Permanent residency in Canada

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Canadian citizenship
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Economic impact of immigration
Canadian immigration and refugee law
Immigration Act, 1976
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
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Permanent Resident Card
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Permanent residency in Canada applies to those who are not Canadian citizens but who have been granted permission to live and work in Canada without any time limit on their stay. A permanent resident must live in Canada for two years out of every five, or risk losing that status.

A Permanent Resident holds many of the same rights and responsibilities as a Canadian citizen, among others the right to work for any enterprise as well as for the federal or provincial government (under restriction of access rights to certain regulated professions). The main differences are that residents cannot:

In addition, they may be allowed to join Canada's armed forces if the national interest would not be prejudiced.[1]

Permanent residents also risk deportation for serious crimes committed while residing in Canada. Permanent residents may apply for Canadian citizenship after four years in Canada; however, this is not mandatory.[2]

Permanent Resident Card[edit]

In 2002, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration started issuing the Permanent Resident Card (originally billed as and commonly referred to as the Maple Leaf Card) to all new Canadian permanent residents. All existing permanent residents were given the option of applying for a Permanent Resident Card at a cost of $50, though possessing a card is not mandatory except in the case of international travel.[3] From December 31, 2003, every permanent resident must be able to present his or her Permanent Resident Card upon boarding a commercial carrier (aircraft, train or bus) in order to travel to Canada. As the Permanent Resident Card may be issued only in Canada, those permanent residents who are outside Canada and without a Permanent Resident Card may apply for a single-use Travel Document which can be obtained from Canadian embassies abroad.

The Permanent Resident Card expires every five years, and then may be renewed by making application and proving that the applicant has been physically present in Canada for the requisite time period, or has otherwise satisfied the residency requirements. Although an individual may meet the residency requirements by living outside of Canada with a Canadian citizen spouse, or working outside Canada for a Canadian business, the Permanent Resident Card cannot be renewed without being present in Canada and having a Canadian address.

While the PR Card was introduced to facilitate ease of travel for permanent residents, it can also be used as a convenient method of proving status to government authorities, employers and schools.

In January 2015 the Government of Canada opened a new program to apply for a Permanent Resident card named ¨Express Entry¨. It replaced the existing model (whereby applicants were granted residency on a 'first come, first served' basis) and gave priority to those most likely to succeed economically in Canada. It achieves this by assigning weight to factors such as age, education, work experience, and skills.[4]

History – landed immigrant[edit]

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

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

It's also possible to be granted a permanent residency visa while living in Canada as a temporary resident, for example, as one of the 60,000 people who come to Canada each year under the International Experience Canada initiative, which provides Working Holiday, internship, and study visas.[5] Such applicants must still officially land and achieve the landed immigrant status. Previously many have left the country through the U.S./Canada border, either entering the U.S. or receiving a refusal notice, and then re-entered Canada through customs. Since late 2008 some, but not most, may now "land" at a Citizenship and Immigration Canada office in Canada.[6]

Within Canada vs Outside Canada application[edit]

The Permanent Residence process has two categories that are a critical part of the process and can have very different effects if a person applies incorrectly. While the "Application Status" web application on the CIC website reflects the categorical difference, the ramifications are not clearly identified at the time of application.

  • An application from outside Canada is an "Outside Canada" application.
  • An application by a "Landed Immigrant" from within Canada is referred to as a "Within Canada" application.
  • A "Within Canada" application leads to an "Approval in Principle" once the application is reviewed. The applicant may apply for Provincial health care while the "Permanent Residence" application is processed. Approval in Principle takes approximately 25 months.[7]
  • An "Outside Canada" application is intended for those who intend to resettle but have not moved yet and do not intend to move until they become a PR. It will not lead to an "Approval in Principle" as the applicant is assumed to not move until the process is complete and the person has the "Permanent Residence" card in hand. An applicant may enter the country as a visitor and be entered on a "Visitor Record;" but will not become eligible for such social elements as a Drivers License or Health Care until the entire process is complete. As of Apr 2014 that process takes 15–24 months.
If an applicant marries outside Canada and wishes to move back to Canada with the spouse, the "Within Canada" application would cause a gap in health care of 7 months, while the "Outside Canada" application would qualify the applicant for health care within 17 months.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Enrolment Information". Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  2. ^ "Becoming a Canadian citizen: Who can apply". 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  3. ^ "Permanent Resident Card". 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  4. ^ Moving2Canada Express Entry guide January 30, 2016
  5. ^ Moving2Canada Working Holiday Visa in Canada guide retrieved March 24, 2016
  6. ^ "Operational Bulletins 076 – September 17, 2008". 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  7. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]