What is a Canadian Permanent Resident?

A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries. A person in Canada temporarily, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident.

Thousands Receive Permanent Residence in Canada Annually

Canada is a land of opportunity and thousands and thousands of people get their PR card status in Canada every single year. If fact, Canada has been increasing the numbers of successful applicants to over 300,000 people per year, and you have equal opportunity just like those people.

As a permanent resident, you receive great opportunities and benefits in Canada. Having a PR card allows you to live, work and study in Canada on a permanent basis. The PR Card is normally issued for 5 years and can be renewed.

As a permanent resident, you and your dependants have:

  • The Right to receive most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage.
  • The Right to live, work or study anywhere in Canada.
  • The Right to apply for Canadian citizenship after a period of residence.
  • Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

As a permanent resident, you also must pay taxes, and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

The Permanent Resident (PR) Card​

Your PR card can be used to show that you have permanent resident status in Canada. If you travel outside Canada, you will need to show your card and your passport when you come back on a commercial vehicle, like an airplane, boat, train or bus. PRs traveling outside Canada who do not have a valid PR card, or who are not carrying it, need to apply for a permanent resident travel document before returning to Canada by commercial vehicle.

What To Do Before You Apply for a PR?

A PR card is usually issued for five years, but can sometimes be issued for one year instead. It is valid until the expiry date listed on the card. Canada only sends PR cards to addresses within the country. In some cases, you may have to pick up your card in person at one of the Canadian government offices.

If you find a mistake on your PR card you can ask for it to be reissued. Sometimes we shorten a name on the card if it is too long to fit. This is not a mistake. Find out how to fix a mistake on your PR card.