Permanent Residency:

Resettled refugees become permanent residents (PRs) the moment they sign their ‘Confirmation of Permanent Residence’ document at the airport. As Permanent Residents they:

  • Access the same social benefits and health care coverage as Canadian citizens.
  • Do not require a permit to study or work.
  • Are protected under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Have responsibilities, including paying taxes and respecting all federal, provincial and municipal laws.

pr cardPermanent Resident (PR) Card Processing:

IRCC will automatically send each newcomer their PR Card in the mail after they arrive. There are often delays due to high volume, incorrect addresses, and problems with photographs.

  • Ensure IRCC has the newcomers’ correct address. Address changes can be made online: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/change-address.asp. Choose "In Canada" and then just below "Step 3" click on the “Start” link in the grey box.
  • The first card is free and processing time is 2-3 months.
  • If you have waited more than 2-3 months and are concerned, contact your SAH.
  • IRCC may mail a letter requesting new photographs for PR cards.
  • If a PR card is not received within 180 days of arriving in Canada, a complete application, fee and photograph must be submitted to IRCC.
  • FYI: newcomers must apply for a new PR card every 5 years or until they become Canadian Citizens. There is a renewal fee.

Travelling as a Permanent Resident:

Canadian permanent residents with refugee status are entitled to a Travel Document, which can be used with a PR card to travel outside Canada. However, for resettled refugees, there are serious considerations related to travelling outside of Canada before attaining citizenship:

  • Re-entry to Canada is not guaranteed.
  • Use of a passport from a refugee’s country of nationality and returning to that country can be considered ‘reavailment’ and will jeopardize one’s permanent residency status.