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Lapsed residency - how to get into Canada 

Posts: 1

Posted On: 4/8/2019
Posts: 1
I am a British Citizen. I have 2 children aged 12 and 9 (also British).

I tried to travel to Canada from USA last year, and was denied an eTa. My children were able to get there eTa, and ended up in travelling with a relative. I entered Canada overland, and spent a week there.

It appears that I have Canadian Residency. I believe that this is from when I was an infant and I lived in Canada with my father, who has since died.

I have spent 1 week in the last 5 years in Canada. Before that, I occasionally visited for holidays, perhaps a total of 3 months over 40 years. I was allowed entry, as the Canadian Immigration computer system had not been connected fully, and hence the immigration officials didn't know that I had a Permanent Residency and that actually I needed a Permanent Resident Travel Document.

I am trying to go to Canada this summer to see family.

My options are:
1) renounce my residency
2) apply as a resident, and apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document

I have been told that to do #1 is easy and then I'll be treating as any British Citizen.

However, I'd like to understand #2. Given that I've barely spent any time in Canada in the last 40 years, have I actually got any real chance of getting a Permanent Resident Travel Document? And if one day I wanted to actually move to Canada, would my Permanent Resident status have any bearing?

Thank you :)
Posts: 3029

Posted On: 5/31/2019
Posts: 3029

Thank you for sharing your situation and questions with us.

Unfortunately, it is difficult for us to provide you with a definitive response.

In terms of re-entering Canada, you can find some information on the IRCC website in the I am outside of Canada and do not have a PR card. How can I return to Canada? section.

Here is an excerpt,

I am outside of Canada and do not have a PR card. How can I return to Canada?

Canada’s entry requirements are changing

Permanent residents (PR) of Canada must carry and present their valid PR card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when boarding a flight to Canada, or travelling to Canada on any other commercial carrier. If you do not carry your PR card or PRTD, you may not be able to board your flight, train, bus or boat to Canada.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your PR card is still valid when you return from travel outside Canada, and to apply for a new PR card when your current card expires.

Returning by private vehicle

There are other documents you can use to enter the country.

When you return to Canada, apply for a PR card if you plan to travel outside Canada again.

Some examples of private vehicles include, but are not limited to: a car, truck, motorcycle, or recreational vehicle that you own, borrow, or rent, and that is not available for public use.

Returning by commercial vehicle: airplane, bus, train, or boat

You must apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD), valid for one entry. Otherwise you may not be able to travel to Canada.

You can apply to replace your PR card when you return to Canada.

We suggest that it is important and probably best that you speak to a Lawyer who is familiar with Canadian immigration issues for additional information regarding your situation.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

Settlement.Org Content and Information/Referral Specialist, CRS, CRS-DC