I have a criminal record can I apply for Permanent Residence or Canadian Citizenship

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What does Permanent Residence Mean?

If you have been granted Permanent Residence (PR) it means you can permanently live in Canada. As PR card holders you have more rights than refugees and temporary visitors but not same rights as Canadian citizens. As a PR card holder you can enter and exit Canada as long as you want but if you fail to comply with the conditions set then you can potentially harm yourself of your PR being taken away from you.

Can I apply for Permanent Residence if I have Criminal Record?

If you have criminal record and like to apply for Permanent Residence (PR) in Canada you first have to overcome your inadmissibility issue prior to being eligible to apply for PR. So what this means you have to have your record cleared and have obtained an approved Criminal Rehabilitation or have been Deemed Rehabilitated before any application for PR can be approved. When applying for these applications you will need to show the sentence imposed on you, fines you had to pay, when you completed your sentence, probation you had serve or whatever that was imposed on you. Therefore, you would have to provide copies of your police documents, court transcripts and other documents that relates to your conviction. When applying for the above mentioned application it is highly recommend to consult with immigration law firm such as Akrami & Associates to have a higher chance of approval. These applications require ample amount of details of the criminal charges and to determine your eligibility for Permanent Residence consult first with an immigration expert. You don’t want to waste your time applying for something you perhaps may not be eligible or missing out on important documents that can potentially harm your chances of obtaining PR for Canada.

Can I lose Permanent Residence status because of my Criminal Record?

Yes, your criminal record can cause a person to potentially lose their Permanent Residence status or worst case scenario deported from Canada. So if you have been living in Canada for long time it does not mean your status will not be affected should you get convicted of criminal offence.

If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) knew about your criminal record when you were granted status in Canada then the criminal record will not further impact you. If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada finds out about your past criminal record or new charge on your record then this could potentially affect your immigration status.

What happens once I get charged with a Criminal Record being as Permanent Residence?

Once you are charged with a criminal record as a Permanent Resident then the police will provide this report to the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA). Once CBSA receives the report they will investigate the severity of the offense and determine effect on your immigration status. Under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada you are considered inadmissible to Canada on the grounds of criminality and serious criminality for:

  • If the conviction was inside of Canada for a federal offence that was punishable by maximum jail term of at least 10 years or of two offences under any Act of Parliament.
  • If the conviction was outside of Canada, that if it were committed inside of Canada it would be punishable by maximum jail term of at least 10 years or considered an indictable offence or two offences under an Act of Parliament.
  • If you committed an offence under an Act of Parliament on entering Canada

I have a Criminal Record can I apply for Canadian Citizenship?

To be considered a Canadian citizen you have to have been either born in Canada or was born to Canadian parent abroad. If you were born outside of Canada and then you have a child that was also born outside of Canada then the child is not considered a Canadian. You are also considered a Canadian citizen if you were granted Canadian citizenship by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. As Canadian citizen you have many privileges and rights such as the right to vote, right to practice your religion, freedom of speech and at the same time you have responsibilities as Canadian citizens. Some these responsibilities include to respect the rights and freedoms of others, to obey Canada’s laws, to participate in the democratic process, to respect Canada’s 2 official languages and multicultural heritage etc. To be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship you have to meet certain requirements such as being eighteen years of age and have been living in Canada as a Permanent Resident for at least two years in a five-year period. So if you are in jail, doing community service, on probation, parole, pre-trial custody then unfortunately that two year period cannot be counted towards your residency. Also, if you have been outside of Canada for longer, you can potentially lose your PR status.

When applying for you Canadian citizenship application you will be asked to provide detailed information about your criminal offences. If you have criminal record inside or outside of Canada all must be mentioned.

Who will not be granted Canadian citizenship?

You will not be granted Canadian citizenship if you:

  • are in jail, probation or parole
  • are charged with serious criminal offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act
  • were convicted of serious criminal offence or offence under the Citizenship Act prior or during an application process
  • are under removal order or have been under a removal order
  • have been charged with an serious offence in which final outcome has not been obtained yet
  • have pending charges
  • are under investigation or have been convicted of certain crimes against humanity or war crimes (including murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, sexual violence, etc)
  • have had Canadian citizenship taken away (revoked) in the past five years
  • have committed an offence outside of Canada that is considered an offence in Canada that would make an applicant ineligible for citizenship

Can I lose my Canadian citizenship status because my criminal record?

In very rare situation a person’s citizenship can be revoked. For example, if you had committed an offence during the process of getting your Canadian citizenship or PR status. These offences include misrepresentation such as by lying or hiding offences that have occurred in the past. So just because you were not convicted does not mean you cannot lose your citizenship status. IRCC minister needs to be satisfied that the offence took place and then an application can be made to the Federal Court for judicial review.

Contact Akrami & Associates if you have a Criminal Record

Submitting an immigration application is not very easy, especially if you have criminal record on top of it. To determine if you are eligible to apply for temporary or permanent stay in Canada with a criminal inadmissibility then contact Akrami & Associates today. Akrami & Associates has assisted many clients overcoming their criminal inadmissibility and we can assist you with yourself application as well. Call us today for a consultation at 416-477-2545. Remember it is recommended to consult prior to starting any immigration application. With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!