Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act

What has changed?

Several authorities were introduced in the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act. These legislative changes are summarized in the table below, including whether a change is in force or whether subsequent regulatory changes are required before it comes into effect.

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

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

Eligible individuals can 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 is no longer eligible to appeal a removal order.

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

This change is now in force.

2) Foreign nationals who are inadmissible on the most serious grounds had access to humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) consideration to potentially overcome any inadmissibility or other Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) requirement.

Foreign nationals inadmissible on the most serious grounds of security, human or international rights violations, or organized criminality no longer have access to H&C consideration.

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

This change is now in force.

3) Prior to a 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 responds to the court’s decision. The Minister of Public Safety can 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).

This change is now in force.

4) There was 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, Immigration and Multiculturalism 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 to deny temporary resident status to a foreign national who has a history of promoting violence against a particular religious group.

Regulatory changes are needed to implement this authority.

5) Foreign nationals were admissible to Canada when travelling without an inadmissible family member, no matter the grounds for that family member’s inadmissibility.   

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.

Regulatory changes are needed to implement this authority.

6) Individuals received 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 re-applying for permanent resident status.

Regulatory changes are needed to implement this authority.

Strengthening program integrity
From the former inadmissibility regime… To a modernized inadmissibility regime

1) There was 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 allows for regulations which could impose conditions on those involved in an application (e.g. employers or educational institutions), permits officers to verify compliance with conditions, and sets consequences for breaches of conditions.

This legislative change is now in force and will be implemented through future regulatory changes.

2) In cases of individuals who were reported or ordered removed from Canada on security grounds, or who were the subject of a security certificate on security grounds, it was 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 are reported or ordered removed from Canada on security grounds, or who are the subject of a security certificate on security grounds.

The mandatory conditions 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 remains.

For example, an individual found to be inadmissible for terrorism automatically would have to report regularly to an officer.

Regulatory changes are needed to implement this authority.

3) There  was no statutory obligation for foreign nationals to attend security screening interviews with CSIS.

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

This change is now in force.

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

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

Regulatory changes are needed to implement this authority.

Facilitating entry to Canada
From the former inadmissibility regime… To a modernized inadmissibility regime

1) Foreign nationals were inadmissible for temporary entry to Canada when travelling with a family member who was 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 would require a temporary resident permit to visit Canada, but the remaining family members would be admissible.

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

Regulatory changes are needed to implement this authority.

2) Ministerial relief needed to be requested, but there was no formal process regarding how a request for relief was made.

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

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

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

This change is now in force and will be supported by regulatory changes that will introduce the application processes.

3) Foreign nationals or permanent residents were 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 that is contrary to the interests of Canada.

This change is now in force.

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