Immigration Corner | How do I fix this misunderstanding?
Dear Ms Powell,
About three years ago, I visited my aunt who was ill in Canada. I had a return ticket but my grandmother had surgery, so I stayed an extra 10 days to help out. I bought a one-way ticket back home. My aunt has recently passed away and I would like to attend the funeral. I tried to visit her last year and I was turned back. What can I do?
When an individual stays longer than the time granted, this could lead to a removal order and you will be deemed inadmissible to Canada. In order to overcome this hurdle, you may need an Authorisation to Return to Canada (ARC).
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) 52 (1) states that if a removal order has been enforced, the foreign national shall not return to Canada unless authorised by an officer or in other prescribed circumstances.
There are three types of removal orders and whether you need to apply for an ARC depends on the circumstances surrounding your departure from Canada. What document did you receive before you departed? Did you receive a departure order, exclusion order or a deportation order?
For a departure order, where you left within the 30 days required and you verified your departure, you do not need an ARC. However, you will be subject to scrutiny by an immigration officer upon landing in Canada. Similarly, if you were issued an exclusion order, have a certificate of departure and 12 months have passed, you do not need an ARC. A deportation order requires an ARC application.
In your circumstances, since you were turned back the last time you attempted to travel to Canada, it appears that you will need to apply for an ARC. This could be because you left without notifying the Canadian authorities of the date you actually left Canada.
The ARC application fee is CDN$400. You must provide a detailed letter explaining the circumstances or reasons for your overstaying. This is bearing in mind that you had the option to submit an application to change conditions or extend your stay in Canada as a visitor and you failed to do so at the time.
You will need to provide proof of your grandmother's illness and surgery. You will also need to provide additional proof that you, in fact, left at the time you indicated. You will also need to submit details of your reason for wishing to return to Canada and convincing arguments to show that you will not overstay again. Your aunt's death certificate is also very important.
A completed Temporary Resident Visa application form and all the usual documents to show your ties to your home country are also necessary. You also need to show proof that you are committed to returning at the end of the time granted. Include documents such as a job letter, bank statement, proof of assets, membership in professional or community organisations, marriage certificate and birth certificates of your children, if applicable.
Meeting the minimum requirements for the issuance of a temporary resident/ visitor's visa is not enough. The authorities will look at the circumstances leading to the removal order and whether the circumstance has changed. Therefore, you must submit compelling arguments to convince a visa officer that you are not a threat to the Canadian society and that they can trust you to comply with their rules and regulations this time.
You appear to have compelling arguments. Therefore, your challenge will be to provide the relevant proof. Bare statements will not be accepted. You must submit documents to substantiate your application.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject line: Immigration, or call 613.695.8777