I got my Canadian residency in April 2006 and I stayed out of the country due to unavoidable reasons. I only stayed in the country of Canada for 5 days. My PR card expired in April 2011. I am a citizen of India. Is it possible to renew the card or do I have to reapply ?


After being outside Canada for 10 years, you have probably lost your permanent resident status. From Understand permanent resident status:

When you are a permanent resident, you can live outside of Canada, but must live in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. If you live outside of Canada for longer, you may lose your permanent resident status.

Losing your PR status is not automatic though, and the following from IMM 5445 Appendix A may apply:

If you are unable to meet the residency obligation, CIC will consider any compelling humanitarian and compassionate factors in your individual circumstances that may justify the retention of permanent resident status.

Since your PR card has expired, you will certainly need to apply for a new one before attempting to return to Canada.

  • thanks for answer. So it looks one never really loses PR status and we can apply for a PR travel document to go back right ? – gansub Apr 20 '16 at 23:54
  • @gansub: Applying for a new PR card will tell you whether you are still considered a "permanent resident" or not. – Greg Hewgill Apr 20 '16 at 23:57
  • @gansub "If you live outside of Canada for longer, you may lose your permanent resident status." It looks like you will have a burden of proof to show that there is some humanitarian or compassionate consideration that would qualify you for an exception to a general rule that extended absences from Canada cause the loss of permanent resident status. – phoog Apr 26 '16 at 5:12
  • @phoog so I have to go through the process all over again ? – gansub Apr 26 '16 at 5:33
  • @gansub not necessarily; your application to renew your card might be successful. It depends on your individual circumstances. Your best bet is probably to talk to a Canadian immigration lawyer. – phoog Apr 26 '16 at 5:37

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