Leaving Canada for more than 6 months with a Canadian Permanent Resident Card

Canadian Permanent Resident Card Q&A


I have a valid Canadian PR card and lived in Canada for quite a while. But unfortunately I have to go outside of Canada for more than 6 months to help my sick grandfather. I heard somewhere that I won’t be allowed back into the country if I am not physically in Canada for more than 6 months. Is there anything I can do before leaving in order to make things easier when I am coming back?


Leaving Canada with a Canadian Permanent Resident Card

The information you received is incorrect. Canadian PR Cards are valid for a 5 year period. You are free to travel outside of Canada during that 5 year period. However, upon renewal of your PR Card, you should have accumulated at least 2 years of residency in Canada within that 5 year period, unless there are humanitarian and compassionate grounds to explain your absence or you were outside of Canada accompanied by your Canadian spouse. The” 6 month rule” used to be in place a number of years ago but now, you have just to be in Canada for a total of 2 years within the 5 year period to maintain your PR Card upon renewal.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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