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I spent time outside Canada. Could I lose my permanent resident status?

I spent time outside Canada. Could I lose my permanent resident status?
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Reviewed: 
March 12, 2019
Answer

To keep your permanent resident status you must meet what's called a residency obligation. The rules about the residency obligation mean that you can lose your status if you spend too much time outside Canada.

How much time you must spend in Canada

The general rule is that over a period of 5 years, you must be in Canada for at least 2 years. That's the same as 730 days. The 730 days do not have to be one after the other. And part of a day counts as a full day.

In some situations, you can include time spent outside Canada. For example, you may be able to include time spent travelling with a spouse or partner who's a Canadian citizen.

Losing your permanent resident status

You don't lose your permanent resident status automatically, even if you've been outside Canada too long. You're still a permanent resident until there's a decision to take away your status. And there may be things you can do to keep your status. It's important to get legal help.

If you're a permanent resident who's a protected person

A protected person is someone who:

Most people who have a successful Pre-Removal Risk Assessment are also protected persons.

There's a risk you could lose your status as a protected person if you've been to the country that you were afraid to return to. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) could apply to the Immigration and Refugee Board for a cessation order against you.

In some cases, a cessation order can lead to you losing your permanent resident status.

Get legal help if your status as a protected person might be at risk.  

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