How Long Do I Need to Have Lived in Canada to Renew Permanent Residence?

2 years (730 days) out of the 5 years during which your PR status is valid. 

How Long Do I Need to Have Lived in Canada to apply for Citizenship?

3 years (1095 days) before signing your citizenship application.

When you submit the application for permanent residence in Canada, it means you are legally declaring that you want to live in Canada permanently while remaining a citizen of another country.

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For How Long Does The Permanent Residence Status Last? 

The status of your permanent residency is limited to 5 years. Once this period elapses, you can either apply for renewal of your PR or apply for citizenship. 

To be able to apply for PR renewal, you must have lived in Canada for 2 years, as outlined above. 

To apply for citizenship, you must have lived in Canada for 3 years. Please keep in mind that some time that you lived as a temporary resident of Canada may be counted towards citizenship application requirements. Please contact us for details.

Please note that processing applications takes time and you must maintain your legal status during which your application is being processed. This means you need to apply early and make sure you have enough time before your legal status in Canada expires.

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Can I Live Outside of Canada While Being a Permanent Resident?

Yes, you can as long as you meet the cumulative 2-year requirement. 

Note this process has certain nuances: 

  • If you stay outside of Canada for more than 6 months, you’ll lose your provincial health insurance (important if you decide to use the health care system in Canada). 
  • If you stay outside of Canada for more than 6 months, you’ll lose your tax residence, which will affect your tax situation (important if you decide to apply for citizenship later) 


If you want to be leaving Canada on a seasonal basis (e.g. live in a Southern country while it’s winter in Canada), or need to take care of your family member abroad, or have a property to look after, it’s recommended to do so in 6-months increments. That way you will retain your health insurance and will keep your tax residence status.

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Record your Trips outside Canada

It is your responsibility to keep accurate records of your trips outside of Canada. For most permanent residents it won’t be a problem, however, if you travel frequently, you’ll be better off keeping track of your trips in a separate travel log document. This information will help you while applying for the PR card or Canadian citizenship later.

You need to keep track of the following:

  • Date of departure and arrival to Canada (even if you travel for a single day)
  • The country you travelled to
  • Reason for travel (work, treatment, vacation, or family etc.)

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Travel Tracker by LIVIN Immigration Services
Fig. 1. Travel log to help you keep track of your time outside of Canada (click to download)

This document will help you keep track of all our trips: print this document out and use it when applying for PR or citizenship.

Physical Presence Calculator: Determine Eligibility for Citizenship

Before you apply for citizenship you must use a specialized tool called a physical presence calculator and attach a copy to your citizenship application. It can also help you to calculate your physical presence in Canada to determine if you meet the residency requirements necessary to keep your PR status.  

The calculator is pretty straightforward to use as it uses the information you provide about your residency in Canada. 

There are certain rules that this calculator is built on, – all of this helps you to better determine your eligibility.

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Rules of Calculation

  • You must be living in Canada currently for at least three years out of five years.
  • However, this period will be counted as:
  • Each day you live in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person will be counted as a half-day. It means if you live in the country temporarily for two years, it will be calculated as one year. Keep in mind that one year is a maximum that can be counted towards citizenship requirements.
  • Each day you live in Canada as a permanent resident will be counted as one day, which is quite simple.
  • If you have spent time imprisoned in Canada, these days won’t be counted as your presence in the country.

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  • To meet the time criteria for your PR renewal, you must have lived in the country for 2 years (730 days) out of 5 years. 
  • To meet the time eligibility criteria for your citizenship application, you must have lived in the country for 3 out of the last 5 years. 
  • You can leave the country without limitations as long as the above requirements are met 
  • It’s highly recommended to keep a travel log of your trips outside of Canada

For more complex cases to determine if you meet the time criteria, you can reach out to our Certified Immigration Consultants in Edmonton for a professional consultation and help with all the paperwork.

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