Once you become a permanent resident (PR) of Canada, in order to maintain PR status, you must continue to fulfill your “residency obligations”, which means accumulating at least 2 years (730 days) of residence within every 5 years in Canada. This requirement causes a great deal of confusion as many permanent residents mix up the five-year period of their PR card with the five-year period for compliance with the residence requirement. Unlike the PR card which has a clear expiry date, compliance with the residence requirement is ongoing and rolling, which means that any time a permanent resident is entering Canada or subject to examination, the officer will review the number of days of residence accumulated in the period immediately prior to the day of entering Canada (or examination). So even if you have a year left on your PR card, you need to calculate your residence any time you will have contact with an officer by counting backwards from that day. If you have been a permanent resident for less than 5 years, the analysis is forward looking: will the residence you accumulated in Canada to date, plus any remaining days until the 5 year mark add up to at least 730 days?
Importantly, “residence” in these circumstances includes time physically in Canada, as well as time spent outside of Canada if you are accompanying a Canadian citizen spouse/partner or parent, working abroad for a Canadian business or organization or accompanying a spouse/partner or parent who is a permanent resident working abroad for a Canadian business or organization. These situations can be very complicated, and we can help you assess your case.
A residence appeal can be based on an error by the officer in assessing your time in Canada, or on humanitarian grounds which are compelling enough to justify your failure to accumulate sufficient days or residence. An example may be having to leave Canada to be the caregiver to a sick parent. The hearing will take place at the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), where you will be expected to present your case and provide supporting documents. With extensive experience, we can represent you on your appeal and put the best case forward.
You still have PR status until a final determination has been made and all appeal rights have been exhausted. You should consult an immigration expert to assess your case and decide on the next steps.