After going through all the processes required to become a Canadian permanent resident, the last thing you would want is to end up losing your status as a Canadian permanent resident.
Rights Enjoyed By Canadian Permanent Residents
If you are already a Canadian permanent resident, it means that you would have been enjoying most of the rights and benefits that a Canadian citizen enjoys with a few exceptions. You would not be able to vote as a Canadian citizen would. You would also not be able to hold public office as a Canadian citizen.
To obtain Canadian permanent residency, you would need to meet the residency requirement which requires you to show that you have been living in Canada for at least 730 days, or two years, within the last five-year period.
Reasons That May Lead To Losing Your Canadian Permanent Residency Status
Generally, Canadian permanent residents enjoy the same benefits as Canadian citizens. However, Canadian permanent residents can lose their permanent residency status. One of the reasons is when a permanent resident is convicted of a serious offence.
You could also lose your status as a Canadian permanent resident if you have not met the minimum residency requirement of being in Canada physically for at least 730 days within the last five years. As a result, and upon discovery, the Canadian immigration authorities may move to have your status revoked.
In addition, you could technically lose your status as a Canadian permanent resident when you become a citizen, which would not be a bad reason to lose your status since you will be gaining citizenship.
What is A Canadian Permanent Residency Card?
It is important to distinguish between your Canadian permanent residency status and your Canadian permanent residency card, also known as a PR card. A PR card is a document that the government issues to PR holders to allow them be identified as people who have permanent residency status in Canada. However, your PR card and your PR status are two distinct things.
Your PR card, typically with some exceptions, expires every five years. On the other hand, your permanent residency status does not expire. It remains that of a permanent resident of Canada. A Canadian permanent resident needs to apply to have a PR card, which identifies them as a permanent resident of Canada. Once your PR card expires, you would need to apply to have it renewed.
Loss Of Permanent Residency Status On The Basis of PR Card Issues
In a nutshell, a PR card is issued to Canadian permanent residents purely for identification purposes. It is a crucial identification document. Therefore, there is a risk of your permanent residency status being lost when it becomes necessary for you to renew your Permanent Residency card and it is then discovered that you were not physically inside Canada for at least 730 days within the last five year period.
The PR card renewal application would draw the attention of the immigration authorities to the issue. Failure to apply for renewal of the PR card is also an issue. You can only lose your permanent residency status when the immigration authorities start a formal process to revoke your status. The formal process is likely to be triggered when you apply to obtain or renew your PR card and it is discovered that you have not met the mandatory residency requirement.
Applications On Humanitarian And Compassionate (H & C) Grounds
If your PR card expires while you are outside Canada and you have not met the residency requirement, flying to Canada or attempting to fly to Canada may equally trigger a formal action by the immigration authorities to have your status revoked. If you find yourself in such a situation, you might want to reconsider flying back to Canada. It would be advisable to instruct your lawyer to prepare an H & C application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
This type of application is typically prepared as a last resort. It entails preparing an application requesting the Canadian immigration authorities to restore your permanent residency status or not to revoke your status in the first place. Reasons could include having children who are Canadians inside Canada or having extensive ties inside Canada. It could be that you have property in Canada or that you have some other ties that make it difficult for you to lose your status.
You could also argue in the H & C application that it would be hazardous and detrimental to you if you were removed from Canada and forced to return to your home country perhaps because it could put your life at risk. Ultimately, as a last resort, an H & C application might be your best solution.
Let Us Help
In case you are faced with a possible risk of losing your Canadian permanent residency status, the most important cause of action is to first seek legal advice from your immigration lawyer. Before you decide to take any legal action, there are always exceptions and exemptions that you would need to understand as well as the implications and procedures to be followed in different circumstances.
We are here to provide the best legal advice to you if you are facing potential risks of losing your Canadian permanent residency status. We are also ready to prepare your H & C application if necessary.
Book a call with us today!