What happens if my Permanent Resident Card Expires While I am Outside of Canada?
Most permanent resident cards (PR cards) are valid for five years. The expiry date is printed on the card. If your PR card will expire within six months, you should apply to renew your card. Your Permanent Resident Card is you primary document and means of proving your status in Canada.
You will need your card to be able to travel to and from Canada and board commercial means of transportation like, commercial:
- Trains, and even
- Buses destined for Canada
Save the Date…
Check processing times to see how long you will have to wait to get your new card. You need to make sure that you Permanent Resident Card will still be valid by the time you intend on returning to Canada. If not, you will face issues when you attempt to travel.
You need to have a valid and current Permanent Resident Card to board a commercial means of transportation. For this reason, if your Permanent Resident Card is expiring, you should apply to have it renewed prior to your travels.
As a rule of thumb, you should always apply for the extension of your Permanent Resident Card at least 180 days (6 months) prior to its expiry date.
PR Card Urgent Processing
If you need to leave Canada soon, you can apply for urgent processing. Citizenship and Immigration Canada takes into consider urgent travel needs. As a Permanent Residnet you have the right to enter and exit Canada and for you to exercise that right, you need a valid Permanent Resident Card. That being said, urgent travel requests are considered and processed with priority if you are able to provide proof of your impending travel in the form of valid, purchased tickets.
A travel itinerary or booking reservations are not sufficient.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada does not mail Permanent Resident cards to addresses outside Canada. If your card expires while you are outside Canada and you will use a commercial vehicle like a bus or plane to return to Canada, you must apply for a travel document.
If you will return to Canada by private vehicle, there are other documents you can use to re-enter Canada. If you do not have these documents, you must apply for a travel document.
When you return to Canada, apply for a PR card if you plan to travel outside Canada again.