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Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC)


YOU SELECTED THIS OPTION BECAUSE:You were deported or removed from Canada and need an ARC to return.

An Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) applies to applicants who have been removed from Canada and now wish to return. If allowed to withdraw “your application to enter”, an ARC will not be necessary to return to Canada.

An ARC cannot be filed within Canada and unlike a TRP, a Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) officer does not have delegated powers to issue an ARC at the border or point-of-entry. An ARC must be submitted at the consulate or Embassy serving the foreign national. US residents must file an ARC at the Canadian Consulate General of New York. Residents of the UK, France or Germany at their Canadian Embassy.

Fortunately, not all removals necessitate an ARC. To understand how an ARC works, one has to appreciate the 3 types of removal orders:

  • Departure Order
  • Exclusion Order
  • Deportation Order

If you receive a Departure Order, you will NOT need an ARC as long as you leave Canada within 30 days, and as long as you’re formally check-out when leaving Canada! About half of our ARC customers occur because they forgot to obtain a departure record confirming that they left Canada within 30 days.

If you receive an Exclusion Order, which may consist of a 1- to 2-year bar, an ARC is only necessary if you wish to return prior to the expiration of the applicable bar.

If you receive a Deportation Order, an ARC will be required under any circumstance. The vast majority of deportation orders are failed refugee claims. The typical example is a denied refugee claimant who leaves Canada, enters the US, marries a US citizen, becomes a permanent resident of the United States, then a US citizen, and then wants to return to Canada to visit family. In this case, an ARC is required even if the deportation occurred decades ago.

Other deportation orders stem from failed admissibility hearings or persons who were otherwise deported as a result of committing a crime.

An ARC is not easy to obtain and requires the expert advice of an admissibility specialist. A formal deportation order is not given lightly in Canada. To overcome it, with an ARC, one has to demonstrate a real need. If deported as a result of a crime, one will also need a waiver (Temporary Resident Permit) or rehabilitation certificate before an ARC is considered.

Prior to investing the time and money in filing an ARC, we would urge prospect applicants to spend an hour discussing the merits of your application. If we believe that your case has merit and that an ARC is likely, firm deliverables for this filing include:

Firm deliverables with respect to ARC applications include the following:

  • Preparation of all forms including a TRP and/or Rehabilitation if necessary
  • Assembly of relevant supporting documentation
  • Assistance with the drafting of support letters
  • Obtaining of court documents (if requested)
  • Assistance in the obtaining of police reports
  • Assistance in obtaining Canadian fingerprints (if necessary)
  • Interview preparation at the Consulate/Embassy (if required)
  • Representation before CBSA/CIC and other government agencies on the Client’s behalf on all official correspondences (usually by e-mail but may also occur over the phone or fax)
  • Unlimited (but reasonable) access to the firm practitioner throughout the adjudication of application and until safe entry into Canada