PR Card vs PR Travel Document on Humanitarian Grounds: What You Need to Know

Navigating the pathways to maintain permanent residency in Canada involves understanding various documents and their specific requirements. For permanent residents, knowing when and how to apply for a PR Card (PRC) or a PR Travel Document (PRTD) is crucial, especially under circumstances that require consideration on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. These two routes offer solutions depending on whether you are inside or outside Canada, but they have different processes and implications.

The PR Card is typically renewed from within Canada and is essential for proving your status during travels back to the country. Permanent residents will need to show a valid PR card in order to board a flight to Canada. On the other hand, if you find yourself outside Canada without a valid PR Card, applying for a PR Travel Document is necessary to facilitate your return. Both situations can involve complex applications if you need to invoke humanitarian and compassionate grounds, such as severe hardships preventing you from meeting the usual residency requirements.

We’re here to help demystify these processes, offering clear insights into each application pathway, what happens on refusal, and the costs involved. Our aim is to provide all the necessary information to help you make informed decisions and prepare adequately for your application under these specific circumstances. This not only ensures that you understand your options but also prepares you for potential outcomes.

Overview of PR Card and PR Travel Document Applications

Understanding the essentials of PR Card (PRC) and PR Travel Document (PRTD) applications is crucial for anyone looking to maintain or regain their Permanent Resident status in Canada, particularly on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. A PR Card is primarily for permanent residents residing within Canada and needs renewal every five years. In contrast, the PR Travel Document is vital for those outside Canada who have lost or did not renew their PR Card and need to return to the country.

Both applications require accurate documentation and adherence to specific criteria. However, the processes entail distinct requirements and steps depending on whether the application is for a PRC or a PRTD. To renew your PR Card or apply for a PR Travel document, you will need to demonstrate that you have been physically present in Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years unless you are applying on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. 

Key Differences in Applying for PRC and PRTD on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

When applying on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, the context of your application for either a PRC or a PRTD significantly affects the required documentation and the approach to articulating your need for consideration. Applying for a PR Card within Canada on these grounds usually involves situations where you might have been unable to meet the residency obligation due to compelling personal circumstances. These can include serious illness, the death of a close family member, or other significant life disruptions.

Applying for a PR Travel Document from outside Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds includes these considerations, as well as outlining why you left Canada in the first place and why you haven’t been able to return. This might include political instability in the region you are residing in, health crises, or other emergencies that prevented your timely return and subsequent renewal of your PR Card.

Another notable difference is how these applications are processed by immigration authorities. PRTD applications are processed by the visa office responsible for the country where the applicant is living outside Canada. PR card applications are processed by the IRCC Case Processing Centre in Sydney, NS. Both applications must convincingly demonstrate significant hardships or adversities that justify the need for humanitarian and compassionate consideration, but the nuances of what is compelling can differ based on whether the applicant is inside or outside of Canada.

What Happens If Your Humanitarian and Compassionate Application Is Refused?

Understanding the potential outcomes if an application for either a PR Card or a PR Travel Document is refused is key to managing expectations and planning future steps effectively. Suppose your PR Card application is refused within Canada. In that case, you remain a permanent resident but may be required to complete a Residency Questionnaire, or attend an admissibility hearing to determine whether you may continue to keep your PR status. Common reasons for a PR card refusal might include failing to prove sufficient residency days or not adequately demonstrating the humanitarian and compassionate factors relied upon.

If a permanent resident inside Canada is found to be inadmissible due to failure to meet the residency obligation, and a removal order comes into force against them, they will have lost their permanent resident status and will be required to leave Canada.

In contrast, if your PR Travel Document application is refused while you are outside Canada, the situation is even more dire. The refusal of a PRTD application causes the immediate loss of Canadian permanent resident status. 

If a PR Travel Document application is refused, or if a permanent resident in Canada has a removal order come into force against them, both circumstances result in the loss of PR status. However, both decisions may be appealed to the Immigration Appeal Division in order to prevent being forced to leave Canada. If you are in this situation, it is very strongly recommended to seek experienced legal help as unrepresented appellants are rarely successful in their appeals. 

Cost Comparison Between PRC and PRTD Applications

The costs associated with applying for a PR Card and a PR Travel Document can vary, particularly when considering applications made on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. The application fee for a PR Card typically stands at a set rate of $50; however, if your situation involves legal assistance or obtaining additional documents to support your humanitarian and compassionate claim, costs can increase. It’s important to budget not only for the application itself but also for potential unforeseen expenses related to document procurement or legal consultations.

The PR Travel Document also carries a standard application fee of $50. As with the PR Card, additional costs might occur if more complex legal advice is needed or if multiple submissions are necessary due to initial refusal.

Our office generally charges a professional fee starting at $3000 for a PR card or PRTD application on H&C grounds as outlined on the FEES page of our website

Navigating Your Application Successfully

Navigating the intricacies of applying for a PR Card or a PR Travel Document on humanitarian and compassionate grounds requires careful consideration of your individual circumstances and a clear understanding of the procedures and potential costs involved. At DF Immigration, we have over 10 years of experience with Humanitarian and Compassionate applications, and we are prepared to guide you through the complexities of each application process, ensuring you are well-prepared and informed at every step.

Whether you are inside Canada hoping to renew your PR Card or outside the country needing to return with a PR Travel Document, our expertise and support are here to assist you. Reach out to us at Doherty Fultz Immigration today to discuss your specific needs, and let us help you take the next steps toward maintaining your permanent resident status in Canada. Together, we can navigate this journey with confidence and clarity.

Doherty Fultz Immigration Inc.
304B Danforth Avenue, 2nd Floor
Toronto, Ontario, M4K 1N6

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All information on this website, although accurate as of the date of publication, is general and does not constitute advice. Doherty Fultz Immigration Inc. (DFI) is not liable for any action taken without retaining DFI as legal representative or without express instruction from DFI.