How long does it take to get a permanent resident card in Canada?How do I apply for a permanent resident card?

Canada Permanent Resident Card

Canada PR card serves as the identity document for your status as a permanent resident. You can obtain it upon the acceptance of your application for permanent residence. It comes with numbers of benefits. However, it is important that you always make hold of it. Further, upon meeting the requirements, you may also apply for the Canadian citizenship.

Canada entry rules with Canada Permanent Resident card

It is important for all the Permanent residents (PR) card holders to carry and show it if they are boarding flights to Canada. This also applies for any other commercial carrier. If the card holder isn’t carrying the PR card or the travel document, the PR holders may not be subject to receiving the permission to enter Canada. This applies for trains, flights, bus or even the boats. This rules are strict and it is mandatory to carry the PR card. It is also important to make sure the card is valid. It is something to remember if you are travelling outside and returning to Canada. Always remember to apply for new card prior to its expiry.

Application guide for the new applicants and card renewal

This guide helps:

  1. If you are applying for a new card;
  2. If your card is expiring soon and you need to renew your card;
  3. You have changed your name legally and have to update on your PR card;
  4. If you have to change the gender on your card;
  5. If you need a replacement for your card, for damages, lost or stolen.

It is important to note that, do not apply for renewal if you have more than 9 months remaining for the expiry unless there are other reasons like replacement or information updates.

Eligibility for securing a Canada Permanent Resident card

You must adhere by the following requirements to receive a PR card:

  1. You must have the PR status of Canada.
  2. You must be available physically in Canada.
  3. You must meet the requirements for residency as set by the immigration.
  4. There shouldn’t be any eviction order.
  5. You must not be a Canadian citizen.
  6. There shouldn’t be any issues related to inappropriate use of the PR card.

If you are not in Canada, you shall be able to obtain a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) from a Canadian visa office or a Visa application center. You will need to apply for the PR card immediately upon your arrival in Canada.

Requirement for biometrics

In most of the cases, you may not have to give the biometrics if you hold PR cards.

You will need to give the biometrics with some standard fees under the following conditions:

  1. Your age is under 14 years when you applied for the Canada Permanent Residence and the application date was on or after 31st of July 2018 and,
  2. You are not 14 years old or more and you are applying for a renewal, replacement or a new PR card.

Upon the payment of biometrics fees and duly filled application, you will receive a biometric instructions letter (BIL). This will provide information on biometric collection service points. You can choose and service point and visit with BIL. Having BIL is mandatory while giving the biometrics.

The application proceeds only after receiving the biometrics from the concerned authority so, it is always better to give biometrics as quickly as possible.

Gathering the documents

The foremost important thing is always to gather all the documents needed. The documents include:

  1. Permanent Resident card – It is important to include a photocopy of your PR card if you are opting for renewal. You must keep it until you receive the new card. For damaged card, you will need to send the original damaged card along with the application. IRCC may ask you to come to the local office. In that case, you will need to visit with the original documents and old card. They will ask to destroy the old card upon receiving the new one.
  2. Identity document

You will need to provide with any one of these identity document:

  • valid passport or travel document (for passport, it is always better to include the copy of the page with stamp that states arrival in Canada and receiving the PR status) or,
  • Identity certificate or any travel document that is issues by a foreign country or the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
  • In the cases where it is impossible to present either of the above documents, you may provide with the photocopy of the document showing your identity issued before your arrival in Canada or,
  • Statutory declaration with the signature of you and any person who has the confidence and knew you before your arrival in Canada. The declaration attests your identity. In absence of any individual, you can also get it signed by any organization official from the country you were resident of in the past.
  • You will need to provide with the two photos not dating more than six months. You will have to put the photos enclosed in a small envelopes and write the applicant’s name but make sure not to staple or use paper clips.

Also remember to get all your documents translated into English or French if they are in any other languages. And you will also need to certify your original documents. You can reach to a notary public, commissioner of oaths or a commissioner of taking affidavits if you need an affidavit. But if you have your documents translated by certified translator, you will not need to provide with the affidavit.

