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Archived - Consultation notice: Proposed regulatory amendments to allow for the enforcement of removal orders when the person is confirmed to be outside Canada

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The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for enforcing the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act), which governs the admissibility of foreign nationals and permanent residents to Canada. One of the Agency's key enforcement functions is the removal of inadmissible persons from Canada who, once being subject to an enforceable removal order, must leave Canada immediatelyFootnote 1.

Pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations), an inadmissible person's removal from Canada is confirmed by the CBSA when they appear before an officer at a port of entry (POE), obtain a certificate of departure from the CBSA, depart Canada, and are subsequently authorized entry into their country of removalFootnote 2. Generally, if a person leaves Canada without confirming their departure, their removal order remains unenforced.

The Regulations currently provide limited authority for the administrative enforcement of an unenforced removal order when credible information exists that the person is no longer in Canada. For example, an unenforced removal order may only be enforced when the subject of the order makes an application to return to Canada and satisfies an officer that they have been lawfully admitted to the country from which they are applying and are not inadmissible to Canada on serious groundsFootnote 3 Footnote 4.

Regulatory amendments are being considered to simplify and expand the circumstances in which a removal order can be administratively enforced if the person is confirmed to be outside of Canada. Modernization of this regulatory framework would improve the Agency's ability to report on the inadmissible population in Canada while helping to ensure that investigations resources are focused on individuals in Canada who are subject to removal.

This consultation notice offers the public and stakeholders with an opportunity to provide feedback on measures that are under consideration. The proposed regulatory amendments are planned to be pre-published in the Canada Gazette and to come into force later this fiscal year. Below is a summary of the measures that are being considered.

Measures under consideration

1. Amend the Regulations by removing the requirement that, in order to enforce an unenforced removal order, an officer abroad must be satisfied that the foreign national against whom the order has not been enforced, has been lawfully admitted to the country in which they are physically present at the time that they make an application to return to Canada.

When a foreign national makes an application for a visa, they have traditionally been required to apply to the immigration office that services the country in which they are present and have been lawfully admittedFootnote 5. In line with this, the Regulations currently require foreign nationals, who are subject to an unenforced removal order, to establish that they have been lawfully admitted to the country in which they are physically present at the time that they make an application to return to Canada. If they fail to do so, their unenforced removal order cannot be enforcedFootnote 6 and their application to come to Canada cannot be authorizedFootnote 7. However, since the IRPA already includes provisions stipulating where visa applicants must apply from, this provision is an unnecessary barrier to enforcing unenforced removal orders, which inadvertently negatively affects the CBSA's ability to maintain the inventory of inadmissible persons in Canada.

The proposed regulatory amendments would repeal the requirement that a foreign national, against whom a removal order has not been enforced, must establish that they have been lawfully admitted to the country in which they are physically present at the time that they make an application to return to Canada, in order for an officer abroad to enforce the order. This would support better removal inventory management and the allocation of investigative resources to cases who are physically present in Canada.

2. Amend the Regulations by removing the requirement that, in order to enforce an unenforced removal order, an officer abroad must be satisfied that the foreign national against whom the order has not been enforced, is not inadmissible to Canada on serious grounds.

When considering applications for visa, eTAs or authorizations to return to Canada (ARC)Footnote 8, officers must administer inadmissibility provisions of the IRPA to ensure that inadmissible persons do not gain undue access to CanadaFootnote 9. The Regulations currently requires that foreign nationals, who are subject to an unenforced removal order, establish that they are not inadmissible on serious grounds. If they fail to do so, an officer abroad is unable to enforce their removal order, which must be completed before their application can be accepted. This additional step, however, is unnecessary since these inadmissible persons would otherwise be identified, for instance, during the visa, eTA, Interactive Passenger Information System screening, or ARC-determination process.

The proposed regulatory amendments would repeal the requirement that a foreign national, against whom a removal order has not been enforced, must establish that they are not inadmissible on serious grounds in order for an officer abroad to enforce the order. Individuals who are inadmissible on serious grounds would continue to be barred from entering Canada as existing inadmissibility provisions in the IRPA will continue to apply. This proposal would support better removal inventory management and the allocation of investigative resources to cases who are physically present in Canada.

3. Introduce a new regulation to allow designated officials in Canada to administratively enforce an unenforced removal order when they are satisfied that the foreign national against whom the order has not been enforced is outside of Canada.

The CBSA's ability to maintain awareness of the cross-border movement of inadmissible persons has evolved with the introduction of new tools and technologies. This includes initiatives such as the Entry/Exit system, Advance Passenger Information / Passenger Name Record Program and the Interactive Passenger Information System. Regulations associated with enforcement of removal orders, however, have not been updated to account for evolving immigration and border modernization efforts. Accordingly, the Regulations do not presently authorize the CBSA to enforce a removal order in cases where the Agency is aware that a foreign national, who is subject to an enforceable removal orderFootnote 10, has departed Canada without confirming their departure at a POE.

Proposed amendments to the Regulations will create the authority for officers in Canada to administratively enforce an unenforced removal order when they are satisfied that the foreign national, against whom the removal order has not been enforced, is outside of Canada. This proposal would support better removal inventory management and the allocation of investigative resources to cases who are physically present in Canada.

Comments or questions

Should you have any comments or questions on the planned regulatory amendments, you are invited to provide feedback to:

Manager
Immigration Enforcement Policy Unit
Enforcement and Intelligence Programs
Canada Border Services Agency
IEPU-UPELI@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
100 Metcalfe, Ottawa ON K1A 0L8

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