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Whether you’re moving to Canada because of business, family, or problems in your home country, Canada can be a great place to start a better life. However, you’ll need to become an official Canadian resident to remain here permanently. If you’ve applied and have received your permanent resident (PR) card, find out what you can do with it in Canada.

What Can You Do With A Permanent Resident Status?

Just as it sounds, a permanent resident ard shows that you have permanent resident status in Canada. With it, you qualify as a Canadian resident and will have similar rights and privileges as a Canadian citizen.  

With a permanent resident card, you qualify for most of the same social benefits that Canadian citizens get, including health coverage. You’re also allowed to apply for Canadian citizenship and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

Can You Work In Canada With A Permanent Resident Card?

Yes, with a permanent resident card, you’ll have the right to live, work, or study anywhere in Canada. Once you have your PR card and job, you’re required to pay income taxes and respect all Canadian laws imposed at the federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal levels.  

In order to find a job as an immigrant with a permanent resident card, you’ll need to apply for various jobs and provide documents to verify your identity and job experience. 

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Can You Study In Canada With A Permanent Resident Card? 

Yes. According to the country’s citizenship laws, all permanent residents have the right to free education, up to 18 years of age, from a qualifying institution in the Canadian school system. In addition, once they enter university, tuition fees also become much cheaper for students with Permanent Resident Cards than for international students. 

In Canada, you can enroll in any educational facility that you’ve been accepted to. If you have a Permanent Resident Card, you don’t need a study permit to be a student either.                   

Can You Buy A House In Canada With A Permanent Resident Card?

There used to be no laws or regulations preventing newcomers to Canada from buying residential real estate. Anyone who could afford the costs was eligible to buy a house, condo, or duplex. Since we had no residence or citizenship requirements, any citizen, permanent resident, temporary visa holder or interested party could buy a home in Canada.

However, in an effort to make homes more affordable for Canadians, the federal government imposed a two-year ban on all foreign homebuyers on January 1st, 2023. The only exceptions to this new legislation are:

  • People with temporary Canadian work permits
  • Refugee claimants 
  • International students who meet specific criteria
  • Non-Canadians with a spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person registered under the Indian Act 

So, for the next two years (maybe more if the government extends the ban), you need to be a citizen, have a Permanent Resident Card, or fall into the exceptions category of the legislation to legally buy a home in Canada.      

Can You Get A Personal Loan In Canada With A Permanent Resident Status? 

As a permanent resident of Canada, you can get a personal loan through most lenders, including banks, credit unions, and private companies. Then again, your status as a newcomer may mean that you haven’t established a credit history yet. This can make your chances of approval lower than a citizen or resident with a good credit score.

Lenders will look at your credit score to determine if you’ll make your loan payments on time. To qualify for the best personal loans, terms, and interest rates, you’ll typically need a good-to-excellent credit score of around 700 to 900. 

There are alternative lenders who will approve you with a credit score of 300 to 600 (i.e. bad credit) but they often charge higher rates for smaller loans with less flexible terms. 

Want To Know What Your Credit Score Is?

Check out CompareHub. A free online portal from Loans Canada that lets you check your credit score for free. You’ll get access to customized loan and credit product offers.

What Can’t You Do With A Permanent Resident Status?

Remember, having a Permanent Resident Card means you’re required to pay taxes and follow all Canadian laws. As long as you adhere to those regulations, you’ll have most of the same rights and freedoms as Canadian citizens. The only things you can’t do are:

  • Get certain jobs that require a high level of security clearance
  • Run or vote for political office   

Do Permanent Resident Cards Expire?

It’s important to know that your Permanent Resident Card will eventually expire. Make sure to check its validity before you travel outside of Canada. This is because you must have it on you to re-enter the country on a commercial carrier, such as an airplane, boat, bus, or train. While most PR cards expire every 5 years, some expire after 1 year.   

Interested In Being A Permanent Canadian Resident?

If that’s your goal, getting your Permanent Resident Card is the first step toward building a better life. The process is pretty easy, as long as you meet the right criteria and can prove your intention of becoming a Canadian. For more information about the Permanent Resident Card or moving to Canadian, check out our newcomers’ guide.       

Permanent Resident Card FAQs

How do I renew my Permanent Resident Card?

If your PR card has expired or is due to expire in less than 9 months, you’re allowed to apply for a new one. The new one will have a new expiry date (of 5 years or 1 year, depending on the circumstances). To be eligible for another Permanent Resident Card, you must:
  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Submit your application in Canada    

How can I apply for a Permanent Resident Card?

To get a new PR card in Canada, you need to meet certain criteria. To apply, you must:
  • Already be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Be physically present within Canada when applying
  • Not qualify as a Canadian citizen
  • And, not have been asked  to leave the country by the Government of Canada

Can I travel with a Permanent Resident Card?

Yes. As mentioned, you can use your Permanent Resident Card to show that you hold permanent resident status in Canada. So, you need to have it and your passport on you when you travel outside the country and return on any commercial mode of transport. 
If you don’t have a valid PR card or aren’t carrying it on you (due to loss, theft, etc.), you must apply for a permanent resident travel document before you can re-enter Canada.  
Bryan Daly avatar on Loans Canada
Bryan Daly

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and travelling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer.

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