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Frequently Asked Questions about the Permanent Resident Card

Here are some general answers to frequently asked questions about the Permanent Resident Card.

How long will I have to wait before I receive my PR Card?

Generally, it takes about 51 days to process PR cards for new permanent residents once CIC receives a complete aplication package from individuals who have fulfilled their residency requirements. Applications for renewed PR Cards can take much longer, generally 103 days. You can find up-to-date application processing times on the CIC website.

However, many people have found that it can take 6 months, or even longer, to process PR card applications. Therefore, it is a good idea to allow a lot of time for your PR application to be processed.

How will I receive my PR Card?

If you are a new permanent resident, CIC will mail you the PR card once you arrive in Canada. If you did not provide a mailing address when you became a permanent resident, you must send Citizenship and Immigration Canada your address through CIC’s online tool within 180 days of the day on which you became a permanent resident. If you do not do this, your permanent residency could be cancelled and you may need to re-apply.

If you do not receive your PR card within six weeks of giving CIC your Canadian address, you should let CIC know.

If you are an existing permanent resident who has received their PR card in the past, you will most likely also receive your renewed PR card by mail.

However, it is possible that you may be asked to pick up your PR card at a CIC office. If you are randomly chosen to pick up your PR card, CIC will contact you to schedule an appointment. You may reschedule your appointment if needed. However, you must pick up your PR card within 180 days, otherwise you may need to re-apply.

I received my PR Card but my name was not complete/correct on the Card. How can I correct it?

PR cards have limited space for names. If your surname is longer than 20 characters, or if your given names (first and middle) are longer than 15 characters, your name will be shortened. This is not a mistake. This is OK.

If, however, your name has been misspelled, you should contact CIC to reissue your PR card.

After landing in Canada, what if I need to return to my country to settle my affairs?

The PR card is also a travel document. You should generally wait until you have received your PR card before travelling. If you must travel, contact the CIC call centre at 1-888-242-2100 for information on travel and documentation requirements.

What do I do with my valid PR Card when I apply for a renewed card?

You should keep your valid PR card until you receive your renewed card. If you must travel during this period, you may continue to use your valid PR card for re-entry into Canada.

You should destroy your old PR card once you receive the renewed card. If you receive your new PR card in the mail, you should destroy your old card. If you are asked to pick up your new PR card from a CIC office, you must bring your existing PR card with you.

Where can I get help?

Please see the CIC website for further information on renewing PR cards, or call 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

Last Updated: March 31, 2014
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