Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act – What will it do?

The proposed legislative changes would result in faster removals of foreign criminals, further protect the safety and security of Canadians, strengthen program integrity, and facilitate entry in some cases to support Canadian interests. These changes are summarized in the table below.

From the current inadmissibility regime… To a modernized inadmissibility regime
Further protecting the safety and security of Canadians

1) Eligible individuals may file an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) if sentenced to less than two years imprisonment in Canada.

Eligible individuals could file an appeal to the IAD only if sentenced to less than six months’ imprisonment in Canada.

For example, a permanent resident sentenced to 11 months in jail for sexual assault would no longer be eligible to appeal a removal order.

A new bar would be added so that those with a foreign conviction (or who committed an act outside Canada) carrying a maximum sentence of at least 10 years in Canada could no longer access the IAD.

2) Foreign nationals who are inadmissible on the most serious grounds have access to humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) provisions to overcome any inadmissibility or other IRPA requirement.

Foreign nationals inadmissible on the most serious grounds of security, human or international rights violations, or organized criminality would no longer be able to apply under H&C provisions.

For example, a war criminal would be ineligible to request H&C considerations as a way to delay removal or remain in Canada permanently.

3) Prior to a recent Federal Court of Appeal decision, the Minister of Public Safety was obligated to consider a wide range of factors (including those not related to national security and public safety, such as H&C) when deciding whether to grant a request for relief from inadmissibility (on grounds of security, certain human or international rights violations, or organized criminality).

This legislation would codify the court’s decision. The Minister of Public Safety could only take national security and public safety factors into consideration, and not factors such as H&C, when deciding to grant a request for relief from inadmissibility (on grounds of security, certain human or international rights violations, or organized criminality).

4) There is no discretionary Ministerial authority to deny temporary resident status on the basis of public policy considerations.

A new authority would allow the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to deny temporary resident status for up to three years on the basis of public policy considerations.

For example, the Minister could use this authority in the case of a foreign national who promotes violence against a religious group.

5) Foreign nationals are admissible to Canada when travelling without their family member who is inadmissible on any grounds.

Foreign nationals would be inadmissible to visit Canada if the foreign national has a family member (accompanying or not) who is inadmissible on grounds of security, human or international rights violations, or organized criminality.

For example, the spouse of a person who is inadmissible for war crimes would be inadmissible even when the spouse is travelling to Canada alone.

See also #1 below in Facilitating entry to Canada.

6) Individuals receive a two-year inadmissibility period for misrepresentation.

Individuals would receive a five-year inadmissibility period for misrepresentation as well as a five-year ban on applying for permanent resident status.

Strengthening program integrity

1) There is limited authority to impose conditions on those involved in an immigration application; to verify compliance with conditions; or to set consequences for breaches of conditions.

The legislation would allow for regulations which could impose conditions on those involved in an application (e.g. employers or educational institutions), permit officers to verify compliance with conditions, and set consequences for breaches of conditions.

2) In cases of individuals who have been reported or ordered removed from Canada on security grounds, or who are the subject of a security certificate, it is entirely at the discretion of the officer, the Immigration Division or the Federal Court whether to impose conditions on such individuals, and which conditions to impose.

Mandatory minimum conditions prescribed in regulations would be imposed on non-citizens in Canada who have been reported or ordered removed from Canada on security grounds, or who are the subject of a security certificate.

The mandatory conditions will ensure consistent monitoring and control of such individuals. The authority of officials or the courts to impose additional or more stringent conditions as deemed necessary would remain.

For example, a suspected terrorist would automatically have to report regularly to an officer.

3) Some foreign nationals have contested the legislative authority of the CBSA to require applicants to attend interviews with CSIS.

A clear statutory obligation would exist for applicants to attend an interview with CSIS when requested to do so by an officer.

4) Permanent residents may renounce their status through an administrative process.

Permanent residents would be able to formally renounce their status through an application process.

Facilitating entry to Canada

1) Foreign nationals are inadmissible for temporary entry to Canada when travelling with a family member who is inadmissible on any grounds.

Low-risk foreign nationals would be admissible for temporary entry to Canada when travelling with a family member who is inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality, criminality, health, finance, misrepresentation or non-compliance.

For example, a parent who is inadmissible on health grounds would remain inadmissible and require a temporary resident permit to visit Canada, but the remaining family members would now be admissible.

See also #5 above in Further protecting the safety and security of Canadians.

2) Ministerial relief must be requested, but there is no formal process regarding how a request for relief is made.

The Minister of Public Safety may grant relief on the Minister’s own initiative, but this authority is implicit.

Inadmissible persons seeking Ministerial relief would have to submit a formal application. The Minister’s authority to grant relief on his or her own initiative, without a formal application, will be explicitly spelled out in the Act.

For example, the Minister could use this explicit authority to facilitate the entry of a head of state who would otherwise be found inadmissible if the Minister was satisfied that the decision was not contrary to national interests.

3) Foreign nationals or permanent residents are inadmissible on security grounds for any act of espionage against any democratic government, process or institution.

Foreign nationals or permanent residents are inadmissible on security grounds for any act of espionage against Canada or contrary to the interests of Canada.

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