Canada PR Card – Uses, Validity & Renewal Process


Canada PR Card is the proof of your permanent residency status. It is an official document issued by the IRCC that includes an immigrant’s name, photograph, and expiration date. A Canada PR card serves the following key purposes.

  • A Travel Document – The PR card acts as a travel document for a permanent resident when they are returning to Canada from any foreign country other than the United States. You will be required to show your card at the time of entering Canada through a commercial plane, train, bus, or boat. You cannot return to Canada without it
  • Proof of Status – It is a crucial identification document that proves the permanent residency of a Canadian immigrant. 
  • Access to Services – Since it is an identification document, it is used to avail various social and health services in Canada

Canada PR Card – An Overview

Getting the first PR card 

When you arrive in Canada for the first time as a landed immigrant, you don’t need to apply for a Canada PR card. At the Canadian Port of Entry (POE), you will be asked to provide a Canadian mailing address during the landing interview. It is at this postal address that your PR card will be mailed to you by Canada Post within 18 days. In case you do not have an address yet, provide the mailing information of a reliable third party such as friends and relatives. 

Photo for Canada PR card

IRCC will send you an e-COPR after your Canada PR application is approved. At this time, you will also be asked to submit two photographs that will be used in the PR card. You must submit them within 12 months. The submitted images must have the following specifications. 

  • It must be unaltered or unedited
  • Must be taken by a professional photographer
  • Must be a scanned photo. Should not be an image of a photograph.
  • It should be clear, sharp, and in focus
  • The facial expression must be neutral without a smile.
  • There should not be any reflections or shadows
  • The background must be plain and white.
  • The photograph must be in JPEG or PNG format
  • Must be 50 mm x 70 mm (2 inches wide x 2 3/4 inches long)
  • The file size must be 4MB or less
  • Provide a confirmation and receipt from the studio on a separate document (if you are scanning your photo) 

Validity of a PR Card

The validity of a Canada PR card is 5 years. The expiration of your PR card does not mean that you are not a permanent resident anymore. Your status as a PR remains. However, you will be required to renew your PR card to return to Canada after traveling abroad. In some cases, the validity of a PR card is one year. The validity is always listed on the card.

Renewal of the Canada PR Card

To renew your PR card you will need the following documents. 

  • Photographs according to the specifications mentioned in the section above
  • Proof that shows that you have been in Canada for 730 days in the past 5 years. This includes employment records, bank statements, rental agreements, club memberships, etc. The stay does not need to be consecutive.
  • A valid passport or a travel document that includes:
    • Document number and type
    • Date of issue
    • Expiry date
    • Name
    • Photograph
    • Date of Birth
  • A copy of the expired PR card. 
  • If you are asked to visit the local IRCC office, bring all the original documents listed above along with the old PR card. You will be asked to destroy the card after you get the new one.

Note: All the documents must either be in English or French. If not, they must be translated into either of the official languages. The translation must be by a certified translator. They must also give you an affidavit which you will be required to submit.

Once you have uploaded all the documents, pay CAN$50 and attach the fee receipt with the PR Card renewal application. Submit your application to the Canada PR online portal. 

If you are applying offline via regular mail, submit the PR card renewal application to the address below. 

Case Processing Centre – PR Card
P.O. Box 10020
Sydney, NS B1P 7C1

If you are sending your application by courier, send it to the below address.
Case Processing Centre – PR card
49 Dorchester Street
Sydney, NS
B1P 5Z2

If your application is successfully processed and approved by the IRCC, they will send you an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AoR) to your email address. You will then receive your renewed PR card at your home address. In some cases, you might also be asked to collect your card from a local office. If that happens, bring the expired PR card along with all the original paperwork.

The processing time for PR Card renewal is approximately 56 days.

    Download Free Canada PR Guide

    Loss or theft of the PR card

    If you have lost your card or if it is stolen outside Canada, you need to:

    • Contact the nearest Visa office and apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) for returning to Canada. Once you are in Canada you can apply for a card replacement. 
    • Submit an IRCC web form informing about the theft or loss of the card. 
    • Apply for a replacement by submitting the same documents listed in the PR card renewal section.
    • Pay CAN$50

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    Athena Campbell

    Athena Campbell

    Articles: 79

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