Last Updated on January 24, 2019
Delays in renewals of permanent resident cards have left thousands of immigrants without crucial identification in Canada.
With wait times for new cards running into months and years, legal residents of Canada are having trouble conducting their day to day lives, including everything from opening bank accounts and applying for jobs to boarding planes.
Without the vital piece of plastic, permanent residents are having to seek letters from lawyers to prove their status to employers, universities, healthcare providers and provincial governments.
In one case a woman had to fly to the US and attempt to drive across the border because her airline would not let her on the plane without the PR card. Even when she arrived, the Canada Border Services Agency needed the presence of her lawyer to convince them to allow her into the country.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says there were delays last year caused by factors including the increased residency requirement for citizenship after the implementation of Bill C-24, the card itself being upgraded and a surge in urgent applications.
But now the wait time is supposedly 84 days, although some immigrants are reporting otherwise.
A PR card is valid for five years from the date of issue, before requiring renewal. Not having a card does not affect an immigrant’s status, but the problem arises when proof is required.
New immigrants receive landing papers on arrival that act as proof until the physical card arrives.
Now there are calls for a similar form to be issued as part of the renewal procedure, giving that crucial proof and saving thousands of people an administrative nightmare.
Rights of a Permanent Resident at a Glance
- Access to most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care
- Live, work or study anywhere in Canada
- Apply for Canadian citizenship
- Receive protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
What Permanent Residents Can Not Do
- Vote or run for political office
- Hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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