Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Immigration Corner | Will I get a visa now?

Published:Tuesday | March 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I was ordered to leave Canada about 15 years ago. Can I reapply for a visitor visa now? Would I get through?

- KN

Dear KN,

Before you can reapply for a visitor/ temporary resident visa, you will have to assess whether you have been deemed rehabilitated or are still considered inadmissible to Canada. First, I would need to know the reason you were ordered to leave Canada in the first place and the type of removal order that was issued.

There are three types of removal orders issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). These are departure orders, exclusion orders, and deportation orders. Depending on the type of order, you may be able to reapply or submit an application known as an Authorisation to Return to Canada (ARC).

When persons are issued a removal order, they are required to confirm their departure from Canada with the CBSA. You should note that a departure order automatically becomes a deportation order when you have been issued a departure order and do not leave Canada or if you leave without confirming your departure with the CBSA office. Departure and exclusion orders are usually issued for less serious violations.

If you were issued a departure order, then you would have been required to leave Canada within 30 days after the order becomes enforceable. If you left within the 30 days and notified the CBSA of your departure and received a Certificate of Departure, then you may apply for a visitor visa or temporary resident visa without the need to fill out Authorisation to Return to Canada (ARC) application. This is the least offensive of the orders, and, with proper guidance, your application could be successful.

An exclusion order is usually issued for failing to appear or leave within a specified time, misrepresentation, and other infractions under the Immigration and Refugee Protect Act. If your situation falls within this category, then the minimum time you are expected to remain outside of Canada is one year after the date of removal, unless you have received a written order of the CBSA. If the reason your removal is for misrepresentation, then you will be banned for a minimum of five years. Since 15 years has passed, and if you have a Certificate of Departure, you do not need to apply for ARC.

There is no absolute guarantee that once you apply for the ARC or a temporary resident visa you will be automatically granted the authorisation to return to Canada. This is solely at the discretion of the visa officers. You will need to convince the visa officer that you will not breech the rules again and that you are not a threat to the safety of Canadians. Some of the things the officer will consider are the reasons for the removal order; whether you could be a repeat offender; your current ties to your home country, which includes proof of economic, social, and emotion connection; the reason you want to return; and your ability to afford the trip.

If a deportation order was issued, you are permanently barred from returning to Canada. These orders are usually issued for serious violations or criminal activities, and so you would be deemed 'criminally inadmissible' and considered a threat to the safety of Canadians and people in Canada. There are ways that you can overcome some criminal inadmissibility, and for this, I recommend that you consult directly with an immigration lawyer.

I strongly recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer who will evaluate your case and advise you of the best course of action.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Submit your questions and comments to: Subject line: Immigration. Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer. Tel: 613-695-8777.