Changes to the application process for new and renewal Permanent Resident ("PR") cards have been announced. The first change allows permanent residents to surrender their PR card when they pick up their new renewal card, as opposed to the former rule of having to surrender it upon applying for a renewal card. Secondly, the need for a guarantor, or declaration in lieu of a guarantor, is no longer required. Instead, immigration officers will rely upon an applicant's passport, driver's licence and educational and employment history when confirming an applicant's identity.
This is good news for employers that have permanent resident employees who need to travel internationally for business purposes. Prior to the change, permanent residents needing new PR cards had to send in their current card with the application. This created a problem, as a PR card is needed to be able to travel by commercial airline back into Canada. Under the old process, it was difficult for PR employees to travel internationally while their PR card renewal application was being processed.