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 Canada in the following ways:

Inside Canada:

  • By physical presence

Outside Canada:

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

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 (soon to be four) years of residence in Canada.

Canada recognizes multiple citizenship.


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.


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