Frequently Asked Questions about the Permanent Resident Card
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the Permanent Resident (PR) Card.
How long will I have to wait before I receive my PR Card?
Generally, it takes about 55 days to process applications for PR Cards for newly-arrived immigrants. Applications for renewed PR Cards can take much longer. You can find up-to-date application processing times on the Citizenship and Immigration website.
You can contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 to check on your application if you have questions or need to update your information.
How will I receive my PR Card?
If you are a new permanent resident, you will receive your Permanent Resident Card by mail at the address you gave when you arrived.
If you are already a permanent resident, most likely you will also receive your renewed PR card by mail. However, you could be asked to pick up your card in person to confirm your identity. In this case, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) office closest to where you live will send you a notice by postal delivery when the card is ready. The notice will tell you how to make an appointment to pick up your card.
If you do not attend this appointment your Permanent Resident Card will be cancelled if you do not make a new appointment to pick it up within 180 days of receiving the first notice from CIC. If your card is cancelled, you will need to apply again and pay another application fee.
You can contact the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100.
I received my PR card but my name was not complete on the Card. How can I correct it?
The PR card has space for 20 characters (letters) for your last name and 15 characters (letters) for your given names (first and middle names).
If your last name is longer than 20 letters or your given names are longer than 15 letters, those names will appear as incomplete or only partially on the card. This is OK.
If, however, your name is misspelled, call the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 and they will mail you a form to correct the mistake.
After landing in Canada, what if I need to return to my country to settle my affairs?
You should wait until you have your PR Card. If you cannot do this, you may have to apply for a permanent resident travel document before you re-enter Canada. This application is for permanent residents outside of Canada who need proof of their status so they can return to Canada.
If you have specific questions you can call the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 or contact a Canadian visa office.
What do I do with my valid PR Card when I apply for a renewed card?
You may keep your valid PR card while your application for a new PR card is in process. However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will not give your new PR card until you return your previous card or you can otherwise account for it.
If you need to leave and return to Canada after you have applied for a new PR card, you can continue to use your valid PR card to do so.
However, if your PR card has already expired when you submit your application for a new card, you should return the expired card with your application. If you need to travel before your new card arrives you can apply for a permanent resident travel document.
Find more information about renewing your PR card in the CIC website.
Where can I get help?
If you have specific questions contact the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100.
You can get help from a settlement agency in your area. Look for an agency in Services Near Me.
You can also post your questions and read about the experiences of other newcomers in our Discussion Forum.
For More Information
- Permanent Resident Card Guide and Application Form - This application is for permanent residents who are applying for an initial, renewal or replacement Permanent Resident Card.
- Travel Document (Permanent Resident Abroad) Guide and Application Form - This application is for permanent residents outside of Canada who need proof of their status so they can return to Canada.
- CIC Call Centre - A telephone service to ask general questions about immigration and applications in process inside Canada. From Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
- CIC Help Centre - A tool that helps answer frequently asked questions on immigration matters. It offers several ways of searching through the information available, including search by keyword. From Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
- Rights and Responsibilities for Permanent Residents - Find out what you need to know about living in Canada as a permanent resident. From CIC.
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) - The federal department responsible for Canadian immigration and citizenship. Its website has information on immigration policy, programs and services, application kits, and more.
- Do I really need a PR card to travel back to Canada?
- What are the residency requirements for permanent residents (PRs)?
- Do I need to apply for my Permanent Resident Card?
- What if my Permanent Resident (PR) Card is lost or stolen?
- I have received a letter to pick up my PR Card. What should I do?
- What can happen if a permanent resident is convicted of a crime?