What happens if you were deported or asked to leave Canada or excluded from returning to Canada, and you now want to try and return to the country? Are you able to return? The good news is yes, you could be eligible to return. However, you must apply for permission to return to Canada, and your application – or whether you even have to apply for permission – will depend on the conditions under which you were obliged to leave Canada.

Removal Orders

A removal order means that you cannot legally remain in Canada. Generally, when you are legally obliged by immigration authorities to leave Canada, it will be through one of 3 types of removal orders:

Departure Order: form IMM 5238:

This type of removal order gives you 30 days to leave Canada from the date the Departure Order is effective. You must also inform the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) of your departure at your port of exit (generally the airport you depart Canada from). You should confirm your departure with the CBSA and leave within the 30-day period.

Exclusion Order: form IMM 1214B:

This type of removal order means that you cannot return to Canada for 1 year from the date the Exclusion Order becomes effective.

Deportation Order: form IMM 5238B:

This type of removal order means you are permanently banned from returning to Canada. If you do not leave within 30 days or forget to confirm your departure with immigration authorities at the port of exit, your Departure Order will automatically become a Deportation Order. You may also be directly given a Deportation Order depending on your individual circumstances.

If you have received a removal order, you may appeal to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) through the IRB’s Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), IF you are:

  • A permanent resident of Canada
  • A foreign national with a permanent resident visa, or
  • A Convention Refugee or a Protected Person.

You cannot appeal a removal order if you:

  • Have been found inadmissible due to serious criminality
  • Have been found inadmissible due to links to organized crime
  • Have been found inadmissible for security reasons.

If you are eligible to appeal, you must appeal to the IAD within 30 days of receiving the removal order, or immediately after an admissibility hearing has finished and you have been found inadmissible. Your appeal must include:

  • A Notice of Appeal that has been completed by you. Go here to see the form. You have the right to appoint counsel to represent you.
  • A copy of the removal order you received.

If your appeal is unsuccessful and you have been deported or have departed from Canada, you may apply to return to Canada, by seeking an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC).

Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC)

If you left Canada on an exclusion order or a deportation order, you will probably need an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) if you want to return.

Exclusion Order (IMM1214B)

If you were issued an Exclusion Order and 12 months have passed since you left Canada and have an official proof, such as a Certificate of Departure issued by immigration (form IMM 0056B), showing the date you left Canada, you do not need an ARC.

However, if you wish to return to Canada less than 12 months after the Exclusion Order was issued or do not have a certificate of departure, you need to apply for an ARC.

Deportation Order (IMM5238B)

You will need to apply for an ARC if you have been the subject of a Deportation Order regardless how long ago the order was issued.

Departure Order (IMM 5238)

If you received a Departure Order (IMM5238) and left Canada within the required 30 days and verified your departure with a Canadian immigration officer at the port of exit, you don’t need an ARC. If you failed to leave within 30 days of the issuance of the departure order or verify your departure, the departure order will automatically become a deportation order. You will need an ARC to return.

If you were issued a Direction to Leave Canada (IMM1217B), you do not need an ARC to return. A Direction to Leave Canada is not a removal order. It is normally issued when documents and other paperwork are missing that would be required for a temporary work permit, for example. It does not mean you are inadmissible and it should not affect your status on re-entry to Canada, as long as you complied with the requests in your Direction to Leave Canada.

How to Apply for Your ARC

If you are applying to come to Canada for visiting, studying, working or immigrating, do NOT submit a separate application for an ARC. You should apply for your temporary visa, and your ARC will be dealt with as part of your application. You will be required to pay the processing fee of $400 for the ARC when your application is approved.

If you don’t have plans to travel to Canada, but just want to apply to have your deportation or exclusion order lifted, then you should submit a separate application for an ARC.

The following information and documents must be included in your application:

  • a fully completed application form: either the visa office specific form or a Temporary Resident Visa form. It should be completed online and validated so that you can print the barcode page which you must include with your application.
  • a copy of your passport
  • a letter of explanation as why you should be allowed to return to Canada, and if applicable, the reasons why you did not leave Canada within 30 days after the departure order was issued, with the letter written clearly in block letters in black ink or typed
  • two passport size photographs taken with the last 6 months
  • a processing fee of CAD$400 – go here for more information on how to pay your fees. Your fees will not be refunded if your application is not successful.
  • If your prior removal from Canada caused the Canadian authorities to have to spend money to have you removed, you may be billed for this amount. You will be advised if this is the case and what the exact amount is during your application process.

If you are from a visa-exempt country go here to find the regional visa office nearest you responsible for your region and send the documents listed above by mail to that visa office.

An interview may also be required depending on your case situation. You will be notified in writing if you are required to attend an interview with an immigration official.

You will also be informed in writing of the final decision in your case.

If you were deported because of your previous criminal records, you will need to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation first before you file an ARC.

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Mary Zhang has years of experience. Please contact her at Maxcan’s office in Markham, Ontario for Canada. 1-416-479-4221 or 1-855-212-9641. Maxcan Immigration serves the Greater Toronto Area.