The Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD)

Most residents of Canada are also citizens and therefore have a Canadian passport, enabling them to travel to and from Canada without hindrance. However, for those who have not yet obtained Canadian citizenship, travel can be a hassle. That is why the Canadian government created the Permanent Resident Travel Document (also known as a PRTD).


The Canadian Permanent Resident Travel Document enables Canadian residents who do not currently hold a Canadian passport the ability to return to Canada without the usual hassle of obtaining a visa. Prior to boarding a plane, bus or boat, most operators require that their passengers provide valid proof that they will be accepted into Canada upon arrival. For Canadian citizens, a passport is sufficient, however for permanent residents who have not yet obtained citizenship, an alternative document must be presented. The acceptable documents are the Canadian Permanent Resident Card or the Canadian Permanent Resident Travel Document. The Canadian Permanent Resident Travel Document is used most frequently in the event that you have lost or forgotten your Permanent Resident Card.

How To Apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document

The process of applying for a PRTD is simple and can mostly be completed online.

First, visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/travel.asp to download all of the necessary documents that you will need to print.

Once you have completed the application form, and paid the necessary fees, mail your fully completed permanent resident travel document application to the appropriate Canadian visa office. To determine which Canadian Visa Office you should apply to, choose the nearest option from the following list: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/apply-where.asp

Do I need a PRTD?

You do not need a Permanent Resident Travel Document if you have any of the following documents:

  • Canadian passport
  • Canadian permanent resident card


You will, however, need the document if you do not have the above. The following documents are not acceptable proof of residency:

  • Record of landing
  • Returning resident permit
  • Letter of permanent residence


If you fail to provide the required documents to your travel provider, it is likely that you will be denied entry and unable to return to Canada.

For more information on the Canadian Permanent Resident Travel Document, please explore our website.