Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC)

If you left Canada on an exclusion order or a deportation order, you will probably need an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) if you want to return.

Exclusion Order (IMM1214B)

If you were issued an Exclusion Order and 12 months have passed since you left Canada and have an official proof, such as a certificate of departure issued by immigration, showing the date you left Canada, you do not need an ARC. However, if you wish to return to Canada less than 12 months after the Exclusion Order was issued or do not have a certificate of departure, you need to apply for an ARC.

Deportation Order (IMM5238B)

You will need to apply for an ARC if you have been the subject of a Deportation Order regardless how long ago the order was issued.


If you received a Departure Order (IMM5238) and left Canada within the required 30 days and verified your departure with a Canadian immigration officer at the port of exit, you don’t need an ARC. If you failed to leave within 30 days of the issuance of the departure order or verify your departure, the departure order will automatically become a deportation order. You will need an ARC to return.

If you were issued a Direction to Leave Canada (IMM1217B), you do not need an ARC to return. A Direction to Leave Canada is not a removal order.

How to apply

If you are applying to come to Canada for visiting, studying, working or immigrating, you should not submit a separate application for an ARC. You will be required to pay the processing fee of $400 for the ARC when your application is approved.
If you just want to apply to lift your deportation or exclusion order, you should submit a separate application for an ARC.
The following information and documents must be included in your application:

  • an application form: either the visa office specific form or a Temporary Resident Visa form
  • a copy of your passport
  • a letter of explanation as why you should be allowed to return to Canada, and if applicable, the reasons why you did not leave Canada within 30 days after the departure order was issued
  • two passport size photographs taken with the last six months
  • processing fee of Cdn$400

An interview may also be required depending on your case situation.

If you were deported because of your previous criminal records, you will need to apply for a temporary resident permit or criminal rehabilitation first before you file an ARC.


Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Mary Zhang has years of experience. Please contact her at Maxcan’s office in Markham, Ontario for Canada.