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Q & A: Entry Refused at Port of Entry

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Q. We were rejected at the border while trying to move back to Canada with RRP (both my wife and myself have one). My son was with us and he has only his U.S. birth certificate.

The reason were denied of entering Canada was stated in the document as:

‘I am of the opinion that it would, or may be, contrary to the immigration at, or the immigration regulations, 1978 to grant admission to you, or otherwise let you come into Canada.

Therefore, pursuant to:

paragraph 20(1)(B) of the immigration Act, I am allowing you to leave Canada forthwith. …’

Does anyone know what the regulation 1978 is, and what the 20(1)(B) is?

Answer: Article 20 states:

20. (1) Where an immigration officer is of the opinion that it would or may be contrary to this Act or the regulations to grant admission to a person examined by the officer or otherwise let that person come into Canada, the officer may detain or make an order to detain that person and shall

(a) subject to subsection (2), report that person in writing to a senior immigration officer; or

(b) allow that person to leave Canada forthwith.

Temporary exclusion of persons arriving from U.S.

(2) Where an immigration officer at a port of entry is of the opinion that it would or may be contrary to this Act or the regulations to grant admission to or otherwise let come into Canada a person who is arriving from the United States, the officer may, where a senior immigration officer to whom the officer would otherwise make a report pursuant to paragraph (1)(a) is not reasonably available, direct that person to return to the United States until such time as a senior immigration officer is available.

In this case, it would appear that you are already permanent residents of Canada. As such, you may have refused to depart Canada at such time. If the immigration officer was convinced that you had abandoned your status in Canada, an adjudication should have been called in such a case. If you have, in fact, been holding a RRP for the duration of your absence, it would seem unusual that your status would now be called into question.

I am not convinced that the issue is in relation to you son. If the immigration official was satisfied with your status in Canada, your son could have easily been admitted, as he would not have required a passport visa. You will eventually have to sponsor your son for permanent residence in Canada.

You may wish to seek counsel prior to appearing, once more, at a Canadian port of entry. You are, however, permitted to do so, and should insist on your rights as a permanent resident of Canada at such time.

[Comment Unfortunately, most permanent residents of Canada are not aware of their rights and obligations as such, specifically regarding absences from Canada and subsequent return.

Campbell, Cohen has tried to summarize the topic at the following URL:

The complexity of the topic, however, may warrant consultation with an attorney specialized in the field if you feel that this may affect you.]