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Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD)

A permanent resident may find themselves outside Canada without their permanent resident card. There can be a few reasons for that, but mostly it is either because the card was stolen, lost, damaged, or even forgotten back home in Canada.

You can’t return to Canada without a valid permanent resident card. You have to file an application to a Visa Application Centre (VAC) abroad and request a permanent resident travel document. This document will allow you to travel to Canada and file an inland application for PR Card replacement.

Now, when the visa officer assesses your application, they will also determine if you have met the residency obligation.
As a permanent resident of Canada, you must spend two years in Canada within each period of five years. When you submit an application for a permanent resident travel document, you will have to indicate all countries of residence within the last five years.

You are allowed to not be physically present in Canada in the following cases:
  • you are working for a Canadian business abroad
  • you are working for the Canadian government abroad
  • you travel with a spouse who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident (conditions apply)
  • you are a dependent child travelling with your parent who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident (conditions apply)
  • you have humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) considerations that justify your extended presence abroad.

If it is determined that you have not met the residency obligation, your application for permanent resident travel document will be denied, and you will lose your status of a permanent resident of Canada.

You will then have 60 days after the refusal to appeal that decision in the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) of Canada.

Do note that you can’t appeal a decision on the residency requirement if you are in Canada and have received a removal order because you did not meet the residency obligation. In this case, you can appeal the removal order in the same division of the IRB.

How We Can Help with a PR Travel Document

We have the experience of applying for permanent resident travel documents, including cases when our clients did not meet the residency obligations, and we had to prove compliance with permanent residency obligation via Canadian employment and H&C factors.

We know the ins and outs of the process. We know what documents to provide, we know VAC’s requirements (in terms of additional documents and fees) for acceptance of PRTD applications.

Contact us today if you are a permanent resident of Canada, you are outside Canada, and you don’t have a permanent resident card. We will assess your chances and offer you a strategy to safely return to Canada.


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