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Can I enter Canada by land without PR Card or PRTD?

wsmolind

Star Member
Nov 4, 2013
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Hello,

We've applied to renew our PR Card since June. I have received mine but my husband has received no AOR, no updates, nothing online and can't get through to anyone via email or phone to even let them know his application is past due. We are set to travel in December but are unsure if he'll get his PR card by then. What are our options here? Can we enter by land? Do we for sure need a PRTD? We do have an urgent reason to go in December which is to settle a family inheritance by trial which was scheduled thinking they'd have processed our applications by then. Not sure if that's a valid enough reason to get a PRTD though. So frustrated!

Thank you!
 
 

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
14,905
7,588
Hello,

We've applied to renew our PR Card since June. I have received mine but my husband has received no AOR, no updates, nothing online and can't get through to anyone via email or phone to even let them know his application is past due. We are set to travel in December but are unsure if he'll get his PR card by then. What are our options here? Can we enter by land? Do we for sure need a PRTD? We do have an urgent reason to go in December which is to settle a family inheritance by trial which was scheduled thinking they'd have processed our applications by then. Not sure if that's a valid enough reason to get a PRTD though. So frustrated!

Thank you!
You can apply for a PRTD and return by air, or enter by land with eg expired PR card or other to show you are a PR - in both cases as long as you are in compliance iwth the residency obligation.
 

Dukongo

Star Member
Jan 15, 2018
82
13
You can apply for a PRTD and return by air, or enter by land with eg expired PR card or other to show you are a PR - in both cases as long as you are in compliance iwth the residency obligation.
What does it mean residency obligation?
 

jakklondon

Hero Member
Oct 17, 2021
582
139
Can we enter by land? Do we for sure need a PRTD? We do have an urgent reason to go in December which is to settle a family inheritance by trial which was scheduled thinking they'd have processed our applications by then. Not sure if that's a valid enough reason to get a PRTD though. So frustrated!

Thank you!
Are you able to get into US? Do you posses visa exempt passport? If you answer YES to both questions, then you might be able to enter Canada via US.
You may also try getting PRTD visa.
 
 

wsmolind

Star Member
Nov 4, 2013
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Thank you, everyone! We have a US Visa so we'll try that if we don't get the PR Card in time.
 

jakklondon

Hero Member
Oct 17, 2021
582
139
You may have US visa, which will get you to Canadian border, but how are you going to enter Canada? If with COPR, chances are they will ask about your PR card (unless you landed less than 3 years ago).
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
52,509
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You may have US visa, which will get you to Canadian border, but how are you going to enter Canada? If with COPR, chances are they will ask about your PR card (unless you landed less than 3 years ago).
You can enter the US land border without a valid PR card. Whether you meet your RO will be examined but some don’t have a valid PR card and they can still enter via a land border
 

jakklondon

Hero Member
Oct 17, 2021
582
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You can enter the US land border without a valid PR card. Whether you meet your RO will be examined but some don’t have a valid PR card and they can still enter via a land border
You mean to say one can enter Canada via land from the US without valid PR card?

In order to enter Canada he will need some form of id and proof than he is admissible to Canada. In absence of valid PR card that would either be COPR+ non-visa exempt passport, or visa-exempt passport. Suppose someone shows up with COPR and non-visa exempt passport. As PR they are entitled to enter Canada. But if COPR/landing date is older than 3 years, they can be questioned about RO. If breach of RO discovered at that point, they can be reported and removal proceedings may start (even though they will be allowed to enter Canada).
So, to be clear: any PR in possession of COPR and valid PR status can enter Canada via land from US. The real issue is RO (if it exists), and not having valid PR card, with no visa-exempt passport, raises questions about RO. If COPR is newer than 3 years, that's not a problem But if it's, then PR can be reported for breach of RO (but still allowed to enter Canada).
 
 

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
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You mean to say one can enter Canada via land from the US without valid PR card?
Yes - not always, but frequently, yes. Expired PR cards in particular - the cards expire, PR status does not, and so the expired PR card is good evidence that the person was a PR, all that needs to be established is that PR status hasn't been cancelled. (COPRs are less useful in at least one respect - always older than PR cards and mostly no photographs.)

