Where to Apply and Why

When it comes time to submit your application to overcome inadmissibility, you have options for where to send your application. Criminal Rehabilitation applications must always be submitted to a consulate or visa centre for processing, as most ports of entry (POE) will not process this type of application.  There are some exceptions to this rule, it is best to check with the particular port of entry in advance, if this is your plan.

When it comes time to submit your application to overcome inadmissibility, you have options for where to send your application. Criminal Rehabilitation applications must always be submitted to a consulate or visa centre for processing, as most ports of entry (POE) will not process this type of application.  There are some exceptions to this rule, it is best to check with the particular port of entry in advance, if this is your plan. 

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) applications may be submitted at either a visa office or a port of entry. It is important to understand the pros and cons of each option in order to pick the one that is right for you, as the choice of venue may impact the likelihood of success, as well as the processing time.

Though the processing fee for a TRP is $200 both at a POE and a consular office, submitting a TRP application at a POE can save an applicant a lot more time. While a TRP application can be processed on the spot at a POE, at a consular office the processing time can take anywhere between 4-6 months.

When deciding to submit a TRP application at a POE it is important to be aware that technically all POEs are supposed to process applications the same way, we have found material differences in processing by submitting thousands of applications. By air, the likelihood of one’s offense being detected is higher as large, international airports often have the most experienced officers and there are often advisors that are very knowledgeable on immigration policies. This being said, it is also worth noting that if an officer refuses a TRP application, they must accompany you to buy a return ticket to your country of origin and wait with you until you board the aircraft. This may benefit the applicant, as the process is incredibly time consuming for the officer. Therefore, it may be prudent for individuals with strong applications to submit their TRP applications at the airport.

By sea, the likelihood of one’s offense being detected and their TRP being issued can vary. While agents at a secluded port may not check to ensure that you are admissible to Canada, large ships (including cruise ships) are required to send passenger manifestos to ports ahead of time, so a diligent officer may find you inadmissible before you even disembark. Those who are passing through Canadian waters on a ship – such as a cruise from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska – must have the proper documentation to receive a TRP in case a Canadian border agent decides to board the ship.

Sea travel is often coupled with air travel. To get onto or off a ship, issuing a TRP may be easier than refusing someone entry, especially if entry is simply to board a ship and leave the country. In addition, it is generally easier to obtain a TRP for pleasure/vacation at a POE than at a visa or consular office Hence, if you are leaving Canada on the ship or leaving Canada via an airport the day the cruise starts or ends – there is a high likelihood that a TRP will be issued.

By land, it is extremely easy for a border agent to turn a car around at a border, especially because it takes up very little of their time or resources. Remote border crossings will likely not have a supervisor, which is a requirement for the approval of a TRP application. As such, even if the application is not rejected outright, you may be made to wait several hours for a supervisor to come in from another border crossing. Since land-border crossings are particularly fickle, it is not advisable for applicants attempting to cross into Canada via a land border to pre-pay for accommodation or services for their trip to Canada before they are confident that their TRP application is accepted. In these cases, a consular application for a TRP may be a better option.

If you are curious about whether or not you are a viable candidate for a TRP, check out our free online assessment form. For further questions, do not hesitate to contact us, here.

FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on Facebook,Twitter, and Linkedin.

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