A permanent resident is someone who has acquired permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not yet a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents have rights and privileges in Canada even though they remain citizens of their home country. In order to maintain permanent resident status, you must live in Canada for two years within a five-year period.
A person in Canada temporarily, such as an international student or a temporary foreign worker, is not a permanent resident
The permanent resident card (PR card) is the official proof of your status as a permanent resident of Canada. If you are a new permanent resident, you will automatically receive your new card by mail, once you first arrive in Canada, as part of the immigration process.
This wallet-sized plastic card is used by permanent residents of Canada seeking to re-enter Canada on a commercial carrier (airplane, boat, train or bus). If you leave the country, you are expected to have this card when returning to Canada. Check the expiry date of your PR card before you plan to travel outside of Canada to ensure that it will not expire before you return. If you do not plan to leave the country, you do not need the card
Permanent residents who want to return to Canada and who do not have a Permanent Resident Card should contact the nearest Canadian visa office to get a limited use travel document to re-enter Canada.
If you are in Canada and are applying for a PR card, you will need to gather certain documents. These should be collected as early as possible, especially if you plan to travel soon
Learn more about the PR card by referring to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. For an application visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. If you do not find the information you are looking for and you are calling from Canada, contact the CIC Call Centre (1 888 242-2100 – in Canada only).