I plan to take the Alaska cruise ship sometime this summer from Seattle which ports at Victoria BC Canada for few hours (~ 6 to 11 hours). The cruise will return to Seattle port too.

Typically I would require a Canadian visa to board the cruise ship. It gets a bit tricky. I have a Canada PR card (Mar 2013, expiring Mar 2018) but I have never been to Canada since I got our PR (I am working in US on work visa). It seems my Canada PR is not valid (I'm not sure of this yet) as I do not meet the minimum stay requirement to maintain Canada PR card (730 days in 5 years in Canada).


  • Will I have immigration issues boarding the cruise ship from Seattle using my Canada PR card?
  • If I clear immigration at Seattle using my Canada PR card, can I choose to not get off at port of Victoria and simply stay on ship?
  • Or should I apply for Canadian TRV? Do I need to first renounce my Canada PR card?

Followup questions:

  • Is there any way that when I board the cruise ship that the immigration officer is able to determine that I do not satisfy the RO and so my PR is not valid thereby not letting me board the ship? I ask as if this may happen then I will lose all the cruise money.

Other followup questions:

I ask these as I stay close to the border and I may vacation for few days at a later date.

  • Is there a way to know if my PR is invalid as of now (some website, etc)?

  • If the adjudicator determines that I'm no longer a PR at border/PoE (port of entry), would I immediately know that I'm reported? Do I lose my PR status immediately or after certain days (if so, how many)?

  • Is it a bad remark on my profile if I'm reported? Basically, is it better that I myself renounce at the border? Would it affect my chances of my TRV at a later date?

  • Is your cruise starting from Seattle, and returning into the same port?
    – George Y.
    May 7, 2017 at 5:44
  • @george-y Yes. updated question too..
    – hIpPy
    May 7, 2017 at 5:55

1 Answer 1


Was going to post it as comment as there's some speculation, but it is too large.

Assuming your US visa is multiple entries and not yet expired, you probably would be ok.

  1. When you board the ship, you'll show your US visa and Canadian PR card. Your card is still valid as per the Understand permanent resident status page: "You cannot lose your permanent resident status simply by living outside of Canada long enough that you don’t meet the residency requirement." As the page also mentions, if you would like to visit Canada then you might have problems, please read for the page for the rest as it is not relevant here because:

  2. None of the cruises I've been to required passengers to go ashore on an intermediate stops (and most usually remain aboard in case of a bad weather).

  3. When you board the ship, there are no immigration officers present - as you know there's no immigration check when you leave the USA. There may be CBP officers doing spot checks (only), but they're mostly looking for contraband. Otherwise you're dealing with the cruise company staff, who has no authority to make immigration-related decisions, especially for a foreign country (Canada). The only responsibility they have is to refuse obviously fraudulent or invalid (i.e. expired or if photo doesn't match) documents.

Your other questions seem to be more suited for Expatriates

  • 1
    I have sourced your answer. There's nothing "likely" about it, as long as you do not cross the border or formally renounce your status, you are still a PR. It is also possible but I would not risk it that you are let in for a visit because five years have not yet passed and although mathematically it is impossible that by Mar 2018 you'll have enough days but as the page says your status only gets resolved if a) you voluntarily renounce b) ask for a PR card or temporary travel document c) an adjudicator determines that you are no longer a permanent resident following an inquiry. (continued)
    – user4188
    May 7, 2017 at 7:45
  • Since there are a number of ways cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/guides/… to meet the residency obligations even if you live outside of Canada, it's very complicated at a port of entry to determine the exact situation and so it's entirely possible they won't bother until you try to renew when your PR card expires. But still: unless badly pressed do not try the border, this is only for completeness.
    – user4188
    May 7, 2017 at 7:48
  • I have updated the post with followup questions.
    – hIpPy
    May 7, 2017 at 18:33
  • @hIpPy: please post them in a separate question. This will make it easier to find by other people looking for the same piece of information. Also it seems like your followup questions are more suited for Expatriates.
    – George Y.
    May 7, 2017 at 21:23

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