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Most people know that a permanent resident of Canada is an immigrant who has successfully obtained a Maple Leaf Card, or Permanent Resident for short. However, permanent residents are not naturalized citizens of Canada, nor are they entitled to Canadian benefits.


Permanent residents in Canada do not have political rights, the right to vote, or the right to be elected. In addition, a Citizen is a naturalized Canadian citizen. The benefits of becoming a Canadian citizen are all the rights and obligations of a citizen under Canadian law. However, some countries do not recognize dual citizenship, so if you become a Canadian citizen, you will have to give up your original citizenship.

Canadian PR vs Citizens: Passports and Visas

In fact, both Canadian permanent residents and citizens are entitled to the same social benefits, such as child benefits, tax-free benefits, pension benefits, unemployment benefits, and medical benefits. However, there is a difference between the two.


– Canadian permanent residents can be deprived of their status or ordered to leave the country. For example, in the event of a violation of Canadian law.


– Canadian citizens hold a Canadian passport and can visit 183 countries and territories without a visa or visa on arrival. However, permanent residents do not have this benefit, but it is easier for permanent residents to obtain a visa with a Maple Leaf Card.


– Permanent residents in Canada do not have the right to vote, nor do they have the right to interfere at the national leadership level in Canada. In addition, they are not allowed to participate in politics, nor are they allowed to intervene in national or political related work.


– Canadian citizens do not need a visa to visit the United States for shopping, but only need to show proof of identity such as a passport. However, if you want to work in the United States, you can only stay there for six months on a regular passport and need to apply for an additional TN visa, which is a labor market work visa under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Apply for Canadian Permanent Resident (PR)

A Canadian Maple Leaf Permanent Resident is an individual who has been granted permanent residency and is not a Canadian citizen. A Canadian Maple Leaf Permanent Resident is still a citizen of another country in the eyes of the immigration authorities. If you become a Canadian Maple Leaf Permanent Resident, you will automatically receive a permanent residence permit, which is often referred to as a Maple Leaf Card. The Canadian Maple Leaf Card is the equivalent of a green card in the United States.


Canadian Maple Leaf Permanent Residents cannot have a Canadian passport, but they can travel abroad with a Maple Leaf Card or a permanent resident travel document and a passport from their country of origin. The Maple Leaf Card has an expiry date and needs to be renewed regularly. However, if your Maple Leaf Card expires, it does not mean that you will automatically lose your permanent residency. To maintain permanent residency, you must meet the residency requirements.


As a permanent resident of Canada with a Maple Leaf Card, you are free to live in Canada. However, you must live in Canada for at least two years within a five-year period or you may lose your permanent resident status. There are special circumstances: if your spouse, partner or parent lives overseas with you and they have Canadian citizenship, those periods of overseas residence can be counted; if you work for a Canadian business that requires you to work outside of Canada, the time spent working overseas can also be counted.

Apply to Become a Canadian Citizen

The difference between Canadian permanent resident status and citizenship is that you must become a permanent resident first, then to become a citizen. Canadian Maple Leaf Permanent Residents have the right to apply to immigrants to become Canadian citizens, but one must meet certain living requirements such as the number of days they live in Canada before they can formally apply to become Canadian citizens.


Simply put, many Canadian immigrant applicants want to acquire Canadian citizenship. However, before you can become a Canadian citizen, you must first become a permanent resident of Canada with a Maple Leaf Card. In fact, all Canadian immigration programs, including the various types of federal immigration programs, provincial nominee programs, and the Quebec immigration program, will eventually lead to permanent resident status and then you will be able to convert to Canadian citizenship.


In addition, Canadian citizens receive a Canadian passport, which allows you to participate freely in local politics. In addition, applying to become a full Canadian citizen does not have the same first-class or second-class citizenship benefits as other countries, you are applying for Canadian citizenship as if you were a Canadian citizen by birth.


Application Requirements:

  1. Have been granted permanent resident status
  2. Must have resided in Canada for at least 3 years (1095 days) within 5 years
  3. Have submitted payroll taxes (if applicable)
  4. Have a clean criminal record (crimes committed within or outside of Canada may result in denial of Canadian citizenship)
  5. Pass a language proficiency test (proof of English or French)
  6. Pass a civics exam (to assess the applicant’s knowledge of Canadian history, geography, economics, government, law, etc.)

After reading the above information, do you understand the difference between Canadian permanent residents and citizens? If you would like to know more about immigration to Canada, please contact us. Simard & Associates brings together a team of experienced immigration consultants who have worked with numerous families and applicants on a variety of Canadian immigration programs, providing one-stop immigration consulting services that make it easy for you to move to Canada.