Michael became a permanent resident of Canada more than 10 years ago. Once he received his PR card he had to leave Canada urgently for a family emergency. Michael stayed outside of Canada for more than 5 years and his PR card expired. Recently, he decided to return to Canada. Michael read on the Immigration Canada website that to board a plane to Canada he will need to show a valid PR card.
Michael called Legally Canadian seeking advice on how to return to Canada. We told him he had the following options: 1. Apply for a PR travel document that will likely lead to an investigation by Immigration Canada on his residence in Canada and abroad; 2. Renounce his PR status and reapply again to immigrate to Canada, and 3. Come to Canada by land through the US border. We outlined all the risks involved with all these options. After talking more in detail about them, Michael selected option #3.
Prior to crossing the US/Canada border we provided Michael with a list of documents that he should have with him when coming to Canada. In addition, we discussed any potential questions that a Border officer might ask.
So what happened?
Fully prepared and geared with all the necessary documents Michael entered Canada with an expired PR card this summer. Immigration Canada can still contact Michael and ask him to prove his residence, but currently he lives and works in Canada. In two years he will be able to renew his PR card.