A permanent resident (PR) of Canada is not a Canadian citizen but someone who has been granted permission to live, work and settle in Canada permanently as long as they maintain their status. A permanent resident of Canada can eventually apply for a citizenship once they become eligible. To become a PR, one needs to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through various immigration programs which Canada has to offer.
As a permanent resident of Canada, if you pay your taxes and abide by the federal and provincial law and order; you get the right to avail social benefits that the Canadian citizens receive. Such as:
- Health Care,
- Canada Pension Plan,
- Employment Insurance and
- Right to live, study or work anywhere in Canada.
- Protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The only restrictions that apply to a permanent resident of Canada is that you are not allowed to run for political office on a PR status and you also may not be allowed to work at some jobs which need high level security clearance.
Your permanent residency status can be renewed every five years, but there are certain requirements which need to be fulfilled in order to retain the PR status. You must be physically present in must live in Canada for at least two years (730 days) in a five-year period. If you live outside of Canada for longer, you may lose your permanent resident status.
You may be able to count your days outside Canada towards the 730 required days, if you meet the following conditions:
- Accompanying a Canadian citizen outside Canada: You can count the days outside Canada, If you have accompanied a Canadian citizen who is your spouse, common law partner or parent (if you are under 19 years of age).
- Accompanying a permanent resident outside Canada: You can add the days outside Canada if you have accompanied a permanent resident of Canada who is your spouse, common law partner or parent (if you are under 19 years of age) and that person is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or in the public service of Canada or of a province or territory during the time you accompanied them.
- Employment outside Canada: If you are employed by a Canadian business or the public service of Canada or a province or a territory and you are assigned a full-time position outside Canada or to a client or an affiliate of the Canadian business or the public service outside Canada, then you may count your days outside Canada towards the permanent residency requirement. You need to be working with the employer in Canada after the assignment,.
A permanent resident is issued a PR card, which while travelling offshore proves that you are a permanent resident of Canada, and you not be required to show any other kind of visa or authorization to enter or re-enter the country. You will need this card travel in and out of the country on a flight, commercial vehicle, airplane, boat, train or bus. It is your responsibility to ensure that your PR card is still valid when you return from travel outside Canada, and to apply for a new PR card when your current card expires.