FAQ – Criminality & Security Clearances
In this article, I will address a few popular questions and answers for individuals who have criminal pasts and need to go through security clearances. There are many different factors that come across the mind of an individual with criminal inadmissibility and especially when there are police clearances requested by Immigration Canada. This can be an overwhelming process that may cause a lot of nerves. In order to discover more information about criminality and security clearances, including police clearances, please continue reading this article. Essentially, the intention of this article is meant to clarify any questions or information you would like to know with regards to criminality and security clearances.
Q: What is a background clearance?
A: A background clearance is conducted in order to detect individuals who have been involved in espionage, subversion or terrorism. It is important to note that this is separate from a police clearance certificate. In most cases, it will be requested in addition to a police clearance certificate. Additionally, the Canadian government will conduct the background clearance without the participation of the individual undergoing the clearance check.
Q: When is it necessary to submit a police clearance certificate?
A: Whether you need to submit a police clearance certificate entirely depends on which Immigration application you are applying for. In addition, the visa office that you submit your application to also plays a factor in whether you need to submit a police clearance certificate. Please note that police clearance certificates are only valid for a specific time frame; they can expire. In almost all cases, Immigration Canada will give you detailed instructions to when and where you should submit your police clearance certificate.
Q: What happens if a country is omitting the police clearance certificate from me?
A: This can most definitely happen. In these cases, it is advisable to request a written explanation as to why they are refusing to provide you with a police clearance certificate. Once Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receive this explanation they may waive the requirement altogether as long as the explanation is valid. However, the applicant must not assume that they can just simply write an explanation; they should try their best to obtain all police certificates requested.
Q: What kind of criminality would make an individual inadmissible to Canada?
A: Any foreign national that desires to enter Canada on a permanent or temporary basis as a visitor, worker or student, may be refused entry into the country if they or their dependents are deemed criminally inadmissible. Furthermore, a foreign national may be considered criminally inadmissible because of past criminality or serious criminality. An example of criminality would be if the foreign national was convicted of an offence outside of Canada that, if committed within Canada, would be equivalent to an indictable offence of less than 10 years.
Q: What constitutes serious criminality?
A: There are different circumstances for serious criminality depending on whether the offence was committed inside or outside of Canada. Within Canada, serious criminality can be a conviction of an act that is punishable by a maximum sentence of a minimum of ten years or a conviction that led to imprisonment of a minimum of six months. On the other hand, outside of Canada, serious criminality can be a conviction of an act that, if committed within Canada, would be equivalent to an indictable offence that is punishable by a maximum sentence of a minimum of ten years. The same goes for hybrid offences.
Q: What are hybrid offences?
A: Hybrid offences can be defined as offences that can be prosecuted in Canada either by an indictable conviction or a summary conviction. If a foreign national has a conviction from outside of Canada that is equivalent to a hybrid offence in Canada, the offence will be considered an indictable offence by Immigration Canada. This is even the case if the conviction was a summary conviction at the location in which it occurred; Immigration Canada will still consider the offence as an indictable offence so long as the offence is equivalent to a hybrid offence within Canada.
Q: Am I able to enter Canada with a criminal past?
A: In almost all cases, when a foreign national with a criminal past attempts to cross the border or enter Canada through a port of entry, they are denied entry into the country due to their criminal inadmissibility. Luckily, there are solutions for these individuals; however, they must have completed a specific time frame before they can apply for these applications. There is the Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation application that they could apply for. These applications will allow the foreign national to enter Canada with criminal inadmissibility. The difference between a Temporary Resident Permit and a Criminal Rehabilitation application is that the Temporary Resident Permit only allows the foreign national to enter Canada temporarily and if they require re-entering Canada in the future, they would have to apply for another Temporary Resident Permit. In contrast, a Criminal Rehabilitation, if approved, will allow the foreign national to enter Canada in the future without any complications as a result of their criminal inadmissibility.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Should you have any further questions or need further information about criminality or security clearances, it is important to properly research and ask several questions before applying for any immigration application. By doing the appropriate research and asking several questions beforehand, this will ease your worries and assist you with the application process. Many immigration applications are difficult to pursue on your own 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 enter Canada with criminal inadmissibility. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for any of the aforementioned applications, 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 advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!