Citizenship and Immigration Canada
|This is not
a legal document. For legal information, consult the Immigration
and Refugee Protection Act and its Regulations.
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.
and Immigration Canada (CIC) administers the Immigration and
Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act. Our mission
is to build a stronger Canada by
the benefits from the global movement of people;
refugees at home and abroad;
membership in Canadian society; and
access to Canada.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE
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
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.
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
- accompanying a
Canadian spouse or common-law partner, or are a child accompanying a
- employed on a
full-time basis by a Canadian business or the Public Service of Canada;
- 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
WHAT HAPPENS IF RESIDENCY
OBLIGATIONS ARE NOT MET
Failure to comply
with residency obligations may result in the loss of permanent residence
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.
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
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.
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.
of Returning Resident Permit Under the new Act, such permits
will no longer be issued.
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.
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