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Hello, fellow practitioners! Today’s question deals with renunciation of PR status and its impact on an individual’s status in Canada.
I have a client from a visa exempt country in Europe. His permanent resident card expired in November 2013. He still has his SIN card and landing documents. In order to travel to Canada, he applied for an ETA and voluntarily renounced his PR status. I would like to know if he is still considered a permanent resident. Can he legally stay in Canada for another 2 years and then apply for a PR card?
There are many reasons that lead some permanent residents to renounce their permanent resident status each year, including anything from not finding employment in their field to not liking the inclement weather. Other realistic situations that lead people to renounce PR status are:
· You want to accept a diplomatic or official position with a foreign government; or
· You want to obtain citizenship or permanent resident status in another country and that country requires you to renounce permanent resident status in Canada; or
· You only want to visit Canada and you know you have not met the residency obligations because you have been outside of Canada for a long period of time and
· You don’t want to wait for a visa officer to assess whether or not you are still a permanent resident of Canada; or
· You would like to apply for a temporary resident visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA); or
· You would like to avoid delays at the Port of Entry.
· You no longer want to live in Canada permanently.
To renounce one’s status as a permanent resident, an individual must meet the following conditions:
· be a permanent resident of Canada;
· have citizenship or valid legal permanent resident status in another country;
· be at least 18 years (if you are under 18 you must be represented by a legal guardian).
The consequence of renouncing permanent resident status is that you are no longer considered a permanent resident of Canada. Once the decision to renounce PR status is approved by an officer, an individual’s status in Canada reverts to that of a foreign national. There is no processing fee attached to renouncing PR status.
Even if one holds a SIN card or Confirmation of Permanent Residence document, they lose access to social and health services provided to permanent residents by the Government of Canada or the province or territory of residence on renouncing their PR status. One may still qualify for certain benefits such as those related to the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security, but there may be exceptions.
A question that often comes up is if an individual can continue to remain in Canada or visit Canada once the request to renounce PR status is granted?
As mentioned earlier, if at the time of renunciation, an individual is inside Canada, they will be considered a foreign national visiting Canada, and will have to abide by the rules set out for visitors, i.e. stay in Canada for up to six months as a temporary resident, and apply for an extension of status if they wish to remain in Canada for a longer time. They will no longer be allowed to work or study without authorization.
Additionally, upon renunciation of permanent resident status in Canada, an individual will no longer have the ability to file a sponsorship, be able to appeal any negative decision to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) and will no longer be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.
If in the future, an individual decides to return to Canada as a permanent resident, they must meet the requirements in place at that time just as any other foreign national wishing to immigrate to Canada.
In order to visit Canada, one must apply for a temporary resident visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), depending on the country of citizenship and the purpose of the visit and the travel document they will be using.
An important thing to note is that the temporary resident application must be submitted separately from the application to renounce permanent resident status. IRCC advises that a TRV must be applied for after the application for voluntary renunciation has been processed.
In the case where one is applying for an eTA , they will have the option of renouncing PR status electronically. After they apply for an eTA, they will be provided with detailed instructions on how to renounce. The renunciation in this context is completed online through a secure account that one needs to create as part of the eTA application process.
We often come across instances where people are unsure if they have or have not renounced their PR status. In that case it’s worthwhile to apply for a Verification of Status (VOS) document which confirms their current PR status.
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