Guide 5529 - Applying for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) 

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.

Table of Contents


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, see the:

This information will help you complete the forms and guide you through the application process.


Overview

Who should use this application guide?

Use this application if you are a permanent resident outside Canada who does not have a valid Permanent Resident card (PR card) to return to Canada.

The permanent resident travel document (PRTD) is a temporary official document proving your status as a permanent resident in Canada. It proves to transportation companies that you’re allowed to travel to Canada as a permanent resident if you don’t have a valid PR card.

You need a PRTD if:

  • you are a permanent resident outside Canada without a valid PR card
  • you plan to travel to Canada by any commercial transporter, such as a plane, train, boat or bus and
  • you need to apply to renew or replace your PR card when you return to Canada

 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.

These documents are not valid for travel to Canada:

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

Who should not apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document?

Note: Permanent residents inside Canada should apply for a PR card using the application kit Applying for a Permanent Resident Card (IMM 5445).


What are the requirements?

To apply for a PRTD you need to:

  • prove who you are;
  • confirm your permanent resident status; and
  • meet the residency obligation of a permanent resident.

Use the Document Checklist (IMM 5644) (opens in a new tab) to make sure you have all the documents needed. Send the checklist with your application.

Important information:

You must submit your current and valid passport only after you receive a request letter or email from us. We need this to attach your Permanent Resident Travel Document.

Send photocopies of all other identity and immigration documents. Do not send originals, as they will not be returned to you. See the document checklist for more details.

Legal name change

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.

NOTE: IRCC will issue a PRTD counterfoil based on the name on your passport. If you had a name change abroad, the name on your foreign passport provided with your application should reflect the new name and you must submit the supporting documents above.


Before you apply

Who may use this application?

You may use this application to apply for a PRTD if you don't have a valid PR card to return to Canada.

You cannot apply for a PR card while overseas. Once you receive your PRTD, you can travel to Canada. Once here, you can apply for a PR card using the Application for a Permanent Resident Card or Permanent Resident Travel Document (IMM 5444) form.

  Important information: If you are living outside Canada on a long-term basis, you can request a long-term multiple entry PRTD. Usually, PRTD counterfoils are issued for a single entry to Canada. However, you can request a long-term multiple entry PRTD if you:

  • meet the residency obligation; and
  • are living outside Canada on a long-term basis (for example, if you are a permanent resident accompanying your Canadian citizen spouse).

Include a cover letter that explains your circumstances and request a multiple entry PRTD.

Multiple entry PRTDs cannot extend beyond the expiry date of your passport.


Are you eligible?

To be eligible for a PRTD, you must:

  • be a permanent resident outside Canada;
  • confirm your PR status;
  • not be in possession of a valid PR card;
  • meet the residency obligation of a permanent resident;
  • not be a Canadian citizen;
  • not be a permanent resident who wants to voluntarily give up (renounce) their PR status, and
  • not have lost your PR status.

Step 1: Get your supporting documents

What documents do I need?

Use the Document Checklist (IMM 5644) (PDF, 2.19 MB) 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 copies 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 complete and submit these documents:

  • Copy of your current and valid passport.

Once we make a decision on your application, you'll receive an email with instructions on how and where to submit your current passport.

  • Copies of all pages of all previous passports or travel documents used in the 5 years immediately before the application. Do not send original documents, as they will not be returned to you. Please ensure these are legible, to avoid delays in processing.

Additional forms and supporting documents to include, if they apply:

  • Check for country-specific requirements. You may need to submit extra documents based on the country you'll be applying from. For example, there are specific requirements for documents from different countries such as entry and exit records.
    • From the drop down box, choose the country you are applying from.
  • Authorization to travel for minors – Provide parent or legal guardian permission to travel and documents giving consent for children to travel as unaccompanied minors.

Note: Children under 18 years of age who are travelling alone must carry written information about the person who will be responsible for them. If a child in this application is under a custody order or is travelling with one parent, you must provide proof of custody or the other parent's consent for the trip. Children travelling without their custodial parent(s) need a letter of permission to travel from the non-accompanying parent(s).

  • Proof of residency requirement: if you were outside Canada for 1095 days or more in the past five (5) years, provide supporting documents as they apply to you based on the situations outlined in Appendix A: Residency Obligation.
  • Fees: Copy of the receipt showing the amount paid.

