A permanent resident card is issued/valid for 5 years. Permanent resident cards are important travel documents as they allow the individual to return to and enter Canada as long as they are valid. These cards are eligible for renewal continuously as long as the residency requirements are met. It is a requirement by the Canadian Immigration law that permanent resident holders reside within Canada for two out of the every five years in order to maintain their status. An exception to the 2 years in 5 rule are; if the resident is outside Canada accompanying a Canadian citizen who is their spouse, common-law partner or parent, also, if the resident is employed outside of Canada by a Canadian Company or the Canadian Federal or Provincial government, then this time counts as if they were residents of Canada. In the case of permanent residents employed outside Canada, their spouses and children will also have their time counted as residents in Canada.
Upon renewing an individual’s permanent resident card, an application describing their travel history is a requirement to meet the residency eligibility. If the immigration authorities are satisfied that the applicant has met all residency requirements, they will issue a new valid card for an additional 5 years. The processing of permanent resident cards is relatively fast and can usually be issued in a minimum amount of time.
Under some circumstances, permanent resident cards can be issued under humanitarian and compassionate grounds if there are mitigating factors that portray that the individual was compelled and unable to remain in Canada for at least 2 out of the 5 years.
If a permanent resident has remained outside of Canada and their permanent resident card has expired, they may apply for a travel document that will enable them to re-enter Canada. The applicant then needs to provide travel history as well as meet the residency requirement if he or she does not fall into the exception categories. If they are unable to meet these requirements they are able to apply through Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds if there are legitimate reasons that pertain towards this category. Once inside Canada, the applicant can then apply to renew their Permanent Resident Card.