February 27, 2024

Can I Travel Outside Canada After Submitting My Citizenship Application?

Navigating the path to Canadian citizenship can be an exciting journey, filled with new opportunities and responsibilities. One common question that arises during this process is: "Can I travel outside Canada after submitting my citizenship application?"

The answer is yes, Canadian permanent residents (PRs) can travel outside Canada after submitting their citizenship application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). However, it's crucial to understand certain conditions and requirements that ensure your eligibility for citizenship remains intact throughout your travels.

Maintaining Permanent Resident Status

It's important to remember that being a Canadian PR at the time of applying and throughout the processing period is a fundamental requirement for obtaining citizenship. This means that:

  1. Only PRs can apply for citizenship: Temporary residents, such as foreign workers and international students, are not eligible for this pathway.
  2. Maintaining PR status: Throughout the application process, you must fulfill your obligations as a PR, including residing in Canada for a minimum of 730 days over the past five years. This period doesn't have to be continuous, and some time spent outside Canada can count towards the total.
  3. Retaining PR status until the Oath of Citizenship: You must maintain your PR status until you take the Oath of Citizenship, officially becoming a Canadian citizen.

Travel Considerations for PRs Applying for Citizenship

While traveling outside Canada is permissible, there are important aspects to consider to ensure a smooth return and maintain your path towards citizenship:

  1. Traveling with a Valid PR Card: Having a valid PR card is crucial for a straightforward re-entry into Canada. IRCC requires PRs returning by plane, train, bus, or boat to possess a valid PR card.
  2. Renewing Expiring PR Cards: If your PR card is nearing expiry during your planned travel, it's essential to renew it before leaving Canada. Renewals can only be done within Canada, and IRCC cannot send PR cards to foreign addresses or allow third-party retrieval.
  3. Obtaining a PRTD for Expired PR Cards: If your PR card has expired before travel, you'll need to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) from outside Canada. Unlike PR cards, PRTDs can only be obtained outside the country.
  4. Potential Entry Denial Without Valid Documents: IRCC advises that attempting to re-enter Canada without a valid PR card or PRTD may result in denial of entry at the port of entry.

Communication and Appointment Attendance During Application Processing

While traveling, it's crucial to stay informed and readily participate in the citizenship process. IRCC primarily communicates with applicants by mailing letters and notices to addresses within Canada. They may also use email communications. It's essential to respond promptly to any IRCC communication within the specified timeframe, unless valid reasons for delay are presented. Failure to comply without due cause may lead to IRCC halting your application processing.

Remember, you are also required to attend all scheduled appointments and events related to your citizenship application, including the citizenship test, ceremony, interview, or hearing. These events typically take place at IRCC offices across Canada. If attendance is impossible, you must notify the relevant IRCC office via email or the provided online web form, explaining the reason for your absence and seeking alternative arrangements.


Traveling outside Canada after submitting your citizenship application is permissible for PRs. However, maintaining your PR status, traveling with valid documentation, and staying responsive to IRCC communication are crucial throughout the process. By understanding these requirements and planning accordingly, you can ensure a smooth journey towards becoming a Canadian citizen.

Considering Migrating to Canada?

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