I am a Canadian in the United States. When do I renew a PR card?

As a permanent resident in Canada, or PR card holder, you are required to always keep a valid permanent resident card. Your card will expire every five years, and before it does you will need to make an application to renew it. 

When to renew a permanent resident card

We recommend applying to renew your card three months before it expires. This is because the processing time for permanent resident card applications at Citizenship and Immigration Canada can vary – for example, as of October 10th 2012 (the information is updated weekly) the government is working on applications that were received before and up to August 7th, 2012. This means that it’s taking about 87 calendar days to process renewals, replacements and initial cards.

If you are a new permanent resident, right now it’s only taking about 64 calendar days to process an application.

Before you renew a permanent resident card

Before you renew your permanent resident card, you must make sure that you meet all of the requirements to do so. This means you must have proof that you are a permanent resident, be physically present in Canada, not be under a removal order and not be convicted of any major crimes or immigration fraud.
You must also have met the residency obligation for time spent in Canada as a permanent resident. To meet the residency requirement you’ll have to prove that you’ve been in Canada for at least 730 days of the last five years. However, if you were not physically in Canada but were abroad working for a Canadian company, or you were accompanying a Canadian spouse out of the country for work or other reasons, these may count as residency days in Canada.

If you have a valid reason for missing your residency days, such as an unexpected emergency involving your family abroad where circumstances were out of your control, you can make a humanitarian and compassionate argument in your defence – but it is wise to not go it alone. This is a difficult process, and must be handled accordingly.

We have the resources and experience to help you in all of your permanent resident card renewal matters. Please contact us.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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