Canada’s entry rules are changing
Permanent residents (PR) of Canada must carry and show 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 make sure your PR Card is still valid when you return from travel outside Canada and to apply for a new PR Card before your current card expires.
Table of Contents
- Residency obligation
- Fill out the forms
- Submitting your application
- What happens next
This is not a legal document. For legal information, refer to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations or the Citizenship Act and Regulations, as applicable.
This publication is available in alternative formats upon request.
Who should use this application guide?
Use this application if you are a permanent resident outside Canada who does not have a valid Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) to return to Canada.
We issue Permanent Resident Travel Documents (PRTDs) to permanent residents so they can satisfy transportation companies that they are allowed to travel to Canada as permanent residents.
If you have a:
- Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688)
These documents are not valid for travel to Canada. You must have a PR Card or a PRTD to re-enter Canada by train, plane, boat or bus.
Who should not apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document?
- Canadian citizens
- Foreign Nationals who do not have Permanent Resident status
- Permanent residents with a valid PR Card
- Permanent residents in Canada
- Permanent residents who want to voluntarily give up (renounce) their permanent residence status
- Past Permanent Residents who have lost their PR status
Note: Permanent residents inside Canada should apply for a PR Card using the application kit Applying for a Permanent Resident Card (IMM 5445).
What are the requirements?
To apply for a PRTD you need to:
- prove who you are;
- confirm your permanent resident status; and
- meet the residency obligation of a permanent resident.
Use the Document Checklist (IMM 5627) to make sure you have all the documents needed. Send the checklist with your application.
You must send your original, valid passport. We need this to attach your Permanent Resident Travel Document.
Send photocopies of all other identity and immigration documents. Do not send originals, as they will not be returned to you. See the document checklist for more details.
Calculating days present in Canada
If you have been a permanent resident for five (5) years or more
- you must have been physically present in Canada for a minimum of 730 days within the five (5) years immediately before you apply for a PRTD.
If you have been a permanent resident for less than five (5) years
- you must show that you will be able to meet the minimum of 730 days of physical presence in Canada within five (5) years of the date you became a permanent resident.
Time spent outside Canada
You may count days you spent outside Canada as days where you meet the residency obligation in these cases:
Option 1. Accompanying a Canadian citizen or permanent resident outside Canada
You may count each day you accompanied a Canadian citizen or permanent resident outside Canada as long as:
- the person is your spouse, common-law partner or parent (if you are a child under 19 years of age);
- during the time you accompanied them, the person was employed on a full-time basis by:
- a Canadian business
- the public service of Canada
- a province or territory.
You must provide supporting documents to prove that:
- the person you are accompanying:
- is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- meets the residency obligation; and
- you are the spouse, common-law partner or child of that person.
- proof of citizenship for the person you are accompanying, including the date this person became a Canadian citizen, or documents showing the person meets their residency obligation
- proof of this person’s residential addresses for the five (5) years immediately before the application
- photocopies of all passports or other travel documents the person you are accompanying used in the five years immediately before the application
- marriage licence or proof of common-law partnership (if you are accompanying a spouse or common-law partner)
- child’s birth certificate, baptismal document, or adoption or guardianship document (if you are accompanying a parent)
You may also include:
- school or employment records
- association or club memberships
- any other documents you want us to consider
Option 2. Employment outside Canada
You may count each day you worked outside Canada if your employment meets these requirements:
- you are an employee of, or under contract to:
- a Canadian business
- the public service of Canada
- a province or territory and
- as a term of your employment or contract, you are assigned on a full-time basis to:
- a position outside Canada
- an affiliated enterprise outside Canada or
- a client of the Canadian business or the public service outside Canada
For this application, a Canadian business is defined as:
- a corporation that is incorporated under the laws of Canada or of a province and that has an ongoing operation in Canada
- an enterprise that:
- has an ongoing operation in Canada
- is able to generate revenue
- is carried out in anticipation of profit
- in which a majority of voting or ownership interests is held by Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or Canadian businesses as defined above or
- an organization or enterprise created by the laws of Canada or a province
You must provide a letter signed by an official of the business that confirms:
- the position and title of the signing official;
- the nature of the business and how it fits the description of a Canadian business (see definition above);
- details of your assignment or contract outside Canada such as:
- length of the assignment;
- confirmation that you are a full-time employee of the “Canadian business” working abroad on a full-time basis as a term of your employment, or that you are on contract working abroad on a full-time basis as a term of your contract; and
- a description or copy of the position profile regarding the assignment or contract abroad;
- that you will continue working for the employer in Canada after your assignment ends; and
- that the business was not created mainly for the purpose of meeting your residency obligation.
