Imagine after going through the hassle of becoming a Canadian permanent resident, you end up losing Canada Permanent Resident Status(Canadian PRS). That would indeed be terrible. So, here are the steps on how to avoid losing your Canadian permanent residency status.
If you’re already inside Canada as a permanent resident, then what that means is that you would have been enjoying most of the rights and benefits that a Canadian citizen enjoys. Of course, a few exceptions, including that you would not be able to vote, you would not hold public office, and you are obliged to meet the residency requirement. These requirements include showing that you would have been living in Canada for at least 730 days, or two years, within the last five year period.
Besides the mentioned rights, a Canadian permanent resident enjoys the same or similar benefits as Canadian citizens. However, one difference is the way in which Canadian permanent residents can lose their Canadian PRS. One reason to lose your Canadian PRS is if you get convicted of a serious offense.
You could also lose your status as a Canadian PRS if you have not met the minimum residency requirement of 730 days within two years. As a result, the immigration authorities move to have your status revoked.
What is the difference between a Canadian PRS and a PR Card?
Now, it’s essential to make a distinction between your Canadian permanent residency status and your Canadian permanent residency card, your PR card. The PR card is a document that the government issues to PR holders to identify them as people who have permanent residency status in Canada. However, your PR card and your PR status are two different things.
Your PR card, typically with some exceptions, expires every five years. Nonetheless, your status doesn’t expire just because your card has expired. Your status remains that of a permanent resident of Canada. However, you will need to apply to have your PR card renewed.
Avoid Triggering a Formal Process
A formal process is carried out by the immigration authorities. Therefore, do not bring or draw the immigration authorities’ attention to you if you discover that your PR card expired or if it’s up for renewal, especially if you’ve found that you weren’t physically inside Canada for 730 days during the last five years.
Renewing your PR card will trigger the formal process, causing you to lose your permanent residency status. Therefore, you want to ensure that you’re applying to get your PR card renewed at the point you would have met that two years or the 730 days requirement.
Ways to Renew Your PR Card if You’re Outside Canada
If you are still outside Canada by the time your PR card expires, then do not fly back or attempt to fly to Canada as this may trigger a formal process. So, you might want to reconsider whether or not you’re going to fly back into Canada, or whether or not you’re going to be driving into Canada from the US.
If that’s not an option, then alternatively, you may be looking at having your lawyer prepare what’s called a humanitarian and compassionate application. This is also called an application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, which is typically the last result.
The application entails you pretty much saying, “You know what, I’m requesting that my status be restored, or that my status not be revoked, because I have,” as an example, “I have children who are inside Canada, or who are Canadians, and it’s going to be in their best interest that my status not be revoked.”
You may also argue that “I have extensive ties inside Canada, I have property, I have some other ties that makes it difficult for me to lose my status.” Another argument could be an agency application. This means that it really would be hazardous and detrimental to you if you were removed from Canada and were forced to return to your home country, as this may put your life at risk.
Ultimately, as a last resort, an agency application might be the way to go. However, an essential thing in these kinds of situations is to get legal advice as there are always exceptions and exemptions. Having legal counsel helps you understand the process before you go ahead and start acting on it.
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