Requesting CIC to extend PR card - Already past 3 years from soft-landing and unable to maintain residency obligation

Context -

My wife, my son and I have a Canadian PR Card dated Dec 2018 and expiring in Dec 2023. We did our soft landing in Sep 2018 and returned back to the US, where we live on an H1B visa.

Given that it is Sep 2021 already, there is practically no way that I can move to Canada and maintain my ‘2 of out 5 years’ requirement come renewal time. The nature of my job and my belief system will not let me stay cooped in Canada for the next 2 years without the possibility of traveling out of the country.

Potentially Relevant Facts -
(i) In 2020, I tried to get a transfer from the US to Canada with my employer, but Covid struck, layoffs occurred and my transfer request did not progress any further with my company’s HR. I have emails documenting my request for transfer etc.
(ii) My son had some ongoing health conditions which he was getting treated for here. And an international move would have been a disruption.

I am evaluating my options currently and need help thinking through them -

  1. Option 1 (Preferred) - Contact CIC to see if they will extend my PR card validity by another 2-3 years so that I can plan to move to Canada in the next 6-12 months without getting into trouble come renewal time. This is probably the only way I will move to Canada as my travelling job will require a sufficient buffer.

QUESTION - Is Option 1 doable and does CIC extend PR cards upon somewhat reasonable requests*? If yes, did anyone use a Canadian immigration attorney to get this done? Any suggestions and guidance would be most welcome.

Option 2 - Contact CIC and give up PR - Likely the default action if I cannot extend PR card.

Option 3 - Not really an Option I will consider - Move to Canada and either stay cooped in for 2 years or try to argue humanitarian and compassionate grounds in court. I don’t want to sign up for the uncertainty and the hassle, which IMO would be worse than being on H1B.

Thanks all!

I hope this does not serve to hijack the thread, but on a more general note has there been any indication from CIC regarding some flexibility in residency requirements due to covid situation? My 3 years ends sometime next year and I have to face a similar choice.

Hi @Canadabound,

I feel that if you try to make any request without moving to Canada will mostly get turned down, because IRCC will think that you are not serious about moving to Canada. (I am not sure if your kid’s medical condition can work in your favor and IRCC extend your PR Card).

I would recommend you to apply to IRCC for extending PR Card and at the same time prepare for moving as well. And lets say if IRCC comes back in 2 months with there decision to extend or not, then you can make call based of it.

If IRCC approves your request then you can defer your move to later time.

But lets say god forbid and IRCC doesn’t extend the PR Card, then still continue with your move when you plan to move (sometime middle of next year) and again request IRCC for extending PR Card after staying there for a year and show your commitment by showing them that you have a job offer/buying house and so on. And hopefully they consider it. I have read it online on some other forum too, people did this and IRCC extended the PR Card.

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Do you have a Canadian job offer in hand? When could you move to Canada at the earliest?
If the answers to the first question is no and the second question is that you have no imminent plans for moving, then I’m not really sure what reasonable grounds are on which you are seeking an extension.

It sounds like you had applied for Canadian PR as a backup (at the beginning so had I, so no judgement or issues with that) but for your particular life circumstances moving to Canada didn’t make sense (again totally cool). What sounds a little odd is your preferred Option 1, it sounds like you believe that you are entitled to special rules and wish for IRCC to extend your Permanent Residence without meeting your obligations of the residence requirements. Whether you have documentation that you sought a transfer is frankly immaterial. If your child needed treatment for something that wouldn’t have been available in Canada, then in my opinion, that would make a very good case for seeking an extension (but since your PR isn’t expired yet, there is no need for an extension).

If I was to put myself in the shoes of an adjudicating official I would not rule in your favour(except if your child had medical needs that couldn’t be taken care of in Canada), there are other people who are more motivated to move to Canada and it would be extremely unfair to them if cases such as this were entertained over theirs.

All that said, you’re still a Canadian Permanent resident and have the absolute right to come settle into Canada at any time till your status is valid, furthermore this status isn’t automatically revoked so should you change your mind about wanting to settle in Canada the doors will be open wide for you. If you however plan to not settle down then I do recommend relinquishing your PR before it expires and comes due for renewal so that if you were to attempt to immigrate back to Canada at a point in the future this isn’t held against you.

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I’m on similar situation. My PR expires in Aug 2023. I’m planning to move Jan/Feb next year. I’m not sure if I will face issues at port of entry in case I have to travel out of Canada to India to visit my parents before I complete my 2 year residency requirements. Any thoughts on this?

