Photo Courtesy: Nibre Family from Winnipeg – PR
A few days ago, I had the chance to read the emails from my blog readers, there was an email from a fellow Filipino who had questions about his permanent resident (PR) status, this prompted me to review my past blogs and see what have I written about this topic.
I never had any post about this topic except when I shared the steps in renewing PR card, so in this post, let me share with you some worthy information that you should remember about your permanent residence status in Canada.
Permanent residents are citizens of other countries and are given PR status by immigrating to Canada. He has the right to live, work or study anywhere in Canada and can get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage. He has the right to protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and can apply for a Canadian citizenship once he has satisfied the qualification required. He is not allowed to vote or run for political office but is required to pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.
A Permanent Resident card is issued to a permanent resident as proof of his permanent residence status in Canada. The PR card is usually valid for five (5) years, however, expiration of permanent resident card does not mean that a person have also lost permanent resident status as this card can be renewed. PR card needs to be presented by a permanent resident of Canada every time he needs to re-enter the country on a commercial vehicle, like an airplane, boat, train or bus. If a he happens to be outside Canada and lost his PR card, he can obtain a proof of status to return to Canada by securing a PR travel document (use Application for a Travel Document (Permanent Resident Abroad) [IMM 5524] (PDF, 645.59 KB to apply). Note that starting March 15, 2016, a PR resident of Canada, regardless if you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country or a citizen of a visa-required countries, you will need to travel with your Canadian PR card or PR travel documents and must present this card to re-enter to Canada.
A permanent resident must satisfy the residency requirements to maintain permanent resident status, he can live outside Canada, but must be physically present in Canada for a minimum of 730 days (2 years) in a five-year period. Living outside of Canada for longer period may cause a person to lose his permanent resident status.
There are other circumstances that a person may count days outside of Canada as days for which he satisfy the residency obligation: (1) by counting each day he accompanied a Canadian citizen outside Canada provided that the person he accompanied is his spouse, common-law partner or parent, for child under 19 years of age (2) he is an employee of, or under contract to, a Canadian business or the public service of Canada or of a province or territory and as a term of his employment or contract, and he is assigned on a full-time basis or (3) by counting each day that he accompanied a permanent resident outside Canada provided that the person he accompanied is his spouse, common-law partner or parent (for child under 19 years of age) and the person you accompanied 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 period he accompanied him or her.
A permanent resident does not automatically lose his permanent resident status. One’s status cannot be lost by simply living outside of Canada long enough that he doesn’t meet the residency requirement, unless the person went through an official process wherein (1) an adjudicator determines that he is no longer a permanent resident following an inquiry or (2) a visa officer determines he does not meet the required residency when he apply for a permanent resident travel document. A person may also lose his permanent residency status by applying to voluntarily give up his permanent residence status.
This information may seem simple, but trust me it wouldn’t hurt to read and know these things, there are people I personally know who are unable to come back to Canada with their permanent resident status because they didn’t realize that they have a residency obligation in order for them to keep their status.
Understand Permanent Resident Status, Retrieved October 29, 2015