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Immigration Law

Course Code: LGST 3320
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Legal Studies
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course examines the Canadian Immigration system and its role in meeting Canada’s economic, social and security needs. Particular attention will be paid to mechanisms and remedies available to those who wish to visit, study, work, seek refuge and/or immigrate to Canada. Selection, inadmissibility, discretion and process will be examined within Canada’s immigration, refugee, security, and international law regimes. Administrative law and Constitutional law principles will be examined through text books, case law, and practical examples. A systems approach will be taken with a particular focus on border security, criminality, and anti-terrorism laws.

Course Content

 1.  Introduction and Overview

  • The theoretical frameworks applicable to migration flows
  • History of immigration law in Canada – from “settler white Canada” to “multiculturalism” to “trans- nationalism” and beyond
  • The constitutional and statutory framework
    • Status as a foundational issue

 2.  Temporary immigrants

  • Visitors/Temporary Residents
  • Students
  • Workers

 3.  Selection of permanent residents

  • Skilled Workers
  • Business Class
  • Family Class
  • Humanitarian and Compassionate cases

 4.  Refugees

  • International law frameworks and context
  • The refugee definition in Canadian law
  • Refugee determination process
  • Inside Canada – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
  • Outside Canada

 5.  Permanent Resident Status

  • Attaining and maintaining permanent resident status

 6.  Appeal Rights and Reviews

  • Administrative reviews
  • Judicial reviews

 7.  Canadian Citizenship

  • Attaining citizenship – process and appeal rights

 8.  Enforcement: Inadmissibility, loss of status and removal

  • Types of inadmissibility (criminality, security, medical, etc.)
  • How temporary and permanent status is lost or denied
  • The removal process

 9.  Border control and sovereignty

  • Legal framework and jurisdiction, the Canada Border Services Agency, customs law

10. Security Issues

  • Human Trafficking/Smuggling
  • Terrorism – Security Certificates
  • Border Control – movement of goods and people

11. Future directions in immigration and refugee law

  • Policy choices

Methods of Instruction

The following methods of instruction will be utilized:

  • Lectures
  • Class Discussions

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based upon the course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policies. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the course. Evaluations will be based upon the following:

  • Exams
  • Research paper or other written assignment
  • Class attendance and participation

An example of one possible evaluation scheme would be:

Class attendance and participation           10%
Midterm exam  30%
Research paper  30%
Final exam  30%
Total 100%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Describe the theoretical and historical issues involved with Canadian immigration/migration policy.
  2. Describe the location of immigration law within Canadian Constitutional and administrative/public law, and identify the key principles of administrative law that are embodied within immigration law.
  3. Identify and describe the differences between immigrants and refugees, temporary and permanent immigrants, and the rights of permanent residents and citizens.
  4. Understand the processes by which permanent resident status is attained, maintained and how it leads to Canadian citizenship.
  5. Understand the role of borders in defining the nation of Canada and how security concerns determine who is admissible and inadmissible to Canada.
  6. Identify who is inadmissible to Canada (for criminal, medical and security and other reasons) and the enforcement powers which reside within various immigration, refugee and security laws of Canada.
  7. Describe the decision making process, and jurisdiction of various divisions, of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
  8. Identify the main applicable international laws which have influence upon Canadian immigration and refugee law.
  9. Explain the remedies available to those who are found to be inadmissible or ineligible to enter and remain in Canada, including appeals within divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, judicial review applications to the Federal Court of Canada, and various remedial applications such as “risk assessments” and “humanitarian and compassionate” applications.
  10. Read statute and case law critically and with good comprehension.
  11. Apply immigration and refugee law principles to real and hypothetical situations involving immigrants and refugees.

course prerequisites

CRIM 1160

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.