Renew Your PR Card From the United States
The PR card is a document used to prove your legal immigration status in Canada. If the card expires or is lost, it does not mean that one loses permanent residency status, just as one wouldn’t lose citizenship if a passport expired or was misplaced. However, this document allows permanent residents to cross back into Canada via airplane, bus or ship and is issued based on the determination that the permanent residency requirements (including the minimum 730 days physical presence obligation) are met. Alternatively, the U.S. national with PR status must provide proof that they meet an exemption from the PR status requirements.
The Government of Canada has specific guidelines for what qualifies as “urgent” when applying to renew a PR card. Doherty Fultz can assist you with your urgent application, to increase your chances of an approval at a highly critical time.
There are several legal exemptions for spouses of Canadian citizens living outside Canada as well as employees of Canadian businesses and governments who work outside Canada fulltime. For more information please see https://dfimmigration.ca/renew-your-pr-card-from-outside-canada/.
Status In Jeopardy
Because the Government of Canada requires permanent residents to meet its residency requirement (living within Canadian borders 730 days within a 5-year period), those having been away from Canada longer than the allowed time may have their Canadian PR status in jeopardy. In other words, if the reasons for the extended absence are not considered acceptable, PR status could be revoked.
Acceptable reasons for not living in Canada the minimum 730 days in a 5-year term are:
- Accompanying a spouse/common-law partner or a parent (in the case of a child) who is a Canadian citizen abroad;
- Being employed with a Canadian business (or the federal/provincial public service) on a full-time basis abroad;
- Accompanying a spouse/common-law partner who is employed with a Canadian business (or the federal/provincial public service) on a full-time basis abroad; or
- Humanitarian & compassionate reasons justifying the absence and the retention of PR status.
For those not living in Canada the minimum 730 days in a 5-year period, IRCC will conduct a Permanent Resident Determination investigation to look into the reasons for not meeting the physical presence obligation.
To prevent such situations from spiralling out of control, it is best to keep the time spent out of Canada under 1095 days and to keep meticulous records (dates, tickets, itineraries, hotel bookings, etc.) of any time spent abroad.
PR Card Renewal and Status Retention Through H&C Grounds
If Americans with PR status have good reasons for their extended absence from Canada, resulting in their inability to meet the physical presence obligation of 730 days in Canada over a 5-year period (not necessarily consecutive), then applying for PR renewal on Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&R) grounds could save the day. A few examples under which H&C would be compelling for the officer to allow PR status, despite the applicant falling short on the residency obligations are:
- Severe injury or illness outside Canada.
- Severe injury, illness, or death of a close family member outside Canada.
- Caring for a relative or de facto relative outside Canada who is a minor child or who is unable to care for themselves.
- Inability to travel back to Canada due to travel restrictions (such as due to COVID-19)
- Applicant’s illness or incapacitation while traveling outside Canada
- Illness, incapacitation, or death of a family member who lives outside Canada
- Court, tribunal, or other legal proceedings outside Canada pertaining to the applicant
- Financial proceedings outside Canada pertaining to the applicant
- Best interest of a child
To determine whether an application for PR status should be approved based on H&C grounds, the officer must decide whether – on the basis of the balance of probability – the proof is convincing enough to merit the granting of PR status and an exemption from the physical presence obligation.
Contact us if you want to renew your PR card from the United States.