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I've been accepted as a protected person in Canada. How do I apply for permanent resident status?

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I've been accepted as a protected person in Canada. How do I apply for permanent resident status?

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I've been accepted as a protected person in Canada. How do I apply for permanent resident status?
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Reviewed: 
February 3, 2020
Answer

You can apply for permanent resident status as a protected person if:

A permanent resident is someone who is allowed to live in Canada but who is not a Canadian citizen. Most permanent residents are citizens of other countries. Some are stateless.

As a permanent resident, you have the right to:

  • live, work, and study anywhere in Canada
  • get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, such as healthcare and employment insurance
  • be protected by Canadian law

You don't have the right to:

  • vote in elections or run for Canadian political office
  • apply for a Canadian passport
  • travel outside of Canada for a long time
  • work in some jobs that need a high-level security clearance

And, in some situations, you can lose your permanent resident status in Canada.

There is no deadline to apply for permanent residence status but it's a good idea to apply as soon as possible. It can take up to two years or longer to become a permanent resident.

Travel

If you must travel outside of Canada before you get your PR card, you will need to apply for a Travel document for protected persons, also called a Refugee Travel Document. Don't apply for a passport from your home country, even if you are not travelling there. If you apply for a passport from your home country, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) can make an application to cancel your protected person status.

Once you are a permanent resident, you should only travel outside of Canada with a valid PR Card. Your PR card shows that you have permanent resident status in Canada.

But, if you spend too much time outside of Canada, you could lose your permanent resident status. The general rule is that over a period of 5 years, you must be in Canada for at least 2 years of that time, in total. That's the same as 730 days. The 730 days don't have to be one after the other. And part of a day counts as a full day.

It's important to get legal advice about your situation before you travel outside of Canada for a long time.

Apply for Canadian citizenship

To become a Canadian citizen, you must first be a permanent resident. Many permanent residents apply for citizenship as soon as they can show that they qualify.

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