Question: I’ve been a permanent Canadian resident for 5 years now, but I stayed in Canada only for the first 3 years. I had to go back to my home country during the fourth year because of some family matters that I had to attend to, and I was unable to return to Canada immediately. My permanent card has already expired. However, when I applied for a return visa, my application was denied. Does that mean I am no longer a Canadian resident? What should I do?
Answer: According to Canada immigration law, once you become a permanent resident, you remain a permanent resident until a final determination is done. You can actually appeal the result, but you must do it as soon as possible. This will not only maintain your permanent resident status but will also give you a chance to explain why you had to leave Canada and be out of the country for the last two years.