How to travel outside Canada without a PR Card? IRCC has recently experienced a significant backlog in issuing initial Permanent Resident (PR) cards to new Permanent Residents. Additionally, the delays are also impacting PR card renewals.
PR cards serve as identity and travel documents to show that you are authorized to enter Canada. However, your Permanent Resident status is not limited if you don’t have your PR card, as Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) does not require it.
However, the ongoing delays in obtaining your PR card should not impact your ability to travel outside Canada. This article delves into the work around on how to travel outside Canada without your PR card and re-enter.
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Enter Canada from the land port of entry
You can fly back close to the border with the United States, book a private vehicle, and enter Canada from a land port of entry without a PR card.
Private vehicles are those that are not accessible to the general public. For example, cars, trucks, motorcycles or any vehicle you rent, own, or borrow. However, a coach bus carrying other passengers would not fall under the category of a private vehicle.
In addition, ensure that you carry other identification documents. It can include your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR), social insurance card or letter, provincial health card, driving license or vehicle registration.
The Canada Border Services Agency will verify your identity upon arrival. Therefore, it is best to have more than one identification document ready to prove your identity at the border.
Travel back to Canada on Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD)
A Permanent Resident Travel Document confirms your Permanent Resident status and enables you to return to Canada without a PR card. This document is added to your passport at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) or an Embassy.
However, you cannot apply for a PRTD before departing Canada. To be eligible to apply for PRTD, you must be outside Canada. The application process can be done online or in person at a Visa Application Center, depending on Covid restrictions.
The application fee to apply for PRTD is $50. Your local VAC might impose additional charges if you submit your application in person. The IRCC website does not provide an average processing time for PRTDs. However, depending on countries and application volume, it generally takes two weeks.
United States citizens can travel to Canada on their passport
If you hold a valid United States passport and are a Canadian permanent resident, you can freely enter and exit Canada. Nevertheless, it would help if you carried your CoPR to avoid any trouble at the border. Otherwise, you can enter Canada anytime at your leisure.
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Shivika Adhwaryu is a content writer for Immigration News Canada. She brings the latest, well-researched, and verifiable content to help newcomers, students, and Canadians navigate life easily in Canada.