top of page

Q. Do I need a Permanent Residence Travel Document?

Client question: I'm a permanent resident of Canada, but I moved back to the US in July 2021. Since that time, my Permanent Residence Card has expired. If I want to return to Canada to visit as a tourist, do I need to get a Permanent Residence Travel Document, or is that only if I move back to Canada? Question submitted by Sara M.

If you are travelling to Canada by public transport - boat, train, plane, or bus - you must present either a valid Permanent Resident (PR) card or a Permanent Residence Travel Document (PRTD).

If you know your card will expire while you’re travelling outside of Canada, you must renew it before you leave. You can only renew your card in Canada. PR cards will not be mailed to non-Canadian addresses and third parties will not be able to get them for you.

If you’re outside Canada and don’t have a valid PR card, you need a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) to return to Canada. You can only apply for a PRTD from outside Canada.

Who needs a Permanent Residence Travel Document?

You do not need to apply for a PRTD if you fall into one of the following categories:

What do I need to apply for a PRTD?

  • prove who you are;

  • confirm your permanent resident status; and

  • meet the residency obligation of a permanent resident;

Residency Obligation:

If you have been a permanent resident for five (5) years or more you must have been

physically present in Canada for a minimum of 730 days within the five (5) years

immediately before you apply for a PRTD.

If you have been a permanent resident for less than five (5) years you must show that

you will be able to meet the minimum of 730 days of physical presence in Canada

within five (5) years of the date, you became a permanent resident.

After I apply, what happens next?

After you send your application, a visa officer will assess your application to determine whether you have met your residency obligations and whether you are still a permanent resident of Canada.

If a visa officer refuses your application, we will return your passport and other documents to you. If you sent false documents, we will not return them.

If a visa officer approves your application, we will return your passport and original documents to you with your permanent resident travel document.

Exceptions to the Rule

Despite the above, if you are travelling by private vehicle, you do not need to present your PR card and may be able to cross into Canada with your COPR.

Immigration Station Canada will work with you and guide you through the best process to achieve your goals, wherever they lead!


About Us

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 fifth-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 contact form.

How Can We Help? We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications. Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.

42 views0 comments