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Returning back to Canada with expired PR card (travelling to Mexico in 3 weeks)

S2jennys2

Newbie
Jan 14, 2018
2
0
I found out that my PR card expired couple months ago and submitted my application for renewing PR card on November 28th.

My PR card expired on May 12 2016 and I just totally forgot about it and booked a trip to Cancun in August. Now the problem is... I'm waiting for my PR card to come but I'm not sure I'll receive it due to holiday season and new years..

Would I be able to get back to Canada with expired PR card?
I have lived in Canada since 2006 so I fulfill all the necessary requirements. But I just want to make sure I can leave and enter the country.

Thank you so much for your help!
 

Rob_TO

VIP Member
Nov 7, 2012
11,450
1,546
Toronto
Category........
FAM
Visa Office......
Seoul, Korea
App. Filed.......
13-07-2012
AOR Received.
18-08-2012
File Transfer...
21-08-2012
Med's Done....
Sent with App
Passport Req..
N/R - Exempt
VISA ISSUED...
30-10-2012
LANDED..........
16-11-2012
Sure you can enter Canada no problem, but it's getting here that will be a big issue. In order to board an airplane from Cancun to Canada, you must show a valid PR card or PR Travel Document to the airline at check-in, no exceptions. Without these, you will be denied boarding at the airport and stranded in Cancun.

So if your PR card doesn't arrive in time you only have 2 options:
1. Apply for PR TD when you arrive in Cancun. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/application-forms-guides/application-permanent-resident-travel-document.html
The Visa Application Centre is in Mexico city, so you'd need to mail the PT TD app plus your passport there, have them process the PR TD, and mail it back to your resort in Cancun. This may take some time, so you may need a couple of weeks there at least to sort it out.

2. Rearrange your return flight to go to USA instead. Then you can simply go to Canada land border and enter with just your expired PR card. CBSA will easily be able to look up your valid PR status.
 

S2jennys2

Newbie
Jan 14, 2018
2
0
Sure you can enter Canada no problem, but it's getting here that will be a big issue. In order to board an airplane from Cancun to Canada, you must show a valid PR card or PR Travel Document to the airline at check-in, no exceptions. Without these, you will be denied boarding at the airport and stranded in Cancun.

So if your PR card doesn't arrive in time you only have 2 options:
1. Apply for PR TD when you arrive in Cancun. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/application-forms-guides/application-permanent-resident-travel-document.html
The Visa Application Centre is in Mexico city, so you'd need to mail the PT TD app plus your passport there, have them process the PR TD, and mail it back to your resort in Cancun. This may take some time, so you may need a couple of weeks there at least to sort it out.

2. Rearrange your return flight to go to USA instead. Then you can simply go to Canada land border and enter with just your expired PR card. CBSA will easily be able to look up your valid PR status.

Thank you for a prompt reply!

So I currently have a Korean passport, would I just be able to apply for a visitor visa and board on the plane from Cancun?
I'm only staying in Cancun for 5 days, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get the PR TD...
 

Rob_TO

VIP Member
Nov 7, 2012
11,450
1,546
Toronto
Category........
FAM
Visa Office......
Seoul, Korea
App. Filed.......
13-07-2012
AOR Received.
18-08-2012
File Transfer...
21-08-2012
Med's Done....
Sent with App
Passport Req..
N/R - Exempt
VISA ISSUED...
30-10-2012
LANDED..........
16-11-2012
Thank you for a prompt reply!

So I currently have a Korean passport, would I just be able to apply for a visitor visa and board on the plane from Cancun?
I'm only staying in Cancun for 5 days, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get the PR TD...
No, as a PR you are not eligible to apply for any visa or eTA. The 2 options I listed above, are your only 2 options.

With only 5 days in Mexico a PR TD may not be possible. You could always try with request for urgent processing, but if there were any delays you would be stuck in Cancun until you got your passport back. So you should possibly plan to re-route your return flight to USA and enter via land border.

Or, delay the trip entirely until you get your PR card delivered.
 
