Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC)

If an individual has been issued a removal order, it means that they are no longer allowed to remain in Canada. Further, depending on the type of the removal order, they may be banned from re-entering Canada for a period of time or forever, without getting a proper documentation.

This document that they may require is called an Authorization to Return to Canada. An Authorization to Return to Canada or ARC is a particular permission that a foreign national will need to legally return Canada if they were issued a removal order.

There are three types of Removal Order:

  • Departure Order
  • Exclusion Order
  • Deportation Order


Departure Order:

  1. a) An individual does not need an ARC when a Departure Order was issued if:
  • left Canada within the compulsory 30 days and
    • confirmed their departure with a Canadian immigration officer at the port of exit
  1. b) The individual needs to apply for an (ARC) if the individual left the country without confirming their departure, or more than 30 days after the Departure Order was issued, the Departure Order automatically becomes a Deportation Order


Exclusion Order:

  1. a) An individual does not need an ARC when an Exclusive Order was issued if:
  • 12 months have passed since they left Canada and
  • they have a Certificate of Departure showing the date they exited Canada
  1. b) An individual needs to apply for an ARC, if an individual wishes to return to Canada less than 12 months after the Exclusion Order was issued, or does not have a Certificate of Departure


 Deportation Order:

If an individual has received a Deportation Order they will need to apply for an ARC.  A deportation order requires that an individual leave Canada, confirming their departure with the CBSA, failing which the CBSA will arrange for their removal from Canada

If an individual was deported because of criminal inadmissibility, they will need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation first. They may also require a Temporary Resident Permit to be allowed to enter Canada. Therefore, with an ARC an individual may also need other documents to enter Canada.

If one doesn’t have a valid reason to return to Canada, they may not necessarily be given an ARC even if they qualify for it. Hence, once should evaluate the reason for a removal order and compare it to their current situation. If the situation still remains the same, it is likely their application for Arc will be rejected.

What to Include in an Authorization to return to Canada (ARC) Application:

When an officer evaluates an ARC application, they will consider, among other things:

  • the reasons for the removal order,
  • the possibility that you will repeat the behaviour that caused the order to be issued,
  • the length of time since the order was enforced,
  • applicant’s current situation, and,
  • the reason why the applicant wants to enter Canada.

It is imperative that the visa officers believe that an individual’s intend is genuine. Also, an incomplete application will be returned without being processed.

In most cases, an ARC is not a stand-alone application. Even if one receives an approved ARC, one can be denied entry at the port of entry.

Often the Direction to Leave Canada is confused with a removal order. A Direction to leave Canada is not a removal order, hence an individual does not require an ARC if they have received a Direction to Leave Canada.

We at My Global Steps Immigration Inc. are committed to help to prepare for the ARC. Call us at +1-416-854-6022 or email us at


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