Maintaining Permanent Resident Status

In order to maintain PR status, an applicant must have been physically present in Canada for a minimum of 730 days within the past five (5) years.

If the applicant has been a permanent resident for less than five (5) years, he/she must show that he/she will be able to meet the minimum of 730 days of physical presence in Canada requirement at the five (5)-year mark.

There are a few exemptions whereby certain days when the applicant was outside of Canada may be counted towards the residency obligation.

First, the applicant may count each that he/she accompanied a Canadian citizen outside Canada provided that the person he/she accompanied is the applicant’s:

  • spouse or common-law partner or
  • parent, if the applicant is less than 22 years of age.

Second, the applicant may count each day he/she worked outside Canada provided that his/her employment meets the following criteria:

– the applicant is an employee of, or under contract to, a Canadian business or the public service of Canada or of a province and

– the applicant is assigned on a full-time basis to:

  • a position outside Canada
  • an affiliated enterprise outside Canada or
  • a client of the Canadian business or the public service outside Canada

For the purposes of this application, a Canadian business is defined as:

– a corporation that is incorporated under the laws of Canada or of a province and that has an ongoing operation in Canada

– an enterprise that has:

  1. an ongoing operation in Canada
  2. is capable of generating revenue
  3. is carried out in anticipation of profit
  4. in which a majority of voting or ownership interests is held by Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or Canadian businesses as defined above or
  5. an organization or enterprise created by the laws of Canada or a province

Third, the applicant may count each day that he/she accompanied a permanent resident outside Canada provided that:

–       the person whom he/she accompanied is the applicant’s spouse, common-law partner or parent (if an applicant is under 22 years of age); and

–       he or she was employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the public service of Canada or of a province during the period an applicant accompanied him or her.

Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Grounds

If an applicant is unable to meet the residency obligations, CIC will consider any compelling H&C factors in his/her individual circumstances that may justify the retention of permanent resident status.  Because this is a highly discretionary process, it is crucial that an applicant seeks the advice of a lawyer to prepare proper H&C arguments.

Permanent Resident outside of Canada

If the applicant is currently outside Canada and does not have a valid PR card in order to return to Canada, he/she will need to obtain a travel document from a Canadian visa office.  Issuance of a Travel Document is also a highly discretionary process, especially when residency obligations are in question. Even if issued, it does not automatically guarantee that a Permanent Resident Card extension will be subsequently granted.