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Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs)

Ranging from family members seeking to temporarily reunite with their friends and family in Canada to persons with security, medical or criminal inadmissibility issues, applying for a TRP is one of the more frequent inquiries foreign nationals make.

What is the purpose of a TRP?

TRPs are listed in section 24 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The section is as follows:

Temporary resident permit

24 (1) A foreign national who, in the opinion of an officer, is inadmissible or does not meet the requirements of this Act becomes a temporary resident if an officer is of the opinion that it is justified in the circumstances and issues a temporary resident permit, which may be cancelled at any time.

For greater clarity, section 24 of the IRPA operates to temporarily allow an otherwise inadmissible foreign national to enter Canada for a prescribed period of time through the issuance of a TRP. Immigration officers have the discretion to issue a TRP in exceptional circumstances while simultaneously meeting Canada’s humanitarian and social commitments. Our role as immigration lawyers is to assist you with overcoming your inadmissibility to Canada on a temporary basis. We collect the relevant information from you and submit the appropriate documentation to facilitate your entry into Canada.

The Eligibility Criteria for a TRP

In order to overcome inadmissibility through a TRP, you must first be eligible for the application. The following persons are eligible for a TRP:

Any person who is

    • inadmissible and seeking to come into Canada if an officer is of the opinion that it is justified in the circumstances;
    • in Canada and is inadmissible, subject to a report or reportable for violation of the IRPA, or does not otherwise meet the requirements of the IRPA; or
    • not eligible for restoration of status.

When are TRPs granted?

In determining whether a TRP should be granted, officers are obligated to weigh the need and risk factors of each specific case.  The In Land Processing Manual available on the IRCC website lists specific factors, some obligatory and some discretionary, that are to be considered in performing this assessment.

Officers must consider:

  • the factors that make the person’s presence in Canada necessary (e.g., family ties, emergencies, job qualifications, economic contribution, temporary attendance at an event) and
  • the intention of the legislation (e.g., protecting public health or the health care system).

 The assessment may involve:

  • the essential purpose of the person’s presence in Canada;
  • the type/class of application and pertinent family composition, both in the home country and in Canada;
  • if medical treatment is involved, whether or not the treatment is reasonably available in Canada or elsewhere (comments on the relative costs/accessibility may be helpful), and the anticipated effectiveness of treatment;
  • the tangible or intangible benefits which may accrue to the person concerned and to others; and
  • the identity of the sponsor (in a foreign national case) or host or employer (in a temporary resident case).

Where can I apply for a TRP and what is the time period allowed?

TRPs may be issued at ports of entry and inland offices while permit extensions are only issued at inland offices.  Although certain applicants apply in person, most applicants apply in writing with the help of an immigration lawyer to maximize the chances of success.  An initial permit may be granted for a maximum of three years, and may be extended for another two years.  Depending upon the reason for entry to Canada, the time request could be for as short as one day and as long as the immigration officer deems appropriate in the circumstances.

How can an applicant maximize a successful TRP application?

Written submissions on a TRP application should provide a ‘‘needs versus risk” assessment emphasizing the pressing need for the person to enter or remain in Canada and demonstrating that the applicant poses a minimal risk to Canadians or the healthcare system, where applicable or no risk at all. It is important to be aware that a TRP is deemed cancelled when the permit holder leaves Canada, unless the document authorizes re-entry.

Is an interview required for a TRP application?

Interviews are usually necessary for a variety of reasons. Some of these include but are not limited to serious inadmissibility (i.e.: security or criminal inadmissibility), flagrant or intentional violations, to assess credibility, merit, or risk and the degree of remorse. An interview may not be necessary if inadmissibility is on health or technical grounds, when credibility or merit is not an issue or where the inadmissibility involves one or two minor (summary) offences and five years has passed. There is a higher hurdle to overcome with respect to impaired driving convictions as a result of new and stricter DUI laws that came into effect on December 18, 2018.


For more on TRPs and whether or not you have a reasonable chance of success, contact our office for a free 30-minute consultation. 
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