Losing Canada PR status (permanent resident)

Losing Canada PR statusBabak is a permanent resident of Canada. He immigrated to Canada four years ago from Iran. Babak stayed in Canada for less than two months after landing. Unfortunately, he had to go back to his home country to take care of his ailing father. Babak’s father passed away about a month ago. Consequently, he wants to come back to Canada. However, he wonders if he has lost his Canada PR. In other words, he wonders how he could lose his permanent resident status in Canada.

More than 300,000 people become permanent residents (PR) of Canada every year. They immigrate to Canada under one of the existing options. Of course, permanent residence could lead to Canadian citizenship. However, if you lose your Canada PR, then there won’t be any hope on that front.

Table of contents

Is Canada PR really permanent?

Generally speaking, the term permanent resident gives us the impression that you will never lose your Canada PR. However, a permanent resident of Canada remains a PR only if none of the following happens:

Let’s take a look at these options.

Loss of Canada PR because of citizenship

If you become a Canadian Citizen, then you lose your Canada PR. However, this is good news because you now have access to all the privileges other Canadian Citizens have. If you want to know more, read the following article.

Loss of Canada PR due to renunciation

Life is full of twists and turns. A status that seemed so desirable may turn into a hassle. Consequently, you may decide to renounce or rather give up your PR status. If so, you need to submit an application to the immigration authorities and request your permanent residency renunciation. If approved, you are not a permanent resident anymore. However, you may later apply for immigration or temporary status as a foreign national.

Ceasing or vacating refugee claims

Some people become permanent residents through the refugee claim process. The authority that approves refugee claims in Canada is the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). To be more specific, a special division of IRB, called the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), decides refugee applications in Canada. Sometimes, RPD cancels the refugee claim. For example, if the immigration authorities find out the person lied to RPD, they may lose their refugee application and, as a result, their Canada PR status.

Inadmissibility to Canada

Sometimes, permanent residents become inadmissible to Canada because of security or criminality reasons. In such situations, the person loses their Canada PR status. If they are in Canada, they have to leave the country, and if they are outside Canada, they may not travel back.  Of course, if you are facing this problem, you need to assess your potential options.

What is a residency obligation?

When you become a permanent resident of Canada, you need to spend at least 730 days out of your first five years of permanent residency inside Canada. Subsequently, you need to meet the 730-day residency obligation every five-year interval. Nonetheless, residency obligation means you are either physically inside Canada or meet one of the following options:

  • You are outside Canada, but you are a minor child, and you are accompanying your parent, who is a Canadian Citizen,
  • your spouse is a Canadian citizen, and you are accompanying them outside Canada,
  • a Canadian business or government has hired you on a full-time basis but deployed you outside Canada, or
  • you are the spouse or child of the person I mentioned in the previous bullet point.

Regardless, if you choose an option other than physical presence, consult with a professional. Consequently, they will assess your case and will let you know if your efforts could prevent a loss of Canada PR.

Losing Canada PR Status because of residency obligations

You usually lose your Canada PR status because of residency obligations in one of the following scenarios:

  1. Your PR card is not valid anymore. However, you live outside Canada. Consequently, you apply for a PR Travel Document. Unfortunately, an immigration officer refuses your application because they believe you do not meet the residency obligations.
  2. An immigration officer refuses to renew your PR card because they have concluded you do not meet the residency obligations.
  3. A border services officer concludes you cannot meet the residency obligations in the current five-year interval. Consequently, they could cancel your PR status on the spot or refer you to an interview for cancellation.

Since, as a permanent resident of Canada, you have the right to enter our country, the third scenario hardly results in denial of Canada’s entry. However, if you do not meet the residency obligations, contact a professional before travelling to Canada.

Resolving the loss of Canada PR status

If you are losing Canada PR status, you could try to resolve it. Of course, the exact option depends on your situation. However, consider one of the following options:

As I mentioned earlier, the exact option depends on your circumstances. Consider contacting our firm to explore your options.

Humanitarian considerations to fight losing Canada PR status

If a  person does not meet the residency requirements, they may still keep their permanent residency because of humanitarian reasons (H&C). Of course, you either need to submit your H&C request while filing for a Travel Document or at an IAD hearing. This subject is complex. Consult with a professional for official advice.

What does happen after losing Canada PR?

Generally speaking, losing Canada PR turns you into a foreign national. However, sometimes you lose your PR because you are now a naturalized Canadian citizen.

Let us help!

If you face the loss of Canada PR or any other immigration issues, please fill out the following form. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

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    A relevant article: PRTD (Permanent Resident Travel Document)

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (class L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) in Toronto, Canada. He is an adjunct professor at Queen's University Law School and Ashton College. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of CICC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.