed indigenous name, in the payment section of the portal, upload a document stating “I have reclaimed my indigenous name, please refer to my completed declaration form” and we will waive your fees.


Legal Change of Name

Read the information below to see which supporting documents you need:

If your present name is different from the name printed on your Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688), you must submit:

  • supporting legal documents as proof of your name change,
  • supporting identity documents as requested in Step 1 and,
  • provincial ID in the name requested. Identification should include the name, date of birth, photo and signature of the applicant (i.e. driver’s license, photo ID card, health card, etc.) Note: Provincial ID is not required if you have provided a legal name change document issued by a province within Canada.

Submit any of these documents issued by a civil authority in a province or territory of Canada:

  • a copy of a legal change of name document, court order, adoption order, or
  • one of the following documents (unless you were married in Quebec on or after April 2, 1981 and are now a resident of this province). The document must show your new name:
    • a marriage certificate;
    • divorce decree;
    • registration;
    • declaration of union;
    • revocation of declaration or annulment of union.

If you are a permanent resident and changed your name outside of Canada, submit:

  • a foreign passport or other national authoritative document that shows your new name; and
  • an official document linking the old and new names.

If your name change was already approved in a past PR card application, include a photocopy of your last PR card.

Important information: If you have had a legal name change, you must include a copy of your Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688) with this application.


Immigration representatives

If you want to appoint someone to do business with us on your behalf, you must

If you’re a representative, find out how you can create a Portal account and submit applications on behalf of your clients.

An immigration representative (an immigration consultant or lawyer) can give you advice and help you with your application for a fee. But they can’t

  • open a portal account on your behalf
  • electronically sign the application for you
  • sign into the portal using your username and password

A representative can fill out forms and communicate with us on your behalf through their own account. They can also

  • help you prepare the documents you need to upload
  • answer questions about the forms

After you read the declaration, you must be the one who types your name and clicks the “submit” button. This is the legal requirement for your application to be considered “signed,” according to Canada’s immigration law.

Note: The date will be entered automatically.


Step 1: Gather documents

What documents do I need?

The instructions below outline the documents that you must include with your application.

Use the Document Checklist [IMM 5644] (opens in new tab)  to confirm which documents you need.

Include the completed document checklist with your application.

Important information: If any of the required documents are missing, or photocopies are not clear, your application will be returned to you.

Note: We may ask for more documents at any time while we are processing your application. If you do not submit the requested documents, there will be delays in processing.

You must submit these documents:

  • Fees: Copy of the receipt showing the amount paid.
  • Photo(s): You must provide photo(s) that meet the photo specifications. If not, we may return your application. Print the photo specifications (PDF, 1.24 MB) and take them with you to the photographer.
    • If you are applying online:
      • upload 1 photo taken within 12 months of the date you apply and include images of the front and back of the photo.
      • For digital photos, the information required for the back of one photograph can be provided as one separate document with a confirmation from the photo studio (e.g. receipt). This document should be uploaded in the Portal section titled “Upload your photo (back)”.
      • See how to submit a photo
        • make sure you’re in the Permanent Resident (PR) card / PR Travel Document tab at the top of the page
        • choose the “upload photo” button
        • your photo can be
          • a professional digital photo in JPEG or PNG format
          • a scanned professional photo (don’t take a picture of a paper photo with your digital camera or phone)
        • follow the directions in the photo editor window to position and crop your photo
          • click the “apply” button to validate your photo
          • your photo will show in black & white
          • you can edit and replace your photo with another photo up until when you submit it
          • you don’t have to delete the previous photo to upload a new one (it will automatically replace the previous photo)
        • check the Declaration box and click “next” to upload your photo
          • if you get a warning message that your photo doesn’t meet the requirements but you want to submit it anyway, also check the Acknowledgement box and click “Next” to continue
        • Press “submit documents” (once you do this, it can no longer be changed)

        Note: If we return your photo, you can submit a new photo through the portal. Make sure the new photo meets all the photo requirements listed in the portal before you upload a new one.