You may also include:
- articles of incorporation and business licences
- partnership agreements or corporate annual reports
- corporate Canadian Income Tax Notices of Assessment or financial statements
- copies of the Employee Assignment Agreement or Contract
- copies of any agreements between the Canadian business and the business or client outside Canada concerning your assignment to that client or business
- pay statements
- Canadian Income Tax Notice of Assessment for the five years immediately before the application
- T4 slips
- any other proof you want us to consider
Humanitarian and compassionate grounds
If you cannot meet the residency obligation, it may still be possible to keep your status as a permanent resident of Canada. To assess your application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, you must show that there were exceptional circumstances or factors beyond your control that have kept you living outside Canada.
Factors that might be acceptable are unusual and undeserved, or disproportionate hardships you would face if you lost your permanent resident status.
To have your application considered on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, you must:
- answer question 19 of the application form;
- provide proof that there are compelling humanitarian and compassionate factors in your personal circumstances that justify keeping your permanent resident status;
- describe why you were not able to meet the residency obligation;
- describe the extent of any hardship the loss of residency status would cause to:
- family members who would be directly affected by this decision; and
- the best interests of any child directly affected by this decision, if this applies to you.
While there are no guidelines about the supporting documents to submit, you must provide documents and information on any aspect of your exceptional circumstances that would justify keeping your permanent resident status.
An officer will consider the factors of your case and will make a decision based on the information and documents you provide with your application.
Fill out the forms
Each applicant, no matter the age, must fill out a separate application form.
This section does not have instructions for all questions on the form. Instructions are provided only when necessary.
You must answer all questions. If you leave any sections blank, we will return your application and processing will be delayed. If any sections do not apply to you, write “N/A” or “Not Applicable”. If you need more space, attach another sheet of paper and at the top of the page, write your name and the number of the question you are answering. Print clearly with a black pen.
Warning: It is a serious crime to provide false or misleading information on these forms. We may verify your responses.
Application for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (IMM 5524)
Choose the language you are more comfortable with, and check the correct box.
1. Print your full family (last) name, first (given) names and middle names as shown on your Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688). Do not use initials.
Other names: Print all other names that you have used (for example, maiden name, son or daughter of, other family name, other given name, nicknames, etc.).
5. If you are a citizen of more than one country, give details on a separate page. Write the name of the country and the date you became a citizen of that country.
8. Write the date, city and province where you became a permanent resident of Canada. Your Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688) may show the name of an airport, a border crossing or an IRCC office instead of a city. In that case, provide the information as shown on your document.
12c. This is the address we will use to contact you about your application. Print your address in English or French and, if needed, in the applicable script.
13. If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions, provide details such as dates, document numbers, and other information as it applies to you.
16 and 17.
For information about acceptable proof of status and employment, see to the Document Checklist (IMM 5627).
18. Statement of Consent:
Check “Yes” and provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN) if you authorize IRCC to ask for your income tax and residency information for any taxation years needed to help the department determine if you meet the residency obligation as set out in Section 28 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
If you check “No”:
- you may need to ask for your income tax and residency information directly from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), or
- your application may be sent to a local office for further review.
Either outcome will result in processing delays.
