Entering Canada With Criminal Record

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enter-canada-with-criminal-recordA major ground of inadmissibility to Canada is a criminal record. However there are still options available. We can help you obtain a Record Suspension or Rehabilitation if you meet the criteria.

1. Record Suspension

A record suspension allows an individual’s criminal record to be kept aside. It removes the person’s criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. However, in order to receive this suspension the person must have completed their and sentence and be able to demonstrate that he/she is a law abiding citizen. A record suspension is only granted by the Parole Board of Canada.

In immigration, record suspension formerly known as pardon may be granted under the Criminal Code, a person who is pardoned from the offence at issues is exempt from inadmissibility. A foreign pardon must be equivalent to a pardon in Canada. This applies regardless of whether the offence occurred in or outside Canada.

In order to apply for a record suspension if the individual has completed all the sentences associated with the conviction and the individual has waited the prescribed period from the completion of the sentence. The prescribed period is five years for a summary offence and 10 years for an indictable offence.

In order to apply for a record suspension a person must obtain a Record Suspension Application Guide from Parole Board of Canada’s website. This guide provides the information on what required documents are needed and how to obtain them. The required documents include criminal record, local police records check etc. it is not a requirement to hire a representative or a lawyer to apply for record suspension. The guide provided by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) outlines the requirements in details for an individual to apply on his own.

Furthermore, the PBC charges $631 for the processing of the application. This amount does not include additional fees which may result from gathering the required documents for the application.

To apply for record suspension the person has to be convicted of the offence as an adult in Canada or in another country. A person is ineligible to apply for parole if he/she is convicted of a Schedule 1 offence under the criminal code or received conviction of more than 3 offences that carried a sentence of 2 years or more each.

2. Rehabilitation

There are two types of rehabilitation in relation to inadmissibility:

Deemed rehabilitation:

A person whose conviction occurred outside Canada may be deemed rehabilitated if the following criteria is met:

    • At least ten years have passed since the completion of the sentence imposed for the conviction
    • The conviction is not considered serious in Canada
    • The conviction did not involve any serious property damage, physical harm to a person or any type of weapon
    • The offence committed would be punishable in Canada with a maximum term of imprisonment of less than 10 years.

Even if a person is seeking to enter Canada after 10 years have passed must always disclose the conviction and should provide evidence that no further offence has occurred.

Individual rehabilitation:

This is not deemed rehabilitation; in this case the person has to apply for it. To be eligible a person must show that at least 5 years have passed since the completion of the sentence imposed and that the conviction was a hybrid or indictable offence Canada.

In order to apply for rehabilitation, a person can obtain the application package from CIC Application for Criminal Rehabilitation. The package includes an instruction guide and the required forms that need to be filled out.

The processing fee is different for those applying for inside Canada and those applying from outside. The initial fee for applying for rehabilitation from inside Canada is $200 however if the application requires Minister’s approval than extra $800 would need to be submitted as well.

For applying from USA, the fees is $200 Canadian dollars. The processing fees are not refundable even if the decision was not in your favour.

For applying from within Canada, the application can be mailed to the Canada Immigration Centre responsible for the area in which the applicant is residing in. This can be determined from the CIC website or the call centre can be contacted to receive this information.

For outside Canada, application can be submitted at the nearest Visa Application Centre.

A person does not have to apply to be deemed rehabilitated, however the individual should be sure that he/she qualify before trying to enter the country.

We can help you file whichever option applies to your case in order to overcome the criminal record. Contact us for further information.