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Canadian Residency Obligations

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. Two years of "residency days" must be accumulated in every five-year period. Residency days need not be consecutive and may be accumulated inside or even outside of Canada, in the following ways:

Inside Canada:
  • By physical presence
     
Outside of Canada:
  • By accompanying a Canadian citizen spouse/common-law partner, or
  • As a child accompanying a parent, or
  • By employment on a full-time basis with a Canadian enterprise or the Public Service of Canada, or
  • 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.
     
Prior to June 28, 2002, Canadian Permanent Residents could, in certain circumstances, obtain Returning Resident Permits that allowed the holder to remain abroad for a given length of time. Returning Resident Permits are no longer available, but any time remaining on a previously issued permit will be honoured. Moreover, days that have been spent outside of Canada under a valid Returning Resident Permit are accounted as residency days.

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.

For more information about Canadian Residency, see our Landing in Canada as a Permanent Resident FAQ and our After Landing in Canada as a Permanent Resident FAQ.

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

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