        Reasons your photo may be returned:

        • photo is too dark
        • background is not white
        • facial features not visible
        • glare on photo
        • measurements are not between 715x1000 and 2000x2800 pixels
        • file size is above 4MB
        • other reasons – see photo requirements for details
    • If you are applying by paper:
      • You will need two (2) identical photos taken within twelve (12) months of the date of this application:
        • put the two (2) photos in a small envelope (no staples or paper clips), and
        • write the name of the applicant on the envelope.
  • Proof showing that you meet the residency obligation in the past five (5) years immediately before the application. Please refer to Appendix A: Residency Obligation.
  • A copy of one of the following primary identity documents:

    • your valid passport or travel document or
    • the passport or travel document you had when you became a permanent resident (if applicable, include the passport page that was stamped when you arrived in Canada and became a permanent resident) or
    • the certificate of identity or travel document issued by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or a foreign country.

    Note: The copy should show:

    • the document type and number;
    • issue and expiry date;
    • your name;
    • your photo; and
    • your date of birth

In exceptional cases, if it is impossible for you to obtain any of the above, you must provide a:

  • copy of any identity document issued outside Canada before you came to Canada or
  • statutory declaration signed by you attesting to your identity and a statutory declaration also attesting to your identity signed by:
    • a person who knew you before you came to Canada (such as a family member) or
    • an official of an organization representing people from your country of nationality or past residence.

All statutory declarations must be certified by an accredited commissioner of oaths. Provincial laws govern who can act in this position.

If you are submitting a statutory declaration, you must also provide a clear and legible copy of a letter explaining


  • that there are exceptional circumstances in your home country,
  • what these circumstances are, and
  • how they are stopping you from getting any identity documents.

Note: In the Portal, upload your primary document (like your passport) by selecting “Passport or Other Primary ID Document” from the Document type dropdown menu.

We may contact you for more information or ask you to provide more documents.

Your PR card

If you are applying to renew your present card, include a copy of it with your application. Once you get your new card destroy your old card immediately.

If you are applying online to replace a damaged card, please destroy your card immediately and upload a photo as proof with your supporting documents. If you are applying by paper, send the damaged card with your application.

If we ask you to come to a local IRCC office, you must bring your old card and the original documents of the copies you had included with your application. We will ask you to destroy your old card after you get the new one.

If you lost your PR card, include a copy of a police report or incident number with your application, if you have one.

Additional documents you may need to complete and submit, if they apply:

  • To be considered on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, include supporting documents that support your request to keep your permanent residence. See the “Humanitarian and compassionate grounds” section of the instruction guide for more information.
  • Legal change of name: copy of supporting legal documentation as proof of your name change. Consult the Legal Name Change section for detailed information.

If you are under the age of 18

Provide a clear and legible photocopy of the following documents:

  • your birth certificate (showing your name, date of birth, place of birth and the names of your parents or adoptive parents);
  • if you have a legal guardian, submit legal documentation issued by a Canadian court which proves guardianship; or
  • a photocopy of your school records (report cards, transcripts, attendance records).

Translation of documents

You must include the following along with any document that is not in English or French:

Translations may be done by:

  • a person who is fluent in both languages (English or French, and the unofficial language); or
  • a Canadian certified translator (a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial organization of translators and interpreters in Canada).

If the translation isn’t done by a Canadian certified translator, the person who completed the translation must provide an affidavit swearing to their language proficiency and the accuracy of the translation.

The affidavit must be sworn in the presence of:

In Canada:

Authority to certify varies by province and territory. Consult your local provincial or territorial authorities.

Outside of Canada:

  • a notary public

Authority to administer oaths varies by country. Consult your local authorities.

small exclamation warning signImportant information: Translations must not be done by the applicants themselves nor by members of the applicant’s family. This includes a parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew and first cousin.

Note: An affidavit is a document on which the translator has sworn, in the presence of a person authorized to administer oaths in the country where the translator is living, that the contents of their translation are a true translation and representation of the contents of the original document. Translators who are certified in Canada don’t need to supply an affidavit.


