How Does Permanent Residency Work?

A permanent resident is someone who is a citizen of another country but has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada. A person who is in Canada temporarily is not a permanent resident.

Once you receive permanent residence status you will get a PR Card. When traveling outside Canada you will need to show your PR card and passport when you come back.

How to Apply for Permanent Residence Status

You must first apply to the Provincial Nominee Class. Each province and territory has its own standards and processes by which it chooses nominees, and you have to apply to the province you want to live in and be nominated. The provinces and territories try to nominate candidates who are most likely to settle effectively into the economic and social life of the region. After being nominated you must apply to the IRCC for permanent residence. 

What a Permanent Resident Can and Cannot Do

A PR gets most of the social benefits that Canadian citizens receive. They can live, work or study anywhere in Canada. They can apply for Canadian citizenship. They are protected under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

A PR cannot vote or run for political office or hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance.

In order to keep your permanent resident status, you have to have been in Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years. The days don’t need to be continuous.

Losing Your PR Status

Just because your PR card expired does not mean you automatically lose your permanent resident status. You can lose your PR status if:

  • An adjudicator determines you are no longer a permanent resident after an inquiry or PRTD appeal.
  • You voluntarily renounce your permanent resident status.
  • A removal order is made against you and comes into force.
  • You become a Canadian citizen.

Need help getting started with your PR application? Contact one of our qualified immigration consultants today! 


Government of Canada. (n.d.). Understand permanent residency. Retrieved from

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