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Are there exceptions to the rule?

Yes. If claimants can show that they fall within one of the exceptions, the rule will not apply.

Here are some examples of exceptions that might apply:

The claimant has a family member in Canada

The family member must be related to them in one of these ways:

  • spouse or common-law partner (of the same or opposite sex)
  • parent or legal guardian
  • child or grandchild
  • grandparent
  • brother or sister
  • uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece.

This family member must also be one of these:

  • a Canadian citizen
  • a permanent resident of Canada
  • a protected person (a successful refugee claimant)
  • someone who has applied for permanent resident status based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. They must have a removal order that has been ‘stayed’ or postponed until they get a decision on their application.
  • a refugee claimant who is waiting for a decision and is at least 18 years old
  • a student with a valid study permit who is at least 18 years old
  • the holder of a valid work permit who is at least 18 years old.

The claimant is a child

Exceptions are made if the claimant is:

  • under 18 years of age and
  • does not have a spouse or common-law partner and
  • does not have a parent or legal guardian in Canada or the United States.

The claimant has a visa

Exceptions are made if the claimant has a visa (not just a transit visa) or some other document that authorizes their entry to Canada.

Exceptions are also made if the claimant needs a visa to enter the United States but does not need a visa to enter Canada.

The claimant risks the death penalty

Exceptions are made for claimants who have been charged with or convicted of a crime for which they could face the death penalty in the United States or another country.



Last updated: Mar 4, 2013

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