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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Foreign Nationals: Needs Identification - Meeting with Foreign National Federally Sentenced Women

Legal Framework

A foreign national is an individual who does not have Canadian citizenship. According to Immigration legislation, a person who is a landed immigrant can be issued a deportation order if he or she commits an offence under the Criminal Code. The decision about who should be deported is made on an individual basis by a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) adjudicator. All individuals are given a right to a hearing in which they can present their case.2

Individual deportation orders also can include family members who are considered to be dependents of that individual. Dependents who are Canadian citizens or are permanent residents eighteen or more year of age are not included.3


1 See Appendix 1 for definition of different types of foreign nationals as well as some information for the Immigration appeal process.

2 Immigration Act Chapter 1-2 section 2 (d)

3 Ibid. section 33 (1)

Offenders who have a deportation order will be deported upon obtaining parole or statutory release once having served their sentence. Previously, (under the Penitentiary Act) some foreign nationals were given parole by exemptions for deportation, so that they could be deported as soon as possible. However, this practice was deemed inappropriate as these offenders often did not serve the incarceration period given to them. This practice of parole by exemption for deportation is no longer authorized by CCRA.

Offenders who are foreign nationals have the option of transferring to their country of citizenship to serve their sentence, pursuant to the Transfer of Offender Act. This transfer, however, requires the consent of the offender. As well, a transfer treaty between Canada and the particular country is required.