So, to be clear:
To be clear: on this topic, as on many others: you do not know what you are talking about.

There is no outright requirement in law to have any specific form of Canadian government or provincial ID at all to be admitted if you are a PR.

[Side note and serious caveat: you should have such a document when you land at the border; it will be a lot easier.]

The test in Canadian law is different: the border officer shall admit if satisfied the PR has PR status. In practice, this means (nowadays) establishing positive identification of the individual (name/date of birth/person carrying ID matches the ID) and matching that individual to the CBSA/IRCC database records on permanent residents. (Note: it seems some older PR records may not be in the databases - and 'database issues' can be real.)

In simple terms: for many PRs arriving at the border, just having their foreign passport (with correct name/DOB/nationality) and either nothing at all or other supporting docs that lets them get the database match may be enough. The UCI number that all PRs have (and that is, I think, for all also the number on their PR card - certainly in recent years) is, unambiguously, the element that should allow them to match the database record to the individual.

Now warning: any PR trying to enter Canada from the USA really should have both a valid ID (almost always meaning foreign passport) and some IRCC document that matches that ID (by name / date of birth / etc) - current or expired PR card, COPR, etc. Other supporting identification (driver's license, health card, etc) with photographs will help (possibly a lot). People who have changed their name, or gender, or whatever, or simply don't resemble their photographs and other similar discrepancies may have trouble establishing their identity.

Note: the CBSA officer shall admit 'if satisfied' - this is a peculiar formulation. On the one hand, the onus is on the PR to 'satisfy' the CBSA officer that the claim they're making is real - but on the other, if the CBSA officer is satisfied that Person A is the Person A who became a PR on [date], that will be enough.
 
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jakklondon

Hero Member
Oct 17, 2021
582
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OP: don't listen to arrogant people who resort to insults and personal attacks, they are usually the least informed of all and have a complex of inferiority, which they try to compensate by obnoxious behavior. Heeding to advises coming from such individuals can be costly. So, do your best by researching the subject and , if necessary, seek legal consultation.

Permanent residents of Canada who are members of the NEXUS or FAST programs must travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence, and may be asked to present these documents to the officer upon arrival at the border.*

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html


I am outside Canada and do not have a PR card. How can I return to Canada?*
https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=605&top=22

Best of luck to you and yours.

P.S. Font sizes are by default, as copy pasted from the source.
 

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
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OP: don't listen to arrogant people who resort to insults and personal attacks
Again, you do not know what you are talking about.

Permanent residents of Canada who are members of the NEXUS or FAST programs must travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence, and may be asked to present these documents to the officer upon arrival at the border.*
These are requirements of the nexus and fast programs, not entry in general.

I am outside Canada and do not have a PR card. How can I return to Canada?*
You must read the source carefully to understand - this source says "You need a valid permanent resident (PR) card to return to Canada by plane, train, bus or boat."

It does not refer to returning by private vehicle or on foot (note rules about each of these may differ depending on the border and subject to covid changes and restrictions).

So someone who is actually informed would read these sources and be able to tell you - take your preferred mode of transport of the above to but not over the border - and then take a car or walk across, and then the strict PR card or PRTD requirement does not apply. You will need to satisfy the border officer that you are a Canadian PR, though.

(An informed person would also know that the references to plane train bus boat etc basically refers to 'commercial carriers' - as distinct from privately owned passenger vehicles i.e. cars; the issue being that the commercial carriers probably won't let you board).

And again: for most travellers, it is by far preferable to have a valid PR card or PRTD. There are complications to travelling without, even if it may be possible to return without them.
 

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
6,222
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We are set to travel in December but are unsure if he'll get his PR card by then. What are our options here? Can we enter by land? Do we for sure need a PRTD? We do have an urgent reason to go in December which is to settle a family inheritance by trial which was scheduled thinking they'd have processed our applications by then. Not sure if that's a valid enough reason to get a PRTD though. So frustrated!
We have a US Visa so we'll try that if we don't get the PR Card in time.
I am posting to reassure you that the initial response by @armoured covered what you need to know (based on information in your posts).

