id cardBeginning April 20, 2012, most permanent residents who require permanent resident (PR) cards will no longer have to pick up these cards at a Citizenship and Immigration Canada office. Instead, through a new pilot project, they will be able to receive their cards by mail.

Permanent resident cards must be renewed every five years. On average, about 150,000 of these cards are issued yearly by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). It is expected that by mailing directly to recipients, wait times for new cards may be decreased by as much as four weeks. In addition, it will lessen the travel burden placed on PR holders who live far away from a processing office.

A select portion of PR card recipients will still be required to receive their cards at a CIC office. This will allow officers to gather information that will help to further streamline portions of the PR system. When necessary, CIC will refer PR card applications to local offices to assure program compliance.

Individuals who receive their PR card in the mail will have their old card automatically invalidated, and will be required to destroy it upon receipt of their new card. The direct mail-out program is a pilot project that will be reassessed in a year’s time.