Living In Canada

Why People Leave Canada After Getting PR


Every year, thousands of people come to Canada with the dream of starting a new life, while many achieve this, they stay long in the country and become citizens, some don’t.

For some, that dream doesn’t last long, once they get permanent residency, they are on their way home.

We’ve all heard the stories. Someone gets permanent residency in Canada and then decides to move back to their home country after a few years.


In fact, a recent study found that one in five people who come to Canada and get a permanent residency end up leaving the country within five years.

While everyone has their reason to leave Canada after getting permanent residency, the consistency has remained the same.

Why people leave Canada after getting PR

There are a number of reasons why people decide to leave Canada after getting their permanent residency.

Here are some of the prominent ones

Cost of living

One of the commonest reasons why people leave Canada after getting PR is the high cost of living.

It’s no secret that the cost of living in Canada is high. And for many new immigrants, the price tag of living here can be quite a shock.

Even after getting their permanent residency status, many people still can’t afford the high cost of living and choose to leave Canada instead.

They don’t feel like they fit in

Though Canada is a very welcoming and inclusive country, it can still be quite difficult to adjust to life here.

The climate is also a big factor – it can be very cold in Canada, and many people find that they miss the warm weather of their home countries.

Additionally, some people find Canadians to be too reserved and that they don’t have the same kind of social connections that they did back home.

They find the winters too long and cold

While Canada is full of beautiful scenery and friendly people, the winters can be long and cold, and many people find they can’t cope with the harsh conditions.

As a result, many people who move to Canada on a permanent basis eventually leave the country for warmer climes.

They never had the intention of staying long

Not everyone who strive and got permanent residency had the intention to stay in the country afterwards.

Some needed it for assurance purposes, they want to have ties with more than one country.

Permanent residency guarantees them residential benefits from Canada. Once this target is achieved, they tend to leave the country.

They miss their culture

While Canada is a great place to live, it can be hard to adjust to a new country, especially if you’re not used to the country’s culture and ways of life.

Some just find it hard to adapt to the Canadian lifestyle, so they decide to leave.

While some just want to take a break from the usual Canadian struggle.

Career Progression

Many people leave Canada after getting PR because they found that their career progression (in Canada) is not what they expected, or they simply don’t have enough job opportunities in their field.

For example, someone might have come to Canada with a certain skill set and experience, but then find that there are limited opportunities for growth and advancement in their field.

They might be stuck in a dead-end job, or simply not finding the same level of challenge and stimulation that they were used to back in their home country.

In some cases, people might also find that the salary levels and working conditions in Canada are not as good as they thought they would be.

So, despite having PR, they decide to leave the country in search of better opportunities.

For many, it’s not just about finding a job, it’s about finding the right job that aligns with their goals and aspirations.

Cultural Differences

When you move to a new country like Canada, you’ll be faced with a new culture, new customs, and new ways of life.

Fitting in can be a huge adjustment.

You may struggle to fit in, or you may find that you simply don’t like the new way of life.

In some cases, these cultural differences can be so pronounced that it’s difficult for you to feel at home in Canada.

Canadian culture is different in many ways from other countries.

For example, Canadian society is known for being very friendly and welcoming, but also very polite and reserved.

This can be a stark contrast to the more outgoing and expressive cultures that you are used to.

Not everyone can cope with this cultural differences for a long time, you may endure this huge change for a while but once you get your PR, you know you can now travel back home and spend quality time with friends and family without fear.

With your PR, you have more numbers of days to spend outside Canada.

Language Barriers

Even though Canada offer language training programs for permanent residents, such as the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program.

People leaving Canada after getting PR due to language barriers is a common scenario for many newcomers to Canada.

Language barriers can impact a person’s ability to find work in their field, communicate effectively with colleagues and clients, and even participate in everyday activities like grocery shopping or using public transportation.

These barriers can lead to feelings of isolation, frustration, and a general lack of sense of belonging.

For many people, these challenges can become overwhelming and lead to the decision to leave Canada and return to their home country once they get their PR and can spend quality time at home.

To stay close to family

For many people, family is the most important thing in their lives.

And if their family is living in another country, it can be very difficult to stay in Canada.

This is especially true if they have young children.

They, instead of staying in Canada, decided to go back to their country and spend time with their family having stayed out long during their pursuit for permanent residency.

Frequently asked questions

Here are freqnetly asked questions about leaving Canada after getting PR

How long can you stay outside of Canada without losing PR?

You can stay as long as you want outside Canada without losing your PR but you must spend at least 730 days in Canada within (every) five years in order to maintain your permanent residence status.

These 730 days do not have to run consecutively. Your time spent overseas could count toward the 730 days.

Can I stay more than 6 months outside Canada with PR?

You can stay more than 6 months outside Canada as long as you meet the 730 days mark within five years.

Can I leave Province after getting PR?

Yes, as a Permanent Resident (PR) of Canada, you have the freedom to leave your province after getting your PR, you also have the freedom to live and work in any province or territory in the country, unless your PR is subject to restrictions related to specific program such as provincial nominee programs.

However, if you plan to be outside of Canada for an extended period of time, it is advisable to check if there are any restrictions that may affect your PR status, such as the requirement to maintain a certain amount of physical presence in the country.

Additionally, it is always a good idea to consult with immigration authorities or a legal professional if you have any concerns or questions about your PR status.


It’s clear that getting permanent residency in Canada is no guarantee that you’ll stay for the long haul.

People leave Canada after getting PR for lost of reasons, mostly for:

  • Job Opportunities: People may leave Canada if they find better job opportunities in another country.
  • Cost of Living: The high cost of living in Canada, especially in major cities, can be a reason for some people to leave.
  • Climate: The harsh winter climate in some parts of Canada may not be suitable for everyone.
  • Family and Friends: People may leave Canada to be closer to family and friends who live in another country.
  • Career Progression: Some individuals may find that they are not able to advance in their careers as they would like in Canada.
  • Quality of Life: Some people may find that the quality of life in Canada is not what they expected it to be.
  • Language Barriers: For those who do not speak English or French fluently, adapting to life in Canada can be a challenge.
  • Health Care: The Canadian health care system may not meet the expectations or needs of some individuals.
  • Homesickness: Homesickness for one’s home country can be a reason for some people to leave Canada.
  • Cultural Differences: People may find that they are unable to fully adapt to the cultural differences in Canada and therefore, move back to their home country.

While Canada is a great place to live, work, and raise a family, it’s important to be aware of the challenges of being here which can be overwhelming.

Luckily for everyone, Canada has no law against people leaving the country after getting permanent residency.

So, if you intend to leave after getting permanent residency, you’ll still be acting within the country’s law.


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