The permanent resident card (PR card) is the official proof that you are a permanent resident of Canada. You use this wallet-sized plastic card to show you can enter and stay in Canada when you return from another country.
You must show this card when you re-enter Canada on a commercial vehicle, such as an airplane, boat, train or bus. If you return to Canada in a private vehicle, such as your car, there are other documents you can use.
If you plan to leave Canada, check your card’s expiry date to make sure that it will still be valid when you return. Most cards are valid for five years.
If you do not plan to leave Canada, you may not need the card.
You may also need a passport to re-enter Canada. Please see the Canadian Border Services Agency website for the documents you will need at the border.
Learn when to get a PR card
If you are immigrating as a permanent resident, CIC will mail your card to you when you get to Canada. You do not need to apply for a card.
You may want to apply for a PR card if:
- you did not get one when you immigrated to Canada,
- you have one that has expired or will soon expire, or
- your card was lost, stolen or damaged.
Determine your eligibility
Make sure you are eligible to apply for a PR card.
Apply for a new or replacement card
Find out what you need to do to apply for a PR card. This application can be for your first card, to renew a card or to replace one.
You can also apply for urgent processing if:
- you will travel outside Canada very soon, and
- you do not have a PR card, it has expired or will expire soon.
There is a different process to fix a mistake or make a change to your PR card.
Note: Permanent residents outside Canada
You can only apply for a new PR card if you are in Canada. If you are a permanent resident of Canada outside of the country and do not have a valid PR card, you can only apply for a new one after returning to Canada.
To return to Canada without a valid PR card, you need to apply for a permanent resident travel document.
Check processing times
Find out how long it will take CIC to process your application.
You can also view the service standard when you immigrate to Canada. This standard shows how quickly we should be able to process applications.
After you apply: get next steps
Find out what you should do after you apply for your PR card.
Check application status
Find the status of your application online.
Find out more about permanent resident status
Learn more about what it means to be a permanent resident.
- What happens if my PR card expires while I am outside Canada?
- I’m a new permanent resident of Canada. Do I need to apply for a PR card?
- How long will it take to process my PR card?
- I need to leave Canada and I do not have a PR card. Can I later re-enter Canada?
- How do I renew my permanent resident card?
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