"Flagpoling" describes the process for Canadian foreign national residents who need validate a Confirmation of Permanent Residence or a permanent resident visa by exiting Canada at a United States land border, then immediately turning around to re-enter Canada at the same land border where an officer will interview you, and grant you entry into Canada. Flagpoling is not illegal; the word flagpoling refers to making a U-turn at the border entry flagpole.
The benefit to flagpoling is that the required documentation to validate your Canadian immigration status is less than 30 minutes, versus scheduling an appointment at an IRCC office and submitting your application online, which can take weeks or months to schedule. Visas requiring validation include:
Since 2017 the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) has begun limiting flagpoling at certain points of entry to only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Ontario and Quebec's Rainbow, Queenston-Lewiston, Peace, Lacolle and St-Armand land borders. CBSA has stated that this pilot program is to manage the high volume and long waits due to flagpoling at certain land borders on the weekends.
The Canadian Bar Association has officially protested that the CBSA Flagpoling Pilot Project and refusing to process applications of genuine temporary residents seeking entry is unlawful, and called for its elimination:
“The refusal to process these requests at ports of entry can have a significant detrimental impact on an applicant’s ability to work or study in Canada, as well as on their health insurance coverage”
Evelyn Ackah is a US and Canada immigration law expert and founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. Business immigration law focuses on helping people move into new opportunities — both personally and professionally. Ackah Immigration Law helps you to navigate the complex maze of rules and regulations involved with Canadian, U.S. and international immigration law with confidence. Headquartered in Calgary and with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, Ackah Business Immigration Law provides legal immigration advice for those looking to move for work, education or personal reasons.
We provide expertise in all areas of immigration law ranging from corporate immigration to personal and family immigration matters. We provide comprehensive immigration services to clients around the world representing corporations, institutions, not for profit organizations and individual clients. As your immigration lawyers and paralegals, we provide you with timely and strategic advice relating to the constantly changing immigration laws and regulations.
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