New permanent residents (PRs) will automatically receive the new card as part of the immigration process. Current PRs only need to get a new card once their existing card expires. In the meantime, their existing card is still valid.
Some of the changes include:
- new specifications for the cardholder’s photograph
- the removal of the immigration category from the card
- an increase to the number of characters permitted for a holder’s name, from 20 characters for the last name and 15 characters for the given name, to 28 characters each for both the given and last names
- new security features, including inks that are resistant to copying, a new foil graphic embedded in the card and a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip with an identification number unique to the card
The RFID chip does not contain personal information. The RFID chip contains only a unique identifier.
When a PR is moving through a land border crossing, an RFID-enabled PR card is securely and accurately read by readers. As the RFID chip is read, the unique identifier is transmitted to a secure database and acts as the key to authorize the return of the traveller’s biographical information from the database. The information is displayed to the Border Service Officer as the vehicle pulls up to the inspection booth.
The installation of RFID chip readers at land border crossings is scheduled to begin in 2016.
We are not sure if this is completely good news or not good news. But we can say it is certainly to show that Permanent Resident Card will be definitely required by all permanent residents who would travel outside of Canada.