Do You Qualify For Criminal Rehabilitation?
Are you inadmissible to Canada because you have a criminal offense on record from your past? Do you wish to permanently overcome your status as inadmissible? Has at least 5 years passed since the day you officially completed all the conditions of your imposed sentence? If this is the case for you, there may be a solution! You may be eligible to apply for criminal rehabilitation, but this depends entirely on the specific crime you were convicted of, and how many crimes there are on your criminal record. In this article, I will help break down the eligibility requirements for criminal rehabilitation, to help you determine how to apply to overcome your status as inadmissible.
Individual Rehabilitation vs. Deemed Rehabilitation
The main difference between individual and deemed rehabilitation, is that individuals have to submit an application and prove they are rehabilitated by presenting a compelling case to an immigration officer, who will determine whether or not the individual truly is rehabilitated. Deemed rehabilitation on the other hand, is a semi-automatic process, though, it is very important to understand, because we find it is often misunderstood.
Understand Deemed Rehabilitation
Deemed rehabilitation refers to an individual’s status no longer being inadmissible, because a certain time period (usually 10 years) has passed since the individual has completed all the conditions of their sentence, and has not offended since. Individuals who meet these requirements, are eligible for deemed rehabilitation. Now, it is important to understand how deemed rehabilitation works. As I mentioned, it is a semi-automatic process. What this means, is that individual must still apply for criminal rehabilitation, or, be prepared to show they are eligible for deemed rehabilitation with proof of official documents showing when they completed all the conditions of their sentences, when they arrive at the border. This is because Canadian immigration officers have complete authority to deny entry to any individual whom they believe to be a threat to the security of Canada. Therefore, if you arrive at the border and you have a criminal record, simply showing the officer the period of time that has passed, is not enough for them to determine you have complied with all the conditions of your sentence. Simply because you are eligible for deemed rehabilitation, does not mean you are no longer criminally inadmissible to Canada, because immigration officers have no definitive proof rehabilitation has occurred. Ultimately, if you are eligible for deemed rehabilitation, it is best to think of this process as the same as individual rehabilitation, insofar as you must submit the same documents as an application for individual rehabilitation, the only difference is, you have a better chance of having your application approved, because the fact that you have not offended since, is good indication that you are rehabilitated.
Calculating the Mandatory Five-Year Wait Period
- If you receive a Suspended Sentence you must count 5 years from the date of sentencing.
- If you receive a Suspended Sentence with any additional conditions, you must count 5 years from the date the fine was paid in full, and your balance remaining is zero.
- A Sentence With any Conditions, such as imprisonment, parole, probation, or driving prohibitions, requires you begin counting the 5-year waiting period from the day all conditions are lifted, and the sentence has been served completely. For example, if you are given a driving suspension, the 5-year period begins the day the individual’s license is re-instated.
Calculating When You’re Eligible for Rehabilitation
If you were convicted of an offence outside of Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than 10 years:
- You are deemed rehabilitated when at least 10 years has passed since the completion of the sentence imposed.
- You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation after 5 years has passed since the completion of the sentence imposed.
If you were convicted of an offence or you committed an offence outside of Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years or more:
- You cannot be deemed rehabilitated
- You are eligible to apply for individual rehabilitation when 5 has passed since completion of the sentence.
If you were convicted of 2 or more offences outside of Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute summary conviction offences:
- You are deemed rehabilitated when at least 5 years has passed since the sentences imposed were served.
- You are not eligible to apply for individual rehabilitation because you must wait a minimum of 5 years anyways, and at this time you are deemed rehabilitated.
If you are not eligible for criminal rehabilitation, but you have an urgent travel date coming up, there is still a solution available to you. You can apply for a temporary resident permit, and temporarily overcome your status as criminally inadmissible to meet your travel date, and hopefully be permitted to travel to Canada.
Applying for Criminal Rehabilitation
To clearly show immigration officers that you are rehabilitated, and have completed all the conditions of the sentence which was imposed on you, it is important to collect all the necessary Federal and state clearances, to submit with your application. It is also important to collect court dockets, to show the details of the proceedings you were the subject of. Finally, it is important to provide any/ all documents which show proof of completion of any mandatory or voluntary rehabilitation classes, proof of completion of probation, and proof of fines paid, which can all be supplemented with other documents you have which show you are an active member of your community, and a responsible, contributing adult. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the things which must be included in your application for criminal rehabilitation, but, these are arguably, some of the most important elements. This can be very stressful for an individual to collect and compile on their own, to ensure they have created a complete application, which gives them a good chance of having their application for criminal rehabilitation approved, which is why Akrami and Associates is here to help!
Contact Akrami & Associates
Should you have any further questions or feel confused or unclear about how to apply for a criminal rehabilitation, it is important to talk about any questions you may have and discuss your concerns. By talking to immigration professionals about your concerns, this will ease your worries and assist with the application process. Many immigration applications are difficult to pursue on your own, if you are unfamiliar, and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients travel to Canada with inadmissibility issues and have evidently applied for a criminal rehabilitation; they are now happily enjoying their visit in Canada and have been forgiven of their past offences. If you believe that you may be eligible for criminal rehabilitation, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!