I need to leave Canada but do not have my PR card yet. What should I do?

Ideally, you should wait until you have your Permanent Resident (PR) card. If you must leave Canada, you should apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document from a Canadian visa office abroad as soon as you reach your destination.

The only official documents that permanent residents of Canada can use to travel back to Canada on a commercial carrier (by air, land or sea) are the PR card or a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD), also known as a Travel Document (Permanent Resident Abroad) issued by a Canadian visa office abroad.

If you are entering Canada in a private vehicle, such as your own car, and you do not present your PR card, you may be able to show other immigration documents.

For more information, read Do I really need a PR card to travel back to Canada?

It is important that you check the expiry date of your PR card before you travel. If you need to renew it, you should apply before you travel. Find more information about renewing a PR card.

If You Recently Arrived in Canada

If you gave Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) an address in Canada, but you left before the card was mailed to you, you can ask your family or friends who live at that address to send you the PR card. You can then re-enter Canada with your PR Card. However, if you do this, you are taking a risk.

If you have arrived and have not yet given IRCC a mailing address, and you left Canada, you should apply for a Travel Document (Permanent Resident Abroad) before you try to re-enter Canada. This application must be submitted to a Canadian visa office abroad.

This Travel Document can only be used once. If you apply, you are not guaranteed to get the Travel Document. It is up to the officer at the visa office to decide if you will get it or not.

Some travel companies also require valid PR documents to be presented when you leave Canada with a return ticket already booked. You may wish to check the company's policy before making your travel plans.

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Last updated: April 30, 2024 4000504