Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 152, Number 24: Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Work Permit Exemption)

June 16, 2018

Statutory authority
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Sponsoring department
Department of Citizenship and Immigration

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

Although the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides a right to enter and remain in Canada for all individuals who are registered Indians under the Indian Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) do not expressly exempt all registered Indians from the requirement to obtain a work permit to work in Canada. Introducing such an exemption would be more aligned with policy intent and the right of entry.

Background

The 1976 Immigration Act, by virtue of subsection 4(3), granted Indians registered under the Indian Act the same rights and obligations that Canadian citizens had under immigration legislation. This meant that a registered Indian had the right to enter and remain in Canada and had, among other rights, the right to work in Canada without needing a work authorization.

The 1976 legislation was replaced with Bill C-11, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act), which came into force on June 28, 2002, and is in force today. The current Act carried forward the right of entry principle by specifically stating that a registered Indian has the right to enter and remain in Canada under subsection 19(1). However, there were no additional rights or exemptions specified elsewhere in the Act or the Regulations .

In examining the briefing products developed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (the Department) in 2001 for the analysis of Bill C-11 and the Regulations that were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I (December 15, 2001, Vol. 135, No. 50) and Part II (June 14, 2002, Extra Vol. 136, No. 9), no evidence was found to suggest that the removal of the right to work without a permit under the current Act was intended. It is also worth noting that, as a matter of practice, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency do not typically require Indians who are registered under the Indian Act to obtain a work permit to work in Canada.

A similar gap was addressed in 2014 by providing "an exemption from the requirement to obtain a study permit for foreign nationals who are registered Indians under Canada's Indian Act" (Canada Gazette, Part II, Vol. 148, No. 4, February 12, 2014). It was further recognized at the time that a work permit exemption would be required, but amending the work permit provision was considered to be out of the scope of the regulatory package at the time and therefore was not included.

Objectives

The objective of this proposal is to ensure that all individuals who enter Canada and are registered as Indians under the Indian Act are exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit by amending the relevant work permit provision of the Regulations.

Description

The regulatory amendment would exempt all individuals who enter Canada and are registered as Indians under the Indian Act from having to obtain a work permit.

"One-for-One" Rule

The "One-for-One" Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs to small business.

Consultation

The need to amend the Regulations to ensure that all registered Indians are exempt from the work permit requirement was identified through consultations with other federal government departments after the prepublication of a larger regulatory package concerning study permits. However, at the time, a parallel exemption to the work permit was considered to be out of the scope of the package.

No consultations were conducted for the current regulatory amendment aside from consultation with key federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Canada Border Services Agency and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.

Rationale

An explicit regulatory exemption from the requirement for a work permit for all registered Indians would provide transparency and clarity regarding the requirements to work in Canada. Registered Indians who wish to work in Canada would be assured of their legal right to work in Canada without a permit.

This amendment would also provide clarity to Canadian employers that all registered Indians can work in Canada without a work permit and would ensure that work permit requirements do not limit labour mobility or competition opportunities for registered Indians in Canada. The amendment would not impose any direct costs on business, registered Indians, or Canadians nor processing costs for the federal government, as the proposal is consistent with the current practice of not requiring work permits for registered Indians.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada anticipates implementing this change, if approved, in the fall of 2018.

The Department would issue an operational bulletin to advise staff, including port of entry officers of the Canada Border Services Agency, of the amended Regulations. The public and stakeholders would be informed of these changes via publication of the Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

Contact

Maureen Tsai
Director
Migration Control and Horizontal Policy
Admissibility Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
180 Kent Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1
Telephone: 613-437-5944
Email: Maureen.Tsai@cic.gc.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsection 5(1) and paragraphs 14(2)(b) and 32(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act footnote a, proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Work Permit Exemption).

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Maureen Tsai, Director, Migration Control and Horizontal Policy, Admissibility Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration, 180 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 1L1 (tel.: 613-437-5944; email: Maureen.Tsai@cic.gc.ca).

Ottawa, June 7, 2018

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Work Permit Exemption)

Amendment

1 Section 186 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations footnote 1 is amended by striking out "or" at the end of paragraph (v), by adding "or" at the end of paragraph (w) and by adding the following after paragraph (w):

Coming into Force

2 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.