Canadian border officials administer an examination process at the port for every person wishing to enter Canada. Through this examination, which may include primary and secondary tests, the border official determines if the person has the right to enter and remain in the country for the time they have requested. Foreign nationals, people who are not naturalized citizens of Canada, are not permitted to enter without the correct application and documents such as a Temporary Residence Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation. During the course of the examination at the border, people may choose to withdraw their request to enter Canada and turn back (as stated in subsection 42(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)).
On January 23rd 2018, there was a technical amendment to the IRPR after it was reviewed by Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR). It was recommended to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to change the wording of subsection 42(2) of IRPR to provide more clarity towards regulation of a foreign national wishing to withdraw their application at the border. It now explicitly states that a person who has gone through an examination at the border and is believed to be inadmissible by border officials will be allowed to withdraw their application to enter Canada only if the Minister has decided not to issue a removal order or refer an inadmissibility report to the ID. If the Minister issues a removal order or refers an inadmissibility report to the ID, the person applying for entrance with have to oblige to that action and cannot withdraw their application.
Before the amendment, it could be interpreted that a person would never be allowed to withdraw their application to enter Canada if the Minister did not issue a removal order or refer an inadmissibility report to the ID, which relies on the absence of an action. With this amendment, the possibility to withdraw application to enter is conditional on what the Minister decides. Although there is no change to existing policy or practice as this was a technical amendment, the new wording provides more clarity pertaining to withdrawing an application at the Canadian border.