Permanent Resident Obligations
All Canadian Permanent Residents must do these two things to maintain their status: obey Canadian laws and meet the Residency Obligation.
In order to meet residency obligation in Canada, you are required to be physically present in Canada for 730 days (i.e. two calendar years) out of every five years you are a Canadian Permanent Resident.
You will have to prove that you meet the residency obligations if you need to replace a lost/stolen PR card, renew your PR card or apply for a Permanent resident Travel Document abroad.
Residency days may be accumulated inside or even outside Canada in the following ways:
- Be physically present in Canada; physical presence does not have to be continuous. Breaks such as travel outside Canada is allowed. There is also no defined limit on how long one can be out of Canada at a time. For example, a PR can be outside Canada continuously for 1,094 days (three years less one day) and keep their PR status if they remain inside Canada for the remaining 730 days in the five-year period.
There are few exemptions where a PR can count time spent outside Canada toward the residency obligation:
- If accompanying your Canadian citizen spouse or common-law partner
- As a child (under 19) accompanying your Canadian citizen parent
- You are a full-time and ongoing employee of, or under contract to, a Canadian business or the federal/provincial government (there are specific definitions of a Canadian business)
- If accompanying your spouse or parent who is a PR and is employed full-time by a Canadian business or the federal/provincial government
Note: the residency obligation to maintain your PR status is different from the residency eligibility to become a Canadian citizen. You can remain as a PR even if you do not meet the eligibility for citizenship. A person can be a PR for several years without being eligible for Canadian citizenship.
If you do not meet the residency obligation, your status may be revoked. It is important to note that PR status is not lost by itself. You also do not lose your PR status if your PR card expires. PR status can only be lost after being through an official process, either through a tribunal hearing revocation process or by voluntary renunciation.
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