Due to COVID-19, some permanent residents have found it difficult to renew their permanent resident cards. For example, some people may not be able to book a timely flight back into the country, or their card may have expired while they were outside of the country due to the pandemic.
However, you can apply for a permanent resident card while you are outside of the country. Here, we will discuss permanent resident card renewal and the steps involved.
What is a Permanent Residence Card?
A permanent resident card provides proof of your status as a permanent resident of the country you live in. It is important to note that your status as a permanent resident of Canada will not be affected if you lose the card. The same will apply if you fail to renew your card.
However, if you wish to travel to and from the country, you will need to renew or apply for a new card. Permanent resident card renewal will ensure that you have proof of your status as a permanent resident of Canada.
Residency Requirements and PR Cards
To qualify, you must have lived in Canada for at least 730 days or two years out of the last five years if you have been a permanent resident for five or more years.
Or, if you have been a permanent resident for less than five years, then you must provide proof that you meet the 730-day criteria of being physically present in Canada during the five years from the date you became a Canadian resident.
Exceptions to the Residency Requirements
Examples include employment abroad, accompanying a permanent resident abroad, accompanying a Canadian citizen outside of the country, and compassionate/humanitarian grounds.
- Accompany a permanent resident abroad: they must be your parent, common-law partner, or spouse if you are under the age of 19. They must have also been employed by territory or province while abroad. Or, they must have been employed by the Public Service of Canada or a Canadian business.
- Accompanying a Canadian citizen outside of Canada: they must be your parent, common-law partner, or spouse if you are under the age of 19. You must also provide documentation that proves that you are their child, common-law partner, or spouse. The documentation provided must also prove that they are a Canadian citizen.
- Employment abroad: you must be under contract, or an employee, of a territory, province, Public Service of the federal government, or a Canadian business. You must provide extensive documentation that proves that your employment is full-time. You must also provide documentation that proves that your job abroad is not a make-work project intended to allow you to continue to count days towards your permanent residency while you are abroad.
- Humanitarian and compassionate grounds, the CIC may consider compassionate or humanitarian grounds for not fulfilling your residency prerequisites if they are compelling. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will notify you if they need this additional assessment from you.
Renewing a Permanent Resident Card Outside of Canada
Canada does not allow permanent residents to replace or renew their PR cards while outside of Canada: This is because Canada will not mail a PR card to an address that is not situated within the country. However, you can renew your card before you leave the country.
If your card has been lost, destroyed, or has expired while you are outside of the country, you can begin obtaining a new card once you have returned to Canada.
You can also avoid PR card applications and cards altogether by becoming a Canadian citizen. Some people have to leave Canada due to a family emergency or for employment purposes. Their permanent resident card may have expired during such time, and they may need to re-enter the country. If either of the scenarios above applies to you, you may renew your permanent resident card by providing compassionate and humanitarian arguments.
You can also provide proof that you tried numerous times to obtain work in Canada but were only able to find gainful employment abroad. You must also prove that you have significant ties to Canada and intend to return to Canada.
Finally, the global pandemic that has taken the world by storm has caused many issues that take a considerable amount of time to resolve. However, permanent resident card renewal issues can be taken care of if you plan and follow the guidelines that we have provided in this article.