Canadian Permanent Resident Card and Renewal FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Canadian Permanent Resident Cards

Here are some common questions our office receives about Canadian Permanent Resident cards (also called PR cards).  You may also read our website for more information about Permanent Residence Card rules and about the residency requirements for maintaining your card.

How long does it take to get a Canadian Permanent Resident Card?

If you are applying for a Permanent Residence Card at the border for the first time (that is, you are getting landing status) you will receive the card in the mail within 4-6 weeks. So the time to get your Permanent Resident card is about a month and a half.   The time for everyone else to get their first PR card in Canada is approximately 6-8 weeks, give or take.

How long does it take renew a Canadian Permanent Resident Card?

If you meet the residency requirements, and there are no issues with your application, it takes approximately 6-8 weeks for the residence card to be processed.  However, if  Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) decides to investigate your matter or if they are concerned with your application, the processing time may take longer depending on the nature of the investigation they undertake.  There may be up to several months delay.

Once my card is approved, where do I pick up my Canadian Permanent Resident Card?

If you are in Toronto, most likely you will be directed to the CIC office located at Yonge and St. Clair.  The exact information will be provided to you in a letter sent by CIC.

When I pick up my Canadian Permanent Resident Card, what documents do I need to take with me?

CIC will send you a letter with a list of documents you will need to provide.  But you should be prepared to bring all of the original documents you included in your application.

What do I do if I lost my Canadian Permanent Resident Card?

If you lose your Permanent Resident Card, you must contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada immediately (call 1-888-242-2100 or go to the nearest office) and also make an application for a new card.

How do I change my address on my Canadian Permanent Resident Card?

To change the address on your Permanent Residence Card, you may contact the CIC Call Center at 1-888-242-2100, or you may write to the office notifying them of change of address.

Can I travel or drive to the United States with a Canadian Permanent Resident Card?

It depends. You must meet the requirements to enter the US, including obtaining an entry visa from the US Consulate, as well, if it is suggested that you travel with a valid passport.

Can I travel to the US with an expired Canadian Permanent Resident Card?

This depends on various factors and we recommend that you do not travel with an expired PR card.  Generally, if you have a valid US visa and a valid passport, you may be allowed entry into the US if the US immigration officer is satisfied that the purpose of your entry to the United States is only temporary.  However, you will most likely encounter difficulty returning to Canada with an expired PR and you may be refused entry to Canada.  Please contact one of our lawyers for further information.

Can I travel abroad with an expired Canadian Permanent Resident Card?

We recommend that you obtain a renewal of your card in advance.  However, if the nature of your travel is urgent, you may ask for expedited processing of your PR card. You may leave Canada with an expired PR card, however to return you will need to obtain a Travel Permit from a Canadian immigration office abroad.

What do I do if my Canadian Permanent Resident Card expired while I am abroad?

If you are outside Canada and your Permanent Card  has expired, you should go to the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate and apply for a Travel Document.

How do I expedite getting my Canadian Permanent Resident Card in case of emergency?

There are various factors that can be used to expedite the processing of the PR card.  It is advisable that you contact one of our lawyers for further information.


Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Fadi Minawi

Fadi is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Toledo College of Law. He is called to the New York State Bar and is registered as a Foreign Legal Consultant with the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is currently serving as the Media Liaison for the Canadian Chapter of AILA. Fadi has extensive experience in US immigration matters and is the firm’s lead in the area of US immigration. He is specialized in corporate and family immigration, as well as issues dealing with US inadmissibility.

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