Understanding Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) Status and Citizenship | PR Card Renewal Requirements | How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

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Many of Canada’s hottest immigration programs such as the Stream A PR pathway, federal skilled workers program (express entry), start-up visa (SUV), and certain provincial nominee programs (PNP) provide a means for applicants to apply permanent residence in Canada. Once you secure permanent residency, you may choose to renew your PR card by meeting residency requirements, or you may apply for Canadian citizenship once you are eligible.

【 What Rights Do Canadian Permanent Residents Enjoy?】
When you become a Canadian permanent resident, you have the right to:

  • Receive most federal and provincial social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, such as health care coverage (i.e. OHIP and MSP);
  • Freedom to live, work or study anywhere in Canada;
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship;
  • Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

All Canadian permanent residents must respect all Canadian laws and regulations at the federal, municipal, and provincial level, which include the responsibility for paying taxes. There are only a few main differences in the rights between Canadian permanent residents and citizens, which is that permanent residents do not have the right to run for political office, the right to vote, as well as hold government positions that require a high-level of security clearance.

【 What are the Requirements to Maintain Permanent Resident Status? Am I Eligible to Renew My PR Card?】

Canadian permanent residents do not hold a Canadian passport. If you would like to travel outside of the country, you will need to do so using a valid PR card, or on a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) along with your passport from your original country of citizenship. A PR card will normally be valid for 5 years. If your PR card expires while you are outside of Canada, you can apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) to return to Canada. Nonetheless, you should apply for PR card renewal before the expiry date printed on the card. Although you do not lose PR status if the card expires, certain residency requirements need to be met to be eligible for PR card renewal.

The application for PR card renewal can only be submitted inside Canada. In order to maintain your PR status, you must physically live in Canada for at least 2 years (730 days) within 5 years. If you spend time abroad, some of this time may also count towards your time lived in Canada. These situations include:

  • Working outside Canada for a Canadian business or Canadian government
  • If you are travelling abroad with a common-law partner or spouse who is a Canadian citizen, this time can also count towards the 730 days residency requirement
  • If you are a dependent child (under 22 years old) who does not have a spouse or common-law partner travelling abroad with your parent who is a Canadian citizen

What Are The Requirements to Apply for Canadian Citizenship? 

To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You are a permanent resident of Canada
  • Have met the residency requirement of living in Canada of at least 3 years out of 5 years (1095 days)
  • Have passed the citizenship test (If you are between the ages of 18 and 54)
  • Meet the language requirements in English or French
  • Have filed your income taxes, if applicable

If you meet the conditions above, after passing citizenship test and taking the Oath of Citizenship ceremony, you will officially become a Canadian citizen. As a Canadian citizen, you will be able to apply for a Canadian passport, be able to run for political office and entitled to voting rights. After you become a Canadian citizen, you do not have to meet certain conditions to maintain your citizenship. If you do not voluntarily renounce your Canadian citizenship, you will not lose your status.

Renew Your PR Card Before It Expires Or Enquiring About Your Canadian Immigration Options

If you are unsure whether you meet the requirements to maintain your PR status, would like to obtain professional assistance in renewing your PR card, or would like to inquire about your options for immigrating to Canada, speak to a Regulated Canadian immigration Consultant (RCIC) recognized by the Canadian government. Our professional team is dedicated to assisting clients on a personalized basis based on their individual’s needs and qualifications with suitable immigration programs towards attaining immigration to Canada.

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