Different Options to Overcome your Criminal Inadmissibility
If you are from a foreign country and you have a criminal conviction or offence on your record, your entry into Canada can become complicated. In almost all circumstances, Canadian immigration authorities will refuse and deny the entry of any foreign national that has a criminal record. The reasoning behind this is to ensure the safety and security of Canadian citizens and residents. However, there are many foreign nationals who don’t pose a threat to Canadian society and can apply to overcome their criminal inadmissibility. Therefore, in this article, I will explain in detail how a foreign national can overcome their criminal inadmissibility in Canada.
What is Criminal Inadmissibility
A foreign national is deemed to be criminally inadmissible if they have a criminal conviction or offence on their record; the conviction or offence could have also happened anywhere in the world. With the exception of crimes against humanity, the offence must be considered a crime in Canada as well as the foreign country. The criminal inadmissibility will also significantly depend on the severity of the crime committed as well as the punishment that ensued. When Canadian Immigration authorities assess the admissibility of a foreign national, they are essentially determining the equivalent of the offence or conviction in Canadian federal law. Therefore, if the conviction or offence relates to a Canadian crime, then the foreign national will definitely be denied entry into Canada.
It is important to note, however, that, in a lot of cases, foreign nationals only have one conviction or offence that happened several years ago. The conviction or offence can cause the foreign national to be deemed inadmissible to Canada because of their criminality. Yet, there are solutions available for these foreign nationals, thankfully.
Examples of Crimes that Lead to Criminal Inadmissibility
A lot of foreign nationals have the following offences or convictions on their criminal record that, unfortunately, lead to their criminal inadmissibility to Canada:
- Reckless Driving
- Driving under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
- Possession of or Trafficking Drugs or Controlled Substances
There are many more crimes that foreign nationals commit, however, these are the most common. For more information or a detailed explanation of some of the common offences that lead to criminal inadmissibility, please refer to our article “Common Offences that result in Criminal Inadmissibility.”
Different Solutions for Criminal Inadmissibility
Temporary Resident Permit
A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is the fastest solution for any foreign national who is criminally inadmissible to Canada. It is important to recognize that Temporary Resident Permits do not remove your criminal inadmissibility permanently; it is a temporary solution. The TRP permits foreign nationals entry into Canada for a specific time period but specifically for a legitimate reason as well. For instance, if you have a family get together in Canada and you need to travel to Canada for a two week period, you can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit. If this is the circumstance that requires your physical presence in Canada, then you must satisfy the Immigration officer that this reason is legitimate and that you will only stay for those two weeks. In this case, the officer can issue the TRP for two weeks or longer; it is ultimately up to their discretion for the length of time you are authorized to travel to Canada.
On the other hand, a Criminal Rehabilitation application will permanently resolve a foreign national’s criminal inadmissibility to Canada. If the foreign national receives an approved Criminal Rehabilitation, they will be permitted to travel to Canada with no need to apply for another permit or rehabilitation as the inadmissibility issues will no longer impede on their travel. Keep in mind, this is only the case if the foreign national does commit another offence. If they do, the criminal rehabilitation will become null and void and they must proceed to apply for a TRP or another criminal rehabilitation.
If you are a foreign national that has committed an offence or conviction over ten years ago and have successfully completed all of the sentences imposed, then you may be deemed rehabilitated. Deemed rehabilitation is different than criminal rehabilitation as it does not have an application to submit. Yet, if the crimes committed are serious, then the foreign national will have to apply for a criminal rehabilitation. Additionally, deemed rehabilitation only applies if the offence was a single non-serious indictable offence and there are no other charges on their criminal record. Thankfully, if the foreign national is convicted of a summary offence, they would be deemed rehabilitated after 5 years have elapsed since the completion of the sentence; this is the case even if there are two convictions on their record.
Record Suspension / Pardon
A foreign national can also apply for a record suspension in Canada, also referred to as a pardon. If the foreign national committed the offence in Canada, they can apply for the record suspension and thus their criminal inadmissibility will no longer be an issue. Additionally, if a foreign national committed the offence outside of Canada, then they must confirm with the visa office from that foreign country to determine whether the pardon can be considered in Canadian law.
Contact Akrami & Associates
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned requirements and documentation into consideration before you attempt to enter Canada with criminal inadmissibility issues. Applications to overcome criminal inadmissibility in Canada are difficult applications to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients that have criminal inadmissibility issues apply for a Temporary Resident Permit, a Criminal Rehabilitation and/or a Record Suspension. If you believe that you may be eligible, 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!