Applying at a Port of Entry

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Port of Entry

If you are criminally inadmissible and you do not have enough time to get a Canadian Temporary Resident Permit in advance, you may be able to apply for a TRP at a Port of Entry (POE).

The advantage of applying at a port of entry, as mentioned above, is the fact that the application will be processed immediately. The disadvantage is that your application may be denied forcing you to turn back in the midst of your travels.

Applications sent to the Canadian consulate are given more attention because the officer has more time to review your statements and documents, whereas applications submitted at a POE must be reviewed quickly to ensure that applicants continue to move through the border with minimal delays.

The chances of being denied or approved vary by each different type of port of entry. We’ve found that traveling with children or elderly people will better your chances of approval, by virtue of your decreased probability of posing a risk to Canadian society under these circumstances. Also of consideration is the increased level of inconvenience caused by refusing an entire party’s entrance, forcing them to return to their country of origin.

As alluded to, there are different types of Ports of Entry. You can apply directly at a POE through the following means of transport: by air, by land or by sea.


Applying for a TRP at the airport is only advised to those who feel confident with their application. Large international airports will have experienced and knowledgeable officers who will properly assess the application, while smaller airports might have less experienced and knowledgeable officers.

Their lack of familiarity with immigration laws might lead them to reject the application. Furthermore, if the officer denies the application, they are forced to walk with you in order to assure that you bought a returning ticket. This may discourage them from denying the application since it requires a lot of time on their part.


Applying at a border has considerable disadvantages. It is very easy for a border agent to turn a car around at the border. Furthermore, remote border crossings might prove to be more complicated since the approval of a TRP application requires the presence of a supervisor.

Most of these rural border crossings do not have supervisors, thus you will have to wait a few hours for one to travel to your border crossing. It is also not advised to pay for accommodations or other services for your trip to Canada before receiving TRP approval, since denial will constitute the loss of your reservations’ value.


Agents at secluded ports may not check to see whether the passengers of the boat are criminally inadmissible; henceforth, no TRP would be needed. However, most large ships, such as cruise ships, are required to send passenger manifestos to the ports before they arrive. Therefore, an officer reviewing the manifesto might see that you are criminally inadmissible, and you will need the proper documentation if he boards the ship.

Nevertheless, much like traveling by air, it is harder to refuse someone coming on a boat. One of the pros shared with air travel is that the TRP applicant might be spending a very short amount of time in Canada. In the case of arriving by cruise ship, there is little chance that someone will stay longer than the cruise subscribes, which officers look favorably upon.

Set out below is a table demonstrating your chances of your inadmissibility being detected, and your chances of obtaining a TRP.

Point of Entry Chances of Offenses Being Detected Chances of Getting TRP
Air Very Likely Likely
Land Less Likely Moderate
Sea Likely Moderate

This does not mean that applying to the consulate or the Canadian Visa office is a bad idea. In fact, an officer will have more time to review your case and the details of your inadmissibility. We have seen processing times vary from one to six months, depending on a variety of factors including application volume.

It is important to note that you should also consider the time required to obtain necessary documentation when determining if an advanced application is feasible. If you are wondering whether or not you have enough time to acquire an advanced Canadian Temporary Resident Permit before your trip or how to apply for a TRP directly at the border, please phone us today at 1-855-316-8555 for a free consultation.

Our immigration law firm, FWCanada, helps a significant amount of criminally inadmissible visitors apply for Temporary Resident Permits each month, we are extremely knowledgeable about the current Canadian TRP application procedures at any given moment. Use the following form for a free assessment of your inadmissibility!