Permanent Resident Card Misconceptions Could Cause Difficulties

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Common misconceptions about the Permanent Resident Card could lead to trouble at the border

Permanent Resident Card (also known as PR Card). This card replaced the old document known as

In 2002, the Government of Canada passed the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as its new immigration law. The new Act included the creation of the Canadian "Permanent Resident Card (also known as PR Card). This card replaced the old document known as "Record of Landing". The new card is a wallet-size card with security features difficult to forge.

There appears to be confusion about what the PR card represents. It is important that permanent residents, especially recently landed immigrants, be clear on what the PR card means before traveling anywhere.

The Permanent Resident Card is an identity document that indicates that the cardholder is a permanent resident of Canada. For example, the card can be presented at provincial offices to sign up for government programs such as healthcare. The PR card is not a valid travel document. It cannot be used to enter another country. It can be used as a valid identity document to foreign authorities but it will not allow entry to a country. On the other hand, as of December 30, 2003, all permanent residents who enter Canada by land, air or sea through a commercial carrier must present their PR Card at the port of entry. If the person does not present the PR card at the port of entry, he or she will not be allowed entry and will have to receive a special permit to enter Canada. For further information on the PR Card, contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada or visit for a list of frequently asked questions.

Any permanent residents who are outside of Canada and no longer have a valid Permanent Resident Card must obtain a travel document in order enter Canada. An application for a travel document can be made at a Canada visa office. New or replacement PR cards can only be applied for and issued in Canada. Canadian Embassies or Consulates do not have the authority to process PR Card applications.

To apply for a new PR Card, an application form must be completed and a fee of CDN$50 applies. Supporting documents must be submitted, such as a Landing Record. The application can be submitted directly to Citizenship and Immigration Canada or through immigration consulting firms like Immigroup. However, if one has lost their card or needs one on an urgent or expedited basis, it is recommendable that one consult with immigration firms like Immigroup that specializes in these services.


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George Laczko

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