What is a Permanent Resident (PR) Card, and why is it important?

The PR card is a valid form of identification for Permanent Residents. It proves your status and is needed when travelling outside Canada.

As a newcomer youth in Ontario, understanding your rights and responsibilities as a permanent resident is essential. Here are some common questions about the Permanent Resident (PR) Card and why it should matter to you.

Do I Need to Apply for My Permanent Resident Card?

When you get permanent resident status in Canada, you automatically become eligible for a Permanent Resident Card. This card is official proof of your immigration status and allows you to travel outside Canada and return without issues as long as you meet the residency requirements.

Your PR card will be mailed to your Canadian mailing address. If you didn’t give an address when you entered Canada, you have 180 days from the day you became a PR to give Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) your address via their address notification tool. 

For more detailed information, read this Settlement.Org article.

How long does it take to get a PR Card?

The processing time for a PR Card application varies, but it typically takes a few months. Applying well in advance is essential if you plan to travel outside of Canada. You can check average processing times or use this online tool to check the status of your specific application

What if my PR Card expires?

It's crucial to renew your PR Card before it expires. If you don’t, you will have complications when re-entering Canada after travelling abroad. You can renew your card by mail or online

Can I travel without my PR Card?

If you are a permanent resident, you need a current PR card to return to Canada. You can apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document from outside Canada if you do not have a valid PR card.

Some travel companies also require valid PR documents to be presented when you leave Canada with a return ticket already booked. You may be denied boarding without your physical PR card. Check the company's policy before making your travel plans.

For more detailed answers to these questions and others, refer to Settlement.Org.

Understanding the importance of your Permanent Resident Card and how to navigate the application process is important for your smooth integration into life in Ontario. If you have further questions or need assistance, don't hesitate to contact IRCC or settlement agencies for support.