Application Form for Canada Permanent Resident Card

This guide helps you to fill the application form duly once you are good to apply for your PR card. Remember, this is the application once you have the PR status. You will need the Unique Client Identifier (UCI). IRCC provides you with UCI upon approval for PR status. You will have to write the UCI in the box that you can find at the top in the right corner. UCI is a reference number that is 8 or 10 digits long. If you are applying for renewal, you can also find the UCI in your old card.

Question 1: It asks about the language of your preference. It has options: English or French. The language you choose will be the language for correspondence and interview.

Question 2: In this question, you will have to write the date when you received the Canada Permanent Resident status. You can find this information on the Record of Landing or also the Confirmation of Permanent Residence.

Question 3: It is a tick mark question and asks to check only one box. This question asks if you are applying for your first card, renewal or replacement. It is important to remember that you shouldn’t apply for renewal if the card still has validity for more than nine months.

Section A – Personal Details

Question 4: You will need to write your names: Family name or surname and the given names. The names should be exactly as they or on the Record of Landing and Confirmation of Permanent Residence. If you are applying for renewal or replacement, also include a photocopy of the previous PR card along with the application.

Question 5: If you are applying for updating your name, please provide with your current family name or surname and the given names. You will also need to provide the supporting documents stating the change in name.

Question 6: You will need to select your gender for this question. Check any box that applies. M denotes for Male, F denotes for Female and X denotes for any other gender.

Question 7: This question asks you to write the date of birth. You should write the date in the numerical format.

Question 8: This question seeks for the name of the country where you were born.

Question 9: This question seeks for the name of the country or multiple countries you hold citizenship of. You can write the name of the country and also write other countries’ name.

Question 10: In this question, you will have to check the box. It helps to identify your eyes color. If the options given in the question do not match, select “other” box.

Question 11: This question seeks the input of height measurement. You can input the height in feet and inches or centimeters.

Question 12: For this question, you will need to write your address. State the location where you are living and also include your postal code.

Question 13: This section seeks for the mailing address. You can write the mailing address if it is different from the address mentioned in question 12. You will receive all the correspondences in this address. However, you will receive the PR card only in your residential address. The process date will extend if you do not provide the residential address.

Question 14: You will need to provide with your telephone number and email address in this question. Providing email address means, IRCC will send all your correspondence to the email. In the absence of email, you will receive all correspondences in your mailing address.

Question 15: This is a check box question and seeks for the marital status.

Section B – Immigration History

Question 16: You will need to provide the information on city and provide where you have obtained the status of Permanent Resident status for. However, the Record of Landing or Confirmation of Permanent Residence may show different information. It may include the name of port of entry. This is the airport or border point where you obtained permanent resident status. If it includes name of port, you will have to write the name of the port.

Question 17: This question seeks you have ever received eviction order. You have option either to choose Yes or No.

Question 18: This is also a Yes/No question. You may or may not have received a Report Under Subsection 44(1) or any decision that states you have not met any type of residency obligations as a Canada Permanent Resident.

Section C – Personal History

Question 19: This question seeks for your address history. You will have to list all of your addresses. It includes all your locations for the past five years. You can also list the addresses you have after becoming the permanent resident if the duration is less than five years. You can also use more space or another page if the space isn’t enough to fit in all the information.

Question 20: This question asks for your history of work and education. You will have to state your history associated with both education and work for the past five years, inside and outside Canada. If it’s less than five years you have become the permanent resident, you can include the work and education history since the date of becoming a Canada Permanent Resident. Please provide with detailed information if you were retired, homemaker or unemployed for any duration within this period. You will also have to provide information if you were self-employed.

Please do not forget to fill the question duly as leaving it blank or else it will result in the application form being invalid. You can state “NA” or “not applicable” for the sections that do not apply to you.

Question 21: This question asks about the travel history you had for past five years. You will need to disclose information on all your travels outside Canada. If it has been less than five years you have become Canada permanent resident, you can provide with the information on travel from the date you became PR. The absences are related to all sorts of travel including employment related trips, vacations, the USA trips or any other purposes. If the period extends over 1095 days, you will need to duly complete section D as well. If the absence is for less than 1095 days, you can move to Section E.

Section D – Residency Obligation

Question 22: This is a follow up on the question 21 if you are absent for more than 1095 days in the past five years. You will need to disclose all the information related to travel.

