Explain why you should not lose your status

Do permanent residents lose their status if they spend time outside Canada?
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Explain why you should not lose your status

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) may think that you did not meet your residency obligation.

You may not agree. For example, you may be able to show that time you spent outside Canada time you spent outside Canada should be included.

And before IRCC or CBSA decides that you should lose your status as a permanent resident, they can also consider whether there are humanitarian and compassionate reasons for you to keep your status. They should give you a chance to tell them about any reasons you have.

If you can, get legal help if you're in this situation.

What are humanitarian and compassionate reasons

You can give any reasons why you think you should not lose your permanent resident status.

The types of reasons that IRCC or CBSA should consider include:

  • the number of days by which you missed the residency requirement
  • how long you've been a permanent resident
  • why you stayed outside Canada as long as you did, for example, you or a family member were sick so you had to stay away from Canada longer
  • whether you came back to Canada as soon as you could after staying away too long
  • whether someone or something stopped you from coming back to Canada sooner, for example, a delay in getting your passport

Other examples of reasons include:

  • whether you did not meet your residency obligation for reasons that you could not control, for example, you left Canada with your parents when you were a child and they did not come back
  • how settled in Canada you are, for example, whether you have a job and a home here
  • whether you've made connections that suggest you're settled in another country, for example, you bought a home or got a job there
  • how you stayed connected to Canada while you were gone, for example, keeping a home here
  • whether anyone would suffer hardship if you were removed from Canada, for example, family members you support financially

IRCC and CBSA must also think about any children who would be directly affected by a decision they make. This is called considering the best interests of a child.

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Law Society of Ontario
Reviewed: March 12, 2019

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