I need to leave Canada but do not have my PR card yet. What should I do?
Ideally, you should wait until you have your Permanent Resident (PR) card. If you must leave Canada, you should apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document from a Canadian visa office abroad as soon as you reach your destination.
The only official documents that permanent residents of Canada can use to travel back to Canada on a commercial carrier (by air, land or sea) are the PR card or a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD), also know as a Travel Document (Permanent Resident Abroad) issued by a Canadian visa office abroad.
If you are entering Canada in a private vehicle, such as your own car, and you do not present your PR card, you may be able to show other immigration documents (see answer to "Do I require a Permanent Resident Card if I'm returning to Canada by car?").
For more information, read Do I really need a PR card to travel back to Canada?
It is important that you check the expiry date of your PR card before you travel. If you need to renew it, you should apply before you travel. Find more information about renewing a PR card.
If You Recently Arrived in Canada
If you gave Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) an address in Canada, but you left before the card was mailed to you, you can ask your family or friends who live at that address to send you the PR card. You can then re-enter Canada with your PR Card. However, if you do this, you are taking a risk.
If you have arrived and have not yet given CIC a mailing address, and you left Canada, you should apply for a Travel Document (Permanent Resident Abroad) before you try to re-enter Canada. This application must be submitted to a Canadian visa office abroad.
This Travel Document can only be used once. You are not guaranteed to get the Travel Document, if you apply. It is up to the officer at the visa office to decide if you will get it or not.
For More Information
- 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.
- Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate - A list of Canadian visa offices outside of 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.