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Traveling Before Canadian PR Card: Quick Guide

Publish Date: 12/12/2023

After applying and receiving a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), landing and obtaining a PR card are required to fully achieve confirmed permanent resident status in Canada.

1. PR Card vs. PR Visa: Initial entry uses PR visa; PR card mailed within 180 days.

2. Travel before PR Card: Possible but requires alternative documents. Apply for PRTD if outside Canada without PR card.

3. PRTD Eligibility: For those without a valid PR card. Returning by air, boat, bus, or train.

4. Application Steps:

  • Collect package, fill forms, gather docs.
  • Pay fees online, apply via portal, or submit to VAC.

5. Additional Steps: Possible interview, varied processing times.

6. Urgent Processing:

  • Apply for urgent processing for essential travel.
  • No guarantee of <3 weeks processing.

Important Notes:

  • PR cards not shipped outside Canada.
  • Plan ahead, consider processing times.
  • Alternative docs for entry via private vehicle.


  • Renew PR card nine months before expiry.
  • First entry: PR visa, valid passport, COPR, and medical test result.
  • First PR card mailed within 180 days.

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