Permanent Resident Travel Documents (PRTDs) is an option.
A person can only apply for a PR card from within Canada. This means that if a person is outside Canada when their PR card expires, they cannot apply for a new one.
PR cards mostly last for five years, even though some last for less. If a PR card expires, that does not mean a person has lost PR status. However, it means with the expired card they cannot re-enter Canada, unless they are travelling by private car.
A permanent resident (PR) of Canada might leave Canada for some time. If that person wants to return, they must present their PR card , which confirms their PR status. If the PR card has expired then they have the option of applying for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD).
To apply for a PRTD a person must have Canadian PR status. They must also currently be outside Canada.
Once the PRTD is approved, the permanent resident can then use the PRTD to re-enter Canada. The PRTD is usually valid for six months after it is issued and it can only be used once. They should apply for a PR Card as soon as they are back in Canada.
PRTD can normally be applied through the nearest Canadian Visa Application Centre (VAC) by mail. A searchable list of VACs, and other resources for permanent residents overseas is provided on the government website.
One must note that due to COVID-19, some VACs are not accepting PRTD applications and some VACs may even be entirely closed. The government offers a list of VACs and which services are provided here.
If a person is unable to send their application to the VAC, they can apply online.
In both cases, the person must send in their original passport as part of their application. They may be called for an in-person or virtual interview, although this is unlikely. If their application is successful, they will receive the PRTD, which is a counterfoil on the passport.
Due to COVID and the fact that each case is different it’s difficult to predict how long the PRTD processing will take.