Permanent resident (PR) card is the official proof of immigration status for all permanent residents of Canada and this card is required each time a PR re-enters the country. Thus, PRs should carry their PR card at all times when travelling outside Canada.
As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to border security and upholding the integrity of the immigration process, the PR card has been recently redesigned which incorporates updated photograph specifications and a series of enhanced security features. In November 21, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) began producing the new PR cards.
The visual changes in the new PR card includes:
- new specifications for the cardholder’s photograph
- the removal of the immigration category from the card
- an increase to the number of characters permitted for a holder’s name, from 20 characters for the last name and 15 characters for the given name, to 28 characters each for both the given and last names
As for the enhanced security features, the card will have inks that are resistant to copying, a new foil graphic is embedded in the card and more importantly, each card will have a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip. RFID chip will not contain personal information, it will only contain a unique identification number.
In 2016, border crossings will be equipped with RFID chip readers, thus, when a card holder crosses the border, the new RFID-enabled PR card will be scanned in these readers. When the card is scanned through the readers, the unique identifier is transmitted to a secure database so that the card holder’s return to the country can be authorized.
Though new PRs will automatically receive the new card as part of the immigration process, current PR cards are still valid, PRs are not required to get a new card, unless their existing card expires.
Notice – Permanent Resident Card Redesign. Retrieved November 27, 2015