Recently Immigrated to Canada? Get Your PR Card and Check Validity

Permanent Resident Card (PR Card )

Last Updated On : June 04 , 2024

What is a Permanent Resident Card (PR Card)?

A Canada Permanent Residency Card, also known as the Maple Leaf Card, is an identification and travel document issued to individuals who have been granted residence status in Canada.

Purpose: Proof of permanent residence in Canada for the authorities and entities listed below:

  • Travel document for the return by air, train, bus or ship to Canada
  • Validity: usually five years, although it may be extended for 1 year in some cases.
  • Revocation: apply within 6 months of expiry.

Why Do I Need a Permanent Resident Card?

The PR Card is vital for various reasons:

  • Travel: Verifies legal status as a permanent resident. A PRTD ( Permanent Resident Travel Document) may be required without it.
  • Proof of Status: Verifies permanent resident status upon entry into Canada.
  • Citizenship: Essential for applying for Canadian citizenship.

How Do I Get a Permanent Resident Card?

No application for a PR card is required for new permanent residents. Once they have arrived in Canada and provided their national postal address, they will be automatically issued with one.

The PR Card, which may be obtained by sending a hard copy of an application to the IRCC Case Processing Centre, must be applied for by persons who fulfil specific criteria.

Permanent Resident Card Application Process

The following steps shall be taken in applying for a PR (Permanent Residence) card process in Canada:

Step-1 Eligibility and Application Process

  • A permanent residence permit must have been obtained through any immigration pathway such as Express Entry, CEC, etc.
  • Receives a Permanent Resident Visa or Confirmation of Permanent Residence document.
  • Must enter Canada by the visa validity date.

Step-2 PR Card Application Process

  • Must be applied within 180 days of entering Canada.
  • Supporting documents:Immigration documents, photos, proof of address.

Step-3 PR Card Application Fee

  • Adults: CAD 50
  • Children: CAD 25
  • Biometrics may be required for within-Canada applications.

Step-4 Permanent Resident Card Processing

  • Application processed by IRCC.
  • Approved Permanent Resident Card received via mail.
  • PR card serves as main identification and allows overseas return.

PR Card Validity Period

The majority of PR cards shall be valid for five years, although in rare cases it may last less than one year. Your status as a resident shall not be terminated with your PR card. Even though your card is due to expire, you can still stay and work in Canada without having to renew it for the purpose of maintaining legal status.

What if my PR Card expires?

You will have to renew your PR card to maintain your legal status if it expires. Either by mail or online, the card may be renewed. When you return to Canada, your card may not be renewed and there could be complications.

Renewing PR Card Online:

You can instantly update your expired or soon-to-expire PR card via the IRCC portal. In addition to submitting documents and photos digitally, you can also use the online service. Your card must be renewed within the renewal window, typically nine months before it expires.

How to Check PR Card Renewal Status:

After you have applied to renew your PR card over the Internet or via mail, you can check the status of your renewal application online using a personal checklist code provided in an instructions letter. This allows you to track the progress from submission to processing to card production and delivery to your mailing address in Canada.

Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD)

You may request a replacement if your PR card has been lost, taken or damaged. You may request a PRTD to facilitate travel to Canada if you are not in Canada and the PRD has expired, where you will be able to renew or replace your PRD.

Can I travel in Canada without my PR Card?

You cannot travel without a valid PR Card. If you do not have a valid PR Card, you may apply for a PRTD to return to Canada. Maintaining a valid PR Card is vital for smooth travel and legal status in Canada.

Replace Permanent Resident Card:

Kindly apply for a replacement as soon as possible if you lose, steal, damage or destroy your permanent resident's PRC card. You can apply for a replacement PR card either online or in person.

You will need to provide supporting documentation such as pictures and verification of immigration status and pay the appropriate price. You should retain other documents establishing your residence in Canada until the new card is issued.

Lost PR Card:

If you lose your PR card, please report it immediately. Let's say your card gets lost or expires while you are not in Canada. If so, before reapplying for a new PR card from within Canada, you must apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) to be allowed to return to Canada.


To Conclude, a permanent residence card is an essential document for people who live in Canada and are required to provide evidence of their immigration status as well as facilitate international travel.

In order to guarantee legal status and avoid any complications when arriving back in Canada from overseas, it is essential that the PR Card be applied for and maintained.

Additional Information:

  • An individual can apply for a PR Card through Online application via permanent residence portal.
  • Paper application sent to IRCC Case Processing Centre.
  • Renewal of PR card can be done via mail or online.
  • Status of PR Card renewal can be tracked online.