How to Keep your Canadian Permanent Resident Status
So you’ve finally gotten your permanent resident status. Here’s more you might need to know about keeping your Canadian Permanent Resident Status.
When it comes to keeping your permanent resident status in Canada, the number to keep at the back of your mind is 730.
You must reside in Canada for at least 730 days (or two years) during a five-year period to finally keep your permanent resident status.
Importantly, these 730 days need not happen consecutively or in a row. You could still leave the country for a small amount of time.
What really matters is that you’ve spent a total of 730 days in Canada within any five year period after obtaining your permanent residence.
See below for more details.
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Does any time spent outside of Canada count towards your 730 days?
Some exceptions still exist for the government’s 730-day rule. In fact, sometimes your time period outside of the country could count towards your normal 730 days.
Below are 2 scenarios in which your time outside of Canada could count towards the residency-requirement:
1. You’re working outside of Canada on a full-time basis for a business that’s Canadian, or for Canadian provincial, federal, or territorial government.
2. You are the spouse, common law partner or dependent child of one who’s a Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident hired on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or Canadian government.
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In both cases, each day you spend outside Canada will be considered as if you were physically in Canada.
It’s very important to keep a detailed history of your trips outside the country (as well as day trips to the United States) to prove that you have met the 730-day requirement.
Other ways you could lose your permanent resident status
Even if the government granted you permanent resident status, you could still lose it in certain situations.
As we mentioned above, the government could revoke your status if you’ve not been in Canada for at least 730 days during the last 5 years. You can also lose your status if you:
• Become a full Canadian citizen.
• Give up (or “renounce”) your permanent resident status.
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• If you become inadmissible to Canada for reasons such as committing crime, financial, security or medical reasons, or having an inadmissible member of the family.
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If you happen to lose your permanent resident status, don’t panic. You can still appeal the decision within 60 days of finding out you’ve lost it.
Submitting an appeal will let immigration officers take a second look at their decision. They may consider humanitarian and compassionate grounds before their final judgement.
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Proving you meet the 730 days requirement
You have the responsibility of stating and proving that you meet the residence requirement to keep your permanent resident status.
As such, it is important that you keep a well-documented history of your trips outside of Canada.
The Canadian government encourages permanent residents to keep a travel journal where they can write down any trips you have taken outside of Canada, including same-day trips across the border.
This travel journal should include information such as the date you left Canada, the date you landed back in Canada, the destination, and the reason for your departure.
Although you won’t have to give this journal to an immigration officer, it’s a good way to keep track of time spent outside the country (and possibly any time that does not add towards your 730-day residency-requirement).
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It is equally important to prove that you have been actually living in Canada for 730 days.
You can prove this by keeping copies of housing leases, mail attached to your Canadian address, school transcripts or pay stubs, to name a few.
Time Lived in Canada
To keep your permanent resident status, you must have been in Canada for up to 730 days during the last 5 years.
These 730 days don’t need to be consecutive. Some of your time abroad may add to the 730 days. See what time abroad counts towards your permanent resident status.
To help you track your time in Canada, use a travel journal. Other ways to know how long you have been in Canada:
- Ask a Canada border officer once you enter Canada.
- Apply for or renew your PR card. They will tell you if you’re eligible.
Losing your permanent resident status
You do not lose your permanent resident status if your PR card expires. You will only lose your status if you go through an official process.
You could lose your permanent resident status if:
- an adjudicator finds out you are no longer a permanent resident after an inquiry or PRTD appeal;
- you voluntarily renounce your permanent resident status;
- a removal order is made against you and comes into force; or
- you become a Canadian citizen.
Even if you don’t meet the residency obligation, you are still a PR till an official decision is made on your status.
Voluntarily giving up (renouncing) permanent resident status
Losing your permanent resident status doesn’t happen automatically.
There may come a time when you may not want to be a permanent resident of Canada anymore. If so, you can apply to voluntarily give up (renounce) your permanent resident status.
For example, if you:
- know you have not met your residency obligations by being outside of Canada for a long period of time, and
- would like to visit Canada, and
- do not want to wait for a visa officer to do a formal assessment of your permanent resident status
- would like to avoid processing delays at the Port of Entry
You might not be able to enter Canada until your permanent resident status is resolved either by receiving a permanent resident travel document or by voluntarily giving up your permanent resident status.
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