Certified true copies

To have a photocopy of a document certified, an authorized person must compare the original document to the photocopy and must print all of the following on the photocopy:

  • “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”;
  • the name of the original document;
  • the date of the certification;
  • the name of the authorized person;
  • their official position or title; and
  • their signature.

Who can certify copies?

Only authorized people can certify copies.

Important information: Certifying of copies must not be done by the applicants themselves nor by an applicant’s parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or first cousin.

People authorized to certify copies include the following:

In Canada:

Authority to certify varies by province and territory. Check with your local provincial or territorial authorities to learn who has the authority to certify.

Outside Canada:

  • a notary public

Authority to certify international documents varies by country. Check with your local authorities to learn who has the authority to certify in your country.


Step 2: Fill out the forms

Filling out the application

You’ll fill out this digital form online

  • Application for a Permanent Resident Card or Permanent Resident Travel Document (IMM 5444)

Digitally sign your application

  • You must type your full name exactly as shown on your passport to digitally sign your application.

Note: If you cannot apply online and require accommodations, including for accessibility reasons, you can apply by paper.

If you require additional context on specific questions, please visit our step by step instructions on how to complete the form. You must answer all questions. If you leave any sections blank, we will return your application and processing will be delayed.

If you need more space, include another sheet of paper with your application and at the top of the page, print your name and the number of the question you are answering clearly in black.

If you are applying online, you will fill out and upload these PDF forms into the Portal. If you are applying by paper you will need to complete these PDF forms and include it with your mailed application.

Additional forms (if they apply)

Note: If you are applying for a replacement/renewal PR card and choose to change your gender to ‘X - Another gender’, you need to complete the Request for a Change of Sex or Gender Identifier [IRM 0002] (PDF, 1.8 MB) and send it with your application.

 It is a serious offence to give false or misleading information on these forms. The information you provide on your application may be verified.


Provide complete and accurate answers

Fill out all sections. If a section does not apply to you, write “Not Applicable” or “NA”. If your application is incomplete, it will be returned to you and this will delay the processing.

If you need more space for any section, print out an additional page with the appropriate section and submit it with your application.


Technical issues

If you’re having technical issues with the Portal, contact us using the web form

  • under type of application/enquiry, choose technical difficulties from the drop-down menu
  • in the text box, specify what you’re applying for
  • upload screenshots from your account that show us:

Step 3: Pay the fees

Your fees

You must pay a processing fee when you apply. Use the table below to calculate the total amount of fees to be paid or visit the Pay your fees page. You must include your proof of payment with your application.

Application (per person) $CAN
Permanent Resident card $50

Find out if you need to give biometrics.

Biometrics fees $CAN
Biometrics (per person) 85
Biometrics (per family) (2 or more people)

Maximum fee for a family of 2 or more people applying at the same time and place

170

Important information: You must pay your fees online. We will return your application if you send any other type of payment.

The processing fee will not be refunded:

  • once we have started processing your application, or
  • if your application is refused.

Payment Issues

No fee included or insufficient fees

If you do not pay the full fees for your application(s) we will return your application(s). We will only start processing your application after you return it with the correct fees.

blue question mark For immigration applications, see section 10 of the IRPR and for citizenship applications, see section 13 of the Citizenship Act for more information.

Overpayment

If you pay more than the fees needed for your application(s) we will start processing your application, and send you a refund as soon as possible.

Note: You don’t have to ask for a refund. It will be done automatically.

Note: If you’re eligible for a refund, we will issue the refund to the person indicated on the Payer Information section of the receipt (if a receipt is attached to a paper application or uploaded as part of an online application). If you paid directly within an online application (no receipt attached), or if there is no name indicated on the receipt, we will send the refund to the applicant.

stop sign

Only online payments are accepted in Canada. If any other forms of payment are received, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will return your application.


