Coming to Canada with Criminal Record
If you are a foreign traveler with criminal record, you will need to be aware of the fact that you may be denied entry. Having a criminal record and wants to overcome inadmissibility to Canada can be worrisome. Furthermore, in order to make sure individuals with criminal record are no longer a risk to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, the Canadian government has set strict rules regarding the mandatory waiting period since the completion of your sentence. However, a lot of individuals are often confused when they are calculating the waiting period. If you are a foreign offender who has completed sentence(s) within a certain period of time and wants to travel to Canada without the need to worry about your criminal records, then this article will inform you information about criminal rehabilitation. The article will, more specifically, inform you about the two types of criminal rehabilitation and their eligibility.
What is Deemed Rehabilitation
Deemed rehabilitation means you are no longer inadmissible to Canada ten years after the completion of all the required sentences. You do not necessarily need to apply for deemed rehabilitation; some officers may automatically deem you as rehabilitated. However, you need to keep in mind that not all officers are the same. Some officers may still want you to go through the application process, even if you qualify for deemed rehabilitation.
Eligibility of Deemed Rehabilitation
In order to qualify for deemed rehabilitation, an individual must have been convicted of an offence outside of Canada, and the punishment of this offence must be a sentence of less than ten years. The individual must also meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Ten years have elapsed since the date all sentences were completed
- The individual must not have any other offenses that are summary or indictable in Canada within the last ten years; or, more than one summary conviction in the last ten years
- They must not have any convictions outside of Canada in the last ten years that, if committed within Canada, would be an indictable offence
- They must not have more than one summary conviction in the last ten years
If you are an individual who has committed two or more offences outside of Canada, and the offences are equivalent to summary offenses in Canada, then you must also meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Five years have elapsed since the date the sentences were completed
- You must not have any convictions that are summary or indictable in Canada in the last five years;
- You must not have more than one summary conviction in the last five years prior
- You must not have any convictions outside of Canada in the last five years that, if committed in Canada, would be an indictable offence; or more than one summary conviction in the last five years prior
Please note, you will never be eligible for deemed rehabilitation if the sentence of your offence is more than a maximum of ten years. Alternatively, you may be able to qualify for individual rehabilitation.
How Do I Qualify for Individual Rehabilitation
The most important aspect about individual rehabilitation is the time since the completion of all of your sentences. Unlike deemed rehabilitation, you will not be automatically granted individual rehabilitation. You must apply for it.
In order to qualify for individual rehabilitation, then five years must have elapsed since the completion of sentence, and the offender must have encountered the following scenarios:
- A foreign offender must have been convicted of an offence outside of Canada, and the offence is equivalent to an indictable offense in Canada. The punishment of this offence must be a sentence of less than ten years.
- A foreign national must have committed an offence or have been convicted of an offence outside of Canada that, if committed within Canada, would be an indictable offence that has a maximum prison term of more than ten years.
Applying for Criminal Rehabilitation
- Criminal background check from all countries or states (for the US citizens and permanent residents) you have lived for over six months, since the age of 18
- Court dockets
- Proof of completion of any mandatory or voluntary rehabilitation classes, treatment program, counseling program, and so on.
- Proof of completion of all of your sentences (this includes probation, incarceration, and so on)
- Proof of fines paid
In order to demonstrate that you are no longer a risk to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents, you will also need to gather the following documents:
- Personal statement addressing your offences and your remorse and regret
- Reference letters from friends, colleagues, and family to show your good character
- Any volunteer work you have done that shows you are a reformed individual
- Employment contract to show you are a productive member of society
Contact Akrami & Associates
Calculating and understanding the mandatory waiting period may be confusing and overwhelming. This is where professional help comes in handy. At Akrami and Associates, we can help you prepare for the aforementioned requirements and documentation before you attempt to enter Canada as deemed rehabilitated or to apply for a Criminal Rehabilitation application. These applications are difficult applications to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional help before attempting to submit the application. Akrami & Associates has worked with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients that have criminal inadmissibility issues overcome their inadmissibility and enter Canada successfully. If you have any questions regarding criminal rehabilitation, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to book a consultation.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!