The permanent resident card (PR card) is the official proof of your status as a permanent resident of Canada. If you are a new permanent resident, you will automatically receive your new card by mail, once you first arrive in Canada, as part of the immigration process.
This wallet-sized plastic card is used by permanent residents of Canada seeking to re-enter Canada on a commercial carrier (airplane, boat, train or bus). If you leave the country, you are expected to have this card when returning to Canada. Check the expiry date of your PR card before you plan a travel outside of Canada to ensure that it will not expire before you return. If you do not plan to leave the country, you do not need the card.
Permanent residents may apply for a PR card if they:
1. are physically present in Canada, and
2. received permanent resident status before June 28, 2002;
3. became a permanent resident on or after June 28, 2002, but did not receive a PR card at that time; or
4. need to replace a expired, lost or stolen PR card.