Import vs. non-import status

How is this determined? I lived in BC for 2 years when I was 11 and 12 without becoming a citizen. Would this make me elegible for non-import status?


I'm going to say without actually looking at the rules that you would not qualify, I would imagine that within the rules you would have to have been a citizen of Canada. If not, there would be a lot of players who would suddenly "remember" living in Canada for a short period of time as a kid.


I think you need to prove that you have seven years of residency within Canada before your 15th birthday.

I think you also have to play 2 years of Canadian highschool football and possibly even have to graduate from a Canadian highschool to be classed as a non-import.

I remember reading an article once about the number of kids in the NCAA who were born in Canada while their American (import) Dad's were playing for CFL teams, but the families returned to the states after the old man retired from football. It was a surprising number. By defintion these kids don't qualify as non-imports, even though they were born in Canada, because they played all of their ball in the US. And although many of them aren't NFL level players, a lot of them would be at least as qualified as 'non-import' kids from the CIS.

And sometimes players classed as non-imports have lived in Canada for a much shorter period than these NCAA kids.

The CFL might have to look at opening up its definitions of who is a non-import if they ever add teams, just to be sure there are enough bodies for teams.

Ben Cahoon has to be one of the strangest non-imports. I still can't quite figure out how he ended up with that status.

From Wikipedia:

"Cahoon spent part of his childhood in southern Alberta and is therefore considered a non-import under the CFL's import/non-import ratio rule.[1] Cahoon played his high school football at Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah, and his college football at nearby Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he caught 57 passes for 931 yards in his senior year. He also averaged 84.6 yards during that season. He was recruited by Utah Sate, New Mexico, Yale and Idaho."

Since he was born in Utah, and did all of his high school in the states, that fact that he "spent part of his childhood in southern Alberta" seems to have been enough to qualify him as Canadian. So maybe there is hope for the OP.

Yeah, Cahoon has always baffled me as well. Guy is as American as apple pie.

You got me thinking, so I went to the CFL rule book, and surprisingly there isn't a single mention that I could see as to how a non-import is defined, which seems strange to me. I mean they have diagrams showing the precise measurement for a CFL field, so you'd think they'd want the import-non/import thing defined in the rulesbook as well. Anyway, I did come across this from Duane Ford, and its from the article I mentioned above:

I don't know if this is official or not, but its all I could find in my brief search today:

[i]In the Canadian Football League, a player is considered an import if that individual has played in a football game outside of Canada before his seventeenth birthday or if he has played in a football game outside of Canada after his seventeenth birthday without receiving football training in Canada before turning 17.

However, an individual who meets one of those definitions of an import could still be declared a non-import if he lived in Canada for a total of seven years prior to attaining the age of 15. It is under this condition that prominent CFL players like Ben Cahoon, Noel Prefontaine, and Wayne Smith (among others) qualify as Canadians.[/i]

here is the link to the complete article on the sons of players who are in the NCAA who are NOT considered non-imports:

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Sorry, high school graduates only… :expressionless: