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Permanent Resident Card-Canada

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[edit] Landing in Canada

  • When you "land" in Canada and activate your permanent residence (PR) status, you have the option of applying for a PR card right there at your port of entry (POE).

  • In order to do that, you need to be able to supply the Immigration Officer (IO) with a mailing address in Canada.

  • The address has to be a street address and not a Post Office Box number.

  • Your PR card will be mailed to that address.

[edit] Canadian address not yet available

  • If you do not yet have a mailing address in Canada, but if you have a relative or friend in Canada who is willing to forward your PR card to you, you can provide the address of the relative or friend.

  • If you do not have an address to which the PR card can be mailed, it does not matter.
  • If you did not have an address in Canada when you applied for the PR card, but do before receiving it, you can input this new address on CIC's website here. (this can also be used, if you move after you gave your address to CIC with your application for a PR card.)

[edit] Time window for free PR card

  • You have six months in which to supply an address to which a free PR card can be mailed.

  • If you apply for a PR card outside of the six month window during which you are entitled to a free card, you will need to pay a fee of $50.

  • Outside of the six month window, you will need to pick up your new card in person at your local Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) office. You will receive a notice in the mail telling you the card is ready to be collected.

[edit] Re-entering Canada without PR card

  • If you "land" in Canada and activate your PR status, but have to leave Canada before you have received your PR card, it's okay (with the caveat that this advice is addressed to British citizens).

  • A British citizen who is a permanent resident of Canada may re-enter Canada with his/her British passport and without his/her PR card.

  • Yes, the IO at your POE will ask for your PR card and, yes, it would be nice if you had a PR card to show -- but it is not essential.

  • If you do not have your PR card with you, the IO may have to spend an extra couple of minutes searching for your name in a computer database, but that's about the worst thing that can happen (if you're a British citizen).

[edit] Potential Complication

  • If you "landed" in Canada to activate your PR status, returned to the UK to settle up your affairs, and now are returning to Canada to live, but have not yet applied for a PR card, you could run into some barriers.

  • Technically you don't need a PR card to re-enter Canada, as was explained in the previous section. But you may run into practical difficulties if you don't have a PR card.

  • For example, if you are flying to Canada on a one-way ticket and don't have a PR card, the airline may refuse to let you board.

  • After all, the airline does not want to fly you back to the UK at its own expense if you are not admitted to Canada. Therefore the airline may be over zealous in its interpretation of the rules. This is particularly the case with charter airlines, less so with Air Canada.
  • Air Canada website says: "All Canadian permanent residents travelling outside Canada are required to carry a valid Canadian permanent resident (PR) card or a valid visa, in addition to a valid passport, to return to Canada by commercial carrier. The PR card provides proof of your immigration status. Without it, you will not be allowed to board the carrier back to Canada. Canadian citizens do not need a PR card."

  • Ordinarily a British citizen does not need a Travel Document to visit Canada. But then a British citizen who is visiting Canada usually has a return ticket to the UK or a ticket for ongoing travel to another destination.

  • Another thing to consider doing is buying a return ticket, even if you're not going to use the return leg.

  • You might want to do a price comparison and find out which is cheaper -- Travel Documents for you and your family members or return air tickets.

[edit] Renewal of PR card

  • A PR card is valid for five years.

  • New PR cards have to be collected from your nearest CIC office. You will receive a notice in the mail telling you the card is ready to be collected.

[edit] More information

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