Which is here:
You can apply for a PRTD and return by air, or enter by land with eg expired PR card or other to show you are a PR - in both cases as long as you are in compliance iwth the residency obligation.
And since it appears you have been settled in Canada since at least 2016, there does not appear any reason for concern about the Residency Obligation.

Which is to say, if the PR card does not arrive in time for your trip abroad, but you can return via the U.S., to cross the Canada/U.S. border using private transportation, and when you reach the border present a home country passport, there should be no problem. Presenting an expired PR card or a copy of the CoPR might make it easier, but frankly it should go fairly easily anyway.

In particular, assuming you are traveling with Mexico passports there should be no problem establishing identity and status at the Port-of-Entry.

You can ignore the other NOISE.

pitheantrhopoidprovocateurabsurdum said:
OP: don't listen to arrogant people who resort to insults and personal attacks, they are usually the least informed of all and have a complex of inferiority, which they try to compensate by obnoxious behavior. Heeding to advises coming from such individuals can be costly. So, do your best by researching the subject and , if necessary, seek legal consultation.
There are several forum participants who have made a concerted effort to do the homework, research the official sources, keep abreast of formal government information, including but not limited to the unofficial sources you cite (and recognizing that the official sources are primary and controlling), and take into consideration anecdotal reporting which many, including @armoured, @canuck78, and others who have not commented in this particular thread, and myself, have been following closely for YEARS. In addition to the statutory provisions and regulations, the official sources include many actual cases recounted in IAD decisions, Federal Court decisions.

For Canadians, which includes Canadian PRs (even those who . . . well, not going there), no particular documentation is necessary to be allowed entry into Canada. Proof of authorization to enter Canada that meets regulations governing who commercial carriers can allow to board their transportation (such as a commercial airline) is different. The government's general information about Canadians returning to Canada does not make precise distinctions because those tend to be more confusing than helpful. Which, frankly, is what your posts here do, tending to make things more confusing than helpful. The OP and marital partner have been PRs since 2016, and appear to have been living here during this time. They are currently IN Canada. They are making a brief trip abroad and got anxious because one of them did not get a new PR card in the mail like the other. But as long as they can travel via the U.S., as @armoured promptly and accurately responded to their inquiry, they are almost certain to have NO problems being allowed into Canada when they arrive at a PoE on the Canada/U.S. border.

No need to complicate things here. Their situation is very simple.

By the way, for a Canadian it does not matter if the passport they carry, from another country, is visa-exempt or not. Neither will get the Canadian (citizen or PR) on a plane. To get on a plane a Canadian must show a valid Canadian status card (passport for citizens; PR card for PRs) or a Canadian issued Travel Document. If the Canadian travels via the U.S., to arrive at a PoE on the Canada/U.S. border, no particular documentation is necessary. Again, it does not matter if the passport they carry, from another country, is visa-exempt or not.

I have cited and quoted and linked the statutory provisions and regulations prescribing this, as well as unofficial government sources like the respective Operational Manuals for PoE examinations, many times in many threads here. Do a little homework and you can easily find the links . . . or do the research.

No arrogance necessary, just some homework.
 
 

jakklondon

Hero Member
Oct 17, 2021
582
139
"The most amusing thing about internet, is that it instantly shows who is an ignorant donkey, and who is citing the authority source on the subject."
-Jakk London

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I am outside Canada and do not have a PR card. How can I return to Canada?
Returning by private vehicle*
There are other documents you can use to enter the country.
See: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=605&top=22



Travel documents and identification requirements*
+++(see other documents you can use from the link above https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=605&top=22 which leads to https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html )+++

Make sure you carry proper identification for yourself and any children or minors travelling with you. You must be able to confirm your legal right or authorization to enter Canada at the border.*

On this page*

Residents returning to Canada
Planning travel to Canada? Visit COVID-19: Entering Canada requirements checklist for information about quarantine and your admissibility to Canada.
Carry a valid Canadian passport for all visits abroad, including visits to the United States (U.S.). It is the only universally accepted identification document, and it proves that you have a right to return to Canada.

