The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) contains provisions requiring that permanent residents be provided with a document indicating their status in Canada. Section 32(f) of the IRPA authorizes the creation of the Regulations pertaining to the issuance of a status document for permanent residents (permanent resident card).
Purpose of these provisions
The intent of the provisions is to:
- specify the circumstances in which the permanent resident card is to be provided to persons who become permanent residents under the new Act;
- outline the circumstances in which the permanent resident card is issued on application to permanent residents who were landed under previous Acts or who, having become permanent residents under the IRPA, did not receive a card;
- outline the circumstances in which the permanent resident card is renewed or revoked as well as specifying the procedures concerning applications in these circumstances;
- establish that the permanent resident card is the property of the Canadian government; and
- oblige transportation companies to request this card prior to boarding passengers who claim to reside in Canada as permanent residents and who are citizens of countries that are not visa exempt.
What the regulations do
The permanent resident card regulations establish that persons who become permanent residents under the IRPA will be provided with the permanent resident card after their entry to Canada and that permanent residents who have been landed prior to the entry into force of the IRPA will receive a permanent resident card on application.
The IRPA provides for the issuance of a travel document to permanent residents who are outside of Canada without a permanent resident card and who will need to present a prescribed document to a transportation company.
The new regulatory provisions prescribe:
- the general conditions an applicant must meet for the issuance of a permanent resident card;
- the circumstances in which the permanent resident card is to be issued;
- the circumstances in which the permanent resident card is to be renewed and in which renewal can be refused;
- the circumstances in which a permanent resident card is subject to revocation; and
- the permanent resident card (or the travel document for permanent residents in lieu of the card) to be “prescribed documents” for the purposes of meeting transportation companies’ obligations under section 148 of the IRPA not to carry to Canada a permanent resident who does not hold a permanent resident card.
What has changed
The requirement in subsection 31(1) of the IRPA to provide permanent residents and protected persons with a document indicating their status is new in law, as is the presumption that a per-son in possession of such a document is a permanent resident unless an officer determines otherwise. Also new is the presumption that a person outside Canada who is not in possession of a permanent resident document is not a permanent resident. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has for many years provided permanent residents with proof of landing in the form of a paper copy of the immigrant visa (form IMM 1000). Legally, this document served only as evidence of the fact of landing, its possession was not regarded as presumptive proof of status.
For the first time, Canada is issuing a renewable, secure, proof-of- status document valid for five years. The regulations on the permanent resident card are unprecedented in Canadian immigration legislation. The IMM 1000 was issued as a matter of administrative procedure and did not require regulations.