How to pay the fees for your application

To pay your fees for your application you’ll need:

  • a valid e-mail address;
  • access to a printer (you’ll need to print the receipt), and
  • a credit card, Debit MasterCard® or Visa® Debit card.

Visit the link below and follow these instructions to pay:

  • Go to Online Payment.
  • Follow the online instructions.
    • At the end, click on the button to print the IRCC official receipt with barcode. Print two copies.
  • Attach a copy of this receipt to your completed application.
    • Keep the second copy of the receipt for your records.

stop sign hand Do not exit without printing the receipt! The printed receipt is your proof of payment!


Step 4: Submit the application

If you apply online

When applying online, submit your application and all supporting documents through the Permanent Residence Portal.

If you submit a paper application

Send your application in a stamped envelope to the address below:

Regular mail:

Attach enough postage (top right of the envelope)
Sender (top left of the envelope) (Your name)
(Your Address)
(Your Postal Code)
Recipient (centre of the envelope)
Case Processing Centre — PR card
P.O. Box 10020
SYDNEY, NS  B1P 7C1
CANADA

Or by courier:

Attach enough postage (top right of the envelope)
Sender (top left of the envelope)
(Your name)
(Your Address)
(Your Postal Code)
Recipient (centre of the envelope) Case Processing Centre – PR card
49 Dorchester Street
Sydney, NS
B1P 5Z2

Make sure you have included the Document Checklist [IMM 5644] (opens in new tab)  and all the necessary documents with your application.


Is your application urgent?

You may qualify for urgent processing of your application.

If you are applying online and your request is urgent, check “Yes, my request is urgent” in the Portal.

If you are applying on paper and requesting urgent processing, write "Urgent" on your envelope.

Provide your date of travel and include a supporting document explaining why.

You must show that you need your PR card to travel within the next three months for one of these reasons:

  • your own serious illness;
  • the serious illness or death of a family member;
  • work, related to your current job or job opportunity; or
  • you are in a crisis, emergency, or a vulnerable situation.

You must include all the following documents to show you need urgent processing:

  • a copy of proof of travel such as tickets or an itinerary showing the destination and dates you will be travelling;
  • a copy of proof of payment for travel showing the date, full amount and method of payment;
  • a letter explaining the reason for the urgency; and
  • proof of urgency (i.e., a doctor’s note, death certificate, letter from employer, etc.)

You must provide the English or French translation for any documents that are not English or French. See the section translation of documents.

If you do not send all of this information, we may not process your application urgently.

Note: We cannot process applications for PR cards in less than 3 weeks. If you don’t receive your new PR card before you travel abroad, you can submit an application for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD).

Note: If you do not send all this information, we may not process your application urgently. If you qualify, we cannot guarantee that you will get your PR card on time.


What happens next

Hearing from IRCC

After you submit your application, you can expect to hear from us when your application is in review or has been finalized.

  • If your application is properly completed and you meet the requirements for a PR card
    • If you gave us a valid email address, we will send you an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AoR) of your application to your email address;
    • you will get your card in the mail or we will contact you by email or letter to let you know when and where to pick up your card.
    • If we ask you to pick up your PR card in person, you must bring your old card and the original documents of the copies you included with your application.

small exclamation warning signImportant: A PR card cannot be issued and delivered overseas to allow for a permanent resident to come back to Canada. A PR outside Canada without a status document must apply for a PRTD.

If your application is incomplete:

  • Your application will be returned to you.

If your application is refused:

  • You will receive a refusal letter, explaining the reasons for the refusal and your appeal rights.

If you decide to appeal a negative decision, follow the instructions in the “Notice of Appeal” form and letter sent with your refusal.

If your application is withdrawn:

  • You will receive a letter explaining the reasons for the withdrawal.


Important information

Updating your contact information

If your address or telephone number changes during the application process, you must let us know. You can do this by going to Change of Address or by visiting the Help Centre.


Checking application status

You may Contact Us or go online to see the current status of your application:

  1. Click on Check application status, and
  2. follow the instructions provided.

To obtain details on how to remove your application status information from the Internet, visit the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) section.


