Permanent residence refers to a person who chose to migrate to Canada and was given permanent resident status in the country. A permanent resident is technically not a citizen of Canada but belongs to a different country.
There are many immigrants who are interested in obtaining citizenship of Canada. Before becoming a citizen of Canada a person is required to be a permanent resident of Canada. The result of each immigration program in Canada is to get a Canada PR
Once the status is achieved the person is given a Permanent Residence Card. It is almost a Canadian equivalent of the green card given in the USA.
On becoming a Canadian Permanent Resident, a person gets the following rights:
- The right to use the healthcare coverage and get the same social benefits as any Canadian citizen,
- The right to work live and study at any place in Canada;
- The right to protected under the provisions of Canadian law as well as the Canadian Charter of Freedoms and Rights;
- The right to submit an application to get citizenship in Canada.
Canadian PRs have a share in several social responsibilities enshrined in the Canadian citizenship. They need to pay taxes and follow all the Canadian laws. There are only two things which permanent residents cannot do but the Canadian citizens can do. They are voting and running for public office. There are a few restrictions put on permanent residents to hold some government positions. For doing them they need governmental security clearance.
Canadian Passport is not given to PR Holders. When they wish to travel out of the country, they can use a valid PR card, or use a PR Travel Document and the passport issued from the country of their original citizenship.PR cards have a period of validity and need to be renewed at regular intervals. The permanent resident status is not automatically lost when the PR card terminates. In order to maintain the status of a permanent resident, the person needs to meet a few requirements of residency.
As a PR holder, you can live out of Canada. One is required to live in Canada for a period of at least two years during the past five-year period. If that is not the case for a long time the status is lost. One can count the time spent abroad if he/she is assigned a position out of Canada by a business belonging to Canada.
After failing to meet residency requirements, a person does not lose the PR status automatically. For this one has to go through a formal process.
In order to become a citizen, a person must become a permanent resident first. PRs can submit an application for obtaining citizenship after meeting a few requirements of residency. Being the naturalized citizen, they can submit an application for obtaining a Canadian passport and also take part in politics of Canada freely. There is no difference between a naturalized citizen and a citizen who is born in Canada.
Another significant difference between permanent residence and citizenship is that permanent residence is required to be maintained. A Canadian citizen is not needed to do anything in order to maintain the status of citizenship. A person loses Canadian citizenship if he/she decides to renounce it.
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