Temporary resident permits (TRPs): Eligibility and assessment

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.

Who is eligible for a temporary resident permit (TRP)

A temporary resident permit (TRP) may be issued to a foreign national who, in the opinion of an officer, is inadmissible, or who does not meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) [A24(1)].

The TRP is always issued at the discretion of the delegated authority and may be cancelled at any time. The delegated authority determines if the individual’s purpose for entering Canada balances Canada’s social, humanitarian and economic commitments to the health and security of Canadians, per the objectives of the IRPA.

In addition, an officer may consider the following:

  • the need for the foreign national to enter or remain in Canada is compelling
  • whether the need for the foreign national’s presence in Canada outweighs any risk to Canadians or Canadian society

Who is not eligible for a TRP

Per paragraph A24(4)(a), a failed refugee claimant may not request a TRP if all of the following conditions are met:

  • Less than 12 months has passed since the day their claim for refugee protection with the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) was
    • rejected
    • determined to be withdrawn, after substantive evidence was heard
    • abandoned
  • No appeal has been made to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD).
  • No application for leave (and judicial review of that application) has been made to the Federal Court.

Per paragraph A24(4)(b), where a failed refugee claimant has appealed to the RAD or made an application for leave and judicial review of the decision to the Federal Court, the refugee claimant may not request a TRP unless at least 12 months has passed since the last

  • rejection of the claim by the RPD
  • rejection of the claim by the RAD
  • decision on the application for leave and judicial review from the Federal Court

Exception: The 1-year ban on accessing a TRP under subsection A24(4) does not bar an officer, on their own initiative, from considering a TRP for a victim of human trafficking.

A person whose claim for refugee protection has been determined to be ineligible to be referred to the RPD may not request a TRP if they have a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) application that is pending, as described under subsection A24(3.1).

Assessing an application for a TRP

Evaluating purpose of travel

Officers must consider the factors regarding the individual’s purpose in Canada and the

  • intent of the legislation
  • maintenance of program integrity
  • protection of public health and safety

Note: Depending on the inadmissibility ground, specific delegated officials are authorized by the Minister to determine if the reasons or benefits for an individual to enter or remain in Canada outweigh the risks of that individual’s presence in Canada, resulting in the issuance of a TRP. In general, a serious inadmissibility (section A34, section A35, subsection A36(1) or section A37) can be overcome only with the decision of a senior official.

General factors to consider

  • The issuance of a TRP confers temporary resident status on the holder [A24].
  • Officers should carefully consider all assessment factors before granting an initial TRP or issuing a subsequent TRP.
  • A TRP carries privileges greater than those accorded to other foreign nationals with temporary resident status (such as, visitors, students, workers). Foreign nationals who have been issued a TRP for a validity period of at least 6 months can apply in Canada for a work permit or study permit and may be given access to health or other social services.
  • As there is no discretion involved in granting permanent residence to people who meet the requirements of the permit holder class, officers should consider available alternatives, such as rehabilitation, before issuing a TRP.
  • Under paragraph 65(b)(i) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), TRP holders with medical inadmissibility [A38(1)] are eligible for permanent residence after 3 continuous years in Canada.
  • Under paragraph R65(b)(i), TRP holders inadmissible under paragraph A42(1)(a) on grounds of an accompanying family member who is inadmissible under subsection A38(1) or paragraph A42(1)(a) are eligible for permanent residence after 3 continuous years in Canada.
  • Under paragraph R65(b)(ii), TRP holders with inadmissibilities other than security [A34], violation of human or international rights [A35], serious criminality [A36(1)] and organized criminality [A37] are eligible for permanent residence after 5 years of continuous residence in Canada.
  • For subsequent TRPs, if the client’s situation or admissibility has changed, officers should reassess all the factors and determine the best course of action, including an assessment for rehabilitation or a record suspension, especially before the TRP holder is eligible for permanent residence under the permit holder class.

Foreign nationals may apply for a TRP at a port of entry (POE). In these scenarios, a border services officer must assess the application with the above-mentioned considerations in mind.

Note: A TRP holder cannot have temporary resident status restored under section R182.

Examples of cases where a TRP should not be considered

  • people under a removal order without prior consultations with the Case Management Branch (CMB) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • a foreign national’s presence in Canada would contravene the objectives of the law, particularly those intended to protect the health and security of Canadians and to promote international justice and security

Note: If a student, worker or visitor with valid temporary resident status is reported under subsection A44(1), but a decision is made not to refer the inadmissibility report to the Immigration Division for an admissibility hearing or to issue a removal order, that person remains a temporary resident, and a TRP is not required. See ENF 5 (PDF, 422 KB), for more information on making a decision to write a subsection A44(1) report.

Assessment factors

When an officer is considering a TRP, the following is a non-exhaustive list of factors the officer may consider:

  • History – Is there a pattern of non-compliance [A41] with the IRPA or IRPR? Is the violation inadvertent and accidental or the result of careless or flagrant disregard for the law?
  • Credibility – Credibility may be assessed during an interview. See Temporary resident permits (TRPs): Information gathering (including interviews) for additional information on when an interview is required.
  • Previous removal – Have the original grounds for removal been overcome or diminished? Are there any statutory bars, other than the removal order, remaining against the person?
  • Controversy – Are there high-profile, complex or sensitive elements of the case that warrant referral or consultation with the CMB?
  • Social assistance – If there is a possibility that the foreign national intends to become a permanent resident, is there any risk that the person would require social assistance?

The following considerations and examples are not exhaustive but illustrate the scope and spirit in which the discretion to issue a TRP should be applied:

  • the reason for the person’s presence in Canada and the factors that make their presence in Canada necessary (for example, family ties, job qualifications, economic contribution, attendance at an event)
  • the intention of the legislation (for example, protecting public health or the health care system)
  • the type or class of application and family composition, both in the home country and in Canada
  • the benefits to the person concerned and to others

When the foreign national has already had a final determination on a refugee claim or a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA), the officer should assess the TRP without consideration of any section A96 or section A97 risks identified by the foreign national, as these have already been assessed. The officer should advise the client that their risk has not been assessed, as it was already assessed through their refugee claim and PRRA application (if applicable).

If the client has not made a refugee claim or PRRA application, the officer may advise the client that they may be able to have this risk assessed through the refugee claim process.

Fee exemptions for certain TRPs

Some TRPs are fee-exempt in specific circumstances.

Before issuing the TRP, officers must

  • check immigration systems (for example, GCMS) to ensure the one-time, fee-exempt TRP has not already been granted
  • inform the foreign national that they
    • are inadmissible to Canada
    • are being facilitated with a one-time, fee-exempt TRP
    • should go to a mission outside Canada to apply for either another TRP if they wish to return to Canada in the future or another applicable relief provision if they meet the requirements to do so
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