Visa Crunch

How to renew your PR cards if they expire outside Canada?

A Canadian permanent resident (PR) may leave the country for a period of time. If that person wishes to return, they must show their card of permanent residency, which verifies their status as a permanent resident. The majority of PR cards are valid for five years, though some are valid for less time. The expiration of a PR card does not imply that a person’s PR status has been lost. They will, however, be unable to use their card to re-enter Canada. Only if they are traveling by private car are they exempt. A PR card can only be applied for from within Canada. This implies that if a person’s PR card expires while they are outside of Canada, they will be unable to apply for a new one. Alternatively, they can apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) (PRTD).

Once the PRTD has been approved, the PR can use it to re-enter Canada. The PRTD usually has a six-month validity period after it is issued. It’s only good for one use. A person should apply for a PR card as soon as they return to Canada.

A person should have PR status in Canada to apply for a PRTD. They must also be outside of Canada at the moment. The application fee is $50 CAD. Ordinarily, a person needs to apply for a PRTD by mail at the Canadian Visa Application Centre closest to them (VAC). A searchable list of VACs, as well as other resources for permanent residents living abroad, can be found on the government website.

Some VACs are refusing to acknowledge PRTD applications due to COVID-19. Some VACs may be completely shut down. The government provides a list of VACs as well as the services they offer. If the applicants are unable to send their application to the VAC, they can also apply online. The candidate should submit their original passport as part of their application in both cases. It’s possible they’ll be called in for an in-person or virtual interview, but it’s unlikely. If their application is approved, they will receive the PRTD, which is a passport counterfoil. There is no way possible to forecast how long a PRTD will take to process due to COVID and the fact that each case is unique.

Permanent Resident Travel Documents (PRTDs) can be renewed outside of Canada, but not PR cards.

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