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.

Step 2: Fill out the forms

You must answer all questions. If you leave any sections blank, we will return your application and processing will be delayed. If any sections do not apply to you, write “N/A” or “Not Applicable”. If you need more space, attach another sheet of paper and at the top of the page, write your name and the number of the question you are answering. Print clearly with a black pen.

Warning: It is a serious crime to provide false or misleading information on these forms. We may verify your responses.

You must complete and submit these forms:

Additional forms (if they apply):


Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)

Who may use this form?

Complete this form only if you:

  • are appointing a representative;
  • have to update contact information for your previously appointed representative; or
  • are cancelling a representative’s appointment.

If you have dependent children aged 18 years or older, they are required to complete their own copy of this form if a representative is also conducting business on their behalf.

Who is a representative?

A representative is someone who provides advice, consultation, or guidance to you at any stage of the application process, or in a proceeding and, if you appoint them as your representative by filling out this form, has your permission to conduct business on your behalf with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

You are not obliged to hire a representative. We treat everyone equally, whether they use the service of a representative or not.

When you appoint a representative:

  • you also authorize IRCC and CBSA to share information from your case file with this person in place of you. Please note the representative will receive all correspondence from IRCC or the CBSA, not the applicant;
  • your application will not be given special attention nor can you expect faster processing or a more favourable outcome;
  • the representative is authorized to represent you only on citizenship or immigration matters related to the application you submit with this form; and
  • you can appoint only one (1) representative for each application you submit.

Important information: You must notify IRCC if your representative’s contact information changes, or if you change your representative, or cancel the appointment of your representative. For more information on updating IRCC with your representative’s information, please see below section - Notify IRCC about any changes.

There are two (2) types of representatives.

Uncompensated Representatives:

Uncompensated representatives do not charge fees or receive any other form of consideration or compensation for providing advice or services to represent you before IRCC or the CBSA.

Uncompensated representatives include:

  • Friends, family members or other third parties who do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration for their advice and services;
  • consultants, lawyers and Quebec notaries, and students-at-law under their supervision, who do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration to represent you.

Note: You do not have to pay someone for them to be your representative. IRCC will conduct business with an uncompensated representative if an applicant appoints them on their behalf.

Compensated representatives:

Compensated representatives charge a fee or receive some other form of consideration in exchange for the representation that they provide.

It is important to know that anyone who represents or advises you for payment - or offers to do so - in connection with IRCC proceedings or applications is breaking the law unless they are an authorized representative or they have a specific agreement or arrangement with the Government of Canada that allows them to represent or advise you. This applies to advice or consultation which happens before or after a citizenship or an immigration application is made or a proceeding begins.

IRCC will only conduct business with compensated representatives who are in good standing with their designated regulatory body. For more information see - Find out if your representative is authorized.

Note: If a representative is being paid or compensated by someone other than you, the representative is still considered to be a compensated representative.

Authorized representatives are:

  • consultants who are members in good standing of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC);
  • lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society and students-at-law under their supervision;
  • notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and students-at-law under their supervision.

If you appoint a compensated representative who is not a member in good standing of one of these designated bodies, your application will be returned. Learn about using a representative.

General Application Information

Appoint a representative
  • Check box to indicate if you are appointing a representative to represent you with your application process. Complete sections A, B and D.
Cancel a representative
  • Check box to indicate if you are canceling a representative. Complete sections A, C and D; and
  • Check both boxes and complete all sections if you are cancelling a representative and appointing a new one at the same time.

Section A – Applicant Information

Question 1

Write your last name (surname or family name) and given name(s).

Question 2

Write your date of birth.

Question 3
If you have already submitted your application, write:
  • the name of the office where the application was submitted; and
  • the type of application you have submitted.
Question 4

Write your IRCC’s Identification (ID) or Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number (if known). If you have not dealt with IRCC since 1973, you will not have a UCI or a Client ID.

Section B – Appointment of Representative

Question 5

Write your representative’s full name.

If your representative is a member of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), a law society or the Chambre des notaires du Québec, print their name as it appears on the organization’s membership list.

Question 6

Check one box to indicate if your representative is uncompensated or compensated.

