Canada Residency Obligations Overview

In order to sustain a permanent residence in Canada, an individual must meet a residency obligation. The residency obligation refers to a person’s physical presence inside Canada for a specific period of time.

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Canada’s residency obligation for permanent residents requires an individual to be physically present inside Canada for a minimum of 730 days within a five-year period, or to satisfy one of the subsequent situations:

  • The individual is outside of Canada accompanying a Canadian citizen who is their spouse or common-law partner, or the person is a child accompanying their parent;
  • The person is outside of Canada employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or within the public service of Canada or of a Canadian province;
  • The person is an accompanying spouse, common-law partner, or child of a permanent resident who is outside Canada and is used on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or within the public service of Canada or of a Canadian province.

Usually, whether a permanent resident has met their residency obligations or not, is assessed during the time they are applying for a permanent resident card renewal, permanent resident travel document (PRTD), or Canadian citizenship.

Please note that if an individual has Canadian permanent residence for over five years, the residency obligation will be calculated on the basis of the five years before the exact date the application was received by the visa office.

If an individual has been a Canadian permanent resident for fewer than five years, they’ll be eligible to submit an application for a permanent resident card renewal or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) provided they’re going to demonstrate that they will be capable of meeting the 730 days physical presence day within the five year period.

Determination of Status

A permanent resident of Canada can only lose their status through an official determination of status. Any time a permanent resident applies for a permanent residence card renewal or a permanent resident travel document (PRTD), a visa officer will conduct a formal determination of status to ascertain if the person has met their residency obligations and has no other barriers from renewal.

Until this formal determination has been completed an individual will technically remain a permanent resident of Canada. If a permanent resident is aware that they are yet to meet their residency obligation, they’ll formally renounce their permanent resident status.

Residency Obligations and Provincial Nominations

Canadian citizens and permanent residents have the authority to stay and work in whichever province of Canada they desire, as found in Section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

These rights begin when the Canadian permanent residence is activated. It is of utmost importance important to note that while Canadian citizens and permanent residents have constitutionally protected mobility rights, Canadian law determines that immigrants belonging to the provincial nomination class must stay within the province that has nominated them.

If the intention of an applicant to reside within the selecting province is found to have been insincere, the applicant risk being found guilty of misrepresentation which may end in loss of their permanent residence status and inadmissibility to Canada for five years.

Misrepresentation in Canada is a criminal offense and may have devastating effects on your immigration application and standing in Canada. Applicants curious about selection by a Canadian province must show intention to reside within the province upon landing.

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