On June 28, 2019 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada substantially changed the guidance that it provides to officers regarding the issuance of Temporary Resident Permits (“TRPs“).  The biggest change was the removal of the statement that TRPs could not be issued for administrative convenience.

People who do not meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “IRPA“), and most commonly people who are criminally inadmissible to Canada and who are not eligible to apply for rehabilitation, require TRPs in order to enter or remain in Canada.

Section 24 of the IRPA provides that:

A foreign national who, in the opinion of an officer, is inadmissible or does not meet the requirements of this Act becomes a temporary resident if an officer is of the opinion that it is justified in the circumstances and issues a temporary resident permit, which may be cancelled at any time.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) TRP guidelines (the “Guidelines”) provides officers with the following guidance on issuing TRPs:

Generally, individuals who do not meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), or who are inadmissible under the IRPA, may be

  • refused a permanent resident visa (PRV) or temporary resident visa (TRV) abroad
  • refused an electronic travel authorization (eTA)
  • reported inadmissible under section A44(1)
  • allowed to withdraw their application to enter Canada at a port of entry (POE)
  • refused processing within Canada

In some cases, however, an officer may issue a TRP to allow a person who is inadmissible, or who does not meet the requirements of the IRPA, to become a temporary resident (that is, to enter or remain in Canada) if it is justified in the circumstances.

TRPs allow officers to balance the objectives of the IRPA to meet Canada’s social, humanitarian and economic commitments, while maintaining the health and security of Canadians.

Prior to June 28, 2019 the Guidelines stated:

In some cases, however, there may be compelling reasons for an officer to issue a TRP to allow a person who does not meet the requirements of the Act to enter or remain in Canada.

The change is significant, and the new TRP Guidelines reflect a substantial shift in policy.

When A TRP May Be Issued

The IRCC Guidelines state that officers may issue a TRP when both of the following apply:

  • The purpose of the individual to enter or remain in Canada is balanced when the objectives of the IRPA are considered; and
  • The issuance outweighs any risks that might exist and is compelling and sufficient to overcome any risks that the individual might pose.

The objectives of the IRPA are:

(a) to permit Canada to pursue the maximum social, cultural and economic benefits of immigration;

(b) to enrich and strengthen the social and cultural fabric of Canadian society, while respecting the federal, bilingual and multicultural character of Canada;

(b.1) to support and assist the development of minority official languages communities in Canada;

(c) to support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy, in which the benefits of immigration are shared across all regions of Canada;

(d) to see that families are reunited in Canada;

(e) to promote the successful integration of permanent residents into Canada, while recognizing that integration involves mutual obligations for new immigrants and Canadian society;

(f) to support, by means of consistent standards and prompt processing, the attainment of immigration goals established by the Government of Canada in consultation with the provinces;

(g) to facilitate the entry of visitors, students and temporary workers for purposes such as trade, commerce, tourism, international understanding and cultural, educational and scientific activities;

(h) to protect public health and safety and to maintain the security of Canadian society;

(i) to promote international justice and security by fostering respect for human rights and by denying access to Canadian territory to persons who are criminals or security risks; and

(j) to work in cooperation with the provinces to secure better recognition of the foreign credentials of permanent residents and their more rapid integration into society.

The Guidelines further state that:

A TRP may be issued to any individual who is

  • seeking to come into Canada, provided an officer is of the opinion that the individual’s purpose to enter Canada is consistent with the objectives of the IRPA, while also mitigating any risk associated with the inadmissibility, and the individual is one of the following:
    • inadmissible under the IRPA
    • subject to a report under subsection A44(1)
    • reportable for a violation of the IRPA
  • already present in Canada, provided an officer is of the opinion that the individual’s purpose for remaining in Canada meets the objectives of the IRPA, while also mitigating any risk associated with the inadmissibility, and the individual is one of the following:
    • inadmissible under the IRPA
    • subject to a report under subsection A44(1)
    • reportable for a violation of the IRPA
    • not eligible for restoration of status

There is accordingly a three part test as follows:

  1. whether the individual’s purpose for entering Canada balances Canada’s social, humanitarian and economic commitments to the health and security of Canadians, per the objectives of the IRPA;
  2. whether the need for the foreign national to enter or remain in Canada is compelling; and
  3. whether the need for the foreign national’s presence in Canada outweighs any risk to Canadians or Canadian society.

When TRPs will Not Be Issued

The Guidelines stipulate that a TRP will generally not be issued in the following circumstances:

  • people under a removal order without prior consultations with the Case Management Branch (CMB) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA); and
  • a foreign national’s presence in Canada would contravene the objectives of the law, particularly those intended to protect the health and security of Canadians and to promote international justice and security.

Extensions

The Guidelines state that a TRP may be extended if:

  • the applicant applied before expiry of the previous TRP;
  • the designated authority has decided that the need for the client to be in Canada and applicable risk factors justify the client remaining in Canada, and the reason for inadmissibility has not changed (if it has, see When to issue a new TRP instead of a subsequent TRP);
  • there are no new circumstances that would justify a refusal;
  • the TRP has not been deemed cancelled by departure from Canada (a permit is deemed cancelled if the holder leaves Canada, unless the document specifies otherwise);
  • the client has complied with any previous conditions imposed (for example, reported for medical examination, confirmed departure); and
  • the general factors for TRPs have been considered.

Previous Rules

Some visa officers, and some Federal Court of Canada judges, may not be aware of the change in the Guidelines.  As such, I have enclosed as PDFs below what the Guidelines previously said so that individuals can easily compare the previous and current versions of the Guidelines.

Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs)_ When to consider issuing a TRP - Canada.ca
Temporary resident permits – Eligibility and assessment - Canada.ca