Canada Immigration and Visa Information Center. Services include Canadian Immigration and Student Visas.
Canada immigration
visa immigration Canada
Canada Immigration Canadian employment
Canada Visa
Immigration to Canada
Canadian Citizenship
Immigration to Canada services
Canada Immigration and Visa Help Center

Immigration Discussion
Free Online Evaluation
Canada Immigration
Canada Visa
Study in Canada
Canada Citizenship
Advise for
           Health Care
           Social Insurance Number
           Language Training
           Budgeting, Banking and Saving
           Rights and Freedoms
           Canada Government
           Keeping your Residence Permit
Canadian Employment
Canada Universities
Privacy Statement
Site Map
Contact Us

Citizenship and Immigration Canada


This is not a legal document. For legal information, consult the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its Regulations.


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) administers the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act. Our mission is to build a stronger Canada by

  • maximizing the benefits from the global movement of people;
  • protecting refugees at home and abroad;
  • defining membership in Canadian society; and
  • managing access to Canada.
Permanent residence status gives a non-Canadian the right to live in Canada. Permanent residents enjoy most of the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens. They must meet certain residency obligations to maintain their status.


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officers grant permanent resident status. CIC officers abroad and in Canada review cases to ensure that permanent residents meet residency obligations. Decisions on whether a permanent resident has satisfied their residency obligations may be made abroad, at a port of entry or in Canada. These decisions may be appealed to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board, which is independent of CIC.


Permanent residents have a right to enter Canada. Like Canadian citizens, permanent residents also enjoy all the rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms such as equality rights, legal rights, mobility rights, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of association. However, permanent residents cannot run for political office nor are they eligible to vote until they obtain Canadian citizenship.

As a general rule, permanent residents may apply for citizenship after accumulating three years of residence in Canada. To acquire Canadian citizenship, applicants must demonstrate a knowledge of either English or French, Canada as a nation, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.


Permanent residents comply with residency obligations if they accumulate two years of physical presence in Canada in every five-year period. If they are outside Canada for extended periods of time, they can accumulate residency days if they are:

  • accompanying a Canadian spouse or common-law partner, or are a child accompanying a parent;
  • employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or the Public Service of Canada; or
  • the accompanying spouse, common-law partner or child of a permanent resident who is outside Canada and who is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or the Public Service of Canada.

Under the transitional provisions, a permanent resident in possession of a Returning Resident Permit will be able to count time spent outside Canada for the purpose of satisfying residency obligations.

When making residency decisions, officers can take into account humanitarian and compassionate concerns. Officers will consider the best interests of a child who would be affected by the decision.

The assessment of residency obligations for a person who has been a permanent resident for more than five years, will be limited to the five years immediately preceding the examination.


Failure to comply with residency obligations may result in the loss of permanent residence status.

In Canada

When a permanent resident fails to meet residency obligations, CIC officers may issue a departure order that requires that person to leave Canada. The decision to issue a departure order may be appealed to the IAD within 30 days of receiving the notification. Permanent residency status will be lost if the decision is not appealed.


When a permanent resident does not meet residency obligations while abroad, CIC officers may inform that person in writing that they have failed to meet their residency obligations. Information on appeal procedures will be provided at that time. Permanent residency status will be lost if an appeal is not received by the IAD within 60 days of a permanent resident receiving the written non-compliance notification.


Permanent residents, in Canada or abroad, who a CIC officer decides have failed to meet their residency obligations, can appeal to the IAD of the Immigration and Refugee Board.

In certain circumstances, permanent residents who are determined to have failed to satisfy their residency obligations while abroad may be issued a temporary travel document so that they can return to Canada to attend their appeal hearing.

Members of the IAD hear appeals. The hearings are held in public and operate much like a regular court. However, rules of evidence are more flexible and the IAD can consider any evidence that it believes is credible and trustworthy. When making a decision, its members consider questions of law and fact and, in some situations, humanitarian and compassionate concerns.


Elimination of the concept of intent to abandon Canada The new Act establishes clear and objective criteria based on physical presence in Canada rather than on factors establishing intent not to abandon Canada.

Elimination of Returning Resident Permit Under the new Act, such permits will no longer be issued.

Longer absences from Canada Under the new Act, permanent residents may be outside of Canada for three years in every five-year period. This allows permanent residents and accompanying family members to be absent from Canada for longer periods of time without the risk of losing their status.

Determination of residency status Under the new Act, CIC officers abroad now have the authority to make decisions on whether a permanent resident has or has not satisfied their residency obligations.


© Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2002
Cat. No.: Ci51-111/2002-7
ISBN 0-662-66639-9


©2002-2007 All Rights Reserved.
Canadian Visa and Relocation Services.

Canadian Immigration Visa, relocation, and employment services. Temporary Visa to Canada.
Immigration to Canada Employment in Canada and Canadian citizenship and emigration services.
Emmigration to Canada and imigration forms. Emigrate and USA emmigration and green card.
Canada Green card which is named by Canadian citizenship within Canada.