On February 5, 2020, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA”) developed detailed instructions and guidance on permanent resident status determination. These guidelines are most current policy and procedures when assessing applications for permanent resident determination within and outside Canada.

The IRPA establishes residency requirements and obligations with respect to each 5-year period after obtaining permanent resident status. The intent of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), which govern the residency obligations of permanent residents, is to:

  • prescribe clear and objective rules and criteria for establishing and determining compliance with the residency obligation provisions of IRPA;
  • assist decision makers in assessing factors related to determining residency status;
  • enhance transparency and consistency in decision-making; and
  • explain rules for calculating days of physical presence in Canada for the purpose of determining compliance with the residency obligation under section A28.

Pursuant to subsection A28(2), a permanent resident complies with the residency obligation provisions with respect to a 5-year period if, for at least 730 days in that 5-year period, the permanent resident is:

  • Physically present in Canada;
  • Accompanying outside Canada a Canadian citizen who is the:
    • Spouse;
    • Common-law partner; or 
    • Parent, in the case of a child.
  • Employed outside Canada on a full-time basis by:
    • a Canadian business; or
    • the federal or a provincial or territorial public administration.
  • Accompanying outside Canada their spouse, common-law partner, or parent (in the case of a child), where the person they accompany is a permanent resident and is employed on a full-time basis by:
    • a Canadian business; or
    • the federal or a provincial or territorial public administration.
  • Referred to in regulations providing for other means of compliance.


For people who have been permanent residents of Canada for 5 years or more, the only 5-year period that can be considered in calculating the applicant’s residency requirements is the one immediately before the application is received in the office.

The officers must examine only the 5-year period immediately before the date of receipt of the application. Even if a person resided outside of Canada for many years, but returned to Canada and resided there for a minimum of 730 days during the last 5 years, that person would comply with the residency obligation and remain a permanent resident.


People who became permanent residents of Canada less than 5 years prior to the date of receipt of the application are governed by subparagraph A28(2)(b)(i). This provision allows new permanent residents to qualify under the residency obligation provided they can meet the 730-day criterion during the first 5-year period immediately after their arrival in Canada. Even if a person resides outside of Canada for up to 3 years following the date of first arrival in Canada, that person will meet or may meet the residency obligation as long as they still have the possibility of complying with the requirement to be in Canada for 730 days.

At NPZ, our U.S. and Canadian Immigration Law Specialists seek to assist clients with regard to employment and family immigration issues. If you or your friends or family should have any questions about any aspect of the Canadian Immigration Law, please feel free to contact us at or you can call our offices at 201-670-0006 (ext. 107). We look forward to being able to assist you.