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Proposed Amendments to Stay of Removal/Public Policy Considerations

Current status: Closed


Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), Canada does not allow inadmissible foreign nationals to enter the country and will remove foreign nationals, with an enforceable removal order, from the country. However, foreign nationals can remain in Canada with a “stay” (or pause) of their removal. The different types of stays of removal are outlined in the IRPA and IRPR.

The consultation will focus on possible changes to the regulations (section 233 IRPR). Specifically, it will address situations when a foreign national makes an application for permanent resident status under a public policy created by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Through specific public policies permanent resident status can be granted to a foreign national who is inadmissible to Canada or does not meet other requirements of the legislation. These public policies help process foreign nationals in similar circumstances who must meet specific eligibility criteria for permanent resident status.

Note: A foreign national with a removal order can also apply for permanent resident status by asking for humanitarian and compassionate considerations. There are currently no policy changes being considered to stays of removal given for these reasons.

Under current regulations, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) can typically remove foreign nationals before IRCC decides on their application. However, this is not the case when IRCC provides an approval in principal on an application. This requires an applicant to meet the eligibility criteria of a specific public policy. To receive permanent resident status, the applicant must still meet all other requirements not exempted by any public policy.

The CBSA is considering potential changes to the regulations so the Minister of Public Safety (PS) can provide a stay of removal to a group of applicants in relation to a specific public policy.

A group-based stay would be provided on the Minister of PS’ own initiative, not at the request of an applicant. This would be useful when there are numerous applications for permanent resident status under a specific public policy. It would also be useful when complex applicable eligibility criteria could cause long delays in processing these applications.

A foreign national could possibly receive a group-based stay of removal before their application receives an approval in principle, reducing the chance of being removed before IRCC provides an approval in principle. When the Minister of PS does not provide a group-based stay of removal for a specific public policy, a stay of removal would continue to apply if IRCC provides an approval in principal.

The Minister of PS is responsible for policies that enforce the IRPA, including removal. The regulations support this legislation. These changes to the regulations will require revisions to the wording of the IRPR and the Ministerial Responsibilities Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Order. These revisions will clearly and unambiguously outline that the Minister of PS has responsibility over all stays of removal, including those for public policy considerations and for humanitarian and compassionate considerations.

The CBSA is asking all interested stakeholders to provide input.

How to participate

Contact us to provide your comments by (30 days from the date published online).

Please submit your questions or comments by email:

Catherine Dubuc
Immigration and External Review Policy Directorate
Canada Border Services Agency
100 Metcalfe St., 10th floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0L8

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