There are six general sources of immigration law in Canada:
1) the IRPA (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act),
2) the IRP Regulations (Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations),
3) the Manuals,
4) the Operational Bulletins,
5) the Ministerial Instructions and
6) case law.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (U.K.), 1982 c. 11 [Charter]) is also applicable to immigration matters; the IRPA and IRP Regulations must be consistent with Charter provisions.
An Act of Parliament is a statute (commonly called a law) enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament.
In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow sense, as the formal description of a law passed in certain territories, and in a wider (generic) sense for primary legislation passed in any country.
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations issued by government agencies. Statutes are sometimes referred to as legislation or "black letter law". As a source of law, statutes are considered primary authority (as opposed to secondary authority).
Ideally all statutes must be in harmony with the fundamental law of the land (constitutional).
A draft Act of Parliament is known as a bill.
In Canada, the bill passes through the following stages:
The debate on each stage is actually debate on a specific motion. For the first reading, there is no debate. For the second reading, the motion is "That this bill be now read a second time and be referred to [name of committee]" and for third reading "That this bill be now read a third time and pass." In the Committee stage, each clause is called and motions for amendments to these clauses, or that the clause stand part of the bill are made. In the Report stage, the debate is on the motions for specific amendments.
Once a bill has passed both Houses in an identical form, it receives final, formal examination by the Governor General who invariably gives it the Royal Assent. Although the Governor General can in theory refuse to assent a bill or reserve the bill for the Queen at this stage, this power has fallen into disuse.
Bills being reviewed by Parliament are assigned numbers: 2 to 200 for government bills, 201 to 1000 for private member's bills, and 1001 up for private bills. They are preceded by C- if they originate in the House of Commons, or S- if they originate in the Senate. For example, Bill C-250 was a private member's bill introduced in the House. Bills C-1 and S-1 are pro forma bills, and are introduced at the beginning of each session in order to assert the right of each Chamber to manage its own affairs. They are introduced and read a first time, and then are dropped from the Order Paper.
Regulation is administrative legislation that constitutes or constrains rights and allocates responsibilities. It can be distinguished from primary legislation (by Parliament or elected legislative body) on the one hand and judge-made law on the other. Regulation can take many forms: legal restrictions promulgated by a government authority, self-regulation by an industry such as through a trade association, social regulation (e.g. norms), co-regulation, or market regulation. One can consider regulation as actions of conduct imposing sanctions, such as a fine, to the extent permitted by the law of the land. This action of administrative law, or implementing regulatory law, may be contrasted with statutory or case law.
See also: List of Acts of Parliament of Canada