Protecting your information

Your personal information is:

  • available to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) employees who need to see it to provide the services to you, and
  • not disclosed to other organizations except as permitted under the provisions of the Privacy Act or the Citizenship Regulations.

For more information about the protection of your data, visit the Frequently Asked Questions/Help Centre.


Quality Assurance Program

Our quality assurance program randomly chooses applications for a special review. If chosen, we will ask you to attend an interview with an IRCC official to:

  • verify that the documentation and any other information you submitted is accurate,
  • verify that your application has been completed properly.

Note: We will notify you in writing if your application is chosen.



For more information

Current processing times and urgent cases

Current processing times are updated regularly on our website. We will only process urgent cases under specific circumstances.


Need help?

If you need help, you can find answers to your questions by visiting the Help Centre.


Appendix A: Residency obligation

Minimum residency obligations

You must meet the residency obligation to get a PR card.

If you have been a permanent resident for five (5) years or more

  • you must have been physically present in Canada for a minimum of 730 days within the past five (5) years.

If you have been a permanent resident for less than five (5) years

  • you must show that you will be able to meet the minimum of 730 days of physical presence in Canada within five (5) years of the date you became a permanent resident.

Supporting documents showing that you meet the residency obligation

  • You must provide copies of 2 pieces of evidence that can show residency in Canada in the five (5) years immediately before the application, such as:
    • employment records or pay stubs;
    • bank statements;
    • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Notice of Assessment for the five (5) years immediately before the application
    • evidence that you received benefits from Canadian government programs;
    • rental agreements;
    • club memberships;
    • or any other documents that prove you met your residency obligation.

Do not send original documents, as they will not be returned to you.

Travel journal

Record your trips outside Canada. It will help you fill out your application.

Notice for persons under 22 years of age:

Residency requirements to keep Permanent Resident status for PR Card and Permanent Resident Travel Document applications:

On October 24, 2017, IRCC’s definition of “child” changed, from under 19 years of age to under 22 years of age.

  • The time an applicant, aged 22 and over, spent accompanying a parent abroad before October 24, 2017, will be assessed under the previous definition of “child.”
  • The time an applicant, aged 22 and over, spent accompanying a parent abroad on or after October 24, 2017, will be assessed under the new definition of “child.”

Time spent outside Canada

You must provide all your absences from Canada in the past 5 years (or since becoming a permanent resident if less than five 5 years ago) in the table provided on the IMM 5444 application.

small exclamation warning signConsult the step by step instructions on how to complete the table “Time Spent Outside Canada" on the form.

If you were outside Canada for more than 1095 days, you may count days you spent outside Canada towards the days required for you to meet the residency obligation in these situations:

Situation A. Employment outside Canada

You may count each day you worked outside Canada if:

  • you are an employee of, or under contract to, a Canadian business or the public service of Canada or of a Canadian province or territory and
  • as a term of your job or contract, you are assigned on a full-time basis to:
    • a position outside Canada
    • an affiliated enterprise outside Canada or
    • a client of the Canadian business or the public service outside Canada; and
  • you will continue working for the employer in Canada after the assignment.

For this application, a Canadian business is defined as:

  • a corporation that is incorporated under the laws of Canada or of a province and that has an ongoing operation in Canada
  • an enterprise that:
    • has an ongoing operation in Canada
    • is capable of generating revenue
    • is carried out in anticipation of profit
    • in which a majority of voting or ownership interests is held by Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or Canadian businesses as defined above or
  • an organization or enterprise created by the laws of Canada or a province

Supporting documents:

