Permanent Resident Status And Residency Days

When you are a permanent resident of Canada who has permanent resident status, there are specific obligations you must meet in order to make sure you are able to keep your permanent resident status. One of the most important of these obligations is meeting your residency requirement, which is the amount of time you’ve spent in Canada. 

It’s important that permanent residents spend enough time in Canada to ensure that they’re able to remain permanent residents and keep all of the benefits that come with permanent resident status like being able to live and work anywhere in Canada.

When you arrive in Canada after traveling abroad or go to renew your permanent resident card, you’ll have to show that you met the residency requirement. This is why it is so very important to not only keep track of your residency days, but to be able to prove your residency days to the government when asked.

Tracking your permanent resident days in Canada

Along with days physically spent living in Canada, permanent residents may count some days spent outside of Canada as residency days, including:

Days spent abroad working for a Canadian company or for the public service of Canada if the job is full-time and paid.
Days spent outside of Canada if they are with a spouse who is a Canadian citizen, or a common law partner who is a Canadian citizen.
Days spent outside of Canada if they were with a permanent resident of Canada who is their spouse or common law partner, and if that spouse is outside of Canada working for a Canadian company or the public service of Canada full-time.

If you haven’t been able to meet the residency requirement because you needed to stay outside of Canada for something like a family emergency, you could be eligible to make a humanitarian and compassionate case, asking for an exception because of a special reason. But applying for this exception is very difficult. You will have to make a very good case for why you deserve to keep your permanent residency status while not meeting the residency requirement to do so.

Because you could be at risk of losing your permanent resident status in Canada, it’s vital you speak to a licensed immigration lawyer as soon as possible if you haven’t met the resident requirement.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.


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