Difference between Citizen and Permanent Resident
What is the difference between PR and Citizenship in Canada?
To become a permanent resident, an individual needs to immigrate to Canada and obtain permanent residence status. Please note that having permanent resident status does not make you a Canadian citizen. There are some differences between PR and Citizenship in Canada.
Being a Canadian citizen is a goal of many potential immigrants. However, to become a Canadian citizen firstly you have to be a permanent resident of the country. Indeed, the final stage of every Canadian immigration program is to become a Canadian permanent resident.
A difference between a Citizen and Permanent Resident
You automatically get a permanent resident card (PR) when you become a permanent resident. Becoming a Canadian permanent resident gives you a number of rights. These rights include access to the same social benefits as any Canadian citizen has. It also includes rights to live, work, study anywhere in Canada; protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and of course, the right to apply for Canadian citizenship.
Being a Canadian permanent resident also brings many social responsibilities as Canadian citizens have. Paying taxes and abiding by Canadian laws are some of these. Indeed, Canadian citizens can only do two more things that permanent residents cant. These are voting and running for office. Please also note that holding certain government positions that require high-level security clearance has also some restrictions for permanent residents.
Permanent residents of Canada can travel outside the country using their PR cards or their Permanent Resident Travel Document. They can also use the passport of their country of citizenship. You need to renew your PR card regularly since it has a validity period.
You can live outside of Canada as a permanent resident but, in order to keep your permanent residency, you need to live in Canada at least two years in a five-year period. Living outside of Canada longer that this may cause you to lose your status. However there also some exceptions. If you are accompanying a spouse or common-law partner or parent as you spend your time outside Canada then it can be counted towards residency. This is also true if a Canadian business assigns you to a position outside Canada.
Becoming a Canadian citizen
So, after becoming a permanent resident you need to meet certain residency requirements. You can apply for a Canadian passport and can freely participate in Canadian politics as a naturalized citizen of Canada. And unlike a permanent residency, you do not need to do anything to maintain your citizenship.