Canadian Permanent Residence – Residency Obligations

Posted on Categories Residency Obligations

Once you have completed a successful Canadian immigration application through a family sponsorship or skilled worker program, you will be granted permanent residency. If you are in Canada as a temporary resident you can transition to permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class or a Provincial Nominee Program. 

To retain Canadian Permanent Residence you must meet certain obligations. To meet these obligations you must be present in Canada for at least 730 days (2 years) in a 5 year period. This means you can spend up to 3 years away from Canada during a 5 year period and still retain permanent residency. The 5 year period starts according to the validity of your Canadian Permanent Resident Card which in turn is conditioned by when you land inside Canada and complete the permanent residence formalities at a Canadian Port of Entry. 

Even if you are outside Canada, you can still accumulate residency days, if;

  • You are travelling with a Canadian spouse or common law partner, or
  • A child accompanying a parent, or
  • Employed full time by a Canadian business or the Public Service of Canada, or
  • The spouse, common law or child of a permanent resident of Canada who is outside of the country by employed full time by a Canadian business.

If you do not meet these residency requirements and are outside of Canada, your immigration officer may inform you that you have lost your residency status. If you are currently residing in Canada, but have not met the obligated amount of days, the offer may consider compassionate and humanitarian grounds, and any children that may be involved, before coming to a final decision. An example of this could be someone who is caring for a sick parent out of the country, but maintained strong residential ties to Canada, Any decision made can be appealed depending on a number of factors.

Canadian Permanent Residents who plan to re-enter Canada by plane, train, bus or boat, will have to show their Canadian Permanent Residence Card or Temporary Travel Document before boarding.

From June 2015, you can apply for Canadian citizenship after four years of physical residence inside Canada within a 6-year period. For citizenship purposes time spent overseas accompanying a Canadian spouse or common-law partner will not count towards the citizenship calculation. 

To ensure you are adequately supported even after you have gained permanent residence in Canada, choose an ICCRC registered immigration lawyer, such as Sterling Immigration Ltd. We can offer you experienced and knowledgeable advice to ensure the whole of your immigration experience goes smoothly.


About the Author

Harjit Grewal was born and educated in the United Kingdom where he obtained his LLB (Bachelor of Law) and LLM (Master of Law). He practiced British immigration law for seven years with the respected Immigration Advisory Service as a member of the Law Society of England & Wales and the Office for the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). After moving to Canada he secured the prestigious ICCRC designation to provide authorized Canadian visa and immigration services.


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