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Advocacy at the Port of Entry


  1. The obligation will be on the person concerned to satisfy the immigration officer that he or she is not an immigrant and is entitled to temporary entry into Canada .
  2. The immigration officer is entitled to presume that everyone who appears at the port of entry is an immigrant unless he or she satisfies the immigration officer that he or she is not an immigrant;
  3. There is an obligation to answer truthfully all questions posed by an immigration officer is a given
  4. An immigration officer does not have to accept the person's word about a particular fact. The Act provides the immigration officer with the authority to request supporting documentation to establish whether the person should be allowed to enter Canada as a visitor
  5. The role of the advocate will make sure that the person concerned has the required documents such as copies of the supporting documents filed to obtain the visitor's visa or student or employment authorization that can be produced to the immigration officer at the port of entry.


Role of the advocate

A) Avoid uncertainty for the client
B) Document the case well
C) Take advantage of any opportunities for advance review
D) Keep things simple at the port of entry. Complex applications should be made at the Canadian Mission abroad.


 General Principles

For Canadian offences, apply to the National Parole Board

Pardons in other countries will not be automatically recognized in Canada

Is the case appropriate for expedited processing at the port of entry

What the advocate must establish

 A) Is it extremely unlikely that the person will be engaged in any further unlawful activities.

B) Is the applicant credible and is the information reliable and consistent with the official version of events

C) Strive to be as complete as possible. Completeness can only help the case

What if you cannot obtain approval of rehabilitation in timely manner

Two options

Minister's Permit

A) Is the case appropriate for a Minister's Permit

Need compelling reasons to allow an inadmissible person or a person in violation of the Act to come into or remain in Canada

B) Risk to Canadians or Canadian society is minimal.

 Where should be the focus

Focus on risk

Show that the balance between control objectives and facilitation of entry objective such as reunion of Canadian or permanent resident with relative from abroad should weigh in favour of entry.

Last resort remedy 19(3) Discretion for up to 30 day entry

The offence must be minor (no Canadian equivalent offence with 10 years or more maximum penalty). Don't look for controversy


 Need to overcome presumption in subsection 24(2)

Which solution is best

•  Returning Resident Permit

•  Opinion letter for Immigration Officer at the port of entry

If latter option

1) Need to be truthful

2) Deal with facts and not speculation

3) Does your theory of absences make sense that intention of client is not to abandon Canada as a place of permanent residence.

4) Make sure that letter includes signed authorization so that you can speak to the Officer on the Phone

What do you do if your client is allowed entry as a visitor

Redetermination application as quickly as possible even if it means inquiry or eventual appeal to the IAD


No right to counsel does not mean that counsel cannot participate and available

Statements by the claimant to the Immigration Officer at the Port of Entry will be used against them to attack their credibility

Information must be accurate

Information regarding the claim should be succinct and enough to establish to the immigration officer at the port of entry that there is a basis for the claim. Details should be left for the PIF

Any Questions

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