Once your application to immigrate to Canada has been approved and you received your permanent residence visa, you have to enter Canada before your visa expires. Upon entry into Canada, you become a Permanent Resident - however, you are still a citizen of your country of origin, not a citizen of Canada, and you will still have to use and travel on your passport from your country of citizenship. Once you have arrived in Canada, being a Permanent Resident you should apply for a Permanent Resident Card so that you can travel in and out of the country without difficulty.
The first step towards becoming a citizen of Canada is to be a Permanent Resident. However, someone living in Canada as a Permanent Resident can live there for a lifetime without having to apply for citizenship, and citizenship is not granted automatically.
You can apply for Canadian citizenship after three years of residence in Canada. For information about citizenship, please check the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Canada accepts dual and multiple citizenships, so you do not have to give up your other citizenships unless your country of origin will not allow you to have more than one citizenship.
When you arrive in Canada with an immigrant visa you should submit an application for a Permanent Resident card. The application is made at the initial Port of Entry into Canada and is mailed to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia. It ordinarily takes about three months for the Permanent Resident Card (PRC) application to be processed. It is then mailed to the Canada Immigration Centre nearest your place of residence in Canada, where it must be picked up in person by the individual to whom it has been issued.
As a Permanent Resident of Canada you must meet certain residency obligations to maintain your status. In order to comply with the residency obligations you must have at least two years of physical presence in Canada in every five year period. For the purposes of meeting residency obligations, you can also count residency days if you are outside of Canada for the following reasons:
When applying for a Travel Document, a status determination will be done to assess whether you meet the residency requirements, or have the potential to meet them. You must submit a completed Supplementary Information form PDF * (12 KB) (also referred to as the Family Composition form) with your application.