Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “Act“) provides that an officer who believes that a foreign national or permanent resident in Canada is inadmissible to Canada (for criminality, health, overstay, working without authorization, etc.) may prepare a report alleging the inadmissibility (commonly known as an “A44 Report“). The Act further provides that once an officer prepares an A44 Report, then the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) (the agency generally responsible for this) may commence removal proceedings, or, when necessary, refer the matter to the Immigration and Refugee Board, an independent administrative tribunal.
The use of the term “may” in the Act has caused much confusion.
In Cha v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2006 FCA 126 (“Cha“), the Federal Court of Appeal (the “FCA“) declared that the use of the word “may” did not actually grant CBSA officers broad discretion to exercise or not to exercise the power to write A44 Reports and to commence removal proceedings when it believed that someone was inadmissible to Canada. The FCA stated (citations removed for ease of reading):
In Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General) at pages 623 to 626, Létourneau J.A. reminded us that the use of the word “may” is often a signal that a margin of discretion is given to an administrative decision maker. It can sometimes be read in context as “must” or “shall”, thereby rebutting the presumptive rule in section 11 of the Interpretation Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. I‑21 that “may” is permissive. It can also be read as no more than a signal from the legislator that an official is being empowered to do something. Even when “may” is read as granting discretion,Read more ›
On March 15, 2013, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) conducted a raid on a construction site in Vancouver. Much of the media attention has focused on the fact that a reality television crew apparently followed the CBSA officers onto the premise. Many have also commented on how surprised they were that the CBSA apparently arrested many foreign nationals without warrants, and wondered whether this was legal.
Section 55(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “Act“) states that:
An officer may, without a warrant, arrest and detain a foreign national, other than a protected person,
(a) who the officer has reasonable grounds to believe is inadmissible and is a danger to the public or is unlikely to appear for examination, an admissibility hearing, removal from Canada, or at a proceeding that could lead to the making of a removal order by the Minister under subsection 44(2); or
(b) if the officer is not satisfied of the identity of the foreign national in the course of any procedure under this Act.
A foreign national in Canada may be inadmissible for numerous reasons, including if they have remained in Canada beyond the period authorized by their visa, or if they have worked without authorization. If an officer has reason to believe that the foreign national has done something to make them inadmissible, and believes that they likely won’t appear for examination or removal when directed to do so, the officer may arrest and detain the individual. That individual will then have the right to detention reviews at the Immigration and Refugee Board.
In addition to the CBSA, peace officers (the police) also have the authority to arrest and detain individuals without a warrant if they believe that s.Read more ›
On March 1, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada (the “SCC“) in R v. J.F., clarified the elements of the offence of conspiracy. The decision has immigration implications because people who have been convicted of conspiracy may be inadmissible to Canada.
Section 465 of Canada’s Criminal Code criminalizes the offence of conspiracy. Conspiracy is a form of inchoate liability. In other words, the actual result of the conspiracy need not occur for someone to be convicted under s. 465. For example, a person can be convicted of “conspiracy to commit murder” even if the murder does not occur. Furthermore, members in a conspiracy need not personally commit, or intend to commit, the offence which each has agreed should be committed. Any degree of assistance in the furtherance of the unlawful object can lead to a finding of membership as long as agreement to a common plan can be inferred and the requisite mental state has been established.
Aiding or abetting the formation of an agreement between conspirators amounts to aiding or abetting the principals in the commission of the conspiracy. Party liability is limited, however, to cases where the accused aids or abets the initial formation of the agreement, or aids or abets a new member to join a pre‑existing agreement. The SCC ruled that acts that further the unlawful object of a conspiracy are not an element of the offence of conspiracy. Aiding or abetting the furtherance of the unlawful object does not establish aiding or abetting the principal with any element of the offence of conspiracy. However, the SCC noted that where a person, with knowledge of a conspiracy, does or omits to do something for the purpose of furthering the unlawful object,Read more ›
Fresh off of last week’s report on people who were declared in 2011 to be inadmissible to Canada when they arrived at the Vancouver International Airport, the following chart obtained through an Access to Information and Privacy Act request shows the source countries of people who were voluntarily allowed to leave YVR without being declared inadmissible to Canada.
The top 10 countries were:
Read more ›
The British Columbia Supreme Court (“BCSC“) in R v. Appulonappa has struck down s. 117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA“). Section 117 theoretically prohibited human smuggling. Its exact wording was:
117. (1) No person shall knowingly organize, induce, aid or abet the coming into Canada of one or more persons who are not in possession of a visa, passport or other document required by this Act.
(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) with respect to fewer than 10 persons is guilty of an offence and liable
(a) on conviction on indictment
(i) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $500,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years, or to both, or
(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $1,000,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than 14 years, or to both; and
(b) on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $100,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than two years, or to both.
(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) with respect to a group of 10 persons or more is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction by way of indictment to a fine of not more than $1,000,000 or to life imprisonment, or to both.
(4) No proceedings for an offence under this section may be instituted except by or with the consent of the Attorney General of Canada.
As the BCSC noted, it is legitimate, necessary, and laudable for the Canadian government to attack and criminalize what is commonly referred to as human smuggling.Read more ›
On the same day that Washington State and Colorado voted to legalize the possession of marijuana, Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, tweeted the following:
To answer your question, it depends on what you mean by foreigners.
Most people probably think that when you say foreigners you mean people residing in Canada as visitors, students, and workers. If that is the case then yes… I believe that it is reasonable for the Canadian government to seek to remove such people from Canada if they are convicted of drug trafficking here.
