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Canada Permanent Residence Card Application Guide

If you want to start a new application for a Canada permanent residence card or seek renewal or replacement, this article explains how you can find your way.

Canada’s PR card is a traveling document used by permanent residents to provide evidence of their status.

As a permanent resident of Canada, you must have a valid Canadian permanent residence card with you or a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) while traveling across borders.

Certainly, PR cards also serve as a means of identification. You need it to gain entry into Canada whenever you travel.

Above all, a Canadian permanent residence card will mostly have a validity period of five (5) years. However, they sometimes come with an expiry date of one (1) year.

Canadian Permanent Residence Card Advantages

There are many advantages to being a permanent resident of Canada. Besides, holding a Canadian PR card has impressive benefits that are not available to temporary residents in Canada.

Here are the advantages of possessing a Canadian permanent residence card.

  • You can live in any Canadian province or territory with your permanent residence card. You can also work legally for any Canadian employer.
  • You are eligible to apply for citizenship.
  • Your children will have free education till high school Grade 12.
  • You can gain from Canada’s universal healthcare system, which allows you to get several healthcare services at no cost.

Moreover, you can apply for public health insurance to have exclusive health coverage.

  • Fifth, a Canadian PR card qualifies you for almost all social benefits open to the citizens of Canada.

Examples of these social benefits include public pensions, disability benefits, and survivors’ benefits for deceased workers, among others.

  • Sixth, you will have access to exclusive job offers with well-paid wages and salaries.

Not just that, some job offers in Canada are only open for Canadian permanent residents and citizens.

  • For the most part, you will be protected as a permanent resident under Canadian law. More so, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will also favor you.

Restrictions to Canadian Permanent Residency Card

All permanent residents must comply with Canadian laws at various levels to avoid losing their status.

The following are the restrictions of Canadian PR cardholders.

  • As a permanent resident, you are exempted from Canada’s politics. Likewise, you cannot vote for a candidate during an election in Canada.
  • Another restriction is that you cannot apply for jobs that require a certain level of security clearance in Canada.

Documents Needed to Apply for a Canada Permanent Residence card

Here are the documents required for Canada’s permanent residence card applications.

  • Permanent residence card application form
  • One (1) photocopy of your old or expired permanent residence card. If your PR card is expired, you must provide the damaged card for processing.
  • A photocopy of your passport or traveling document.

Besides, it is equally important that you submit a valid traveling document featuring your full name, photo, document name & number, issue date & expiry date, and date of birth.

  • Two (2) recent passport photos. They must be clear and submitted in a small envelope.
  • For documents in languages other than English or French, you need to provide an affidavit from the translator if they are not certified.
  • Applicants below 18 years old must provide a photocopy of their birth certificate, education records, certificates, and transcripts.

In addition, you need to provide a legal document from a Canadian court if you have a legal guardian.

  • Use of a representative form or authority to release personal information to a specific person (if required)
  • Form to request for a change of sex or gender (for applicants who want to change information)

How to apply for Canada permanent resident card

You need to follow some guidelines to have an appropriate Canadian PR card application.

The processes include;

  1. Prepare the required documents for the Canadian PR card.
  2. Make payments of Canada PR card fees.
  3. Send the application with supporting documents.

Prepare the required documents for the Canadian PR card

Initially, you may need to view Canada’s permanent resident card application package for official guidance in completing the required forms.

You are not only required to sign the PR application form but also to provide the following documents.

  • A photocopy of your damaged or expired PR card. You also need to provide a solemn declaration if your former PR card was destroyed, stolen, lost, or was not received within 180 days of your immigration.
  • One copy of your valid passport or traveling document
  • Two (2) passport photographs
  • Means of identification, among others

Of course, your passport photo must act by IRCC’s photograph specifications to satisfy the permanent resident card photo requirements.

Make payments of Canada PR card fees

You must pay your PR card application fee on time using the internet. The fee is non-refundable to applicants, and it costs CAD 50.

Hence, it would be best to have an internet-enabled desktop or laptop, a credit/debit card, and a printer. Of course, you must also have access to your email address.

Send application with supporting documents

First, you have to send the PR application for processing. The application should feature your signature, supporting documents, and your PR card application fee receipt.

Afterward, ensure your application reaches the Case Processing Centre (CSC) in Sydney, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

Regarding this, you can send your PR application via mail or courier.

  • Case Processing Centre (CSC) mailing address for permanent residence card: PO Box 10020,

Sydney, NS B1P 7C1, Canada.

  • Case Processing Centre (CSC) office address: 49 Dorchester Street,

Sydney, NS, B1P 5Z2, Canada.

Nevertheless, your application must be complete because CSC usually returns incomplete applications.

As a result, you will have to submit another application with a different fee to CSC.

Most of the time, permanent residence cards are sent to a pre-specified Canadian address when ready.

On rare occasions, you must visit any of IRCC’s offices to receive your PR card.

If you change any of your contact details after applying for a PR card, you need to notify the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to update the information.

Canadian Permanent Residence Card Processing Time

It is unavoidable to allow processing time when applying for your permanent residence card.

During the processing period, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) usually assess permanent residence card applications and make decisions.

Below is the estimated period to get a new Canadian PR card, including renewal and replacement.

  • New PR card: 141 days
  • Permanent resident card renewal or replacement: 137 days

Frequently Ask Question

Who is a permanent resident of Canada?

Permanent residents are foreign nationals with authorization to study, live and work in Canada.

Do I need my permanent residence card to enter Canada?

Yes. You must hold your Canadian permanent residence card or PR Travel Document (PRTD) when entering Canada via plane, road, train, or sea.

Will I lose my permanent residence status when my Canadian PR card expires?


Can I process my Canadian permanent residence card quickly?

Yes, only if you are traveling in the next three months for a job or because of a significant ailment demise severe health condition of a family member.

Can I receive my permanent residence card outside Canada?

No, you cannot.

Will I pay for a permanent residence card in Canada?

Yes. Application for a new PR card costs a non-refundable fee of 50 Canadian Dollars.

Are refugee claimants also permanent residents in Canada?

No. Because you have a pending refugee claim does not make you a Canadian permanent resident.

However, your refugee claims need to attain approval. Afterward, you need to apply for your PR in Canada.

What should I do to my former Canadian PR card after getting another one?

It would be best to get rid of it properly.

What is the renewal processing time in case my permanent residence card expires?

If your Canadian permanent residence card is out-of-date, you must allow processing for about 137 days.

How can resettled refugees become permanent residents in Canada?

Through Government-Assisted Refugee Programs or Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program

How do I access Canada’s permanent residence portal?


How do I know my Canadian permanent residence application status?

You can do so via You can also use it to initiate an address notification for a permanent resident card.

What is the UCI number on the permanent resident card in Canada?

On Canadian PR cards, each applicant has a Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number. You can identify the number as an eight or 10-digit number included in the emails/emails sent by IRCC.

Where do I find my PR card document number?

You can find it on the card’s back, on the upper-left side. Besides, the PR card document number features two alphabets and ten numbers.

Can someone receive my permanent residence card on my behalf?


What do I bring to take my permanent residence card to IRCC’s office?

While coming to IRCC’s office to collect your PR card, you must come along with the original copies of documents used during the application.

What happens if I still need to collect my permanent residence card within six months?

After 180 days or six months, if you do not collect your PR card from IRCC’s office, you will need to reapply for another card, as the new one will be destroyed.

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