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Immigration Corner | How do I go back to Canada?

Published:Tuesday | November 12, 2019 | 12:17 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

I was in Canada at one time and then I was sent back home. How do I apply to go back to Canada? My children live there, and I haven’t seen them in years. What can I do to return? I look forward to your help.


Dear KJ,

If a person is the subject of a removal order from Canada due to breaches of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), then chances are, before he can return or even apply for a temporary resident visa, he will need to submit an official application for Authorisation to Return to Canada (ARC). The reason for your removal, and the length of time that has passed, will determine your course of action.

There are several reasons that individuals may be removed from or ordered to leave Canada. If a crime was committed, then you could be deemed criminally inadmissible. If you breached the terms of your visa by working when not authorized to do so, or stayed in the country longer than the time granted, or lied to a immigration officer, then these are some of the popular reasons for individuals to be ordered to return to their home country.

Under section 52 of IRPA, if a removal order has been enforced, the foreign national shall not return to Canada, unless authorised by an officer or be able to demonstrate that there are compelling circumstances which warrant the granting of a visa to Canada.

You did not indicate the reason that you were ordered to return to your home country, and this would be your starting point. What type of removal order were you given? I would strongly recommend that you contact an immigration lawyer, if you are unsure of the reason for your removal. If you violated the IRPA and/or regulations, an authorised Canadian lawyer can request your records and immigration file in order assess the precise reason that you were removed and to advise you of the steps to take to be able to return.

Types of Removal Order from Canada

There are three different kinds of removal orders and I will outline below. The first is an exclusion order. This is the easiest one to overcome depending on the reason that it was issued in the first place. A foreign national is prevented from returning to Canada usually for one year but may do so after the time has expired, and he has a certificate of departure which clearly demonstrates the exact date that he left Canada. The exception to the rule is where an individual was issued an exclusion order for misrepresentation. If this is the case, two–five years could be the length of time that the person is banned from re-entering Canada, based on the severity of the misrepresentation

The second is a departure order. A departure order usually requires and individual to leave Canada within 30 days. If you left within the required time and verified your departure with a Canadian immigration officer, then an ARC application is not required, if you can satisfy other requirements. If you failed to leave within the 30 days, the departure order automatically becomes a deportation order and an ARC application becomes necessary.

If a deportation order is issued, then this is the most severe of the removal orders. An individual is usually permanently banned from returning to Canada when a deportation order is given, unless he is able to satisfy an immigration officer that he is not a threat to the safety and security of other Canadians and that he is able to overcome his inadmissibility.

Authorisation to Return to Canada

The strategy that your legal counsel will take depends on the type of removal order and how soon after the order was given, that you departed from Canada. I have a few questions for you. Did you get a certificate of departure? How long were you ordered to leave? Did you appeal the removal order before you leave? How were you removed? Did you co-operate with the immigration officials? How old are your children? Do you have a copy of their birth certificates? Are they financially dependent on you? How long do you intend to stay in Canada? What ties do you have to your home country? Are you married? Working? Do you have a police report from your home country? Do you have letters of recommendation from family members and community leaders?

An authorisation permit is not a simple application. You will need to present cogent arguments on why you should be granted permission to re-enter Canada. I recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer and be prepared to provide answers to the above questions and provide documents to support your answers. You may be able to get an ARC, if you are able to clearly show that you do not intend to violate the immigration rules again.

Deidre S. Powell is a Canadian immigration lawyer with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Send your questions and comments to Connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram or via