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Steps to take once you are a Permanent Resident


Once a permanent residency application is approved, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will issue a Confirmation of Permanent Residency document (COPR) as evidence of permanent residency status. After the COPR is finalized, there are a few more things that a new permanent resident must do in order to settle into their new status.

  • Obtain a permanent Social Insurance Number

Once one becomes a permanent resident, they must connect with Service Canada to obtain a new, permanent Social Insurance Number (SIN). This can be applied online, by mail or in person. Specific instructions can be found on Service Canada website. They can use their COPR as evidence of the newly-obtained PR status if the PR card has not yet arrived. We suggest to our clients to get this process started as soon as the COPR is finalized. The process of obtaining a new, permanent SIN is also applicable to SIN holders that previously held a work or study permit. A SIN obtained using a work or study permit is temporary by nature.

  • Inform the provincial medical service provider of the newly-obtained status

In Canada, public health insurance is available to eligible residents. Canadian citizens and permanent residents should apply for provincial health insurance as soon as they are eligible, as it will cover the cost of medically-necessary insured doctor services. In British Columbia, it is called Medical Services Plan. While in Ontario, it is called the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.  Other provinces and territories have their own health care insurance plans. One should enroll with the provincial or territorial plans where they plan to reside.

  • Get a Driver’s Licence (if applicable)

In Canada, a valid driver’s licence and car insurance are required in order to drive. A driver’s licence is issued by the provincial or territorial government. Newcomers may be able to use an international driving licence or driver’s licence from their home country for a very short period of time while waiting for the local driver’s licence. They must visit their province’s government to apply for a local driver’s licence and learn more about the requirements of driving using a foreign driver’s licence.

  • Wait for the Permanent Resident card to arrive

A new permanent resident does not need to apply for their first PR card, as an IRCC officer will submit the request on their behalf when the COPR is finalized. The PR card should be mailed to their home address and takes between 1 – 3 months to be delivered. This timeline fluctuates but IRCC updates their website on the latest processing time. If the first PR card takes longer than the listed processing time, they can reach out to the IRCC call centre at 1-888-242-2100. This is the fastest method to obtain information regarding the status of a PR card. Another method to connect with IRCC is by way of online webform. IRCC may take a few weeks to respond to a web form inquiry.

A PR card is required for a permanent resident to enter Canada by any commercial transport. In most cases, we encourage clients to remain in Canada while they wait their first PR card. Where they decide to travel outside of Canada without a PR card, they can qualify to apply for a PR travel document to return. Or, if they are returning to Canada by private vehicle through one of Canada-US land borders, they may be able to present their COPR as evidence of their PR status.

If you have any questions about permanent residency status in Canada, please reach out to us at We will be delighted to assist you.

About the Author

As a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, my skillset lies in collaborative work with my clients to achieve their immigration goals.

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