A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) for Entry to Canada

If you are inadmissible to Canada, due to criminal, security, or medical reasons, but have a justifiable reason to travel to Canada, you may be eligible for Temporary Resident Permit Canada Application. Please note, the following information does not concern Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), commonly referred to as a Canadian Visitor Visa.

Applying for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) allows you to suspend your criminal inadmissibility for a finite period of time.  In order to get a TRP, you must have compelling reasons for requiring entry to Canada. The benefits of your entrance and stay in Canada must prove to outweigh the potential safety and health risks to Canadian society. As an applicant, your TRP application must communicate a justifiably significant reason for your desired entrance with clarity and specificity. Some examples of good reasons for entering Canada, that would allow for higher chances of success with a TRP, are business conferences and networking events, meeting with Canadian clients or companies to start or continue economic relationships, or a very important family event such as a funeral or a wedding.

As a Temporary Resident Permit holder, you:

  • Must comply with the conditions imposed on your TRP;
  • Must not work or study without a work or study permit;
  • Cannot re-enter Canada without prior authorization;
  • Must leave Canada at the end of your authorized period of stay.

Am I Eligible?

If you have a valid reason to travel to Canada, but you are criminally inadmissible, you may be eligible to qualify for a Temporary Resident Permit. Note that if you are criminally inadmissible to Canada, you are inadmissible to work, study, or visit inside the Canadian borders. Your criminal inadmissibility also prohibits you from submitting an application for Canadian permanent residence. In other words, a Temporary Resident Permit can only be used for valid entry to Canada as a foreign worker, foreign student, or as a visitor, but not for any permanent Canadian immigration processes.

Valid reasons for entry may include:

  • Travel for work
  • To visit an unwell family member
  • Attendance of a family wedding

In order to be eligible to apply for a Canadian Temporary Resident Permit, you must have been convicted of a criminal offence AND:

  • Have had less than five years pass since the completion of the sentence (including jail time, community service hours, probation and fee payment), OR
  • Have had more than five years pass since the completion of the sentence, and you have not applied for, or have yet to received a decision on an application for criminal rehabilitation.

Duration of a TRP

When your TRP is approved, the duration for which it will allow you to enter Canada varies. The maximum amount of time that a TRP can be granted for is 3 years, but can be granted for as little time as a day or two, based on your reasons for travel. This decision is made by the Canadian Immigration officer or border agent who processes your application.

There are two types of TRPs that are granted: single-entry TRPs and multiple-entry TRPs. Single-entry will only allow you to enter Canada once, and the TRP will expire once you leave. A single-entry TRP may be granted for an event on a specific date, such as a wedding.

Multiple-entry TRPs are granted for an allocated time span, and allow you to enter, leave, and re-enter as many times as required during the time of its validity. These TRPs expire after the allocated time span. Those that need to travel to Canada for work frequently and often at short notice, such as flight attendants or pilots, are more likely to receive a multiple-entry TRP.

After your TRP has expired, your record will once again prevent you from entering Canada. You can then reapply for a TRP, or opt for the permanent solution of a Criminal Rehabilitation application.

Processing Time & Costs

The processing fee to apply for a TRP is $200 CAD at the Canadian Immigration office or at any Port of Entry.

The Canadian government encourages you to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit well in advance if you know that you require entry to Canada and that you are inadmissible. You can apply for a TRP at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles, or directly at the Port of Entry if you are travelling by land, air, or sea. The choice of location may impact the likelihood of your success, as well the processing time. If you choose to submit a Temporary Resident Permit application at a Port of Entry, you can save yourself a great deal of time, as applications can be processed on the spot. Alternatively, the processing time at a consular office can take anywhere from 4 – 6 months. For more information about applying for a TRP at the port of entry, see here.

The Difference Between TRPs and Criminal Rehabilitation

An individual only becomes eligible for criminal rehabilitation once five years have passed since the completion of their sentencing, including jail time, termination of probation, and payment of all fines.

The primary difference between a TRP and Criminal Rehabilitation is that a TRP only temporarily suspends an individual’s criminal inadmissibility for the purpose of travel into Canada, whereas Criminal Rehabilitation completely resolves an individual’s criminal inadmissibility for the purpose of travel into Canada. With Criminal Rehabilitation, an individual may enter and exit Canada freely and without limitation. An individual applying for Criminal Rehabilitation does not need to demonstrate a necessity to enter Canada, they must only prove that they have been rehabilitated and will not re-offend. With a TRP, an individual must apply to enter Canada and demonstrate a valid need to be there.

Since Criminal Rehabilitation applications are processed only by Canadian Immigration at the New York Consulate, the processing time can take up 12 months. However, as it is being processed one may still apply for TRP if they need to travel into Canada. In fact, if one has already submitted an application for Criminal Rehabilitation when they are applying for a TRP at the port of entry, it may increase their chances of being approved for the TRP.

The only ways to have a criminal record permanently cleared for Canadian Immigration purposes is either by Criminal Rehabilitation or Deemed Rehabilitation. While TRPs are useful to some, such as people that only need to enter Canada infrequently, Criminal Rehabilitation is ideal for people who want to permanently resolve their inadmissibility and visit Canada indiscriminately.

In either case, a Canadian Immigration lawyer is the best way to ensure your application process for either a TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation goes smoothly. To review your eligibility, or for more trusted information, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

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 FacebookTwitter, and Linkedin.