A person must fulfill a residency requirement in order to keep their permanent residence in Canada. A person’s requirement to remain in Canada for a specific period of time is referred to as their physical presence there. For a person to be considered a permanent resident of Canada, they must either fulfill one of the following requirements or be physically present there for at least 730 days over a five-year period:
- The person is outside of Canada accompanying a Canadian citizen who is their spouse or common-law partner, or the person is a child accompanying their parent;
- The person is outside of Canada employed full-time by a Canadian company or in the Canadian government;
- The person is a permanent resident’s accompanying spouse, common-law partner, or child who is outside of Canada and employed full-time by a Canadian company
An officer must take into account a number of considerations before deciding whether a person is a Canadian permanent resident, such as:
- applicants for status documents
- when and why it is necessary to determine resident status
- what factors to examine while determining residency status
- when to provide a permanent resident travel permit to a permanent resident in the event that an application fails to comply with their residency requirement
Officers must check a resident’s status using the date the application was formally received in the office. If the official assessment of an application is put off for any amount of time after the application is received, using this date does not put the applicant at a disadvantage in any way. When a Canadian permanent resident applies for their card to be renewed, a permanent resident travel document (PRTD), or Canadian citizenship, it is often determined if they have fulfilled their residence requirements. If a person has had permanent residence in Canada for more than five years, the residency requirement will be determined using the five years prior to the day the visa office received the application.
Five years or more as a permanent resident
The only 5-year period that can be taken into account for determining an applicant’s residence requirements for someone who has been a permanent resident of Canada for 5 years or more is the one just before the application is received in the office.
Less than 5 years as a permanent resident
If new permanent residents can fulfill the 730-day requirement during the first five years following their arrival in Canada, they will be exempt from the residence requirement. A person will or may fulfill the residence requirement even if they live outside of Canada for up to three years after their initial arrival date, provided they still have the option of meeting the requirement of spending 730 days in Canada.
What is the Residency Determination?
You will get a questionnaire called the Residency Determination when you apply to renew your PR card. You will receive a residence Determination if your indicated days in Canada on your application to renew your permanent resident card don’t satisfy the residence requirement for permanent residents or if the information you submit raises questions. Even if immigration authorities can randomly choose an application and that person will get a Residency Determination questionnaire.