Have you received a PRTD to return to Canada but can't travel right away? Do you need to know how long your PRTD is valid so that you can make your travel plans? This article will explain PRTDs and PRTD validity. Your PR travel document is a vital piece of documentation if your PR card has expired and you must return to Canada particularly if it to ensure you meet your residency obligation.
What is a PRTD?
Permanent residents (PR) of Canada must carry and show their valid PR Card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when boarding a flight to Canada, or travelling to Canada on any other commercial carrier.
If you do not carry your PR Card or PRTD, you are unlikely to be able to board your flight, train, bus or boat to Canada.
Expired PR Cards
It is your responsibility to make sure your PR Card is still valid when you return from travel outside Canada and to apply for a new PR Card before your current card expires.
However, if you do find yourself outside of Canada with an expired PR card you may apply for a PRTD - Permanent Resident Travel Document.
A travel document is normally only valid for one single entry. You should apply for a new PR card as soon as you resume residence in Canada.
Who Can Apply for a PRTD
You can apply for a permanent resident travel document if you:
are a permanent resident,
do not have a valid PR card showing your PR status,
are outside Canada, and
will return to Canada by airplane, boat, train or bus.
Note** If you are going to return by private transport such as a private car, you may be allowed to enter Canada without a PR card. However, this is at the discretion of the officer who is reviewing your case.
How Long is the Process?
You can only apply for a PRTD from outside of Canada since this is an emergency use document only. It can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 8 weeks or more to process, depending on the country you are applying from and other factors such as COVID.
The Travel Document is typically valid for 6 months from the date of issue and may be used one time only.
Keep in mind that PRTD was created for situations where your PR card expires when you are outside of Canada, and shouldn't be relied upon. It is a solution to having an expired PR card when you are outside of Canada but it is a last resort and you should endeavour to keep a valid PR card at all times.
For more information on how to apply for a PRTD please contact our offices.
Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, in Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a 6th-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the link located at the top right of the page.
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