Last edited:
Jan 17, 2018
5
0
while you're correct in the 2 options... there is more to it, unfortunately.
IRCC and long processing times are a very serious issue. You can not be blocked of travelling completely when process are seriously slow.
Without going in discussion as to why things are slow the following is valid, but oh so grey information:
- showing up for boarding in a boat, bus or airplane with an expired PR card is a serious problem.
- the problem is especially for the airline company. NOT for Canada or the CBSA. For them, you're still a PR. If you show up at the land border with an expired PR card, they'll ask question as to why, but MAY NOT DENY you entry!
- the actual problem for the airline company is that they must pay an extremely high processing fee ($3500) if you are denied entry into Canada for whatever reason. So this is what the ariline/bus company wants to prevent. (the fee contains a "cost of deportation", like a flight back to the country you came from.
- there are IT systems in place to contain the data of the passengers and data can be verified against. What is verified? mainly the PR file number XXXX-YYYY. That number "must exist". That's it. With that number there is easily to get proof for a PR status. One phone call could do the job.
- It is TOTALLY ok to charge a fee for a PRTD for return to Canada.
- it is ABSURD that you ONLY can apply for it, while abroad. It is further INSANE that that process is more cumbersome than applying for the actual PR card. Trazillion more questions and document requirements that you do NOT have abroad... It's UNREASONABLE that the process takes a week.

What if you lose your PR Card. The silly small thing is easy to loose. People lose everything nowadays?

so yes, crap happens. We're all humans and forget things. Is it normal to forget to renew your PR card? Yes... as it is NOT and should NOT be a critical travel document.
Especially for people that can simply apply for a eTa, things shouldn't be that critical. If you would normally need a real visitor visa: yes, expect to be denied boarding. The risk for the airline company is high that you might be denied entry into Canada.

For those people that can apply for an eTa: Funny enough, those airport/gate staff tell you to apply for an eTa if you have an expired eTa. If you do so, believing that staff, you get an immediate response from the system WITH your file number XXXX-YYYY that you're a permanent resident and cannot apply for eTa. They can only process your eTa if you drop your PR status. Not it either.

The denied boarding is actually not even needed for those from the eTa "easy" countries. IF they let you through due to a good story... the CBSA in Canada upon arrival literally doesn't give an s about it.

What is seriously concerning is that a genuine traveller, from one of the eTa possible countries (Europe) that is a PR in Canada can travel EVERYWHERE in the world.... except flying home to Canada to family and his/her house. That is totally UNACCEPTABLE. Just because of an administrative issue.
The tardy processes and denied boarding might result in unreasonable high cost for one person... just because Canada can't get their processes straight.
 

Rob_TO

VIP Member
Nov 7, 2012
11,450
1,546
Toronto
Category........
FAM
Visa Office......
Seoul, Korea
App. Filed.......
13-07-2012
AOR Received.
18-08-2012
File Transfer...
21-08-2012
Med's Done....
Sent with App
Passport Req..
N/R - Exempt
VISA ISSUED...
30-10-2012
LANDED..........
16-11-2012
while you're correct in the 2 options... there is more to it, unfortunately.
IRCC and long processing times are a very serious issue. You can not be blocked of travelling completely when process are seriously slow.
Without going in discussion as to why things are slow the following is valid, but oh so grey information:
- showing up for boarding in a boat, bus or airplane with an expired PR card is a serious problem.
- the problem is especially for the airline company. NOT for Canada or the CBSA. For them, you're still a PR. If you show up at the land border with an expired PR card, they'll ask question as to why, but MAY NOT DENY you entry!
- the actual problem for the airline company is that they must pay an extremely high processing fee ($3500) if you are denied entry into Canada for whatever reason. So this is what the ariline/bus company wants to prevent. (the fee contains a "cost of deportation", like a flight back to the country you came from.
- there are IT systems in place to contain the data of the passengers and data can be verified against. What is verified? mainly the PR file number XXXX-YYYY. That number "must exist". That's it. With that number there is easily to get proof for a PR status. One phone call could do the job.
- It is TOTALLY ok to charge a fee for a PRTD for return to Canada.
- it is ABSURD that you ONLY can apply for it, while abroad. It is further INSANE that that process is more cumbersome than applying for the actual PR card. Trazillion more questions and document requirements that you do NOT have abroad... It's UNREASONABLE that the process takes a week.

