5 ways a permanent resident may be forced to leave Canada

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Canada is a welcoming country. Every year, thousands of immigrants move here for a better life. While the country offers many ways by which people can come and live here, it also has strict rules. Those who break these rules face consequences that can range from fines to deportation.

Removal from Canada

This means being ordered by the Government of Canada to leave the country for an offense. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is the one that sends a Removal Order, usually after an investigation or a trial, and the person has been found to be guilty of the offense. Depending on the offense/situation, the Removal Order may be a:

  • Departure Order – The person must leave Canada within 30 days after the order takes effect.
  • Exclusion Order – The person must leave Canada and cannot return for a year. If the reason for the Removal Order is misrepresentation, they cannot return to Canada for five years.
  • Deportation Order – The person is permanently banned from returning to Canada.

Those who are served with a Removal Order, regardless of type, have legal ways to appeal it. They can also request to return to Canada. They would need to apply for an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC). This involves a process. Immigration and border officers will assess their case and decide whether the applicant can be allowed to enter the country.

Reasons a permanent resident may be forced to leave Canada

Permanent Residents can be forced to leave for the following reasons:

  1. Misrepresentation

    Permanent residents can be forced to leave Canada if they provided false or misleading information on their immigration application. This includes lying about their qualifications, work experience, or any other details that are required for immigration approval.

  2. Committing a serious crime in Canada

    Permanent residents who are convicted of a serious crime in Canada, such as a crime with a significant prison sentence, can face deportation. Canada takes a firm stance on maintaining public safety and security. Serious crimes include:

    • Security – Crimes that endanger Canada’s security such as espionage, terrorism, and engaging in acts of violence that endanger lives.
    • Human and international rights violations – This includes terrorism, being involved in genocide or war crimes, and similar violations.
    • Serious criminality – Being convicted of a crime punishable by a prison sentence from six months to 10 years.
    • Organized criminality – Being a member of an organization that is engaged in criminal activity.
  3. Losing status as a permanent resident (PR)

    A person loses their PR status when they become a Canadian citizen. But, if they lose their PR status because:

    • they do not meet residency requirements (time spent in Canada),
    • they receive a removal order and it comes into force, or
    • they renounce their permanent residency,

    they can face deportation if they continue to stay in Canada beyond the maximum allowable period.

  4. Committing a serious crime before arrival

    Canadian authorities may deem persons inadmissible based on their criminal history. However, if they have been allowed into Canada and then later considered a potential threat to Canadian society, they can be deported.

  5. Being considered a security risk

    If the Canadian government believes that a permanent resident poses a security risk to the country, they may initiate deportation proceedings. This could be due to suspected involvement in terrorism, espionage, or other activities that threaten national security. Ensuring the safety of Canada and its residents is a top priority for immigration authorities.

Can naturalized citizens be deported?

Generally, Canadians, whether Canadian-born or naturalized, cannot be deported.

Immigration authorities cannot deport a Canadian citizen unless their citizenship is revoked. This can happen in limited cases, for example in cases involving misrepresentation, terrorism, treason, and foreign spying. In some cases, dual citizens may be deported to a foreign country if they are accused or convicted of a specific crime in that country. This is called extradition.
Sources: Removal from Canada, Canada Border Services Agency; Deportation, Legalline.ca; and Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Government of Canada. Accessed October 4, 2023.

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