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Canadian Permanent Resident Card

Canadian permanent residents may apply for a Canadian Permanent Resident Card at any time after landing in Canada. This card confirms their status as a permanent resident of Canada.

The Canadian Permanent Resident Card is a wallet-sized plastic card containing pertinent information (height, eye colour, gender, etc.) on the cardholder as well as a laser-engraved photograph and signature. Other personal data are encoded on the card and are accessible only by authorized Canadian Immigration Officials.

Canadian permanent residents planning to re-enter Canada on commercial carriers (plane, train, bus and boat) will be required to show their Permanent Resident Card to confirm their permanent resident status before boarding. Canadian Permanent Residents not in possession of a Permanent Resident Card, will have to apply for a Temporary Travel Document from the nearest Canadian Immigration Visa Office in order to travel to Canada on a commercial carrier.

Canadian permanent residents may now receive renewed cards through the mail.

Processing Times


To review the latest processing times for Permanent Residence Cards, use the Canada Immigration Processing Times tool.

Urgent Processing


In order to qualify for urgent processing of a Permanent Resident Card, applicants must demonstrate that they require their card urgently (within the next three months) for one of the following reasons:

  • for travel due to their own serious illness or the serious illness or death of a family member; or

  • to obtain employment or to travel due to employment requirements or opportunity.


Applicants must submit all of the following documents to support their request for urgent processing:

  • a copy of proof of travel, such as tickets or an itinerary showing the destination and dates they will be travelling;

  • a copy of proof of payment for travel showing the date, the full amount and the method of payment;

  • a letter of explanation indicating the reason for the urgency; and

  • proof of the urgency (e.g., doctor’s note, death certificate, or letter from employer).


Applicants may request urgent processing when they submit their application for a permanent residence card to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S) or after it is already in process by contacting the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Call Centre through the IRCC Webform.



Scenario 1: The applicant is in Canada and has not yet applied for a Permanent Resident Card.


To request urgent processing, the applicant is required to write “Urgent” on the envelope when he or she submits a complete application for a permanent residence card and include all of the documents listed in the above section.


Scenario 2: The client is in Canada and has already applied for a Permanent Resident Card.


To request urgent processing, the applicant must follow the steps in scenario 2a or scenario 2b below, depending on the circumstances of his or her case:

  • If the application is not yet in process or does not appear in e-Client Application Status (e-CAS), the applicant must submit another application and request urgent processing by writing “Urgent” on the envelope. The applicant must also include all of the documents listed above, in addition to a copy of a receipt of payment form or electronic receipt for the application previously submitted. The applicant is not required to make a new payment.

  • If the application is already in process, the applicants must contact IRCC through the IRCC Webform by choosing “Request urgent processing of renewal or replacement card and have already applied” under the Enquiry field drop down menu. He or she must upload all required documents listed above when submitting the IRCC Webform. The instructions for applicants at the top of the IRCC Webform outline the list of documents required as well as the technical requirements to submit the request for urgent processing.


Scenario 3: The client is outside Canada and not in possession of a valid PR card.


As per the existing procedures, the applicant can apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) to return to Canada. Upon their return to Canada, the applicant may apply for a new card.


Applications for permanent residence cards where urgent processing is requested (scenarios 1 and 2a) are first reviewed by IRCC personnel to establish that urgent processing requirements are met. If so, the application is then reviewed for completeness.


Applications that do not contain all the documents in the checklist will be returned to the applican with a note advising them of which documents are missing.

Requests for urgent processing that are received after the application is already in process (scenario 2b) are reviewed to determine if the request meets the criteria to qualify for urgent processing.

Applications that are found to meet the criteria for urgent processing and include all required documents are placed into the urgent processing stream as per existing procedures.

Those that do not meet the criteria are placed into the regular processing stream.


Contact us with any questions concerning permanent residence in Canada.

A specimen Canadian Permanent Resident Card
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