PRTD in Canada
Home » How to Apply for PRTD in Canada, 2022-23

How to Apply for PRTD in Canada, 2023-23

Have you been looking for information on how to apply for PRTD in Canada? If yes, then you are in luck. This article guide you through all the processes you need when applying for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) in Canada.

Permanent residents of Canada need valid PR cards to travel to Canada. What if I lost my card? What if I hold an expired card? A Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) allows you to travel to Canada under these circumstances.

Permanent residents (PR) of Canada must carry and show their valid PR Card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when boarding a flight to Canada or traveling to Canada on any other commercial carrier.

If you do not carry your PR Card or PRTD, you may not be able to board your flight, train, bus, or boat to Canada.

It is your responsibility to make sure your Permanent Resident Travel Document is still valid when you return from travel outside Canada and to apply for a new PRTD Card before your current card expires. Thus, let’s explore PRTD validity and how to apply for PRTD in Canada.

What is PRTD?

PRTD means Permanent Travel Document; a typical PRTD looks like a regular visa counterfoil. IRCC attaches the PRTD to your passport. You may then use it as a single entry visa to Canada. Of course, upon entering Canada, you must immediately apply for a new PR card to avoid future complications.

Who is a permanent resident of Canada?

A permanent resident of Canada has been granted authorization to live and work in Canada permanently. People usually become permanent residents by immigrating to Canada. Generally speaking, there are three main options for immigration:

  • Family reunification
  • Economic immigration
  • Refugee claims or resettlement

Of course, sometimes people do not meet the requirements. Therefore, they could immigrate on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds or alternative options. However, these options are not available to everyone. When you become a permanent resident, then you receive a PR card. Consequently, you do not need a PRTD to travel to Canada.

You use your card. Also, remember that you remain a permanent resident unless you lose your status or renounce it. Therefore, an expired PR card does not mean you are not a permanent resident.

Validity of a PRTD?

A typical PRTD is valid for six months from the date of issue. However, as mentioned earlier, as soon as you enter Canada, the PRTD becomes invalid. Consequently, you may not use a PRTD twice, even if it has been less than six months since the day of issuance. Also, while it is not common, the immigration officer may limit the validity of the PRTD to less than six months or extend it beyond six months.


You can apply for a permanent resident travel document in Canada (PRTD) if you meet the requirements below;

  • You can apply for PRTD if you are a permanent resident of Canada.
  • If you do not have a valid PR card showing your PR status,
  • You can apply for Permanent Resident Travel Document when you are outside Canada, and
  • Will return to Canada by airplane, boat, train, or bus.

When a PRTD becomes necessary

If your PR card expires or you lose it, you’ll face difficulty returning to Canada. Of course, it won’t be a significant issue if you are inside Canada, as you can apply for a new one. However, for those who are outside Canada, two main options exist:

  • If you are in the United States, you may travel by private vehicle to a land crossing. Nonetheless, it would help if you convinced the border officer you meet the residency obligations and you are not inadmissible to Canada. If convinced, they will let you in without issues. However, if they doubt you meet the requirements, they usually let you in but initiate your removal process.
  • In other circumstances, you must apply for a PRTD or a Permanent Resident Travel Document. Of course, you may only travel when you receive the PRTD.

How to apply for a PRTD?

  • To apply for a PRTD, fill out the application form. Moreover, prepare the documents according to the document checklist. If you are hiring a representative, you also need the Use of a Representative form.
  • The processing fee is currently $50. However, most people need to apply via the Visa Application Centres (VACs), and they have to pay for the premium services.
  • The application package includes the instruction guide and all the forms you need to fill out.
  • Use the guide to help you fill out the forms properly. If your application is incomplete or missing information, it will be returned to you.
  • Your application must show that you have met the requirements to remain a permanent resident. You must submit a separate application with the correct fees for each family member who needs a travel document, regardless of age.
  • After you send your application through a visa application center (VAC), a VAC agent will review it to ensure it is complete and has all the documents specified in the checklist.
  • A visa officer will then assess your application to determine whether you have met your residency obligations and whether you are still a permanent resident of Canada. The visa officer will decide if you need an interview. If you do, the VAC will tell you the time and place of your interview.
  • If a visa officer refuses your application, your passport and other documents will be returned to you.
  • If a visa officer approves your application, we will return your passport and original documents to you with your permanent resident travel document.

What if you’re outside Canada?

If you’re outside Canada and your PR card is expired, you need to apply for a PRTD to return.

Typically, you apply for a PRTD at a visa application center (VAC). Due to COVID-19, some VACs are

  • temporarily closed
  • Offering fewer services (and may not be accepting PRTD applications)
  • limiting their business hours

Before you apply, check if your VAC is open and accepts PRTD applications.

What If your PR card is expired or about to expire?

If it’s expired or will expire when traveling, renew your PR card before you leave. You can only renew your card in Canada.

You may be eligible for urgent processing of your PR card.

If you don’t get your new PR card in time, you must

  • apply for a PRTD once you’re outside Canada
  • renew your PR card when you return to Canada

Processing time and potential complications

A typical processing time is between two to eight weeks. However, the actual processing time for some people could be longer. Therefore, submit your permanent resident travel application at least two to three months before traveling to Canada. Of course, urgent situations could happen, and IRCC reviews those case by case.

Remember, there is no guarantee of approval. Therefore, take the application process seriously.

Refused PRTD applications and the right to appeal

Paragraph 63(4) of IRPA allows a permanent resident to appeal the decision of a visa officer outside Canada to refuse their PRTD application. However, you have up to 60 days to appeal the decision.

You may also attend your hearing in person only if you have been in Canada for the past 365 days. The Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration Refugee Board of Canada is in charge of hearing these appeals.

Can I Apply if I do not meet the residency obligations?

To receive a PRTD, you must meet the residency obligations. However, sometimes you could apply for a PRTD on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Consult with a professional for more information.

Also Read: How To Correct Errors Or Mistakes On Your PR Card

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the validity of PRTD?

A typical PRTD is valid for six months from the date of issue. However, as mentioned earlier, as soon as you enter Canada, the PRTD becomes invalid. Consequently, you may not use a PRTD twice, even if it has been less than six months since the issuance.

When do I need PRTD as a Permanent Resident of Canada?

As a permanent resident of Canada, you need a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when you misplace your PR card or have an expired PR card.

What if I’m already outside Canada without a valid PR card?

If you’re outside Canada and your PR card is expired, you need to apply for a PRTD to return.

Typically, you apply for a PRTD at a visa application center (VAC).

Can I travel outside Canada while I’m waiting for my PR card?

Yes, You can still travel out of Canada while waiting for your PR Card to be processed.


However, we hope this guide will be of help to you when you plan to apply for PRTD in Canada, 2023-23.

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