Home | Dominican Republic | Write a Review | Blog | Advertise

Permanent Resident Card renewal - we're waiting!

So, we booked our annual pilgrimage to the Brisas Sierra Mar in late October (I need one of Osmar’s Ron Collins) and my better half diligently applied to have her permanent resident card renewed during the first week in November.
A couple of weeks ago, she has a look online and sees that it takes approx. 95 days to process a renewal. This puts us on the edge and so we’ve sent a fax to Immigration Canada pleading for mercy. However, because we did not send the envelope via registered or express mail, they say they cannot track it and therefore we’re at the mercy of the system.
The maddening thing about this (other than the possibility of losing our trip), is that new card applications only take 30 days. This flabbergasts me, until I remember we’re dealing with government bureacracy, at which point it becomes quite understandable.
All this to ask if anyone else has been in this position, how long did your renewal take, who can I bribe, etc., etc. Any information or advice appreciated.


This is likely a really dumb comment, but what’s stopping your wife from traveling on her original non-Canadian passport?

In any case, getting an emergency rush on a Passport is a fairly straightforward process, I wish you luck in getting the same service with the Resident Card.

Hi 3cuandos,
Have you spoken with your Member of Parliament? She/He may be able to put a bit of a rush on your wife’s file. Contact their office soon … MPs are probably home for the holidays. I know of a few cases where a call from the MP to the Immigration Canada office was able to move things along a bit quicker.
Good luck, and let us know how you make out.

Martian: Your comment is not at all ‘dumb’. It is common that someone with a “Temporary Resident Card” is not authorized to leave the country until his or her official “Permanent Resident Card” is received. It will be no problem to go to Cuba :)… the difficulty may be with Immigration Canada when she is returning. :frowning:
Ensuring that all documents are valid is very important, as we have seen situations over the past few years of ‘questionable’ practices by Canada Border Services. Traveling without proper documentation is quite risky these days.
NEVER send a document to Immigration Canada (or any other government department) that is not registered.

Thanks for the explanation, Madrugada. The situation in this thread is with a Permanent Resident Card though - not a temporary one. I was hoping that would be enough to get readmitted back into Canada with the original Passport, but on hindsight it was likely a dumb suggestion. I’m pretty well versed in Canadian Immigration law regarding various means of temporary admittance (Work Permits, Tourist and Visitor Visas, etc.) but I’m obviously clueless when it comes to this Residency Card stuff…

3cuandos, can’t help you out with who to contact etc., but I think contacting your MP as Madrugada suggested is an excellent idea.

I know from a couple of friends that Permanent Resident Card renewal is a ridiculously long wait, and something that the government is going to have to seriously address. I mean really 95 days?! ::slight_smile: >:( What a bunch of crap!
To make a point as to how pathetically slow our government is at processing paperwork…I renewed my British passport in the spring, total time from when I sent my paperwork (registered mail of course ;D) to when I received my brand new passport? 14 calendar days :o
My brother just renewed his…11 calendar days.

My PR Card expires in August of 2009, you can bet I’ll be starting the renewal process just as soon as we return from Cuba the end of April.

The other thing you might try is checking the status of her application online here:
There should be a reference number on the copy of the renewal application or fees receipt that will allow you to access your application and find out where it is in the process.
Good luck!

Oh and Madrugada is right, except you can’t even leave Canada without a valid Permanent Resident Card. Permanent Residents of Canada hold a passport from their country of birth, we cannot hold a Canadian Passport, you must have Canadian Citizenship for that.

My husband sent his renewal application in July and we only just received the card on Dec 13. Its the government and they do not work very fast, they were not very helpful either during the process. We booked our holiday once he had the new card in his hand.

My mother is a British subject. She sent in her application for a renewal in October! Still nothing. She doesn’t dare book anything until she has the card in her hand.

Even worse, though - her application for citizenship went in 18 months ago! And she’s heard NOTHING!

Thanks all for your replies. While she may be able to get out without her card, the problem is certainly getting back in to Canada (although the thought of a few extra weeks in Cuba may appeal to her). We’ve been in touch with IC and they say she can go to the Canadian Embassy at the country of our visit and they can issue a Temporary Travel Document which will allow her back in. The BSM is a bit far from Havana and so I think that idea is a non-starter.

Regarding my MP - another great idea, however mine is not very responsive. Actually, he’s downright dismissive. I contacted his office on the practice of sharing airline manifests with the Americans matter last winter, and his response was to ask one of his assistants to make sure I was in his constituency! Why would I call him if he wasn’t my MP!? There are other issues as well, however this is not the forum. Suffice to say I don’t think I would get any satisfaction from him, especially for vacation travel to Cuba. Business travel to Paris, maybe, but not vacation travel to Cuba…

My wife has been on the IC/PR website and they are processing applications from Oct. 26 now. This may bring us in under the wire. Regardless, we will let you know. Thanks for all your help and support!


There are actually a few issues / problems with the permanent residency card and travel. You airline may not / will probably not even let you board the airplane without “the card”. The reason is that they do not want to be responsible for a stranded traveller in a foreign country, or one who is between countries so to speak. I can see their point - bad publicity etc for not being more diligent informing the traveller and such. If you actually get past the airline, then you have to deal with the border services people who have been a little testy of late. I’m sure they are receiving their instructions from on high.

Just as Ontario had an issue with the registration of births, marriages, and deaths a few years ago, the public outcry wrested a “fix” for at least the birth certificate problem, the honeymooners still had to wait and those trying to receive death benefits and settle estates still had to wait.

Here is the kicker though … those holding PRC’s are not Canadian citizens and therefore not eligible to vote. Will your MP really care if you don’t get your card in a reasonable time frame? As suggested above, start the process early, get your Canadian spouse to complain loudly, and hope and pray for the best.

Hi, I send in my application on the 24th September by Express post and was worried it wouldn’t be back in time for my January cruise, also I did not have an airline ticket (which is what they ask for to expedide things), I put a copy of my booking with it and received my card in early December way faster than what I expected. so there is hope yet.
As for entering Cuba, I have been asked for the card every time in the last 5 years we went there.
I would call again starting in January or maybe fax a copy of your booking/ticket.
Good Luck