How to Keep your Canadian Permanent Resident Status

Updated: Nov 16, 2021



When it comes to maintaining your permanent resident status in Canada, the number to remember is 730.


You must be in Canada for at least 730 days (or two years) during a five-year period to keep your permanent resident status. [1] Importantly, these 730 days need not happen consecutively or in a row. You can still leave the country for small windows of time. What matters is that you have spent a total of 730 days in Canada within any five year period since obtaining your permanent residence.


Does any time spent outside of Canada count towards your 730 days?

Some exceptions exist for the government’s 730-day rule. In fact, sometimes your time outside of the country can count towards your 730 days. Below are two scenarios in which your time outside of Canada may count towards the residency-requirement:


1. You are working outside of Canada on a full-time basis for a Canadian business, or for the Canadian federal, provincial, or territorial government.


2. You are the spouse, common law partner or dependent child of someone who is a Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business or the Canadian government. [2]


In both scenarios, each day you spend outside of Canada will be considered as if you were physically present in Canada. It is important to keep a detailed history of your trips outside of the country (including day trips to the United States) to prove you have met the 730-day requirement.


Other ways of losing your permanent resident status

Even if the government has granted you permanent resident status, you may still lose it in certain situations. As we discussed above, the government can revoke your status if you have not been in Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years. You can also lose your status if you:


• Become a Canadian citizen.

• Give up (or “renounce”) your permanent resident status.

• Become inadmissible to Canada for reasons such as committing a crime, financial, security or medical reasons, or having an inadmissible family member [3] [4].


In the event you lose your permanent resident status, don’t stress. You can still appeal the decision within 60 days of discovering you have lost it. Submitting an appeal will allow immigration officers to take a second look at their decision. They may consider humanitarian and compassionate grounds before making their final judgement.


Proving you meet the 730 days requirement

You have the responsibility of proving that you meet the residence requirement to keep your permanent resident status. As such, it is important that you keep a well-documented history of your trips outside of Canada.


The Canadian government encourages permanent residents to keep a travel journal where they can write down any trips you have taken outside of Canada, including same-day trips across the border. [5] This travel journal should include information such as the date you left Canada, the date you landed back in Canada, the destination, and the reason for your departure. Although you will never have to give this journal to an immigration officer, it is a good way to keep track of any time spent outside of the country (and possibly any time that does not count towards your 730-day residency-requirement).


It is equally as important to prove that you have been actually living within Canada for 730 days. You can prove this by keeping copies of housing leases, mail attached to your Canadian address, school transcripts or pay stubs, to name a few.


How we can help

Permanent residency inquiries lie at the heart of our practice, and we are passionate about helping individuals remain in Canada. One of our experienced immigration lawyers can provide you with the best strategy for maintaining your permanent resident status and answer any questions you may have about the process.


We encourage you to contact one of our lawyers at (416) 203-2899 ext. 30 or at reception@migrationlawgroup.com if you have any questions about your permanent resident status, the appeal process or if you are interested in applying for permanent residency.


[1] Government of Canada: “How long must I stay in Canada to keep my permanent resident status?”: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=727&top=4.

[2] Government of Canada: “Can my time abroad count toward my permanent resident status?”: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=1466&top=10.

[3] Government of Canada: “Can I lose my permanent resident status?”: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=1468&top=10.

[4] IRCC, “Reasons you may be inadmissible to Canada”: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/inadmissibility/reasons.html.

[5] IRCC, “Record your trips outside Canada”: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/canadian-citizenship/become-canadian-citizen/eligibility/record-trips-outside-canada.html.



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