Authorization to Return to Canada

An Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) is a formal procedure to request the Government of Canada to legally return to Canada, if a foreign national was asked to leave Canada before.

ARC is mostly not a single application as it is usually always accompanied with another application, if there is a need of a visa to enter Canada. In cases where a foreign national wishes to enter Canada as a visitor, student, or worker, a separate Authorization to Return application is required. In the case a foreign national is coming from a visa-exempt country, then the applicant may submit only an ARC application. Only in cases where a Direction to Leave Canada is issued, an ARC is not required.

Ways the foreign national may be asked to leave Canada:

  • Departure Order – is issued to individuals in order to leave Canada in 30 days after the issuance and comply with their departure with an immigration officer. If the person follows the procedures and process, they are probably not required an ARC. If they do not comply with the departure order, then it overturns to a deportation order.
  • Exclusion Order – individuals receiving the exclusion order are required to wait 12 months from the moment they leave Canada and must poses a certificate of departure confirming same amount of time has passed in order for them to apply to re-enter Canada. If the procedure is followed, the individual will probably not require applying for ARC. In case the individual is seeking to enter Canada before the 12 months expire then they need to apply for ARC.
  • Deportation Order – if issued to an individual, then the person will need to apply for ARC to re-enter Canada. Also, if the person was initially issued a departure order and was later overturned to deportation order, then the ARC is required for them to enter Canada on legal basis.

If an individual was deported due to criminal inadmissibility, they would need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation or Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) to enter Canada on legal basis.

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