Permanent residents (PRs) 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 your PR card expires, it does not mean you have lost permanent resident status.
If you are a new permanent resident, you do not need to apply for a permanent resident card. One will be sent to you automatically. If you did not provide your Canadian mailing address when you became a permanent resident, you must send it using our online tool within 180 days of immigrating. If you do not, your card will be destroyed and you must apply for a new one and pay the $50 processing fee.
You can apply for a permanent resident card (PR card) if you:
- have permanent resident status,
- are in Canada,
- have not been asked by the Government of Canada to leave the country, and
- are not a Canadian citizen.
If you are a Canadian citizen, you cannot have (and do not need) a PR card.
If you are a permanent resident and become a citizen, you must give back your PR card at the citizenship ceremony.
A PR card is usually issued for a period of five years, but may only be issued for one year under certain circumstances. It is valid until the date of expiry listed on the card.
You should only apply for a PR card if:
- you did not get a PR card within 180 days of immigrating to Canada;
- you have a PR card that has expired or will expire in less than nine months;
- you have a PR card that has been lost, stolen, or destroyed; or
- you have legally changed your name and need to update the name on your PR card.
If none of these situations apply to you, we may not process your application.
If your PR card was lost, stolen or destroyed, there are extra steps you will need to follow.
We will only send PR cards to addresses within Canada. There is another process for permanent residents outside Canada without a PR card.
Do not apply for a new card to fix a mistake on your PR card.
1. Get the application package
The application package includes the instruction guide and all the forms you need to fill out.
Use the guide to help you fill out the forms properly. If your application is incomplete or missing information, we will return it to you.
We cannot refund the fee to process your form. Make sure that you are eligible before you apply.
Include these documents when you apply:
- 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 copy of:
- your valid passport or travel document, or
- a copy of the passport or travel document you held at the time you became a permanent resident
- two photos that meet the Photo Specifications (if they do not meet them, they will not be accepted and we will send back your application),
- any other identity documents listed in the Document Checklist (which is part of the application package), and
- Supplementary Identification Form (IMM 5455).
If we send back your application because it is not complete or is missing information, we will include a letter telling you what we need from you. Add the missing information or fees described in the letter and return everything to CIC. If you do not provide everything that is asked for, we will send back your application again.
The processing time of applications is only for when we get a complete application.
2. Pay your application fees
You must pay the application processing fee online.
To pay your fees online, you must:
- have a PDF Reader,
- have a printer,
- have a valid email address,
- pay with a Visa®, MasterCard® or American Express® credit card,
- print the “receipt of payment” page and include it with your application,
- pay your fees online when you are ready.
For more detailed instructions, read the “Pay the Fees” section of the application guide.
3. Submit your application
The application package will give you the address where you can mail your application. Be sure your application is complete.
Include the original receipt for your application fee and all other supporting documents listed in the Document Checklist.
4. After you apply
If you have filled out your application properly and meet all the requirements, we will mail your card to you. We will only mail PR cards to residential addresses in Canada.
In some cases, we may ask you to pick up your card at a local office. If so, bring your passport and the original documents you sent when you applied. If you do not pick up your card within 180 days, the card will be destroyed and you will have to re-apply.
We will contact you if there are problems with your application.
Tell us if you move or change phone numbers
If you move or change your telephone number after you apply, you must tell us.
Destroy your old card
When you receive your new PR card, you must destroy your old card (if you have one). You can do so by cutting it in half.
Your old card must be destroyed even if it:
- has expired,
- has a name you used before, or
- is damaged.
Find out how long it will take
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
How-to videoSave Time: Send a Complete Application
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