A Canadian permanent resident is someone who has been granted permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada.
A permanent resident enjoys many of the same benefits of Canadian citizens. However, unlike citizens, they must maintain their status by meeting certain requirements like the residency obligation.
Benefits of Canadian Permanent Residency
Here are 5 of the major benefits you’ll experience once you become a Canadian permanent resident: 1. The ability to live and work anywhere in Canada
Canadian permanent residents have the legal right to live and work anywhere in the country. If a new PR starts off in Montreal but finds a better job in Toronto, they will have every right to move. Permanent residents aren’t tied to a specific employer or province.
2. Access to universal healthcare and social services
Additionally, Canadian permanent resident have the ability to leave and enter Canada’s borders using their Canadian permanent resident card, or permanent resident travel documents (PRTD).
Canadian healthcare is universal, which means access to free medical care. Once an individual becomes a permanent resident, they have access to Canada’s healthcare and social services.
3. Family sponsorship
Permanent residents can apply to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children to join them in Canada. That said, if you immigrate through Express Entry, you can include your family on your initial application so you won’t have to sponsor them later on.
4. Free education for children
Children of Canadian permanent residents can study for free up until secondary school. After graduating, post-secondary school is also much cheaper for permanent residents than it is for international students.
5. Can transition to Canadian citizenship
Becoming a permanent resident is the first step to becoming a Canadian citizen. After residing in Canada for three out of five years, PRs are eligible to become citizens. Once a PR has transitioned to Canadian citizenship, they can vote, apply for a Canadian passport, and no longer need to renew their status in the country.
6. Protected rights
The rights of Canadian permanent residents are protected under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Permanent residence cards
Once a person becomes a Canadian permanent resident, they are eligible to apply for a Canadian permanent resident card (PR card). This card indicates a person’s PR status in Canada; permanent residents can use the PR card to travel in and out of the country.
Permanent residence card renewal
Most permanent resident cards are valid for five years, though occasionally PR cards are only valid for one year. The Canadian government encourages permanent residents keep track of their expiration date and apply to renew their Canadian permanent resident card within six months of their card expiring.
Permanent residence card renewal
If a permanent resident is outside of Canada and wishes to enter Canada they may apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) if they do not have a valid PR card. The PRTD is usually valid for a single entry to Canada, allowing the permanent resident to enter the country before applying for a PR card, or PR card renewal.
Canadian permanent residency requirements
In order to maintain permanent resident status in Canada, a person must meet a residency obligation. The residency obligation refers to a person’s physical presence inside of Canada for a set amount of time. Canada’s residency obligation for permanent residents requires a person to be physically present inside of Canada for at least 730 days within a five-year period or to fall under one of several exceptions.