ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 391 - March 1, 2012

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

Fee Exemption for Temporary Resident Permits Issued to Foreign Nationals in the Transit without Visa Program, the China Transit Trial and Emergency Landing Situations


This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides operational guidance on applying the fee exemption associated with the issuance of a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) in prescribed circumstances when a Transit Without Visa (TWOV) program or China Transit Trial (CTT) passenger cannot meet the requirements of their program for circumstances beyond their control or when an aircraft is forced to make an emergency landing in Canada.


All foreign nationals seeking to enter or transit Canada are required to be in possession of a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) prior to entering or transiting Canada, unless exempted under section 190 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Under the TWOV program and CTT, eligible passengers may transit Canada provided that they meet the conditions of the programs including the requirement to hold a confirmed onward ticket for a connecting flight that departs Canada immediately.

On occasion, a foreign national seeking transit through Canada as a result of participation in the TWOV program and CTT may not be able to effect their same day departure from Canada, as required, for reasons beyond their control (i.e., flight delays). Similarly, there are also situations where foreign nationals are passengers on flights that are forced to make an emergency landing in Canada. In these scenarios, travellers must undergo an examination by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which may result in a finding of inadmissibility for not having a valid TRV.

At the Port of Entry (POE), one option to deal with this inadmissibility is through the issuance of a TRP that ordinarily requires the traveller to pay the associated cost recovery fee. Section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) authorizes the Minister to grant an exemption from the payment of applicable fees where public policy considerations warrant.

The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has approved a public policy that allows officers to grant an exemption from the TRP processing fee that is required under section 298 of the IRPR for travellers utilizing the TWOV program and CTT, and for travellers arriving in Canada due to an emergency landing. Travellers in these situations who find themselves improperly documented upon arrival in Canada, through no fault of their own, may be granted a fee-exempt TRP. Other options to deal with a client’s inadmissibility are still available to officers.


The public policy fee exemption applies to a foreign national to whom a TRP is being issued at an airport POE, who is inadmissible solely on the grounds of “non-compliance with the Act” under section 41 of IRPA, and who:

  1. is a traveller in Canada’s TWOV* program or the CTT** and, due to unforeseen circumstances, is unable to transit (depart) Canada on the same day of arrival; or
  2. is a traveller whose aircraft was not destined to Canada but must land in Canada due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control, such as mechanical failures, unusual weather conditions, or emergency situations.

*Note: Only nationals from Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are eligible to travel under the TWOV program (see Operational Bulletin 223-B).

**Note: Only nationals from the People’s Republic of China are eligible to travel under the CTT program.

Whenever the delegated authority determines that a TRP should be issued, the foreign national should normally be granted an exemption from TRP fee provided that the foreign national meets the criteria above that are specified in the public policy. This authority has been delegated to Border Service Officers in their immigration functions for POE examinations only. When issuing a TRP in these circumstances, the cost recovery code M30 on the TRP screen in the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) is to be used. Validity of TRP should reflect the expected departure date of the foreign national.

Further information

Officers issuing TRPs under these circumstances should include a note in FOSS and on the document to indicate the TRP was issued under this public policy. Suggested wording follows:

TRP fee exemption granted pursuant to Operational Bulletin 391 – Fee Exemption for Temporary Resident Permits Issued to Foreign Nationals in the Transit Without Visa Program, the China Transit Trial and Emergency Landing Situations.

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