  • You must provide a letter signed by an official of the business that confirms:
    • the position and title of the signing official;
    • the nature of the business and how it fits the description of a Canadian business (see definition above);
    • details of your assignment or contract outside Canada such as:
      • length of the assignment;
      • confirmation that you are a full-time employee of the “Canadian business” working abroad on a full-time basis as a term of your employment, or that you are on contract working abroad on a full-time basis as a term of your contract; and
      • a description or copy of the position profile regarding the assignment or contract abroad;
    • that you will continue working for the employer in Canada after your assignment ends; and
    • that the business was not created mainly for the purpose of meeting your residency obligation.
  • You may also include:
    • articles of incorporation and business licenses
    • partnership agreements or corporate annual reports
    • corporate Canadian Income Tax Notices of Assessment or financial statements
    • copies of the Employee Assignment Agreement or Contract
    • copies of any agreements between the Canadian business and the business or client outside Canada concerning your assignment to that client or business
    • pay statements
    • Canadian Income Tax Notice of Assessment for the five years immediately before the application
    • T4 slips
    • any other proof you want us to consider

Situation B. Accompanying a Canadian citizen outside Canada

You may count each day you accompanied a Canadian citizen outside Canada as long as this person is your spouse, common-law partner or parent (if you were a child under 19 years of age before October 24, 2017 or under 22 years of age after October 24, 2017).

Proof needed

You must provide supporting documents to prove that:

  • The person you are accompanying is a Canadian citizen; and
  • You are the spouse, common-law partner or child of that person.

Supporting documents may include:

  • Mandatory:
    • all passports or other travel documents that the person you are accompanying used in the five (5) years before the application;
    • documents showing the citizenship of the person you are accompanying, including the date the person became a Canadian citizen;
    • proof of the residential addresses of the person you are accompanying for the five (5) years before the application;
    • marriage licence or proof of common-law partnership (if you are accompanying a spouse or common-law partner);
    • child’s birth certificate, baptismal document, or adoption or legal guardianship document (if you are accompanying a parent);
  • You may also include:
    • Canadian Income Tax Notice of Assessment (NOA) for the past two (2) years
    • school or employment records;
    • association or club memberships;
    • any other documents you want us to consider.

Situation C. Accompanying a permanent resident outside Canada

You may count each day you accompanied a permanent resident outside Canada as long as:

  • the person you accompanied is your spouse, common-law partner or parent (if you were a child under 19 years of age before October 24, 2017 or under 22 years of age after October 24, 2017); and
  • the person was employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the public service of Canada or of a Canadian province or territory during the time you accompanied them.

Proof needed

You must provide supporting documents to prove that:

  • The person you are accompanying is a permanent resident;
  • You are the spouse, common-law partner or child of that person; and
  • The permanent resident you are accompanying meets the residency obligation.

Supporting documents may include:

  • Mandatory:
    • documents showing the person you are accompanying meets the residency obligation;
    • all passports or other travel documents the person you are accompanying used in the five (5) years before the application;
    • marriage license or proof of common-law partnership (if you are accompanying a permanent resident spouse or common-law partner);
    • child’s birth certificate, baptismal document, or adoption or legal guardianship document (if you are accompanying a permanent resident parent);
  • You may also include:
    • School or employment records;
    • Canadian Income Tax Notice of Assessment;
    • association or club memberships;
    • any other documents you want us to consider.

Humanitarian and compassionate grounds

If you cannot meet the residency obligation, it may still be possible to keep your status as a permanent resident of Canada. To assess your application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, you must show that there were exceptional circumstances or factors beyond your control that have kept you living outside Canada.

Factors that might be acceptable are unusual and undeserved, or disproportionate hardships you would face if you lost your permanent resident status.

To have your application considered on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, you must:

  • answer question 5.7 on the application form;
  • provide proof that there are compelling humanitarian and compassionate factors in your personal circumstances that justify keeping your permanent resident status;
  • describe why you were not able to meet the residency obligation;
  • describe the extent of any hardship the loss of residency status would cause to:
    • yourself;
    • family members who would be directly affected by this decision; and
    • the best interests of any child directly affected by this decision, if this applies to you.

While there are no guidelines about the supporting documents to submit, you must provide documents and information on any aspect of your exceptional circumstances that would justify keeping your permanent resident status.

An officer will consider the factors of your case and will make a decision based on the information and documents you provide with your application.

Features


Find out if you are eligible

Page details

Date modified: