People in Canada can be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, refugees, or just foreign nationals. A foreign national who has the right to live permanently in Canada is known as a permanent resident. They possess a Permanent Resident Card as proof of their status in Canada.
Can a permanent resident be deported from Canada? Yes, they can be deported back to their home country if they perform certain criminal or risky actions or behaviour.
Permanent Residency and Deportation
As per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, permanent residents can be deported from Canada for several reasons.
Any permanent resident of Canada who commits a crime can face deportation and risk losing their PR status. In many situations of serious criminality, they may also end up losing their right to appeal. People with refugee status can also be deported in certain circumstances.
In what situations does a Canadian permanent resident lose their status?
As per recent amendments to the law, certain offences or activities can send a permanent resident back to their home country, including but not limited to theft of over $5000, cultivating marijuana, or causing bodily harm by impaired driving.
In certain situations, permanent residents convicted of crimes of a serious nature will not be allowed a pardon. Additionally, the government can also avoid the admissibility hearing before deportation orders are issued. If that happens, the convicted person will not be able to have their deportation assessed.
Understanding Criminality & Loss of Permanent Residency
A serious crime is when the maximum possible sentence by law is 10 years in prison or more or the sentence awarded is more than 6 months in jail or prison.
In this case, the time spent by a person in jail waiting for the criminal trial is also considered part of the sentence. Serious crimes can include but are not limited to:
- Possessing a wrong passport
- Impaired driving due to drugs or alcohol
- Bullying or threatening to harm people or their property
- Assaulting a person
- Using forged or stolen credit cards
- Having stolen property in your possession
- Performing any organized crime
Recent Case – Canadian Permanent Resident Deported after Living in Canada for 40 years
After living in Canada for 40 years, a Canadian permanent resident was deported from Canada. The recent case of Adina Harms-Barbour is testimony to the fact that criminal activities or conduct can have far-reaching consequences on their Canadian Permanent Residency status.
As a German citizen, Barbour came to Canada in 1975 at the age of seven and somehow never got Canadian citizenship. Even though in terms of daily living, there seems to be no substantial difference in their statuses, but their rights are quite different. For example, a Canadian citizen can never be deported, while a permanent resident can be deported.
Barbour was convicted in 2015 for committing fraud for an amount exceeding $5000 and was awarded a five-year jail sentence. Two years later, she got convicted of two crimes for forging documents and received a two-year prison sentence to be served simultaneously with the previous conviction.
As per federal immigration law, a permanent resident can be deemed inadmissible to Canada on multiple grounds, including serious criminality or getting a prison sentence for more than 6 months. In 2017, a Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer sent a note that Barbour is inadmissible in Canada on serious criminality grounds.
She responded with supporting documentation about her family and daughter living in Canada. Her lawyer’s attempts to get a warning letter instead of the admissibility hearing were rejected, and the tribunal found her inadmissible to Canada and issued a deportation order.
Even as Barbour appealed the order stating a breach of procedural fairness rights, the Court rejected the claim stating that the Judge’s Reasons for Sentence and the Enforcement Manual were considered before issuing the order. Since the Court upheld the deportation order, Barbour has very few legal options to counter the situation, such as a pre-removal risk assessment.
Any person deported from Canada is unable to enter Canada again and will require an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) to be eligible for entry. The process of granting ARC is discretionary and based on a person’s legal situation.
Permanent Resident Status – How We Can Help
With the recent case, it’s clear that even after living in Canada for decades, a permanent resident can be deported. Additionally, the Court does not take the decisions conferred by the administrative tribunals lightly. In view of the recent legislations, the federal government can send permanent residents back due to their criminal conduct or actions.
If you are struggling with permanent residency status issues, having the support of a knowledgeable immigration lawyer by your side can help. At Nanda & Associate Lawyers, our skilled Mississauga immigration lawyers will help create a strong case for your permanent residency.
Get in touch with us and book your free initial consultation with our capable Canadian immigration lawyers to answer your questions. Let our accomplished immigration lawyers help you make your family complete.