Section E – Consent for Disclosure of Information

Question 23: This question provides the consent for information disclosure. Upon checking ‘Yes’, you agree and authorize the government to collect all the information on histories related to entries into Canada. The authority collects the information from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Upon checking ‘No’ you will need to collect the information on the history from CBSA and then send to the authority. This could also result in the delay for processing.

Section F – Consent Statement

Question 24: This question seeks for the consent for IRCC to collect information related to taxation. It can be about income tax or other information related to taxation. This checks the residency obligation under section 28 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. You will also have to provide SIN (Social Insurance Number) for this purpose. Checking for ‘No’ will require you to make necessary arrangements of residency information and income tax from the CRA directly.

Section G – Declaration

Question 25: Once you read the declaration, provide with your signature and date on the application form. For the applicants younger than 14 years, a parent or a legal guardian will need to complete the signing process. For applicant more than 14 years and less than 18 years, it will require the applicants signature and also of a legal guardian or a parent. Make sure, you don’t post the application without sign or the date. Also make sure, the dates don’t exceed 90 days upon receiving by the authority. You shouldn’t post-date to prevent any kind of date issues. You will receive back the application if the authorities notice any issues related to date or signature.

Section H – Declaration on lost, destroyed, stolen or never received PR card

Question 26: This question applies only if you are applying for replacement of your lost, destroyed, stolen or never received permanent residency card.

Using a representative

You may also appoint a representative for your application process. There is a separate form that helps you move further on using a representative. You always have an option to do it on your own though.

If you are going to appoint a representative or update information related to contact for your appointed representative or cancel the appointment of your representative, you can use a general form for application.

A representative is the person who helps you throughout the process of application via consultation, advice or any kind of guidance. It applies for any stage of the process, or even during a proceeding. Upon filling the form, you appoint a representative officially. This person can support you and also conduct the businesses with the IRCC on your behalf. This includes the business with the CBSA too.

Again, there is no obligation. The authority treats all the applications equally.

Upon appointing a representative:

  • The IRCC and CBSA receive the authority on sharing all information on your case file with the representative. The representative will receive all the correspondence related to your immigration process, PR card and similar from the CBSA and IRCC. You will not receive the correspondences.
  • There will not be any other special provisions. Your application will also make to the normal processing like others with or without representatives.
  • The representative is only for immigration or citizenship related issues. He/she doesn’t have authority on any other matters.
  • There is provision for only one representative for every application you move ahead with.

There are both uncompensated and compensated types of representatives. The first type do not charge any kind of fees or compensation for the advice and consultation they provide. They represent voluntarily and help you with the matters related to the CBSA or IRCC.

The uncompensated representatives generally include friends and family members. They can also be the third parties willing to provide with the advice and help without any fee or charges. They can also be lawyers, consultants, students-at-law or even the Quebec notaries providing their services without any service fee or charges and consider representing you voluntarily. Compensated representatives seek for a fee or some compensation for the advice, consultation and representation they help with. However, it is very important to make sure those who are being paid abide by the law and are authorized representatives. They will need to have an agreement that states they are allowed to advise or represent you officially. IRCC is very strict with the compensated representatives and conduct business only with authorized ones with good standing as determined by the designated regulatory body. Authorized representatives include consultants who are members of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). It is important for them to have good standing of the council. This also includes member of any Canadian territorial or provincial law society and also the students-at-law supervision with good standing. Similarly, they can also be Quebec notaries and their students-at-law. It is important for the compensated representative to be a member in good standing of either of these designated bodies. Failure in this will result in return of application.

General application on appointment of representative

Section A – Information of applicant

Question 1: This question seeks for the last name and give name(s) of the applicant.

Question 2: Write the date of birth as stated in all of your official documents.

Question 3: For this question, you will need to state the office’s name where you submitted the application (if already submitted) and also mention the application type.

Question 4: For this question, you will need to provide with your UCI or identification from IRCC.

Section B – Appointing a representative

Question 5: You will need to write the name of the representative for this question. If the representative is a member of any designated bodies, then you will need to write the name as it is presented on the respective regulatory council, law society or Quebec notary.

