Permanent residency in Canada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Permanent residency (French: résidence permanente) is a status granting someone who is not a Canadian citizen the right to live and work in Canada without any time limit on their stay.[1]


A permanent resident holds many of the same rights and responsibilities as a Canadian citizen, including the right to live, work (subject to some restrictions), and study in any province or territory of Canada. Permanent residents enjoy many of the same social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including becoming contributing members of the Canada Pension Plan and receiving coverage by their province or territory's universal health care system. All permanent residents may avail themselves of the rights, freedoms, and protections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, other than those exclusively granted to citizens.[2]

Permanent residents may apply for Canadian citizenship after living in Canada for a certain amount of time. Currently, a person must have been living in Canada as a Permanent Resident for three years (1095 days) out of the five years preceding their application (with up to one year of the time before becoming a permanent resident included).[3] They also have the right to sponsor relatives for permanent residence, subject to fulfilling residence criteria and assurance of support requirements.


Permanent residents do not have the right to vote in elections in Canada nor can they run for elected office in any level of government. Several municipal governments in Canada—including Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, and Calgary—have proposed giving permanent residents the right to vote in municipal elections but that would require approval from their respective provincial governments.[4] For national security reasons, permanent residents also cannot hold jobs in either the public or private sectors that require a high-level security clearance.

As non-citizens, permanent residents must use the passport of their current nationality in combination with a permanent resident card for international travel because they cannot be issued Canadian passports. Some countries will grant visa-free entry to Canadian permanent residents even if their current nationality would not typically qualify. To re-enter Canada on a commercial carrier (flight, bus, etc) a permanent resident must present either their permanent resident card or a Permanent Resident Travel Document issued by a Canadian diplomatic office.

Loss of status[edit]

A permanent resident must live in Canada for 730 days out of every five years, or risk losing that status.[1] Time spent travelling with a Canadian spouse, on a business trip for a Canadian business, or working for a federal or provincial government office abroad can be included in the calculation.

Permanent residents also risk loss for serious crimes (those that may be punished by more than 10 years in Canada or actually being imprisoned for more than 6 months in Canada), being a security risk or associated with organized crime.

Failing to meet the residency or admissibility requirements above results in loss of permanent residence status when the finding becomes final without appeal, if the finding is made outside Canada, and upon the person being issued a departure order from Canada, if the finding is made inside Canada.

A person automatically loses permanent residence status upon becoming a Canadian citizen.

A permanent resident may also voluntarily renounce their status if the person possesses a citizenship or right of abode in another country. A person who gives up their status inside Canada must depart the country or apply for a temporary resident visa.

A permanent resident does not lose their status if their permanent resident card expires.

Permanent resident card[edit]

The Permanent Resident card (French: carte de résident permanent) also known colloquially as the PR Card or the Maple Leaf card, is an identification document and a travel document for permanent residents of Canada.[5] It is one of the methods by which Canadian permanent residents can prove their status and is, along with the permanent resident travel document (PRTD), one of the only documents that allow permanent residents to return to Canada by a commercial carrier.

Landed immigrant[edit]

Landed immigrant (French: immigrant reçu) was an old classification for a person who has been admitted to Canada as a non-Canadian citizen permanent resident; the classification which is now known simply as "permanent resident". The term landed immigrant has been in use for so long that it is still (15 years later) part of the Canadian vocabulary and still appears in some government publications and forms.

To become a landed immigrant from outside Canada, one had to legally enter Canada, or 'land', at one of the designated ports of entry. Upon entry, the immigrant's passport was to be stamped with the words "Immigrant Landed". Once the immigrant had landed, an IMM 1000 form (Record of Landing or Confirmation of Permanent Residence) was to be given to provide an official record of landed status.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (December 13, 2017). "Understand permanent resident status". Government of Canada. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "Understand permanent resident status". Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. December 13, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2024.
  3. ^ "Changes to citizenship requirements 2017 to 2018". October 4, 2017.
  4. ^ Vomiero, Jessica (April 21, 2018). "Cities across Canada want to let non-Canadians vote in municipal elections". Global News. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  5. ^ Moore, Oliver; Lawlor, Allison (October 12, 2001). "Secure 'Maple Leaf' card for immigrants introduced". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 17, 2018.

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