19. For more information, see Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds.
Review your answers carefully. Sign and date on the lines provided. By signing, you certify that you fully understand the questions asked, and that the information you have provided is complete, truthful, and correct. If you do not sign your application, or it is post-dated (dated in the future) it will be returned to you.
Applicants under 14 years of age:
The application must be signed by one of the applicant’s parents or legal guardian(s).
Applicants over 14 years of age but under 18 years of age:
The application must be signed by the applicant and one of the applicant’s parents or legal guardian.
Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)
Who may use this form?
Complete this form only if you:
- are appointing a representative;
- have to update contact information for your previously appointed representative; or
- are cancelling a representative’s appointment.
If you have dependent children aged 18 years or older, they are required to complete their own copy of this form if a representative is also conducting business on their behalf.
Who is a representative?
A representative is someone who provides advice, consultation, or guidance to you at any stage of the application process, or in a proceeding and, if you appoint him or her as your representative by filling out this form, has your permission to conduct business on your behalf with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
You are not obliged to hire a representative. We treat everyone equally, whether they use the service of a representative or not.
When you appoint a representative:
- you also authorize IRCC and CBSA to share information from your case file with this person in place of you. Please note the representative will receive all correspondence from IRCC or the CBSA, not the applicant;
- your application will not be given special attention nor can you expect faster processing or a more favourable outcome;
- the representative is authorized to represent you only on citizenship or immigration matters related to the application you submit with this form; and
- you can appoint only one (1) representative for each application you submit.
Important information: You must notify IRCC if your representative’s contact information changes, or if you change your representative, or cancel the appointment of your representative. For more information on updating IRCC with your representative’s information, please see below section - Notify IRCC about any changes.
There are two (2) types of representatives.
Uncompensated representatives do not charge fees or receive any other form of consideration or compensation for providing advice or services to represent you before IRCC or the CBSA.
Uncompensated representatives include:
- friends and family members who do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration for their advice and services;
- organizations that do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration for providing citizenship or immigration advice or assistance (such as a non-governmental or religious organization);
- consultants, lawyers and Quebec notaries, and students-at-law under their supervision, who do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration to represent you.
Note: You do not have to pay someone for them to be your representative. IRCC will conduct business with an uncompensated representative if an applicant appoints them on their behalf.
Compensated representatives charge a fee or receive some other form of consideration in exchange for the representation that they provide.
It is important to know that anyone who represents or advises you for payment - or offers to do so - in connection with IRCC proceedings or applications is breaking the law unless they are an authorized representative or they have a specific agreement or arrangement with the Government of Canada that allows them to represent or advise you. This applies to advice or consultation which happens before or after a citizenship or an immigration application is made or a proceeding begins.
IRCC will only conduct business with compensated representatives who are in good standing with their designated regulatory body. For more information see - Find out if your representative is authorized.
Note: If a representative is being paid or compensated by someone other than you, the representative is still considered to be a compensated representative.
Authorized representatives are:
- consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC);
- lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society and students-at-law under their supervision;
- notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and students-at-law under their supervision.
If you appoint a compensated representative who is not a member in good standing of one of these designated bodies, your application will be returned. Learn about using a representative.
General Application Information
Appoint a representative
- Check box to indicate if you are appointing a representative to represent you with your application process. Complete sections A, B and D.
Cancel a representative
- Check box to indicate if you are canceling a representative. Complete sections A, C and D; and
- Check both boxes and complete all sections if you are cancelling a representative and appointing a new one at the same time.
Section A – Applicant Information
- Question 1
Write your last name (surname or family name) and given name(s).
- Question 2
Write your date of birth.
- Question 3
- If you have already submitted your application, write:
- the name of the office where the application was submitted; and
- the type of application you have submitted.
- Question 4
Write your IRCC’s Identification (ID) or Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number (if known). If you have not dealt with IRCC since 1973, you will not have a UCI or a Client ID.
Section B – Appointment of Representative
- Question 5
Write your representative’s full name.