What if you lose your PR Card. The silly small thing is easy to loose. People lose everything nowadays?

so yes, crap happens. We're all humans and forget things. Is it normal to forget to renew your PR card? Yes... as it is NOT and should NOT be a critical travel document.
Especially for people that can simply apply for a eTa, things shouldn't be that critical. If you would normally need a real visitor visa: yes, expect to be denied boarding. The risk for the airline company is high that you might be denied entry into Canada.

For those people that can apply for an eTa: Funny enough, those airport/gate staff tell you to apply for an eTa if you have an expired eTa. If you do so, believing that staff, you get an immediate response from the system WITH your file number XXXX-YYYY that you're a permanent resident and cannot apply for eTa. They can only process your eTa if you drop your PR status. Not it either.

The denied boarding is actually not even needed for those from the eTa "easy" countries. IF they let you through due to a good story... the CBSA in Canada upon arrival literally doesn't give an s about it.

What is seriously concerning is that a genuine traveller, from one of the eTa possible countries (Europe) that is a PR in Canada can travel EVERYWHERE in the world.... except flying home to Canada to family and his/her house. That is totally UNACCEPTABLE. Just because of an administrative issue.
The tardy processes and denied boarding might result in unreasonable high cost for one person... just because Canada can't get their processes straight.
Before the eTA system was introduced, too many PRs not meeting their residency obligation were easily sneaking back into Canada posing as visitors on just their visa exempt passport, without ever being assessed for RO by CBSA or IRCC. With current system, a PR not meeting RO must now be assessed first by applying for PR TD, or by taking their chances showing up at a land border. So for this reason, the new system is actually good.

IRCC also wants PRs assessed before ever boarding a plane, so it takes away the burden of doing this by CBSA at the airport who don't even notice the RO violation of lots of PRs.

I agree getting a PR TD can be a very annoying and overly complex process. In some countries they are super fast (some get them in a couple day) but in other counties they can take several weeks even for what should be simple cases. They should have an expedited system that can be used for straightforward cases, but doubtful this will ever happen.
 
Last edited:

Quiches

Star Member
Nov 26, 2017
77
60
As someone whose PR renewal went into secondary review and took a little under a year to arrive (and within a year of extensive travelling and had to apply for a PRTD), here is my (strictly personal and circumstantial) advice:

1. If you:
a. are travelling strictly for personal leisure
b. do not see yourself as going abroad again soon (within a 6-month period)
c. the thought of missing five days of vacation will not perturb you for the rest of your life
d. the cost of cancelling/ delaying the trip is not too significant for you

Try not to go abroad. I know it is quite unfair that one has to put on hold one's personal life for IRCC's logistical backlogs but if you are only in Cancun for five days (which is almost definitively not enough for a PRTD), it will be even more complicated to re-enter Canada. You may have to extend your stay in Mexico at your own cost to wait for a PRTD or get stranded at the airport ---- not situations you want to put yourself in.

2. If you do not meet any one of the assumptions above or know that you will need to travel within the next six months period, I suggest you acquire a PRTD (which is usually good for a year within issuance). To make the best of your situation:

a. Prepare your documents in advance before you leave. Download and fill out the required forms, bring along your evidence, etc. The application is almost exactly the same as a PR card renewal app and many documents you need to request in advance before you leave. However, you cannot apply until you are actually abroad. (which as one poster pointed out above, is very illogical of IRCC)

b. Mail your application as soon as you land in Mexico. Some airports have mailings services within them, do it ASAP.

c. Do follow up with your application (the last thing you want on your mind during a vacation, I can empathize). Send the consulate inquiry by form/ email (depending on the embassy) and make sure it is received and goes into processing (I made a call a day to my consulate abroad, not out of personal will to pester them but as they needed additional information from me. Do not annoyingly overload them with repeated inquiries.)

d. Offer to pick up your passport if the option is given. Depending on the country, the time to mail matters and may be decisive to whether you have to delay your flight back. Picking it up at a mailing agency or at the embassy can save anywhere from 1 - 5 days.

