Question: I’ve been living in Canada for six and a half years now. My permanent resident card has expired and have not renewed it because I don’t travel outside of Canada so I thought it’s not a problem. I wanted to visit my parents in the Philippines soon because they are getting older. Now, I wanted to apply for a new PR card but also thinking of just applying for Canadian citizenship. Can I apply for both? Which one is easier and faster to apply to?
Answer: Yes, you can apply for Canadian citizenship and for a new PR card at the same time. For both programs, you have to show that you lived in Canada and have to satisfy other requirements in your application. If you have lived in Canada for more than six years and have not traveled outside of the country, it is very probable that you will not have any problems to become eligible for either the permanent resident card renewal or Canadian citizenship requirements. Your present dilemma is – would you apply for both of them at the same time or is it better to apply for just one? If you will consider applying for Canadian citizenship only, you will not be able to travel outside Canada for about 12 to 14 months. If you leave Canada with an expired PR card, you might not be able to enter the country again – unless you secure a special travel document from a Canadian Consulate overseas. Now, if you will apply just for PR renewal only, the regular processing takes approximately 5 months. It would be better to apply for both at the same time. The PR card renewal takes 5 months but in case you have to leave for an emergency, you may be able to get it quickly.