If your representative is a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), a law society or the Chambre des notaires du Québec, print his or her name as it appears on the organization’s membership list.
- Question 6
Check one box to indicate if your representative is uncompensated or compensated.If your representative is compensated, write the membership ID number of:
- the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC); or
- a Canadian provincial or territorial law society; or
- the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
- Question 7
Write your representative’s contact information.
If you are appointing a student-at-law to represent you, include their supervising lawyer’s information including their membership ID.
Note: By indicating your representative’s e-mail address, you are hereby authorizing IRCC to transmit your file and personal information to this specific e-mail address.
- Question 8
To accept responsibility for conducting business on your behalf, your representative must:
- sign the declaration; and
- date the declaration.
Section C – Cancel the Appointment of a Representative
- Question 9
Fill in this section if you wish to cancel the appointment of a representative. Write the representative’s full name.
Complete all sections of the form if you wish to both cancel a representative and appoint a new one.
Section D – Your Declaration
- Question 10
By signing, you authorize IRCC to complete your request for yourself and your dependent children under 18 years of age.
For sponsorship application, your spouse or common-law partner does not have to complete a separate request. If your spouse or common-law partner is included in this request, he or she must sign in the box provided.
Release of information to other individuals
To authorize IRCC to release information from your case file to someone other than a representative, you will need to complete the form Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475). The form is also available from Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad.
The person you designate under that form (IMM 5475) will be able to obtain information on your case file, such as the status of your application. However, they will not be able to conduct business on your behalf with IRCC.
Where to submit the form
If you have not yet submitted your application:
Send this form along with your application to the office listed in your respective application kit
If you have already submitted your application:
You may use this Web form to upload the IMM 5476.
If you know which IRCC office is processing your application, send the completed form to the office mailing address. Consult IRCC office mailing addresses.
Notify IRCC about any changes
You must let IRCC know if any information changes regarding the person you authorized to represent you on your application.
If your application was already submitted, use this Web form and upload the IMM 5476.
Download the photo information sheet and take it with you to the photographer
Provide two photos of yourself with your application.
Your photos must follow the Photo Specification information sheet. If the photos do not meet the specifications, you will have to provide new photos before your application can be processed.
You must pay a processing fee when you apply. The processing fee is CAD $50.00, or the equivalent in any foreign currency accepted at the visa office where you will apply.
Visit the Pay your fees page to learn about how you can pay at a Canadian visa office.
The processing fee will not be refunded:
- once we have started processing your application, or
- if your application is refused.
Submitting your application
In a sealed envelope, submit:
- all supporting documents;
- your completed Application for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (IMM 5524); and
- the Document Checklist.
You must provide all information and documents when you submit your application.
To find out where to submit your application, visit Apply for a permanent resident travel document.
What happens next
An officer will decide if you are eligible for a PRTD. A decision is usually made without a personal interview and is based on your application, information and documents submitted.
If your application is complete and you meet the requirements:
- you will be issued a PRTD counterfoil in your passport.
The PRTD is all you need from the visa office for re-entry to Canada.
If your application for a PRTD is refused:
- you will get a refusal letter, explaining the reasons for the refusal and your appeal rights.
If you decide to appeal a negative decision, follow the instructions in the “Notice of Appeal” form and letter sent with your refusal.
What if I am living outside Canada on a long-term basis?
Usually, PRTD counterfoils are issued for a single entry to Canada. However, you can request a long-term multiple entry PRTD if you:
- meet the residency obligation; and
- are living outside Canada on a long-term basis (for example, if you are a permanent resident accompanying your Canadian citizen spouse).
Include a cover letter that explains your circumstances and requests a multiple entry PRTD.
Multiple entry PRTD’s cannot extend beyond the expiry date of your passport.
Once in Canada, you should apply for a PR Card using the application kit Applying for a Permanent Resident Card (IMM 5445).
How-to videoSave Time: Send a Complete Application
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