Losing Permanent Resident Status

Yes! It is possible for a Permanent Resident to lose their status in Canada.


    1. Become a Citizen

    1. Voluntarily Renounce Permanent Resident (PR) status

    1. Become Inadmissible

    1. Misrepresentation

    1. Not Maintaining Minimum Residency Requirements

Understanding Permanent Residence

A Permanent Resident in Canada is not a citizen.

A foreign national can apply for PR status in Canada for the right to reside, study, and work in Canada for the long term. If a permanent resident fulfills the minimum residency requirements, they can apply for citizenship to become a full citizen.

There are some benefits that permanent residents share with Canadian citizens before they become citizens.

Benefits of PR Status:

    • Qualifying for some social programs (i.e. Healthcare)

    • The right to live, work and study anywhere in Canada

    • Can apply for citizenship

    • Qualify for protection under Canadian law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In most cases, foreign nationals aspiring to immigrate to Canada and gain full Canadian citizenship must first apply for Permanent Residence. After 5 years of PR status, they can apply for citizenship. In these 5 years, the permanent resident status could be lost in various ways.

If your PR status has been revoked, contact Cohen Brosh Law Offices for expert advice on your next steps.

Become a Citizen

Permanent Residents who abide by the residency conditions can apply for citizenship. Upon becoming a Canadian citizen, a person will automatically lose PR status.

Basic Requirements to Apply for Citizenship:

    • Provide a language test

    • Pass a Canadian citizenship test

    • File taxes, if applicable

    • Be in Canada 3 out of the last 5 years

For more information on applying for Canadian citizenship as a Permanent Resident contact Cohen Brosh Law Offices.

Voluntarily Renounce Permanent Resident status

As of November 2014, IRCC has allowed a pathway for Permanent Residents to withdraw their PR status on their own. This can be done by filing an application to voluntarily renounce your PR status.

Some Permanent Residents, knowing they have not complied with the minimum residency requirements, may choose to withdraw themselves. In a situation like this the resident may decide to move to another country or leave Canada for an extended period of time, etc. In these cases, when the resident tries to visit Canada, it would cause major delays as the Border officers would be required to review them as a PR and would find that they have violated the terms.

Applicants who have not met the minimum residence requirements, anticipating the delays this would cause, can avoid them by renouncing their PR status. They would then be reviewed as a foreign national.

Note: if your application is approved, your status will immediately change and you will no longer be a permanent resident of Canada, you will no longer be eligible to apply for citizenship, and you will not be able to appeal the decision approving your application to renounce your PR status. You will need an eTA or visitor’s visa to enter Canada, like any other foreign national.

Not Maintaining Minimum Residency Requirements

While some permanent residents may proactively renounce their status because they are aware that they have not or cannot continue to meet the minimum requirements for that status, some do not. Permanent residents must be aware of the limits of their status and the requirements of it to ensure they are abiding.

For example, permanent residents must be in Canada for at least 730 days out of the last 5 years. This does not need to be a continuous stay of 730 consecutive days but PR card holders should be aware of this and perhaps not plan long trips outside of Canada. The government of Canada website offers a travel journal to help PRs stay aware of their travel to ensure that they remain within the limits.

When permanent residents fail to abide by the residence requirements, they face the risk of having their status re-assessed. The reassessment can be triggered by an inquiry, an attempt to re-enter Canada after a long stay abroad, or by a permanent resident travel document application. Once an official decision is made concluding that the person has not met the residency requirements, permanent residence status will be lost. This decision can be appealed.

Become Inadmissible

A Permanent Resident can later become inadmissible for a variety of reasons.

Inadmissible Reasons:

    • Security Concerns

    • Human or International Rights Violations

    • Committing a Serious Crime

    • Association or Participation in Organized Crime

    • Misrepresentation

    • Cessation of Refugee Protection

    • Failing to Comply with Canadian Immigration Law

If a permanent resident is arrested for a serious crime (including driving under the influence) the police will notify the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). The CBSA would look into these types of situations involving immigration. The arrest may lead to a removal order, the permanent resident could get deported.

Permanent residents who are arrested for a crime but not charged, or the charges are dropped, can still be deported. It is also important to disclose situations like these in immigration applications to avoid being accused of misrepresentation.

Permanent residents who have been arrested of crimes in the past and received permanent residence status can have their status revoked if IRCC learns the information later.

Lawyers must consider immigration consequences when representing permanent residents who are arrested or charged with a crime in Canada. Legal solutions that may be reasonable for a Canadian citizen might be detrimental for a permanent residence whose status is at risk. Lawyers must take immigration law and criminal inadmissibility into account when representing permanent residents.


Misrepresentation is a form of fraud. The IRCC and Canadian government consider lying and omitting information forms of fraud. It may seem to them that the applicant is willfully misleading them. Being suspected of misrepresentation can have an applicant or permanent resident deported and banned from Canada for a period of 5 years. It can also affect any immigration application in the future.

Submitting documents that include any amount of incorrect information can be perceived as misrepresentation, it is considered document fraud. Exaggerating the amount of work experience, educational qualifications etc. are some examples.

In the Federal case of Patel v. Canada (2017), the applicant Patel was rejected due to omitting the fact that he had been arrested in the United States in the past. The arrest was for driving under the influence. He claimed it was an innocent mistake and that he did not think the information was relevant because the charges were dropped. The Federal court ruled against his request for reconsideration.

Canadian Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, foreign police services and offices that issue identity and status documents are all trained in fraud and immigration related matters and often disclose information to each other without the permanent resident knowing.


It’s important to remember that Canadian permanent residents don’t have the same rights and protections that citizens do. If you’re eligible for citizenship, there is an advantage to submitting your application now. If approved, you no longer have to contend with residency requirements, you can vote, and are far less likely to lose your status. For more information, contact us at Cohen Brosh Law Offices. 

Picture of עורך דין אלכס ברוש

עורך דין אלכס ברוש

Skip to content