Since December 31, 2003, Canadian permanent residents have been required to have either a Permanet Resident Card (a “PR Card“), or a permanent resident travel document (a “PRTD“) to return to Canada aboard a commercial carrier. A PR Card is a “status document” whereas a PRTD is a “travel document.”
The PR card is the preferred document as it is the official proof of permanent resident status of Canada. Permanent residents who do not have a PR Card, are outside of Canada, and wish to travel commercially back to Canada will need to apply for a PRTD before they can board a flight back to Canada. Without proof of permanent resident status, the Canada Border Services Agency’s Interactive Advance Passenger Information system will impede the permanent resident’s ability to board the airplane to Canada. This is because s. 31(2)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states that a permanent resident abroad without a PR Card is presumed to not be a permanent resident.
However, if they apply to a Canadian visa office, permanent residents outside of Canada who do not have valid PR Cards may be issued PRTDs to facilitate their return to Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) will only issue PRTDs if they are satisfied that the permanent resident complies with the permanent resident residency obligation or if sufficient humanitarian & compassionate grounds apply.
The refusal of a PRTD can result in the loss of permanent resident status, and can trigger appeal rights to the Immigration Appeal Division. It is important to note that the grounds of such a loss of permanent residence are the failure to comply with the residency obligation and not general non-compliance.
In certain situations an individual can receive a one-year PR Card if their application for a PRTD is refused and they have an appeal at the Immigration Appeal Division.Read more ›
Prior to November 21, 2014, there was no formal way for permanent residents to voluntarily renounce their permanent resident status in Canada. Incredibly, permanent residents who wanted to voluntarily relinquish their status had to generally first be declared inadmissible to Canada by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”). This changed in 2014, and the ability to formally relinquish permanent resident status will benefit numerous individuals. As the IRCC website states:
In some cases, permanent residents know that they failed to meet the residency obligation and have no desire to remain in Canada as permanent residents, but they wish to visit Canada without being reported for non-compliance with respect to their residency requirements. In other cases, individuals may be required to provide proof that they have given up Canadian permanent resident status in order to obtain benefits from their country of origin or a third country, such as accepting a diplomatic posting, renewing civil documents (national identity cards, health or pension coverage, etc.) or entering military service.Read more ›
The following are some excerpts from the July 2010 RIMbits. RIMbits are messages sent from National Headquarters to missions overseas. The July 2010 RIMbits on admissibility consisted of eight questions and answers or bulletins. I have reproduced three of them for free below.
Please note that the questions and answers below should not be viewed as legal advice. Rather, they are simply reproductions of how CIC senior management answered specific questions from visa offices in July 2010.
Canadian citizen Visiting Forces Act applicant
Q. We ask for your opinion on the process for a Canadian dual citizen and his family who wish to enter Canada under the Act on Visiting Forces at the request of the ________ government. The applicant and spouse currently have official _____ passports. The sons, also dual citizens, have an ordinary ____ passports stating “son of government agent.” With what documentation should the applicant and his sons travel? Obtaining proof of Canadian citizenship for the children could take 14-16 months.
Also, the spouse has no status in Canada. The Foreign Worker Guide indicates that dependents of people who are in Canada under the Visiting Forces Act qualify for an open work permit. As the spouse of a Canadian citizen, is the wife still eligible for a work permit or study permit?
A. The Canadian citizens (principal applicant and sons) could arrive in Canada with their Official passports ______ with no permits or visas; however, the Port of Entry will have to investigate again their status as Canadian citizens. Therefore, I suggest that the applicant and his children be issued Facilitation visas so that CBSA POE will have the full story at their fingertips. The visa-exempt spouse, as accompanying dependent under the Visiting Forces Act,Read more ›
On January 14, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) issued Operational Bulletin 491 – Mailing Permanent Resident Cards (“PR Cards“) to Representatives (“OB-491“). OB-491 is an update to the 2012 Pilot Project to mail permanent resident cards directly to applicants instead of having them attend at a CIC office.
