Vol. 148, No. 25 — December 3, 2014
SI/2014-102 December 3, 2014
FASTER REMOVAL OF FOREIGN CRIMINALS ACT
Order Fixing the Day on which this Order is made as the Day on which Certain Sections of the Act Come into Force
P.C. 2014-1266 November 20, 2014
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to subsection 38(1) of the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, chapter 16 of the Statutes of Canada, 2013, fixes the day on which this Order is made as the day on which sections 16, 17 and 20 of that Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order fixes the day on which this Order is made as the day on which sections 16, 17 and 20 of the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act (the Act), chapter 16 of the Statutes of Canada, 2013, come into force.
The objective of the Order is to bring into force amendments that
- 1) Increase consequences for misrepresentation from a two-year inadmissibility to five years, including a five-year ban on applying for permanent resident status.
- 2) Change the restrictions on the temporary entry of foreign nationals who have inadmissible family members to apply only to those with family members inadmissible on the grounds of security, human or international rights violations, or organized criminality. Currently, a foreign national in the temporary resident stream is inadmissible to Canada if they have an accompanying family member inadmissible on any ground.
- 3) Allow permanent residents who no longer wish to maintain their status in Canada to voluntarily give up their status in a simple and straightforward manner. Presently, there is no legal framework in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) to enable permanent residents to renounce their status voluntarily.
In 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) launched a review of the IRPA’s inadmissibility and related provisions in consultation with the Canada Border Services Agency and other federal partners from the public safety portfolio. The purpose of the admissibility review was to ensure that officials continue to have the tools necessary to maintain the integrity of Canada’s immigration system. This review also examined a number of recurrent issues that have surfaced since the implementation of the IRPA in 2002, such as expediting the removal process for persons with serious criminal inadmissibility and greater facilitation for low-risk travellers.
The admissibility review resulted in the development of the Act. The Act contains a number of legislative amendments to the IRPA that restrict entry and appeal for those who pose a threat to Canada’s safety and security or on the basis of public policy considerations, and strengthen the integrity of the immigration program.
Although several sections of the Act came into force upon royal assent, other sections, which required regulatory amendments to support implementation, were set to come into force separately.
Provisions of the Act were debated during meetings of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. Committee members also considered stakeholder testimony.
During discussions on the Act’s misrepresentation provisions, Committee members raised concerns about the severity of the new misrepresentation penalty (a five-year period of inadmissibility, including a ban on applying for permanent residence during this period) on those who make minor or unintended mistakes on their applications, such as typos on their year of birth. Departmental officials clarified that before a final decision is rendered on a case, applicants are provided the opportunity to respond and address any concerns regarding their immigration application. CIC has guidelines to help officers evaluate inadmissibility for misrepresentation. In addition, if an individual would like to challenge an inadmissibility decision, they may make an application for leave and judicial review at the Federal Court. In certain cases, depending on the status of the individual, they may also have the right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board.
During consideration of the inadmissible family member provisions of the Act, Committee members commented on the need for discretion to allow entry in cases where an applicant is fleeing a spouse who is inadmissible on grounds of security, human or international rights violations or organized criminality. In such cases, spousal relationships that have broken down in law or in fact are currently exempted from the inadmissible family member provision under subparagraph 23(b)(i) of the Regulations. In addition, in justifiable circumstances, a temporary resident permit could be issued to facilitate temporary entry of inadmissible applicants.
There were no concerns raised during these debates regarding the provision to allow individuals to renounce permanent resident status.
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