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Admissibility Hearings

At the request of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), foreign nationals or permanent residents who are believed to have contravened IRPA appear before the Immigration Division (ID) of the Immigration and Refugee Board Canada (IRB) for admissibility hearings. In a limited number of cases, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) may also request an admissibility hearing. The ID may find you inadmissible, i.e. you should not be allowed to enter or remain in Canada, on the following grounds:

  • You have failed in some way to comply with IRPA,

  • You are a security threat,

  • You have violated human or international rights,

  • You have been involved in crime or organized crime,

  • You have engaged in misrepresentation, such as claiming a false identity,

  • You have a health condition (in some cases),

  • You do not have enough money to support yourself, or

  • You are accompanying an inadmissible family member.

If so, the ID may issue you a removal order – either a departure order, an exclusion order or a deportation order.

In some cases, the CBSA has the power to issue removal orders, that is, to send you out of Canada, without requesting an admissibility hearing.

When you appear at admissibility hearings, you have the right to be represented at your own expense by counsel. Admissibility hearings are adversarial, i.e., your counsel has to argue against the Minister's counsel before the ID member (who is a decision-maker like a judge in court) why you are not inadmissible.

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