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I spent time outside Canada. Could I lose my permanent resident status?
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.
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:
- the Immigration and Refugee Board recognizes as a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection
- a visa officer outside Canada accepts for resettlement to Canada as someone who needs protection
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.
Get legal help if your status as a protected person might be at risk.