The Difference Between Non-Serious Criminality vs. Serious Criminality
When you have a previous criminal conviction or offence, it is very important to determine whether the offence was a non-serious offence or a serious offence as this can ultimately determine which option the individual has to overcome their criminality. The difference of severity significantly impacts whether the individual is even able to overcome their criminality to begin with. However, it is important to note that the individual does have a few options to choose from in order to gain entry into Canada. This is only the case so long as they are eligible. Therefore, in this article, I will explain the difference between non-serious criminality and serious criminality and the different options individuals have in order to successfully overcome their criminality.
Non-Serious Criminality vs. Serious Criminality
Canadian Immigration authorities use different designations for the types of criminality a foreign national can have. For instance, the foreign national’s conviction(s) and criminal record can result in either non-serious criminality or serious criminality. It is important to recognize that the severity of the offence(s) or conviction(s) in the foreign national’s country of origin do not matter with regards to their admissibility to Canada. The reason for this is because Immigration officers are only concerned with the offence(s) or conviction(s) equivalent in Canada and as per federal Canadian laws. Additionally, there can be different consequences depending on whether the offence(s) or conviction(s) are determined to be either non-serious or serious within the Canadian equivalent law.
There are many different scenarios that can result in non-serious criminality. To better understand the circumstances that would be considered non-serious criminality, there are examples for your reference below.
- If more than 10 years have passed since the completion of all sentences, then the foreign national would be deemed rehabilitated so long as they only had one offence.
- If more than 10 years have passed since the completion of all sentences, then the foreign national would not be able to be deemed rehabilitated if they have multiple offences.
- If more than 5 years have passed since the completion of all sentences, then the foreign national would be eligible to apply for a Criminal Rehabilitation application.
- If less than 5 years have passed since the completion of all sentences, then the foreign national would not be eligible to apply for a Criminal Rehabilitation application.
There are many different scenarios that can result in serious criminality. To better understand the circumstances that would be considered serious criminality, there are examples for your reference below.
- The main factor to determine serious criminality is to determine if the foreign offence is the same as the maximum possible sentence in the Canadian equivalent law.
- There is no option for deemed rehabilitation in serious criminality circumstances.
- If more than 5 years have passed since the completion of all sentences, then the foreign national would be able to apply for serious Criminal Rehabilitation.
- If less than 5 years have passed since the completion of all sentences, then the foreign national would not be eligible to apply for serious Criminal Rehabilitation
Please note that the serious Criminal Rehabilitation application process is the same as the non-serious application process. The only thing that would differentiate the applications is the way in which they are treated. The processing times as well as the application fees can differ based on serious criminality.
Temporary Solution: Temporary Resident Permit
A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is the best solution for foreign nationals who have non-serious as well as serious criminal inadmissibility. With regards to the TRP, it does not matter so much whether the offence was non-serious or serious in nature. The determining factor with regards to TRP eligibility is the time since the completion of the sentence and the reasons for travel to Canada. It is important to recognize that TRPs are temporary and will not remove your criminal inadmissibility permanently.
The purpose of the TRP is essentially to allow foreign nationals with criminal inadmissibility to gain entry into Canada for a specific time and for a specific reason. An example of this type of circumstance would be if you are a business person who is required to enter Canada to attend an important conference, you may want to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit to allow you to attend the conference. If this is the reason why you need to enter Canada, then the Immigration officer will determine for how long the TRP will be issued for. This would correlate with the length of the business trip. So, for instance, if the business trip is for the length of a week, then the officer may issue the TRP for a week’s time.
The validity period of a TRP can differ based on the reason for entry into Canada. The Temporary Resident Permit can be issued for a minimum of one day or a maximum of three years. This is ultimately determined by the Immigration officer.
When assessing an application for a Temporary Resident Permit, the Immigration officer must ensure that the foreign national is not a threat to Canadian society during their particular period of travel. Additionally, the Immigration officer will be assessing whether the reason for travel is justified.
Permanent Solution: Criminal Rehabilitation
An alternative solution compared to the Temporary Resident Permit is the Criminal Rehabilitation application. The Criminal Rehabilitation application will work as a permanent solution to the foreign national’s criminal inadmissibility. The moment the foreign national receives the approved Criminal Rehabilitation, they will then be permitted to travel to Canada without the need to apply for another TRP or rehabilitation. In other words, the foreign national’s criminal inadmissibility will no longer obstruct the foreign national’s travels to Canada. Please note that this is only the case so long as the foreign national does not have any more criminal offences in the future. The moment that they receive another offence or conviction, the criminal rehabilitation will become null and void.
Contact Akrami & Associates
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned requirements and documentation into consideration before you attempt to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation. These applications 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 non-serious and serious criminal inadmissibility apply for either of these applications in order to resolve their criminal inadmissibility. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply, 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!