Authorization to Return to Canada – ARC Application

Authorization to Return to CanadaDelmy is a citizen of El Salvador. She entered Canada on a visitor visa three years ago, but she didn’t leave Canada in a timely fashion. Delmy could stay up to six months, but she stayed for more than two years. Then a car accident in downtown Calgary exposed her status to the police. Unfortunately, the CBSA officers detained Delmy under the immigration law and eventually issued her an exclusion order. She left Canada about six months ago. Delmy wants to go back to Canada as soon as she can. She is in a common-law relationship with a Canadian citizen. They also want to initiate a spousal sponsorship as soon as they can. Delmy has heard about the Authorization to Return to Canada application. She hopes this applies to her, and she joins her common-law partner very soon.

Life is full of twists and turns. Sometimes these anomalies put you in trouble. When it comes to immigration issues, governments are usually very harsh. Consequently, while you are in Canada, you need to do your best to avoid immigration problems, but if you don’t, then you could receive a removal order from Canada. Removal orders are the outcome of inadmissibility or non-compliance with the immigration act (IRPA). Generally, there are three types of removal orders: departure, exclusion, and deportation. An enforced removal order means you need to leave Canada as soon as possible. You also need to report your departure from Canada to a border officer upon leaving the country.

Table of contents

What is an Authorization to Return to Canada?

When you receive a removal order, you usually need to receive an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) before returning to Canada. The following table shows if ARC is necessary for an enforced removal order.

Removal Order ARC Necessary?
Departure No
Exclusion Yes, within the first 12 months
Exclusion (due to
Yes, within the first 60 months
Deportation Yes, at any time

If you receive a departure order and do not comply with the conditions, it turns into a deportation order. Non-compliance with the departure order means you did not leave within 30 days of the departure order’s enforcement or did not report your departure. If you want to know more about removal orders or inadmissibility to Canada, read the following articles:

Keep in mind that family members who receive deportation or exclusion order could be exempt from the ARC. Consult with a professional for more information.

When does the countdown Begin?

As you can see, there is a countdown for exclusion orders, or rather 12 months for a regular one and 60 months for a misrepresentation one. When you leave Canada, you need to meet with an officer. The officer issues a Certificate of Departure. Consequently, the start date for the countdown is the date on that certificate.

What is an ARC Application?

An ARC application looks like a regular Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application. However, the processing fee is $400 compared to $100 for a TRV. Also, if CBSA paid for your removal, you must pay the removal recovery fee. Moreover, you must submit a letter and some documents to convince the immigration officer you deserve an ARC. Even if you are a US citizen or a visa-exempt country, you need to use the same authorization process to Return to Canada. Lastly, you must apply the paper to the visa office responsible for your country.

What to Consider in ARC Application?

When you submit an ARC application, you need to address the following issues:

  • Explain why you received the removal order;
  • why you may not repeat what caused the removal order in the first place;
  • what are your reasons for returning to Canada;
  • if your departure turned into a deportation order due to overstaying, the circumstances resulted in the overstaying;
  • list any potential humanitarian and compassionate elements of your request; and
  • why your reasons for returning to Canada overweigh the reasons for the initial removal order.

Do I need to give biometrics for an ARC application?

The government of Canada does not require biometrics for an ARC application at the moment. However, you may need to give biometrics because of the other application that accompanies your ARC application. Also, they may change their policy in the future.

Remember, you sometimes need to address the root causes of the removal order before or at the same time applying for an ARC. For example, sometimes you need to apply for a record suspension.  Consult with a competent professional for your options.

Let us help!

If you have faced any immigration issues, fill out the following forms. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Of course, we could assist you with removal order issues, whether submitting an Authorization to Return to Canada or not. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session with me.

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.