US Citizen Applying for a Temporary Resident Permit at a Port of Entry

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What is a Temporary Resident Permit?

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) can allow those who may be unable to qualify for a Canadian visa through the usual channels to still have access to Canada. It’s best to keep in mind that a TRP is temporary with a capital “T”. A TRP always has an expiry date and can be cancelled at any time by an immigration officer. If you are for some reason inadmissible to Canada and want to apply for a TRP at the Canadian border or port of entry (for example, an international airport), you will need to convince your attending officer that you have a valid reason for wanting to enter Canada and you are not a risk to Canadians or Canadian society.

Be Well Prepared- Reasons I can be denied entry to Canada

When compiling a Temporary Resident Permit application, try to focus on a couple of main factors. The first and foremost consideration is to show the officer that you are not a risk to Canadians or Canadian society. There are many factors that may allow you to be perceived as a risk at the border. A few of these are:

  • Medical inadmissibility: If you are seeking to enter Canada and have a significant medical condition, you may be perceived as someone who could potentially place excessive demand on Canadian social services such as health care.
  • Financial problems: If you are unable to satisfy the officer that you have enough money to support yourself while in Canada, you could be turned away at the border.
  • Illegal worker: If you have work equipment with you or the officer finds texts or correspondence from a potential Canadian employer, but you don’t have a valid work permit, you will be refuse entry at the border.
  • Criminal inadmissibility: If you have a criminal record you may be questioned about it and denied entry at the border.

The most common type of inadmissibility to Canada involves criminality. Many visitors to Canada experience denial at the border due to having an arrest or criminal conviction on record. Even a relatively minor charge such as a misdemeanor or something like a DUI can make you inadmissible to Canada.

Whatever your inadmissibility or reason for possible denial of entry, you must be prepared to make a compelling case to the immigration officer. Just explaining your situation will not usually be enough. You are inadmissible to Canada, and therefore require special permission to enter. The officer at the border has sole discretion when deciding if and for how long you should be allowed to cross the border. If you have a charge like a DUI on record you will need to gather any documentation that shows the officer that you are unlikely to commit an offense again. Criminal background checks and court documents showing that you have completed any probation or paid fines will support your Temporary Resident Permit application and help to convince the officer that you are not a threat to Canada.

Your Temporary Resident Permit is Temporary

Even if you do receive a TRP at the port of entry, this does not mean that you are no longer inadmissible to Canada. People who receive often erroneously assume that they are clear to enter Canada whenever they travel to the border. This is not the case. The Temporary Resident Permit is a limited pass to Canada and will eventually expire. Furthermore, it can be cancelled at any time if an officer believes it is justified. Crossing the border successfully and receiving a TRP is a good first step, but if you want to have proper unrestricted access to Canada, you will eventually need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation at a Canadian Consulate. Applications for Criminal Rehabilitation cannot be processed at the border and require more time to be granted.

Because of the temporary nature of the Temporary Resident Permit, you should treat each trip to the border or port of entry as a fresh start. That means even if you have received a TRP, just showing it to the officer the next time you enter Canada may not be enough. The following tips can help you present yourself in the best way possible to the immigration officer.

Try to submit your Temporary Resident Permit application before you go to the border

It will make a much better impression if you are able to submit a complete TRP application at a Canadian Consulate before heading to the border or port of entry. If you are able to mail out Temporary Resident Permit package to the Consulate at least 2 weeks before going to Canada, then the officer at the border will see that you have submitted it and paid the necessary fees. Once this is registered in the database, it should make your trip to the border go more smoothly. You will still need to present any necessary documentation, but the officer will know that you are serious about the process and have taken the steps to follow immigration regulations.

Port of Entry Preparation

Be polite

This is sometimes the hardest rule to remember in the heat of the moment. At times officers may aggressively question you or ask you other very direct questions. Also, you may have to wait for extended periods of time while you are screened or the details of your file are examined. Don’t lose your temper and never show frustration. Officers will often look for signs of this. Try to be respectful and answer any questions that the officer has for you. If you remember this simple rule and exercise enough patience, the reward at the end will be a valid Temporary Resident Permit and the freedom to be on your way.

Be organized

Think of your trip to the border or port of entry as a job interview. First impressions are key and can determine the tone of the conversation and how the officer will perceive you. If you are applying for a Temporary Resident Permit as a business visitor, wear formal clothes or your uniform. Make sure you have everything with you that the officer might ask for. This could be documentation, personal identification, or even access to things like bank records at the ready on your smart phone. Rehearse what you want to explain to the officer and make sure your story is delivered in such a way that it is easy to understand but also detailed enough as to not be perceived as evasive. If you look at your trip to the port of entry to obtain a TRP as a sort of presentation, this can help prepare you for making the most positive first impression.

Get help with Akrami and Associates!!!

Applying for a TRP is a complex task and is never guaranteed, no matter how strong your reasons are for visiting Canada. If you want to put your best foot forward and make the most compelling case for being issued a Temporary Resident Permit at the port of entry, contact our team today! Our Canadian immigration lawyers and consultants have the knowledge and experience to help you succeed.

Do it Yourself Immigration Kit

If you like to file the TRP application on your own, we can still help you with our Do It Yourself Immigration Kit which you can purchase from us. The kit details the process for you. We do not leave you at that. If you buy the Do It Yourself Kit bundle, you get consultation and final review of your application by one of our representatives. We are there to help you throughout process.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!