Question 6: You will need to check the box if the representative is compensated or uncompensated. For compensated representative you will also need to provide with the membership ID of the respective designated council they are member of.

Question 7: Provide with the contact information of the representative. For student-at-law, the information of the supervisor along with his/her membership ID is important.

Question 8: This question seeks for the declaration of the representative. The representative will have to sign the declaration and provide with the date of the declaration.

Section C – Cancelling the appointment

If you are opting for the appointment, you will have to ignore this section. If it is for cancellation, you can directly fill this section after Section A.

Question 9: You will have to fill this section if you are looking forward to cancel the appointment of your representative. You will have to provide with the full name of your representative. If you want to cancel an appointment and then appoint someone else, you will need to complete all the sections, which includes section B as well.

Section D – Declaration by you

Question 10: This section requires for your signature. Upon signature, you authorize the representative to partake in all proceedings related to IRCC and also authorize IRCC to complete the request for you and your children who are under the age of 18.

For the sponsorship application, your common-law partner or your spouse doesn’t need to opt for a separate request. If they are in the request, they can simply sign in the box given.

You may also authorize someone else to obtain information from the IRCC on the case file on your behalf. The information can be like application status. However, they aren’t eligible to conduct other businesses like the representative can. There is a separate form for designating someone to release personal information. The form can be obtained on the website of Government of Canada immigration section.

Fees for application and biometrics

For the application, it costs you 50 Canadian dollars per person. Similarly for biometrics, it costs 85 Canadian dollars per person. There is a different provision for fee for the families with more people apply at the same time. It costs 170 Canadian dollars if there are 2 or more members applying at the same place and time.

You will have to pay the fees online. The authority doesn’t accept payment via any other payment modes. Failure to this will result in return of the application. You will have to include the proof of the payments made along with the application. For insufficient fees, you will receive back the application. You can return the application after making the correct payment. Only then, the authority will start the processing. For overpayment, you will receive the refund. The authority will start processing and send the refund as soon as possible.

To process the online payment, you will need an email address, printer access so that you can print the receipt and a Canadian debit card or credit card. You can go to the official website and simply follow the instructions. You can print the IRCC official receipt that has the barcode. You will have to print two companies so that you can attach one with the application and keep the other with yourself for the records.

You can mail the application via regular mail or the courier. It is always important to make sure you have included all the important documents as stated in the document checklist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Canada PR Card

  1. How long does it take to receive the PR card?

If you are new permanent resident, it could take about 45 days. This is the general processing time of the PR cards for new permanent residents upon getting the application approved by IRCC. The renewal of the cards could take up to 104 days.

  • How am I going to receive the PR card?

For new permanent residents, IRCC mails the PR cards upon their arrival in Canada. New permanent residents do not need to apply for the card as it gets processed automatically. You will need to provide with the mailing address to IRCC. It is important that you provide the mailing address within 180 days of receiving your PR status. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of your card and you will need to reapply for the new card.

  • How do I correct or update my name on the card?

If the name is incorrect or you need to change the name, you can always apply for the update. The process has been explained above. However, if you have a longer name and the name appears shorter on the card, it should be fine. The card has limited space so, this could result in shortening of your names.

  • What shall I do if I need to travel abroad but I have applied for PR card?

It is recommended that you wait until you receive your PR card. This also serves as the travel document. However, if there is urgency, you can reach out to IRCC for support and guidance.

  • What should I do with the card I have, if I am applying for renewal or replacement?

If you are applying for renewal, you should keep the original card until you receive the new one. Upon receiving the new one, destroy the old card. For replacement, you will have to send the original along with your application.

Canada is undoubtedly the land of opportunities. It has very low unemployment rate. It welcomes people from every region of the world, following any culture custom. It looks forward to prospering along with its people no matter they are immigrants or the nationals. It is definitely one of the best options if you are seeking for a better quality of life. You will have many opportunities for development of your career and also your personal enhancement. Moreover, the government has made the immigration process even more flexible, friendlier and open. It’s easier to qualify for a permanent residency visa in Canada in comparison with countries like UK and the USA. They also have amazing public education, social welfare and robust healthcare all coming at no cost of minimal price.  It is worth applying for Canada Permanent Residence for a secure future for yourself and your family.

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