A Canadian permanent resident is allowed to leave the country for an extended period of time. If the individual plans to return to Canada, they are required to present their permanent resident card upon re-entry. The card confirms an individual has permanent resident status.
The majority of permanent resident cards last for five years. However, some permanent resident cards last for less than five years. If your permanent resident card expires, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have lost permanent resident status. It does mean you cannot use your permanent resident card to re-enter Canada.
You must be in Canada to apply for a permanent resident card. If you are outside of Canada when your permanent resident card expires, you cannot apply for a new card. You have another option, however. You have the option to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD). If your PRTD is granted, then you can use it to re-enter Canada. The PRTD is typically valid for up to six months once it has been issued. You can only use the PRTD once. After returning to Canada, you need to apply for a new permanent resident card.
If you plan to apply for a PRTD, you must have permanent residence status in Canada. You must also be outside of the country. The cost of the PRTD is just $50 CAD. To apply for the PRTD, you can send your application through the mail at the nearest Canadian Visa Application Center. You can search for Canadian Visa Application Centers on the Canadian government website.
You can also apply for the PRTD online, if you are unable to mail an application to the Canadian Visa Application Center. Regardless of how you apply, online or through the mail, you will need to send in your original passport for the application. You may also be called to attend a virtual or in-person interview. However, interviews do not take place in all cases. Successful applications will be granted a PRTD.
A Canadian permanent resident must show and carry a valid permanent resident card or PRTD when they board a flight to Canada. A Canadian permanent resident must also show and carry a permanent resident card or PRTD when traveling to Canada on any commercial carrier.
If you do not show or carry a permanent resident card or PRTD, you may not be allowed to board your flight, train, bus, or boat to Canada. It is your responsibility to have a valid permanent resident card to return to Canada. It is also your responsibility to apply for a new permanent resident card.
The following people can apply for a PRTD card:
What to do when your PR card expires outside Canada?