If your representative is compensated, write the membership ID number of:
Question 7

Write your representative’s contact information.

If you are appointing a student-at-law to represent you, include their supervising lawyer’s information including their membership ID.

Note: By indicating your representative’s e-mail address, you are hereby authorizing IRCC to transmit your file and personal information to this specific e-mail address.

Question 8

To accept responsibility for conducting business on your behalf, your representative must:

  • sign the declaration; and
  • date the declaration.

Section C – Cancel the Appointment of a Representative

Question 9

Fill in this section if you wish to cancel the appointment of a representative. Write the representative’s full name.

Complete all sections of the form if you wish to both cancel a representative and appoint a new one.

Section D – Your Declaration

Question 10

By signing, you authorize IRCC to complete your request for yourself and your dependent children under 18 years of age.

For sponsorship application, your spouse or common-law partner does not have to complete a separate request. If your spouse or common-law partner is included in this request, they must sign in the box provided.

Release of information to other individuals

To authorize IRCC to release information from your case file to someone other than a representative, you will need to complete the form Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual [IMM 5475] (PDF, 593.57 KB).

The person you designate under that form (IMM 5475) will be able to obtain information on your case file, such as the status of your application. However, they will not be able to conduct business on your behalf with IRCC.

Where to submit the IMM 5475 and IMM 5476 forms

Paper applications

If you have not yet submitted your immigration or citizenship application:

Send this form along with your application to the office listed in the guide of your application.

If you have already submitted your immigration or citizenship application:

You may use this Web form to upload IMM 5475 or IMM 5476.

or;

If you know which IRCC office is processing your immigration or citizenship application, send the completed form to the office mailing address. Consult IRCC office mailing addresses.

Online applications

If you have not yet submitted your immigration or citizenship application:

Upload this form along with your online application

If you have already submitted your immigration or citizenship application:

You may use this Web form to upload IMM 5475 or IMM 5476.

Notify IRCC about any changes

You must let IRCC know if any information changes regarding the person you authorized to represent you on your application.


Step 3: Pay your fees

You must pay a processing fee when you apply.

Application (per person) $CAN
Permanent resident travel document $50

Visit the Pay your fees page to learn about how you can pay at a Canadian visa office.

The processing fee will not be refunded:

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

Step 4: Submit your application

In a sealed envelope, submit:

You must provide all information and documents when you submit your application.

To find out where to submit your application, visit Apply for a permanent resident travel document.

Your Visa Application Centre (VAC) may be closed due to COVID-19

Find out how to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) to return to Canada if your VAC is closed.


Urgent processing for your PRTD application

  • You must show that you need your PRTD within the next three months for one of these reasons:
    • your own serious illness;
    • the serious illness or death of a family member;
    • lost/stolen Permanent Resident card while on temporary travel outside of Canada
    • you are in a crisis, emergency, or a vulnerable situation;
    • other
  • You must include all the following documents to show you need urgent processing:
    • a letter explaining the reason for the urgency; and
    • proof of urgency (i.e. a doctor's note, death certificate, etc.)

 If requesting urgent processing, write "Urgent" on your envelope.

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

Note: If you do not send all this information, we may not process your application urgently. If you qualify, we can't guarantee that you will get your PRTD on time.

What happens next?

An officer will decide if you are eligible for a PRTD. A decision is usually made without a personal interview and is based on your application, information and documents submitted.

If your application is complete and you meet the requirements:

  • you will be issued a PRTD counterfoil in your passport.

The PRTD is all you need from the visa office for re-entry to Canada.

If your application is incomplete:

  • Your application will be returned to you.

If your application for a PRTD is refused:

  • you will get 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 get a letter explaining the reasons for the withdrawal.

Features

Appendix A: Residency obligation

Calculating days present in Canada

You must meet the residency obligation to qualify for a PRTD.

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 five (5) years immediately before you apply for a PRTD.

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.

Time spent outside Canada

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

Situation A. Employment outside Canada

You may count each day you worked outside Canada if your employment meets these requirements:

  • you are an employee of, or under contract to:
    • a Canadian business
    • the public service of Canada
    • a province or territory and
  • as a term of your employment 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

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 able to generate 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 licences
    • 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 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 licence 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.

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