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FAQ Residency Obligation

How long must I stay in Canada to keep my permanent resident status?

To maintain your status as a permanent resident, there are few requirements you must fulfill. One requirement is the residency obligation. You must live in Canada for at least two years within a five-year period. During this time you must be here physically. The two years may not need to be continuous. An officer can confirm if your time in Canada counts when you:

  • Re-enter Canada;
  • Apply for a Permanent Resident Card; or
  • Apply to be a Canadian Citizen.

How does Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) determine someone’s residency status?

An individual’s residency status is determined on a case by case basis and the individual’s whole situation and all the relevant facts are considered. The relevant facts in determining your residency status include: the residential ties you have in Canada, the purpose and permanence of your stays abroad, and your ties abroad. The most important thing to consider when determining your residency status in Canada is whether or not you maintain, or you establish, residential ties with Canada. Significant residential ties to Canada include:

  • A home in Canada;
  • A spouse or common-law partner in Canada; and
  • Dependants in Canada;

Secondary residential ties that may be relevant include:

  • Personal property in Canada, such as a car or furniture;
  • Social ties in Canada, such as memberships in Canadian recreational or religious organizations;
  • Economic ties in Canada, such as Canadian bank accounts or credit cards;
  • A Canadian driver’s licence;
  • A Canadian passport; and
  • Health insurance with a Canadian province or territory.

Do I have the right to Appeal?

You have the right to appeal a decision made outside Canada by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on your permanent residency obligation, under section 63(4) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. If you wish to appeal the decision, a Notice of Appeal must be filled out and sent. Once completed, you must provide it to the Registry Office of the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) so that it is received no later than sixty (60) days after you received the CIC written decision. The Notice of Appeal must be provided together with two copies of the CIC decision you are appealing. This form must be completed in English or in French. You should include in your Notice of Appeal all family members who are included in the CIC decision. For further information, contact us.