If you think that you are not a Canadian permanent resident anymore, most likely it is not so
PR status in Canada is not lost until revoked
Maintain your permanent resident status after immigrating to Canada
Even though the permanent resident status in Canada is given for a lifetime, you can lose it if you don't fulfill certain obligations. The most important requirement is to be physically present in Canada for at least 2 years out of any 5-year period. If you spend too much time outside Canada and fail to meet this obligation, your permanent resident status can be revoked.
As expected, committing any criminal offense or any action causing a removal order to be enforced against you will result in loss or your PR status as well. A permanent resident can also voluntarily renounce their residency status or lose it by becoming a Canadian citizen.
Expired PR card does not mean lost PR status
When you become a permanent resident of Canada you receive a permanent resident (PR) card as proof of your legal status in the country. A permanent resident card is valid for five years. If a permanent resident card expires it does not mean that you lose your permanent resident status — exactly as you do not cease being a citizen of a country when your travel passport expires.
It is important to renew your permanent resident card for being able to return to Canada from abroad, as it is required on the border after you have travelled outside of Canada.
Maintaining your PR status if your residency obligation is not met
There are certain scenarios that exist, which allows you to still meet the residency obligation even if you have been residing outside of Canada for a prolonged period of time.
This applies to Canadian permanent residents, who work for Canadian companies and have to spend an extended amount of time outside of the country due to their job commitments -- an indemnity is also extended to their accompanying Canadian spouses and children, if any. Once the necessary paperwork is submitted, detailing the nature of such a scenario and is corroborated by the Canadian authorities then there should be no problem.
Could your PR status be in jeopardy? Seek legal advice first!
One of the most unpleasant things that could happen to you while you are abroad is to discover that your Canadian permanent resident card is about to expire. Unfortunately, there is no PR card renewal service available when you’re outside of Canada.
Many people in this situation contact the Canadian consulate or embassy abroad thinking it is their best option. However, taking this approach may prove to do more harm than good, and may potentially result in revocation of their PR status.
Before contacting the Canadian authorities abroad, it is wise to first approach an immigration lawyer to discuss your situation. They will help to find a secure and better solution with your best interest in mind.
We work with the most complex cases of PR status restoration
We have solid and proven experience in assisting our clients with restoration of permanent resident status procedures and offer other related services.