Hopefully, these are helpful and let me know if you have questions!
 
Jan 17, 2018
5
0
people are working and cannot be blocked from going abroad. Because of the administrative issue, one should not be blocked in his free travel. That's even against the Canadian Charter of Freedom and rights. A PR is a a Permanent Resident, until it is revoked from him. The PR card is an administrative item to show for 5 years that you are a PR. ... if you would never apply and never leave the country other than by car, you would still be a PR. There is no need to stay at the airport... the airlines HAVE a valid and legal way around it. The shit happens daily...
It IS more difficult, not so say impossible, though if you're NOT of one of the visa waiver countries. So if you normally would need a visa to get to Canada... yes a PRTD is the only way in. Which is logical as such. But a European with a European Passport as a PR in Canada should not be refused entry just because his PR card is expired and a new one is "in production" due to the severe back log of IRCC.
 

Bs65

VIP Member
Mar 22, 2016
12,270
2,146
people are working and cannot be blocked from going abroad. Because of the administrative issue, one should not be blocked in his free travel. That's even against the Canadian Charter of Freedom and rights. A PR is a a Permanent Resident, until it is revoked from him. The PR card is an administrative item to show for 5 years that you are a PR. ... if you would never apply and never leave the country other than by car, you would still be a PR. There is no need to stay at the airport... the airlines HAVE a valid and legal way around it. The shit happens daily...
It IS more difficult, not so say impossible, though if you're NOT of one of the visa waiver countries. So if you normally would need a visa to get to Canada... yes a PRTD is the only way in. Which is logical as such. But a European with a European Passport as a PR in Canada should not be refused entry just because his PR card is expired and a new one is "in production" due to the severe back log of IRCC.
Maybe clarify for other readers how airlines can get around not having a PR card or a PRTD other than ignoring a board/ no board message even if visa exempt given that maybe implies a PR who is visa exempt can still meet the ETA requirement which they cannot even apply for . As you know PRs are entitled to enter the country whether they have an expired PR card or not it is just the travelling on a plane in the first place that is an issue and airlines become accountable if they do not apply the rules same as they would do allowing someone to board from outside the country with an expired passport, PR card validity is no different really.
 
Last edited:

meyakanor

Hero Member
Jul 26, 2013
497
101
Visa Office......
CPP-Ottawa
App. Filed.......
16-02-2012
Doc's Request.
26-02-2013
AOR Received.
21-03-2012
Med's Request
21-03-2013
Passport Req..
16-04-2013
VISA ISSUED...
29-04-2013
LANDED..........
16-05-2013
people are working and cannot be blocked from going abroad. Because of the administrative issue, one should not be blocked in his free travel. That's even against the Canadian Charter of Freedom and rights. A PR is a a Permanent Resident, until it is revoked from him. The PR card is an administrative item to show for 5 years that you are a PR. ... if you would never apply and never leave the country other than by car, you would still be a PR. There is no need to stay at the airport... the airlines HAVE a valid and legal way around it. The shit happens daily...
It IS more difficult, not so say impossible, though if you're NOT of one of the visa waiver countries. So if you normally would need a visa to get to Canada... yes a PRTD is the only way in. Which is logical as such. But a European with a European Passport as a PR in Canada should not be refused entry just because his PR card is expired and a new one is "in production" due to the severe back log of IRCC.
A PR (regardless of citizenship) showing up at a port of entry, even with no documentation showing PR status can NOT ever be refused entry as long as he/she can establish their identity as a PR (CBSA has the discretion to write a Section 44 report though). It doesn't matter if you are a citizen of visa-exempt countries or non visa exempt countries, in the eyes of Canada, you are a PR, and should not be treated differently. Visa-exempt citizens do still have the advantage in that they can take the bus without having to show PR cards, but I'm actually glad that they make sure that every permanent resident (well, except for US citizens) needs to show their PR card when boarding a plane to Canada.
 

