Entering Canada: What is a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)?

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In Canada, a temporary resident permit (“TRP”) is a confirmation in writing from the Canadian government (and more specifically, from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) that a person is allowed to enter the country for a definite amount of time. Such a permit is necessary when a person would otherwise be considered inadmissible.

What would cause a person to be considered inadmissible?

Though there are various reasons for which Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) representatives could deny a person entry to Canada, we will focus on three in particular:

  • Health grounds

A person can be prevented from entering Canada if he or she is likely to be a danger to public health or safety; or is likely to cause a strain on health services or social services.

  • Financial reasons

An officer can deny entry to people unable or unwilling to support themselves or anyone who is dependent on them.

  • Criminality

Denying entry to an individual on grounds of criminality is a far more common occurrence than most might expect. The immigration laws in Canada are such that a large number of offenses, even if committed outside Canada, and regardless of whether one might consider them “serious” or not, can lead to inadmissibility. In the United States for example, some offenses, which can be classified as misdemeanors, can prevent a person from entering Canada. Common examples of such offenses would be alcohol-related driving offenses, such as:

Even the offense known as Driving While Ability Impaired (“DWAI”), which in the state of New York, is not even considered a misdemeanor, but rather a traffic infraction, can lead to inadmissibility. However, offenses do not have to involve both alcohol/drugs and driving to lead to inadmissibility. Offenses such as Reckless Driving, Theft, Fraud, and Assault are but a few of many other examples, which can render a person inadmissible for entry to Canada.

It should also be mentioned that the person does not need to be convicted for inadmissibility to apply. For example, being arrested and charged with a DUI, but not yet convicted, is nonetheless sufficient to prevent entry to Canada. Consequently, anyone thinking that they can still enter Canada on the basis that a charge is still pending in Court and has not yet resulted in a decision will usually be surprised to learn that this is not so.

A Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada

For a person who is inadmissible, due to a past offense, such as a DUI, but who still possesses a legitimate and necessary reason to enter Canada, applying for a TRP could be a possible option. If the application is approved and a permit is granted, it would then allow the holder to enter Canada legally despite having a criminal record. The following is worth noting with respect to the processing of a TRP application:

  • The decision of whether a TRP can be granted remains a discretionary one. Government officials processing a TRP application will consider a variety of factors, such as the offense(s) involved, the justification for entering Canada and what an applicant has demonstrated in terms of rehabilitation.
  • A TRP can be granted for a period of up to three years. If an application for a TRP is approved, the duration period granted for the permit is also subject to the reviewing officer’s discretion.
  • A TRP can allow for what is known as “multiple entries” into Canada. In other words, the permit holder can enter and exit Canada more than once without invalidating the permit. As is the case with the approval and the duration period, this is also subject to the officer’s discretion. The permit must clearly specify that exiting will not invalidate it for this to apply.

What happens after a Temporary Resident Permit expires?

Though there can be exceptions, generally speaking, once a TRP expires, the holder will once again become inadmissible to Canada. Once that occurs, he or she can apply for a new permit to once again be authorized to enter Canada. It should also be noted that a person can apply for an extension before a permit expires.

A more permanent option however, if the person is eligible, would be to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. This application, if approved, permanently removes the inadmissibility and allows the applicant to travel to Canada without needing a TRP.

Processing times for an application for a Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada

An application for a Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada can be made by preparing the appropriate application form and presenting it either to the relevant Consulate/Embassy or to a Canadian point of entry. When the application is presented at a point of entry, an answer can be given by an officer directly to the applicant. However, whenever time allows, it is preferable to submit the application to the Consulate/Embassy and await their decision. It remains that this option will usually yield a decision faster than an application for Criminal Rehabilitation.

Questions specific to your case? Contact us

Should you have any specific questions, we invite you to contact us by phone or by email. Contacting JTM Immigration means dealing directly with one of our immigration lawyers, who can advise you on various solutions as part of a free consultation.

Call us at 1-844-326-8410.