How to keep your permanent residence status in Canada

Totem Pole - Vancouver Island - Canada

If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada you keep your status as a Permanent Resident until it is taken away from you in a legal proceeding or you surrender it to Canadian authorities. You can lose your status as a Permanent Resident of Canada for convictions that are considered “Serious Criminality.”

You do not need a current Permanent Resident Card to remain in Canada. It is only required for re-admittance to Canada if you travel abroad.

You need to have resided two years out of the past 5 years in Canada to maintain your Permanent Resident status in Canada. If you are accompanied by a Canadian Citizen or are employed by a Canadian company you can retain your status as a PR.

If you do not have the required two years residence in Canada and are in Canada simply wait until you have met the requirement of 2 years in Canada and then apply. You must truthfully answer all questions but they normally only look at the last 5 years of residence.

The Form for renewing your Permanent Resident Card only asks where you have lived for the last 5 years. You can legally answer where you have been for the last 5 years to prove that you have met the residency requirement.

To qualify for Canadian Citizenship you have to live in Canada for 3 out of the past 5 years. Again Canadian Citizenship is only interested in where you have resided over the past 5 years to make sure that you meet the 3-year residency requirement.

If you give false or incomplete information on a Permanent Resident Form or on an Application for Canadian Citizenship it is a serious violation of the law and you can be severely penalized for giving false or incomplete information. You could even go to Jail but normally they would prohibit you from applying for Canadian Citizenship for 5 years or from renewing your Permanent Resident Card.

This is a very brief overview of the residency requirement to maintain your status as a Permanent Resident or to qualify as a Canadian Citizen. Please consult with a lawyer or other qualified individual to get a complete rundown on the law of residency in Canada.