canuck_in_uk

VIP Member
May 4, 2012
31,633
7,054
Visa Office......
London
App. Filed.......
06/12
people are working and cannot be blocked from going abroad. Because of the administrative issue, one should not be blocked in his free travel. That's even against the Canadian Charter of Freedom and rights. A PR is a a Permanent Resident, until it is revoked from him. The PR card is an administrative item to show for 5 years that you are a PR. ... if you would never apply and never leave the country other than by car, you would still be a PR. There is no need to stay at the airport... the airlines HAVE a valid and legal way around it. The shit happens daily...
It IS more difficult, not so say impossible, though if you're NOT of one of the visa waiver countries. So if you normally would need a visa to get to Canada... yes a PRTD is the only way in. Which is logical as such. But a European with a European Passport as a PR in Canada should not be refused entry just because his PR card is expired and a new one is "in production" due to the severe back log of IRCC.
No, the airlines don't have a way around it. The visa-exempt loophole was closed with the implementation of the eTA. If a non-Canadian doesn't have a PR card, PRTD, TRV, eTA or an American passport, they are not boarding a plane to Canada.

As said above, a PR would not be refused entry by CBSA.
 
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Rob_TO

VIP Member
Nov 7, 2012
11,450
1,546
Toronto
Category........
FAM
Visa Office......
Seoul, Korea
App. Filed.......
13-07-2012
AOR Received.
18-08-2012
File Transfer...
21-08-2012
Med's Done....
Sent with App
Passport Req..
N/R - Exempt
VISA ISSUED...
30-10-2012
LANDED..........
16-11-2012
But a European with a European Passport as a PR in Canada should not be refused entry just because his PR card is expired and a new one is "in production" due to the severe back log of IRCC.
A PR who holds a European passport, will be refused in all cases on a flight to Canada if they don't hold a valid PR card or PR Travel Document. There is no discretion or negotiation with the airline around this. This is a rule with the airlines, not a general rules of PRs being admitted into Canada.

There were too many cases before of PRs not in compliance with the RO flying back to Canada on just their visa-exempt passport and sneaking back into the country with RO violation undetected. The eTA rules closed that loophole.
 

Naomi Jones

Newbie
Aug 29, 2018
1
0
I found out that my PR card expired couple months ago and submitted my application for renewing PR card on November 28th.

My PR card expired on May 12 2016 and I just totally forgot about it and booked a trip to Cancun in August. Now the problem is... I'm waiting for my PR card to come but I'm not sure I'll receive it due to holiday season and new years..

Would I be able to get back to Canada with expired PR card?
I have lived in Canada since 2006 so I fulfill all the necessary requirements. But I just want to make sure I can leave and enter the country.

Thank you so much for your help!
I’m curious as to what ended up happening in your case? I’m in a similar situation. Thanks.
 

JCtravels

Newbie
Sep 15, 2018
2
0
I’m curious as to what ended up happening in your case? I’m in a similar situation. Thanks.
I too am in a similar situation. I hold a US passport and am a Canadian PR. My PR card has expired and I am travelling to Portugal in a few weeks. Can I not just fly back just showing my US passport?

Has anyone had any luck boarding a plane with an expired PR card??
 

canuck_in_uk

VIP Member
May 4, 2012
31,633
7,054
Visa Office......
London
App. Filed.......
06/12
I too am in a similar situation. I hold a US passport and am a Canadian PR. My PR card has expired and I am travelling to Portugal in a few weeks. Can I not just fly back just showing my US passport?

Has anyone had any luck boarding a plane with an expired PR card??
You can fly back on your US passport. Don't show the expired card or tell the airline that you are a PR.