Acceptable documents to denote identity and citizenship
Upon arrival at a Canadian port of entry, travellers must satisfy a CBSA border services officer (BSO) that they meet the requirements for entry into Canada. For Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act, this can be done through questioning and through verifying documentation such as a:

  • Canadian passport
  • Canadian birth certificate
  • permanent residence card
  • citizenship card
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) card or valid Certificate of Indian Status (CIS) card
If you do not have a passport, and are returning to Canada, the following documents can denote identity and citizenship:

  • NEXUS card, held by a Canadian citizen, when entering Canada by air (when coming from the U.S.), land, or marine modes
  • FAST card (Free and Secure Trade), issued to a Canadian citizen (when arriving by land or marine modes only)
  • Canadian emergency travel document
  • Canadian temporary passport
  • Certificate of Canadian citizenship (issued from 1954 to present)
  • Enhanced driver's license issued by a Canadian province or territory
  • Enhanced identification/photo card issued by a Canadian province or territory
Permanent residents of Canada who are members of the NEXUS or FAST programs must travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence, and may be asked to present these documents to the officer upon arrival at the border.

Other acceptable documents for establishing Canadian citizenship
The following documents may be used to establish Canadian citizenship. Upon presentation by travellers, the documents should be supported by other government issued photo identification:

  • Certificate of Canadian citizenship (large form issued between January 1, 1947, to February 14, 1977)
  • Certificate of retention (issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977)
  • Certificate of naturalization (issued before January 1, 1947)
  • Registration of birth abroad certificate (issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977, by Canadian citizenship authorities)
  • Provincial or territorial birth certificate (individuals born in Canada)
Other acceptable documents to support identity
The following documents may be used to establish your identity:

  • CANPASS card (air, corporate air, private air, remote area border crossing), held by a Canadian citizen
  • Commercial driver registration program card, held by a Canadian citizen
  • Provincial and territorial driver's license
  • Employment or student card with photo and signature
  • Provincial health insurance card
  • Provincial identity card
  • Canadian Forces identification
  • Police identification
  • Firearms acquisition certificate
  • Social insurance number card
  • Credit card
  • Vehicle insurance certificate
  • Vehicle registration
Acceptable documents for establishing Registered Indian Status and identity
Every person registered under the Indian Act can enter and remain in Canada by right as per subsection A19(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS), more commonly referred to as the Status card, is an identity document issued by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada confirming that the cardholder is registered as a Status Indian under the Indian Act.

Note: The Certificate of Indian Status (CIS) was replaced by the SCIS in 2009. Existing versions of the CIS will remain valid until their renewal date.

If you plan to travel to or transit through the U.S., we encourage you to visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information concerning the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, and the requirements to enter or return to the U.S.

------------------------------------------
* All the text copy pasted from CIC website. Font sizes are by default, as posted by the source.
 
Last edited:

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
14,905
7,588
Which is to say, if the PR card does not arrive in time for your trip abroad, but you can return via the U.S., to cross the Canada/U.S. border using private transportation, and when you reach the border present a home country passport, there should be no problem. Presenting an expired PR card or a copy of the CoPR might make it easier, but frankly it should go fairly easily anyway.
To emphasize a point I referred to above in passing.

I would strongly recommend to all PRs travelling abroad, with or without all the documentation in the world including valid PR cards: you should know your UCI and PR card number* and have a record of it somewhere safe, i.e. with a friend or family member. Even better to have both a trusted person with photocopies and electronic copies you and/or that trusted person can access.

With your PR card number/UCI number, IRCC (and CBSA and Canadian consular missions abroad and some other important agencies) should always be able to identify you. I'm not saying they will all do what you want, but the 'unique client identifier' is designed precisely for that - to let them uniquely identify a person. Lose your PR card or it seems damaged or whatever - the UCI will help narrow things down, probably to the esxact individual.

Or as it applies to this case: should a PR pitch up at a land border and have solid identification (eg foreign passport) and know their UCI / have a photocopy of their PR card (UCI number), that will do it in a large number of cases. The cbsa officer will look it up.

Still preferable to have your valid PR card. If the database is down, you may have trouble. You may get more questions or have to wait. If your file is really old and there are 12 other Johns Smiths with the same birthday (or Sarah Manning for the scifi fans), it may take some time and be unpleasant.

PR cards are preferable. But that does not mean having the valid PR card is a hard requirement - recommendations are different than requirements.

*These are, to my knowledge, actually the same number.