Many permanent residents have been requesting that CIC mail their PR Cards to their authorized representatives. This apparently caused CIC to be concerned that authorized representatives would forward the PR Cards to permanent residents overseas, which is (possibly) contrary to (the somewhat unclear) subsection 55 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “Regulations“), which states:
55. A permanent resident card shall only be provided or issued in Canada.
OB-491 accordingly clarifies that CIC will mail PR Cards issued to new immigrants (also known as “Phase I Cards“) to third parties in Canada, including friends, relatives, service providers or paid representatives, in order to facilitate the processing and issuance of PR Cards to new immigrants as they may not yet have a permanent address in Canada.
OB-491 also stipulates that CIC will only mail renewal or replacement PR Cards (also known as “Phase 2 Cards“) directly to applicants with permanent residential addresses in Canada. CIC has accordingly already started sending the following letters (the “CIC letters“) to permanent residents who request that their Phase 2 Cards be mailed to third parties:
Your application indicates your representative’s address as your home and mailing address. As per subparagraph 56(2)(a)(iv) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, we require that applicants provide their personal mailing address, as Permanent Resident Cards are not mailed to third parties.
Please provide your mailing address and the information requested by “dd,Read more ›
One of the ways to satisfy the residency obligation of maintaining permanent residency is to be employed outside of Canada on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province.
A thorny issue that has arisen in the context of determining whether someone meets this requirement is whether an employee has been “assigned” to an overseas affiliate of a Canadian business, and whether it was necessary for there to actually be an “assignment” from the Canadian business.
In Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Jiang, 2011 FC 349, the Federal Court addressed this issue.
At issue before the Court was whether the Immigration Appeal Division had erred in determining that neither the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations required that an assignment of a foreign employee must be effected from Canada. In the Jiang case, a Canadian permanent resident living in China had been hired by a Canadian business while she was in China.
The relevant section of the Regulations reads:
Employment outside Canada
(3) For the purposes of subparagraphs 28(2)(a)(iii) and (iv) of the Act, the expression “employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the public service of Canada or of a province” means, in relation to a permanent resident, that the permanent resident is an employee of, or under contract to provide services to, a Canadian business or the public service of Canada or of a province, and is assigned on a full-time basis as a term of the employment or contract to
(a) a position outside Canada;Read more ›
Examining the “working abroad for a Canadian business” exception to the “two years out of five” rule for maintaining permanent residency status.Read more ›
Less than three weeks ago I commented on the increased delay in processing PR Card Renewals. The processing time had gone from roughly 40 days in January, to 80 days in April, to 171 days on July 16th.Read more ›
The processing time for PR Card renewals has ballooned from roughly 42 days to 171. There are several reasons for this, including personnel reductions at Case Processing Centre Sydney, a higher than expected number of permanent residences wanting to renew their permanent resident card instead of applying for citizenship, and increased complexity of some of the files.
I was quoted on this matter in yesterday’s Ming Pao:
移民律師辛湉王(Steven Meurrens)則說，移民部完全錯估了楓葉卡第一次5年到期後、仍未累積夠居住時間而須再更換楓葉卡的人數。他指出，2002年楓葉卡推出5年 後，2007年開始接受換卡，今年才是接受換卡的第3年，人數已多到令現有人力無法負擔的程度，如果再不加人手，問題只會更惡化。
辛湉王 說，楓葉卡更換的過程比想像中複雜，例如被派到國外加拿大公司工作的永久居民，必須盡可能繳足所有證明在當地居住的文件，由於之前有個案造假，移民部對派 駐海外工作永久居民的楓葉卡更換申請，調查特嚴格，如此均拖慢所有的申請進度。
Yesterday I also recommended to an individual who is a frequent flyer and whose PR card was set to expire in February that he start the application process now. He replied that this would cause great difficulties because he would have to turn in his existing, still valid, PR Card.
This is not the case.
From Immigration Canada’s website:
If you are applying to renew your present card and:
- your card has expired, you should return it with the completed application for a new card or
- your card is still valid, you may hold on to it and return it to a CIC officer when you pick-up your new card at a local CIC office.
If you are applying to replace your damaged card, you should return your card with your application.
Individuals who are deciding whether or not to apply early to renew their PR Card should thus not worry about having to turn their existing card in.Read more ›
Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to a given program. Canadian immigration law is constantly changing, and the information above may be dated. If you have a question about the contents of this blog, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author.
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