Author: Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB
Last Updated On: July 25, 2022

Ministerial Relief for Inadmissibility to Canada

Ministerial Relief for Inadmissibility to CanadaJanet, a US citizen, grew up in a troubled family. They lived in an unprivileged neighbourhood in Los Angeles. Janet joined a gang at the age of fifteen. Thus, she engaged in burglary and drug trafficking. Janet eventually ended up in prison at the age of seventeen. However, she got released two years later and started a crime-free life. Consequently, she is an educated 28-year-old lady nowadays. Janet applied for immigration to Canada three years ago. However, she realized she was inadmissible to Canada because of Organized Criminality. Nonetheless, her lawyer says they could request Ministerial Relief to remove her inadmissibility to Canada. 

If you are inadmissible to Canada, you may not immigrate to Canada. You may not even travel to Canada. Depending on the nature of the inadmissibility, you could resolve this issue. This article covers one of those options. Of course, if you are not familiar with the reasons for inadmissibility read the following article first:

Who needs to apply for the Ministerial Relief to concur inadmissibility to Canada?

You may not resolve every admissibility issue. However, sometimes you could resolve inadmissibility through one of the following options:

None of the above options are available to the following issues:

  • Security reasons under section 34 of IRPA
  • Human rights violations under section 35 of IRPA
  • Organized criminality under section 37 of IRPA

However, you could apply for Ministerial Relief if you are inadmissible for any of these reasons.

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What is Ministerial Relief?

Simply put, you ask the Minister, and if he or she agrees with your request, you become admissible to Canada. Of course, the Minister in charge is the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. However, before submitting the request, consider the following:

  • Minister does not delegate this task to other officials. In other words, expect significant wait times.
  • Don’t take this task lightly. You must submit a comprehensive package.
  • You may not request relief if the inadmissibility is because of paragraph 35(1)(a) of IRPA. Consequently, there will be no permanent admissibility solutions for war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity. Regardless, a TRP is still on the table for temporary relief.

Regardless of previous points, you may only submit a request if you have exhausted all other options—for example, a judicial review via the Federal Court.

The process of requesting Ministerial Relief for inadmissibility to Canada

As mentioned earlier, the Minister decides on such requests. Nonetheless, you need to apply to the Ministerial Relief Unit (MRU). They review the forms and documents and then make recommendations to the Minister. Of course, they could communicate with you directly or through a local visa office, interview you or ask for more materials. Regardless, the final decision is by the Minister, not anyone else. The following chart shows a typical process.

Application for the Ministerial Relief to resolve inadmissibility to Canada

Of course, the actual process could vary due to personal circumstances.

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Document checklist and forms for the Ministerial Relief

There is no specific document checklist. However, you need to offer a complete set of documents to cover the following issues:

  • Your personal information
  • The reasons and circumstances that led to your inadmissibility
  • A history of all your previous efforts to resolve the matter
  • Documents that show you deserve the exemption
  • A comprehensive cover letter that binds all the submitted material together

If the documents are not in the English or French languages, you must officially translate them to either. Of course, you also need to include the completed form BSF766 in the package. Needless to say, if you are hiring a professional, you must include a signed copy of form IMM5476.

Where to send the Ministerial Relief package

You could email the package to Alternatively, mail it to:

Ministerial Relief Unit (MRU)
Canada Border Services Agency
100 Metcalfe Street, 10th floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0L8

We’ll do our best to keep this information up-to-date. However, the contact information of MRU could change at any time.

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Some points about inadmissibility relief by the Minister

Keep in mind that Ministerial Relief for inadmissibility to Canada is only for exceptional cases. Consequently, it could be prone to refusals. It could also be a time-consuming and costly process. However, if you believe you deserve it and have exhausted all other options, then go for it. Nonetheless, if you intend to stay in Canada temporarily, then you probably need to apply for a TRP.

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Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB

Al Parsai is 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 (Osgood Hall Law School). A respected member of CICC, 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.