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.