The permanent resident (PR) card is documentary evidence that you are a lawful permanent resident of Canada. If you are a permanent resident of Canada, you would be required to carry and produce your PR card when traveling to Canada. In case you don’t have the PR card at the time of traveling to Canada, you must present the permanent resident travel document (PRTD) to the authorities.
In case you don’t have or are not able to present the PR card or PRTD, you would not be allowed to travel to Canada. The documents would be checked at the time of boarding a flight or any other mean of transportation headed for Canada.
A PR card shows that you are a citizen of another country but have achieved the permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada. However, having the PR card does not make you a Canadian citizen. If you are a residing temporarily in Canada, you are not a permanent resident. For example, a student or a temporary worker in Canada is not a permanent resident of the country.
Anyone who carries a PR card of Canada must be sure that the card is valid at the time of returning to Canada from outside the country. Also, the PR card must be valid at the time of applying for renewal of your card. An expired PR card does not affect your PR status. You can simply renew the card.
So, what would you do if you went overseas and discovered you are not carrying your PR card when returning to Canada? Well, in that case, you will have to apply for and get a PRTD and only then be allowed to travel to Canada. The PRTD is typically valid for a single entry to Canada.
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