If you receive an order to leave the country, you may have the option to return at a later date.
Canada has the right to ask non-Canadian citizens to leave the country by issuing an eviction order. Removal orders are often issued if you have committed an illegal act while in Canada. If you are found working without a valid visa or otherwise in violation of the terms of your visa, you can get one. If you have received an order of removal, you must leave Canada within 30 days and you will need an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) if you wish to return at some point in the future.
The ARC is an official document that allows you to re-enter Canada after a specified period of time. There are cases when you may not be required to get one if you follow the guidelines set by the government. There are three types of removal orders. The category of eviction order you receive will determine the steps you take to return to Canada.
A departure order will ask that you leave Canada by a certain date, often 30 days after it is issued. It will not limit where or when you can return. If you need to return to Canada at any time, it is important to reach the deadline and, upon departure, notify the Canadian Immigration Office of your departure so they can verify that you have left. If you stay longer in Canada, which would be the assumption if you do not confirm your departure with an official, your departure order becomes a deportation order, which is far more serious.
An exclusion order means you must leave Canada and you cannot return for 12 months. If you comply with the order by leaving within the time limit and staying outside Canada for one year, you do not need an ARC, except to obtain a certificate of departure by confirming your departure with the Canadian authorities. Like the departure order, you will be issued a deportation order if you stay longer than the date of the exclusion order.
The banishment order is the most serious type of expulsion order. This means you have to leave Canada and you are not allowed to return for the rest of your life. Anyone who has received an order of deportation and wants to come back has to get an ARC.
How to get ARC
To obtain an ARC, you must apply at the same time as you apply for a work or study permit in Canada. If you are from a visa-free country, you only need to apply for ARC on your own. To apply for ARC and Visa, you will need to include all the necessary documents for your visa as well as:
- Two passport size photographs taken within the last six months.
- A copy of your passport.
- A written letter (in English or French) detailing why you think you should be allowed to return to Canada. The letter should be written in CAPITAL LETTERS in black ink or by type.
- Processing fee ($400 CAD).
If you have not left Canada within the specified time stated in the departure order or exclusion order, and you now have a deportation order, your written statement must include the reason you did not comply with the dates.
You may be asked for an interview so that officials can inquire about your current circumstances and why you wish to return to Canada.
Eligibility for ARC
ARCs are often subject to the decision of the immigration officer reviewing your application. They may be looking into why you were asked to leave Canada in the first place. You may receive an eviction order because of circumstances such as doing illegal acts or working without a visa. It can also work against you for being unemployed or unable to demonstrate strong ties with your country.
If you were issued an eviction order because of a criminal act, you may also be required to present proof of criminal rehabilitation.
If you have met the conditions of your eviction order and need to return to Canada, apply for your ARC as soon as possible. There is no service standard and IRCC may take additional time to decide.