Find out how to maintain permanent resident status.
Permanent residents can lose their status by failing to comply with their residency obligations. According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), a permanent resident must physically reside in Canada for 730 days, which equals two full years, with every five years they are a permanent resident.
If a permanent resident fails to comply with their residency obligations and has been notified by a Canadian Visa Application Centre, they have the right to appeal within 60 days or they will lose their status after the expiration date stated on their visa.
Cases Where Appeal Is Not Possible:
- Serious criminality;
- Organized criminality;
- Security grounds; and
- Violations of human or international rights.
How to Fulfill Your Permanent Residency Obligations
One must meet certain residency obligations to maintain permanent residence status:
- If you are in Canada and an immigration officer determines that you have not complied with your residency obligations, the officer may issue a departure order that requires you to leave Canada.
- If you are outside of Canada and do not meet residency obligations, immigration officers abroad may inform you in writing that you have lost your permanent residence status.
If you appeal within 60 days, the officer may consider humanitarian and compassionate reasons before making a final decision about your permanent resident status.
The following is a list of exceptions where you can be outside of Canada for extended periods of time and still accumulate days toward your residency status:
- Traveling with a Canadian spouse or common-law partner, or are a child under 19 years of age accompanying a parent;
- Employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or the Public Service of Canada and assigned a position outside of Canada;
- Are the spouse, common-law partner, or child of a permanent resident who is outside Canada and who is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or the Public Service of Canada; or
- There are sufficient humanitarian & compassionate grounds to warrant maintaining permanent resident status.
When receiving the letter from the Canadian Visa Application Centre, the permanent resident may be outside of Canada. If the permanent resident has been to Canada within one year, the Canadian Visa Application Centre has to provide a travel document for them.
Under other circumstances, permanent residents can apply for a travel document. If the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) asks permanent residents to attend their hearing in person, the Canadian Visa Application Centre will provide the travel document for them to attend the hearing. They can choose to do the hearing via conference call as well.
Under these circumstances, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada Refugee Appeal Division will either accept the appeal or decide there is a mistake in the law of fact or a violation of the principle of natural justice.
Under certain circumstances, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada Refugee Appeal Division will base its decision on Humanitarian and compassionate grounds and accept the appeal. For example, children’s rights.
However, if the appeal has been rejected, the permanent resident will lose their status. If they are still in Canada, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada Refugee Appeal Division will deport them.
In today’s increasingly globalized environment requiring international travel, many people are finding themselves failing to meet the residency requirement. The consequence is that years of effort and money put towards becoming a Canadian citizen have been ill-spent.
TWA Immigration has extensive experience in dealing with this increasingly prevalent issue and our experienced consultants can help if you are at risk of losing permanent resident status or have been unable to become a citizen.