Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has recently implemented new changes in connection with the application for or renewal of a Canadian Permanent Resident Card (PR Card), also known as the Maple Leaf card.

Until now, permanent residents of Canada applying for a renewal of their PR Card were required to surrender their existing PR Card as part of the process, limiting their ability to travel abroad. CIC recognized that permanent residents may need to use a PR Card that is still valid while their application for a replacement is being processed. Because of this, the requirement for permanent residents to return their valid PR Card with their application for a replacement has been removed. Instead, PR Card holders will only give back their old PR card when they pick up their new card in person at a local CIC office. If the PR Card has already expired, permanent residents should still include the expired card with the application for a replacement. In all cases, a replacement card will only be issued once the existing card has been turned in or accounted for otherwise.

In addition, PR Card applicants are now no longer required to obtain the signature of a guarantor or to sign a statutory declaration in lieu of a guarantor. CIC realized that obtaining a guarantor’s signature was problematic for applicants who sometimes had difficulty finding one. Eliminating this requirement will improve the PR Card application process without compromising security.