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Residency Obligation

Canadian permanent residents have the right to enter and live in Canada


Canadian permanent residents must meet certain residency obligations or they may lose their permanent resident status and be deemed inadmissible for not meeting the residency requirement. Two years (730 days) of "residency days" must be accumulated in every five-year period.


Individuals need to be concerned when the are being assessed by IRCC. This occurs when an individual applies for a PR Card renewal, a PR Travel Document, or arrive in Canada at an airport or land border.  In each of these circumstance, an individual will be assessed and an officer will determine if you meet the residency requirement in the 5 year period that applies to your situation. An individual must have accumulated (or be able to accumulate) 730 residency days within this 5 year period to maintain PR status.

For individuals who have been a PR for more than 5 years, 5 year window is backwards looking from the date of assessment.

For individuals who have been a PR for less than 5 years, the 5 year window is the first 5 years of being a PR status holder.

Residency days do not be consecutive and may be accumulated inside or even outside Canada in the following ways below.

If you do not meet the residency requirement and you are outside Canada, our firm can provide assistance.  Read more on the strategy here.


How to accumulate Residency Days to maintain PR status

Inside Canada:

By physical presence

Outside Canada in the following ways:


  • By accompanying a spouse/common-law partner who is a Canadian citizen

  • As a child accompanying a parent

  • By employment on a full-time basis with a Canadian enterprise or the Public Service of Canada

  • By accompanying a Canadian permanent resident who is outside Canada and who is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian enterprise or the Public Service of Canada as the employee's spouse/common-law partner or child.

The calculation of residency days for a person who has been a Canadian permanent resident for more than five years will be limited to the five years immediately preceding the examination. Persons who have been Canadian permanent residents for less than five years must demonstrate that they will be able to meet the residency requirement during the five-year period immediately following their becoming a Canadian permanent resident.

Canadian permanent residents who plan to re-enter Canada by common carrier (plane, train, bus, boat) will have to show their Canadian Permanent Resident Card or Temporary Travel Document before boarding.


Canadian citizenship is voluntary and may be applied for after three years of residence in Canada.


Canada recognizes multiple citizenship- you can have more than one passport.

Residency Obligation | Canada PR | Immigration


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