Permanent residents (PRs) must have a valid PR card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) to return to Canada by plane, train, bus or boat. Without one, you may not be able to board.
Your PR card needs to be valid when you show it. If your card expires, you will have to apply for a new one. You are still a permanent resident if your card expires.
New permanent residents don’t need to apply for a PR card. We will send one to you when you immigrate to Canada if you tell us your Canadian mailing address. You have 180 days after immigrating to send it to us. If we don’t get it in time, then you have to apply for your card. There is a $50 processing fee for PR card applications.
To be eligible for a PR card, you need to:
- be a permanent resident, and
- submit your application in Canada.
If you are outside Canada, apply for a permanent resident travel document to return to Canada. After you arrive, apply for a PR card.
You should only apply for a PR card if:
- you didn’t receive your PR card within 180 days of immigrating to Canada;
- your PR card is expired or will expire in less than nine months;
- your PR card has been lost, stolen, or destroyed; or
- you legally changed your name and need to update your PR card.
Otherwise, we may not process your application.
You are not eligible for a PR card if you were asked by the Government of Canada to leave the country. If you are a Canadian citizen, you can’t have (and don’t need) a PR card. If you become a Canadian citizen, give us your PR card at your citizenship ceremony.
Before you apply
A PR card is usually issued for five years, but can sometimes be issued for one year instead. It is valid until the expiry date listed on the card.
We only send PR cards to addresses within Canada. In some cases, you may have to pick up your card in person at one of our Canadian offices.
If you find a mistake on your PR card you can ask for it to be reissued. Sometimes we shorten a name on the card if it is too long to fit. This is not a mistake. Find out how to fix a mistake on your PR card.
Replace a lost, stolen or destroyed PR card
You need to tell us what happened before you apply.
If you are outside Canada, go to the nearest visa office. Then you need to apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) to return to Canada. When you are back in Canada, you can continue with your application.
If you are inside Canada, tell us what happened using this web form. To complete the form:
- Choose Tell us more then answer No and Proceed to Web form.
- Choose Permanent resident card and Renewal and replacement.
- Fill in your details.
Then continue with your application.
Follow these steps to apply for a PR card. If you forget something, your application will be sent back to you. You will then have to submit a new application.
Since we don’t refund the processing fees, make sure you are eligible before you apply.
1. Get the application package
The application package includes a guide and all the forms you need to complete to apply for a PR card. Read the guide to help you fill out the forms correctly. Use the Document Checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Include with your application:
- your PR card:
- If you are applying to renew your card, keep your current card and include a photocopy of it with your application.
- If you are applying to replace a card because it is damaged or the information on it is wrong, send the card with your application.
- a clear copy of:
- your valid passport or travel document, or
- the passport or travel document you held at the time you became a permanent resident
- two photos that meet our photo specifications
- any other identity documents listed in the Document Checklist (see the application package),
- a copy of the receipt for the processing fee, and
- a solemn declaration if your PR card was lost, stolen, destroyed or you didn’t receive it within 180 days of immigrating to Canada.
Make sure your photos follow our specifications. Print our photograph specifications and bring it with you when you have your photos taken.
2. Pay your application fees
You must pay the PR card application fee online.
To pay your fees online, you need:
After you pay, print your receipt and include it with your application.
3. Submit your application
Make sure you:
- answer all questions,
- sign your application and all forms,
- include the receipt for your payment, and
- include all the supporting documents.
Send your application and payment to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Case Processing Centre — PR Card
P.O. Box 10020
Sydney, NS B1P 7C1
Or by courier:
Case Processing Centre – PR Card
49 Dorchester Street
4. After you apply
Application processing times start from when we get a complete application with supporting documents and photos in the right format. You can see the average processing times for PR card applications or check the status of your application.
If we approve your application, we will mail you a PR card. In some cases, we may ask you to pick it up at one of our offices. If we do, bring your passport, or other travel document, and the original documents you sent when you applied. If you don’t pick your card up within 180 days, we will destroy it and you will have to apply for a new one.
If you have been waiting for longer than six weeks since we mailed your card, send us a solemn declaration.
If you changed addresses or phone numbers after you submit your application, tell us.
When you receive your new PR card, destroy your old one (if you have it) by cutting it in half. Destroy your old card even if:
- it’s expired,
- it has a name you used before, or
- it’s damaged.
Top questions about the permanent resident card
- 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?
- See all questions about this topic
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