Asian Canadian - Law Centre

Chinese Immigration Act 1885, c. 71

An Act to Restrict and Regulate Chinese Immigration Into Canada

[Assented to 20th July, 1855.]





In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, --

Chinese Immigrant.

The expression "Chinese Immigrant" means any person of Chinese origin entering Canada and not entitled to the privilege of exemption provided for by section four of this Act:

. . .

Duty payable by Chinese Immigrants.

s. 4

Subject to the provisions of section thirteen of this Act every person of Chinese origin shall pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada, on entering Canada, at the port or other place of entry, the sum of fifty dollars, except the following persons who shall be exempt from such payment, that is to say, first: the members of the Diplomatic Corps, or other Government representatives and their suite and their servants, consuls and consular agents; and second: tourists [emphasis added], merchants, men of science and students, who are bearers of certificates of identity, specifying their occupation and their object in coming into Canada, or other similar documents issued by the Chinese Government or other Government whose subjects they are ...

Number of Chinese immigrants in any vessel.


No vessel carrying Chinese immigrants to any port in Canada shall carry more than one such immigrant for every fifty tons of its tonnage; and the owner of any such vessel, who carries any number in excess of the number allowed by this section, shall be liable to a penalty of fifty dollars for each person so carried in excess.


Penalty for landing any Chinese before duty is paid, etc.


Every master of any vessel who lands or allows to be landed off or from any vessel any Chinese immigrant before the duty payable under the provisions of this Act has been duly paid ... [shall] be liable to a penalty of not less than five hundred dollars, nor more than one thousand dollars for every such offence, and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months; and such vessel shall be forfeited to Her Majesty, and shall be seized ...


Penalty on Chinese for evading this Act.

s. 16

Every Chinese person who wilfully evades or attempts to evade any of the provisions of this Act as respects the payment of duty ... and every person who wilfully aids or abets any such Chinese person in any evasion or attempt at evasion of any of the provisions of this Act, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to a penalty not exceeding five hundred dollars, or to both.


Application of dues, penalties, etc.


All dues, pecuniary penalties and other sources of revenue under this Act shall be paid into and form part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada; but one-fourth part [emphasis added] of all entry dues paid by Chinese immigrants shall, at the end of every fiscal year, be paid out of such fund to the Province [emphasis added] wherein the same were collected.

Asian Canadian - Law Centre