All Canadian residents must do these two things to maintain their status: obey Canadian norms and law and meet the residency obligations.
Thereby, in an attempt to meet up the residency eligibility you are required to stay physically present in Canada for 2 years (730 days) out of every five years.
One may have to prove that they meet the residency obligation if they want to replace a lost/ stolen PR card or want to apply for a PR travel document abroad.
Residency days may be accumulated inside or even outside Canada in the following ways:
- Be physically present in Canada; physical presence does not have to be continuous. breaks such as travel outside Canada is allowed. There is also no defined limit on how long one can be out of Canada at a time. For example, a PR can be outside Canada continuously for 1,094 days and keep their PR status if they remain inside Canada for the remembering 730 days in the 5 year period.
There are few exceptions where a PR can count time spent outside Canada toward the residency obligation;
- if accompanying your Canadian citizen spouse or common-law partner
- as a child (under19) accompanying your Canadian citizen parent
- you are a full time and ongoing employee of or under contract to a Canadian business or the federal/provincial government (there are specific definitions of a Canadian business)
- if accompanying your spouse or parent who is PR and is employed full time by a Canadian business or the federal/provincial government.
The residency obligation to maintain PR is different from residency eligibility of getting citizenship. AS one can live in Canada for several years with PR without having citizenship.
In case one doesn’t meet the residency eligibility, your status will be revoked. You don’t lose your PR status if your card expires. PR status can only be lost after being through an official process, either through a tribunal hearing revocation process or by voluntary renunciation.