A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries.

A person in Canada temporarily, like a student or foreign worker, is NOT a permanent resident.

The permanent resident (PR) card

A PR card is used to show someone has permanent resident status in Canada. Permanent Residents have to show their card and passport when they come back on a commercial vehicle, like an airplane, boat, train or bus.

As a permanent resident, you have the right to:

  • Get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage.
  • Live, work or study anywhere in Canada.
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship.
  • Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • You must pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

Permanent residents are not allowed to:

  • Vote or run for political office.
  • Hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance.

Time Lived in Canada

To keep your permanent resident status, you must have been in Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years. These 730 days don’t need to be continuous. Some of your time abroad may count towards the 730 days. See what time abroad counts towards your permanent resident status.