Enforcing Removal Orders and Authorization to Return to Canada: Scenarios, Questions, and Answers

One of the more common questions that I am asked is when people who have been told  by the Government of Canada to leave Canada need to submit an Application for Authorization to Return to Canada (“ARC”) before they return.

I have obtained a copy of internal Citizenship and Immigration Canada material which addresses some of these questions, and which I have adapted and produced below.  Please note that the material below has been adapted from a document dated 2009-10.  It is from an official work by the Government of Canada which was obtained through Access to Information and Privacy Act Request.  I have reviewed it and believe that it is correct and current. However, the scenarios below should only be used for informational purposes.  It is NOT legal advice. As well, the reproduction of the training materials has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Scenario 1

Tiger Johnson, a citizen of the USA,was issued a Departure Order on August 4, 2008.  When he left Canada, he did not confirm his departure with the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”).   In 2012, he shows up at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles and tells an officer that he now wants to confirm his departure from Canada since he forgot to do it when he left in 2008.

Can the Officer now enforce the removal order?

No. Regulation 240(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provides that Mr. Johnson must apply for a visa or for an authorization to return to Canada in order for an officer outside Canada to enforce a removal order.

Scenario 1(b)

A week later, Tiger Johnson returns to the LA Consulate and submits a letter explaining that he would like to go to Canada to attend an agricultural fair for work.  He also submits 400$ and a completed ARC application with the required supporting documents.   In addition, he provides evidence of a used boarding pass dated August 30, 2008, for a flight from Toronto to Los Angeles which he had booked himself. He also submits a copy of a signed lease dated Sept. 1, 2008 for his apartment in Los Angeles.

Does he need to apply for ARC even though he has shown that he left Canada within 30 days of the Departure Order being issued? 

Yes.  His departure order became a deportation order because it was not enforced within 30 days.  His failure to attend at CBSA means that he now needs ARC to return to Canada even though he complied with the “spirit” of the Departure Order.

Can the officer at the consulate enforce the removal order? 

Yes.  Since Mr. Johnson did not confirm his departure out of Canada with an officer, and since he has now applied for ARC, the LA Consulate can enforce the removal order.

Scenario 2

Arthur Lagaffe, a French citizen, was issued a Departure Order in 2004.  He never complied with it.  In 2008, he was arrested in Montreal for a speeding ticket and was immediately detained and handed over to CBSA. He was deported on 4 July 2008 on an Air France flight to Paris.  His departure was confirmed by CBSA. His air ticket was paid for by the Department. In Mr. Lagaffe’s letter, he now indicates that he would like to return to Canada since his departure was rushed and he needs to collect some belongings.

Does he need to apply for ARC?

Yes. Because his Departure Order was not enforced within 30 days it became a Deportation Order, and he needs ARC.

Does Mr. Lagaffe need to pay back the government for removal costs?

Yes.   He has to pay 1500$, the amount proscribed by law.  However, he is only legally required to pay this if his ARC application is approved.

Scenario 3

Pablo Rodriguez submits an application for a work permit in 2012.  The reviewing officer sees that he was issued an Exclusion Order on September 4, 2008.  He was issued this removal order because he submitted his application for a work permit extension after his status had already expired.  Pablo’s passport shows that he left Canada on September 11, 2008. However, in his haste to depart Canada he says that he forgot to confirm his departure with CBSA.  Pablo’s representative provided a letter of explanation and indicated that Pablo does not require ARC since more than 1 year has elapsed since his exclusion order was issued.

Is Pablo’s representative right in stating that Pablo does not require ARC 

No.  The Exclusion Order was not enforced because Pablo did not confirm his departure out of Canada.  The 1-year period only starts when the Exclusion Order is enforced. The Officer reviewing the work permit application will enforce the removal order, and the 1-year period will start from that date.

Scenario 4

Park Lee Kim, a 19-year old South Korean national, applies for a study permit so that he can attend the University of British Columbia.  He was previously issued a Deportation Order as a result of being an accompany family member of an individual who was deported from Canada for being involved with organized crime.

Does Park Lee Kim need to apply for ARC? 

No.  Regulation 226(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations exempts family members against whom a deportation order was issued as the result of a deportation order issued against the principal applicant from having to obtain ARC.


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