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When should I apply for a permanent resident card?

Canada’s entry requirements are changing

Permanent residents (PR) of Canada must carry and present their valid PR card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when boarding a flight to Canada, or travelling to Canada on any other commercial carrier. If you do not carry your PR card or PRTD, you may not be able to board your flight, train, bus or boat to Canada.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your PR card is still valid when you return from travel outside Canada, and to apply for a new PR card when your current card expires.

If you are a new immigrant to Canada, you do not need to apply for a permanent resident (PR) card. We will mail your card to you when you get to Canada.

You should apply for a PR card if:

  • you plan to travel outside the country and will return to Canada on a commercial vehicle like an airplane, a bus, a train, or a boat;
  • you did not get your PR card after you gave us your Canadian mailing address, and it has been more than 180 days since you provided your address;
  • you need evidence of your PR status;
  • your card was lost, stolen or destroyed and you want a new one;
  • your PR card expires in less than nine months; or
  • you have legally changed your name and need to update the name on your PR card.

Consult the processing times to see how long it will take to get a PR card.


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