What is a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)? It's a discretionary tool that an immigration officer can use to overcome a foreign national's inadmissibility or non-compliance with the IRPA. Conrad Black is here in Canada on a TRP despite being a foreign national and criminally inadmissible to this country.
Subsection 24(1) of the IRPA states that "A foreign national...becomes a temporary resident if an officer is of the opinion that it is justified in the circumstances and issues a temporary resident permit, which may be cancelled at any time." The TRP is discretionary and utilized in many cases as a safety net for individuals that have fallen through the cracks so to speak.
The Federal Court, in Farhat v. Canada (MCI) 2006 FC 1275 noted that the objective of s.24 of the IRPA was to "soften the sometimes harsh consequences of the strict application of [the] IRPA" and allow a foreign national to enter or remain in Canada despite inadmissibility or non-compliance. Basically the TRP allows an officer to respond to exceptional circumstances while meeting Canada's social, humanitarian, and economic commitments. In deciding to grant a TRP, an officer must assess whether the person's need to remain in Canada is compelling and sufficient enough to overcome the health or safety risks to Canadian society. The degree of need is relative to the type of case.
The officer also needs to have regard to section 5.5 of the Manual which sets out who may be eligible for a Temporary Resident Permit:
Any person who is:
- inadmissible and seeking to come into Canada if an officer is of the opinion that it is justified in the circumstances [A24(1)];
- in Canada and is inadmissible, subject to a report or reportable for violation of the Act, or does not otherwise meet the requirements of the Act;
- not eligible for restoration of status.
When determining whether a TRP should be granted, officers, managers or National Headquarters are obligated to weigh the needs and risk factors of each case. The Manual provides at paragraph 12.1 specific factors, some obligatory and some discretionary, that are to be considered in performing this assessment:
Officers must consider:
- the factors that make the person's presence in Canada necessary (e.g., family ties, job qualifications, economic contribution, temporary attendance at an event);
- the intention of the legislation (e.g., protecting public health or the health care system).
The assessment may involve:
- the essential purpose of the person's presence in Canada;
- the type/class of application and pertinent family composition, both in the home country and in Canada;
- if medical treatment is involved, whether or not the treatment is reasonably available in Canada or elsewhere (comments on the relative costs/accessibility may be helpful), and anticipated effectiveness of treatment;
- the tangible or intangible benefits which may accrue to the person concerned and to others; and
- the identity of the sponsor (in a foreign national case) or host or employer (in a temporary resident case).
The TRP allows those that are otherwise criminally inadmissible (or otherwise inadmissible, including medically) entry or permission to remain in Canada. After a certain period of time, a holder of a TRP can apply for permanent residence under what's been called the 'permit holder's class'.