A permanent resident is an individual who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada but is not a Canadian citizen. Therefore, permanent residents have residency obligations, unlike Canadian citizens.
In order to maintain your permanent resident status in Canada, Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA”) requires permanent residents to be physically present in Canada for at least 730 days out of every 5 years.
These 730 days or 2 years do not need to be continuous, and under specific conditions, some of your time may count towards the 730 days, while you are outside of Canada.
You must demonstrate that you meet this requirement when you renew your permanent resident card or apply for a Permanent Resident Travel (“PRT”) document abroad. If you are a permanent resident and did not meet your residency obligation, you might lose your permanent resident status.
Follows are what IRPA states about the obligation of residency.
28(1) A permanent resident must comply with a residency obligation with respect to every five-year period.
(2) The following provisions govern the residency obligation under subsection (1):
(a) a permanent resident complies with the residency obligation with respect to a five-year period if, on each of a total of at least 730 days in that five-year period, they are
(i) physically present in Canada,
(ii) outside Canada accompanying a Canadian citizen who is their spouse or common-law partner or, in the case of a child, their parent,
(iii) outside Canada employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province,
(iv) outside Canada accompanying a permanent resident who is their spouse or common-law partner or, in the case of a child, their parent and who is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the federal public administration or the public service of a province, or
(v) referred to in regulations providing for other means of compliance;
(b) it is sufficient for a permanent resident to demonstrate at examination
(i) if they have been a permanent resident for less than five years, that they will be able to meet the residency obligation in respect of the five-year period immediately after they became a permanent resident;
(ii) if they have been a permanent resident for five years or more, that they have met the residency obligation in respect of the five-year period immediately before the examination; and
(c) a determination by an officer that humanitarian and compassionate considerations relating to a permanent resident, taking into account the best interests of a child directly affected by the determination, justify the retention of permanent resident status overcomes any breach of the residency obligation prior to the determination.
If you are inside of Canada, it will be counted by physical presence. If you are outside of Canada, there are some possible conditions you may be considered as staying in Canada.
1. Accompanying a Canadian citizen spouse or common-law partner (or parent if you are a child under 19 years of age)
2. Accompanying a Canadian permanent resident who is outside of Canada and who is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian enterprise or the public service of Canada
3. Working for a Canadian enterprise or the public service of Canada on a full-time basis, and being assigned overseas full-time
Failure to meet residency obligations does not automatically result in loss of permanent residency, and Immigration gives you the opportunity to appeal your personal circumstances. If you have unavoidable reasons and have clear plans to resettle in the future, you may want to appeal. If you receive the decision that your permanent resident status will revoke, you are able to submit an appeal within 60 days. If so, the officer may consider humanitarian and compassionate grounds before making a final decision about your permanent resident status.
Contact us to learn how we can help to maintain your permanent residence status for you.