Author: Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB
Last Updated On: July 9, 2023

Losing Canada PR status (permanent resident)

Losing Canada PR status

Babak 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 must apply 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 for 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 they may not travel back if they are outside Canada.  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 must 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, consult with a professional if you choose an option other than physical presence. Consequently, they will assess your case and 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. However, if you file an appeal, you keep your PR status until the Immigration Appeal Division decides on your application.

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’s 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’s PR Status

If a  person does not meet the residency requirements, they may keep their permanent residency for humanitarian reasons (H&C). Of course, you must either 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.

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    Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB

    Al Parsai is a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University (Osgood Hall Law School). A respected member of CICC, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.