As long as your PR card hasn’t expired you shouldn’t have any problems at the port of entry. If you move in Jan 2022, then you should be able to freely travel till Aug 2023 and then renew your PR card after Jan 2024 when you complete your 2 out of 5 years residence requirement.

If you travel out of Canada with an expired PR card then you either need to come back via the land border from the USA or will need to apply for a PRTD from the Canadian embassy in India or another country that you’re in. One of the things that they ask for is your residence in Canada details in the PRTD document but there’s no automatic rejection even if you don’t meet the requirements, this will be evaluated by an officer and you will get a chance to explain the reasons for not meeting the requirements. Whether it is approved or not I can’t say but do know that you will not lose your Permanent Residence unless you surrender it willingly or an immigration court decides against you. My personal recommendation would be to avoid travelling when your PR card is expired but there are unforeseen circumstances where this might not be possible and if it so happens then you can explore alternate options that I have suggested.

Hi Panditji!
I want to understand this scenario. Let’s say, I have my PR card in hand. So soft landing is done and I did not relocate to Canada within 3 years. I won’t be able to satisfy the residency requirement during my move after 3 years.

What happens in a situation like this? Depending on the border agent they may report for removal proceedings at their discretion? Or can I move anytime in the first 5 years since I have a valid PR card to enter the country and just stay within Canada while my PR card has expired, satisfy the residency requirement, and then get the PR card renewal. Does a situation like this allow me to travel in and out of Canada while my PR card is still valid? Or each time the risk of reporting me for potentially not being able to fulfill my obligations exist?

Just wanted to find out what are the possible outcomes for someone who clearly will not be able to satisfy the residency requirement (from a PR card validity dates perspective), but can satisfy it by staying in Canada during its expiry and renewing it when they satisfy the residency obligations. My understanding was this may not be possible since there are high chances of reporting during initial move itself.

Or, the possibility of not being able to meet residency obligations looked differently when someone makes their move within 3 years and then travel in and out of Canada as per their situation thereby likely failing the requirement. In such cases, will the prospect of not reporting occur since they already made the move to call Canada home?

Jai Shri Ram random person.

I will heave to speculate a little bit to answer your question as a lot of how the interaction goes depends on the particular officer you encounter at the border. Most likely what will happen is at the border, the officer will try to coerce you to voluntarily renounce your PR. Do note that you can’t be denied entry to Canada because you are a permanent resident nor can any sort of removal proceedings be started (not right-away). They can put a note in the system for IRCC to review and open a case in an immigration court where you will need to go before a judge and be given a chance to explain why you couldn’t meet the residence requirements.

Assuming IRCC doesn’t start proceedings against you and your PR card has expired, you can legally and lawfully continue to live in Canada as a permanent resident and when you satisfy the residency requirements (the residence requirements are in a rolling time window), you can reapply for a PR card and be issued one without any problem.

My personal interpretation is that realistically you can come and settle in Canada anytime within the first 5 years (i.e. while your PR card is valid), it doesn’t need to be within the first three. As long as you are serious about settling in Canada, you shouldn’t have any problems. Even if you come in year 4 hypothetically and IRCC was to open a case against you there would be somewhat of a backlog for the case to become current and reach a judge and at which time if you’re living in Canada, employed here, paying your taxes and have no criminal record etc it’s highly unlikely that any judge will order your PR revoked and issue a deportation order. This has to be amongst the lowest in priority order from an immigration enforcement perspective. So yeah, the residence requirement is just to weed out folks who are not serious about establishing residence in Canada and not to penalize folks who got caught up in life and got delayed somewhat.

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That was what I was wondering, because we do not often see what happens when someone moves after 3 years. Most people move before that or assume they can’t. Atleast those are the common scenarios that I came across online. So I was curious. I hope people make their decisions without falling into this scenario.

Thank you for the explanation panditji.

Thanks everyone for your detailed answer.

@panditji - The reason I prefer Option 1 over Option 2 and 3 is not that I feel like I am entitled to an exception. I don’t even understand why you think it is odd :slight_smile: The reality is that I am already past the 3 year mark and cannot realistically retain my PR without being in a situation where I can’t leave Canada for a period of time after my PR expires and before I am eligible to renew it. And I don’t want to be in that situation where I can’t travel if I need to.

So it is in my best interest if can extend my window to enter Canada without the hassle of being reported and having to show up in court. And I am acting in pure self interest here, just like most people would do.

So if there are examples of people who are moving past the 3 year mark post landing, without being reported or having to stay holed up in Canada, I would love to know how they are doing that and if CIC is granting any flexibility/ extension for folks who were not able to move during COVID. Thanks!