Travelling with a permanent resident card
The Permanent Resident Card is the official proof of your status as a permanent resident in Canada.
This wallet-sized plastic card is used by all permanent residents of Canada seeking to re-enter Canada on a commercial carrier (airplane, boat, train or bus). If you leave the country, you are expected to have this card when you return to Canada.
Check the expiry date of your Permanent Resident Card before you plan to travel outside Canada.
Most Permanent Resident Cards expire every five years, while some expire after one year. Check the expiry date and apply for a new one well before you plan to travel outside Canada.
Who can apply
You can apply for a Permanent Resident Card if you:
- Have permanent resident status
- Are physically present in Canada
- Are not a Canadian citizen or a registered Indian under the Indian Act
- Are not under an effective removal order
- Have not been convicted of an offense related to the misuse of a Permanent Resident Card
If you become a Canadian citizen, you do not need a Permanent Resident Card.
How to apply
The information on this page is for you if:
- You need to apply for your first Permanent Resident Card(see “Arriving” section below)
- You need to replace an expired (or due to expire), lost, stolen, or damaged Permanent Resident Card
- You require urgent processing of your Permanent Resident Card application
You will need to gather certain documents in order to apply for a Permanent Resident Card. Collect these documents as early as possible, especially if you plan to travel soon.
If you are outside of Canada without a valid Permanent Resident Card, you will need a Travel document to return to Canada.
If you are a new permanent resident, you will automatically receive your Permanent Resident Card by mail after you arrive in Canada as part of the immigration process. You do not need to apply for a Permanent Resident Card.
You have 180 days to provide your new mailing address from the date you were granted permanent resident status.
If you do not provide a mailing address within the 180 days, you will not receive your Permanent Resident Card. You will then need to send Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) an application for a Permanent Resident Card and pay a fee of C$50.
- Contact us, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
- Current processing times for a PR Card. Check the expiry date of your Permanent Resident Card before you plan to travel outside Canada. (CIC)
- Application for a travel document (Permanent Resident Abroad) (CIC)
- Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) (CIC)