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The topics in the Dial-A-Law series provide general information on a wide variety of legal issues in the Province of Alberta. This service is provided by Calgary Legal Guidance funded in part by the Alberta Law Foundation.
This topic discusses how Permanent Residents can obtain, replace or renew their Permanent Resident Card.
The Permanent Resident Card, or “PR Card”, is an identification card which shows a person has permanent resident status in Canada. Permanent Residents of Canada should have a PR card in their possession upon departing from Canada and returning. Permanent Residents have the right to apply for citizenship after three years of physical residency in Canada and meeting other eligibility requirements.
The process to obtain a PR card, or to replace or renew it, is the same. The applicant must apply while physically present in Canada and prove entitlement to Permanent Resident status by accounting for all absences from Canada in the last five years. The applications are available on the Citizenship and Immigration website.
Permanent Residents must maintain two years of every five year period with physical residence in Canada. Some exceptions apply, such as when the applicant works for a Canadian corporation or authority outside of Canada. For those in breach of their residency obligation, there is an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division.
The applicant keeps the old card until receipt of the new one, at which time the old one is to be destroyed. If the old card is damaged, it is to be sent together with an application for replacement.
PR card applications are sent to Case Processing Centre, Sydney, Nova Scotia. PR cards are now issued to the applicant by post.
The application requires completion of forms, certification of copies of identity documents as true copies, photographs and fees set as of January, 2014 at $50.00.
If a Permanent Resident is outside Canada without a PR card, it is possible to apply for a travel document from a Canadian visa office in order to return.
Further information can be obtained from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website, www.cic.gc.ca or specifically, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/prcard.asp .