However, the Conservative government’s Bill C-43, the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, currently before Parliament, goes beyond foreign nationals. It provides that permanent residents who are sentenced to six months or more imprisonment (including conditional sentences) must be removed from Canada, regardless of how long they have been immigrants, whether they have family in Canada, or their specific circumstances.
I recently acted for an individual who immigrated to Canada over twenty years ago, but never became a Canadian citizen. His family, including a wife and children, are all Canadian citizens. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness sought to deport him because he was convicted of one incident of trafficking cocaine, and was sentenced to a 15-month conditional sentence. Under our current immigration system, he could appear before the Immigration Appeal Division. The IAD could consider his circumstances (including length of time and family in Canada) and stay his deportation subject to him complying with certain conditions (including not be involved in further criminal activity). If Bill C-43 had been in force at the time that the Canadian government sought to deport him, he would not have been able to go to the Immigration Appeal Division,Read more ›
The most common question was how much it will cost a person to apply to the program.
The Government of Canada has not yet announced how much it will charge applicants to the program. In the United States, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization costs $14.00, and is valid for 2 years. (Only $4.00 goes to the cost of administering the program. The remaining $10.00 goes to tourism promotion.) In Australia, applicants can choose to pay AUD 20.00 for a 12 month authorization, or AUD 105.00 for a long term authorization valid for the duration of an applicant’s passport. These comparisons obviously don’t reveal how much Canada will charge, however, they provide an indication of what the “norm” for these types of programs are.
Another question was why applicants will have to go to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization when the airlines through which they booked their flights to Canada already collect this information.
I don’t know the answer to this question, but I would suspect that it because the airlines do not want to hold seats while Citizenship and Immigration Canada determines whether someone is admissible to Canada. The Electronic Travel Authorization can simply be part of the price of an airline ticket because of the complications involving flight refunds if authorization is refused.
The final, and in my opinion the most significant question, was whether the Electronic Travel Authorization programs means that Port of Entry Temporary Resident Permit (“TRP”) applications will become obsolete.Read more ›
The Federal Court has affirmed the reasonableness of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (“CIC“) decision to declare a Buddhist priest inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation. The consequence of being declared inadmissible to Canada is a two-year ban on entering Canada.
The priest, who at the time of the decision lived in Toronto, filed an application for permanent residency with CIC in 2009. On his Schedule 1 Background Declaration form, the priest answered as follows:
The priest ticked NO to bullet points 2 and 3 despite having applied for numerous temporary resident visas in the past. While most of these were approved, one of them was rejected.
CIC determined that the priest’s misstatement was material enough to result in the priest being inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation.
The decision did not address whether a misrepresentation finding would have been reasonable if the priest had never been refused a visa. In other words, if the priest had merely not disclosed that he had previously applied for temporary resident visas which were all approved, would a misrepresentation finding still be reasonable?
It may be that we never learn the answer.
To anyone who recently applied for permanent residency and is thinking “I don’t remember being asked this question and I checked NO to all the boxes in the Schedule 1..” don’t worry… CIC recently changed the Schedule 1 Background Declaration form.
It now only asks if applicants have previously been refused a visa.Read more ›
Restructuring of North American Processing Network (Continued)
In a previous post, I wrote about how on May 29, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) restructured its North American Processing Network. The restructuring included the closure of immigration section of the Canadian consualte in Buffalo, as well as the realigninment of Work Permit and Study Permit functions of the Canadian consulates in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Detroit, and Seattle. For information on those changes, I encourage you to read that post.
On June 11, 2012, CIC released a further Operational Bulletin detailing additional changes to which consulates which process Temporary Resident Permit applications, Rehab applications, and Authorization to Return to Canada applications. .
Re-Configuring the U.S. Network (TRPs, Rehab, and ARC)
Effectively June 18, the Seattle, Detroit, and New York consulates will no longer be processing new TRP, Rehab, and ARC applications. Only the Los Angeles and Washington DC consulates will process new applications in these categories. Furthermore, applicants residing in the United States will not be able to choose which consulate to submit their application to. Applicants living in the United States east of the Mississippi River (including in Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and St. Pierre et Miqueldon) must apply to the Washington DC Consulate. Applicants residing in the United States living west of the Mississippi River must apply to the Los Angeles consulate.
Verification of Entry
Verification of Entry
Verification of Entry
Verification of Entry
Study Permit (U.S.Read more ›
As published in the May Canadian Immigrant magazine:
In November 2011, the Auditor General of Canada Michael Ferguson released a report criticizing the Canadian government for having what he essentially described as a completely inadequate screening process for detecting people who pose a security risk to Canadians.
As one might expect, this did not go over too well with a Conservative government that spent much of the autumn session pushing a public safety agenda. It responded to the auditor general’s report by promising to comply with his recommendations, and stating that it had already begun to make significant investments to improve security screening. Previously, people with criminal convictions occasionally entered Canada undetected. Border officials would also often let them into Canada on a short-term basis without requiring much paperwork. Now, both of these scenarios are likely to become less common.
It is, therefore, important that people who have been convicted of a criminal offence determine in advance whether they will likely be prohibited from entering Canada.
Will you be inadmissible to Canada?
If a conviction exists, then it is necessary to determine whether the conviction’s equivalent offence in Canada would be a summary, hybrid or indictable offence under an act of Parliament. Then, one must determine when the individual’s sentence was completed, and whether the offence is one such that passage of time nullifies the inadmissibility.
Consequences for common offences
Here are immigration consequences for some of the more common offences that people have. In general, offences involving the operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol will render persons inadmissible to Canada for a period of 10 years following the completion of the sentence. The same is true for assault.
Trafficking cocaine,Read more ›
Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to a given program. Canadian immigration law is constantly changing, and the information above may be dated. If you have a question about the contents of this blog, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author.
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