Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs): Background and purpose

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.

Background

The temporary resident permit (TRP), formerly known as the “Minister’s Permit”, was first introduced in the Immigration Act in 1910, at the same time as a more structured enforcement regime replaced the previous discretionary powers given to the Minister to issue removal orders (i.e. a deportation order requiring the person to leave Canada). Parliament was of the view that, with the “strong” exclusion provisions, there was a need to give the Minister broad discretionary powers to be used in exceptional cases. Parliament was also of the view that this power should be exercised in a transparent manner, which is why, in the Immigration Act R.S.C. 1927, a requirement was put into place for the Minister to report on the number of times this power was exercised each year, categorized according to grounds of inadmissibility. This information is now included in the Department’s Annual Report to Parliament.

Purpose

In the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) subsection 24(1) authorizes designated officers to issue TRPs to inadmissible foreign nationals when it is “justified in the circumstances”. A TRP allows the holder either to enter or to remain in Canada. During the validity period of the TRP, the foreign national has temporary resident status in Canada. If the TRP is valid for at least six months, the foreign national may apply for a work and/or study permit. Upon cancellation or expiration of the TRP, the foreign national must leave Canada.

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