Status in Canada

AuthorJamie Chai Yun Liew; Donald Galloway
Canadian im migration law determines who may enter, remain in, work
in, or study in Canada. It has a geographical focus in that it is con-
cerned primar ily with place. Immigration law has little to say about
individuals who live, work, or study outside Canada, even if t hey are
employed by a Canadian company or enrolled in a di stance education
program run by a Can adian university.1 Immigration law becomes rel-
evant only when an individual seek s to enter, work, or study within t he
territory over which Can ada claims sovereignty.
As a body of law, Canadian imm igration law rests on an uncompli-
cated foundational pillar by attributing a status to every living person
in the world and by citing this st atus as a crucial factor to be used in
determining whether a pers on should be permitted to enter Canada
1 In some circum stances, the law does di sregard geography. For example, Canad ian
citizens w ho are born outside the countr y and who are working outside the coun-
try can p ass on their status to t heir child born outside the cou ntry if working for
a Canadia n government. They are thus placed i n the same position as Can adian
citizens lo cated in Canada. Bec ause of their employment, thei r geographical loca-
tion is treate d as irrelevant. Simil arly, permanent residents are u sually under
a residency obligat ion. To retai n their status they must sp end a proportion of
each f‌ive-year per iod in Canada. However, they too ma y fulf‌ill their residen ce
obligation by working out side the country in some except ional circumstance s.
See Immigration and Re fugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27, s 28 [IR PA].

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