Inadmissible? Applying at a Port of Entry


Generally speaking, so long as you are not from a country that requires you to obtain a temporary resident visa, you can apply for a temporary resident permit or even for criminal rehabilitation at a port of entry (i.e., a border crossing or airport). However, there are disadvantages and advantages to this approach:


  • You get a decision immediately
  • You won’t pay the immigration application fee if your application is denied


  • Immigration officers at the border are sometimes unaware of your right to ask that your application be considered, and they can be extremely rude and dismissive
  • If your application is complex, they may just refer you to the local consulate without taking the time to consider your immigration application

A client of mine recently made an application for a temporary resident permit at a port of entry and was told that such permits are only issued at the border for emergency situations, like rock stars about to give a concert! Such a response is absurd — there is nothing in the legislation or policies that support such a statement. It goes to show the lack of training you can encounter at a port of entry.

Nonetheless, it is an option to consider, especially if you have to enter Canada quickly.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile