What to do when your PR card expires outside Canada

Michael Schwartz
Published: August 29, 2021

A permanent resident (PR) of Canada might leave Canada for some time. If that person wants to return, they must present their PR card, which confirms their PR status.

Most PR cards last for five years, although some last for less. If a PR card expires, that does not mean a person has lost PR status. However, it means they cannot use their card to re-enter Canada. The only exception is if they are travelling by private car.

Ask a Campbell Cohen immigration lawyer for help applying for a PRTD

A person can only apply for a PR card from within Canada. This means that if a person is outside Canada when their PR card expires, they cannot apply for a new one. Instead, they have the option of applying for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD). If the PRTD is approved, the PR can then use the PRTD to re-enter Canada. The PRTD is usually valid for six months after it is issued. It can only be used once. As soon as a person is back inside Canada, they should apply for a PR card.

To apply for a PRTD a person must have Canadian PR status. They must also currently be outside Canada. The cost to apply is $50 CAD.

Normally, a person applies for a PRTD by mail through the nearest Canadian Visa Application Centre (VAC). The government website provides a searchable list of VACs, and other resources for permanent residents overseas.

Due to COVID-19, some VACs are not accepting PRTD applications. Some VACs may even be entirely closed. The government offers a list of VACs and which services are provided here.

If a person is unable to send their application to the VAC, they can apply online.

In both cases, the person must send in their original passport as part of their application. They may be called for an in-person or virtual interview, although this is unlikely. If their application is successful, they will receive the PRTD, which is a counterfoil on the passport.

Due to COVID and the fact that each case is different, there is no way to predict how long processing for a PRTD will take.

Ask a Campbell Cohen immigration lawyer for help applying for a PRTD

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
Fact check: IRCC has not removed police certificate requirements for temporary residents
A closeup of a uniform patch from a Toronto Police officer.
Statistics Canada releases new data on the educational achievements of racialized immigrants
Group of millenial young adult friends enjoying wintertime and in a snow-filled park
Study: Immigrants admitted to Canada as children have better education and work outcomes
A group of people raising their hands in triumph in an office building.
Celebrating notable Black immigrants this Black History Month
A woman admires the lights at night in Toronto's distillery district.
Top Stories
Report: Approval, processing rates drop after IRCC’s student cap
IRCC ends flagpoling services for PGWP applicants
British Columbia makes Entrepreneur Regional Pilot Program permanent
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Provinces
British Columbia makes Entrepreneur Regional Pilot Program permanent
A scenic view of a lake and boats parked in the foreground of a mountain.
Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan invite candidates for nomination in latest draws
Aerial view of Toronto Financial District at sunset, Ontario, Canada.
Three provinces select candidates in latest provincial immigration results
B.C., Quebec and Manitoba have invited candidates in the latest provincial immigration draws.
British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec issue provincial immigration nominations in latest draws
Skytrain bridge in British Columbia connecting Surrey and New Westminster over the Fraser River.
Link copied to clipboard