Refused Entry to Canada for Criminal Record?
You may be considered inadmissible to Canada if you have a criminal record which can be dated back over 50 years ago. If you have past inadmissibility and like to travel to Canada you may qualify to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation to overcome your inadmissibility issue.
Criminal Rehabilitation removes your inadmissibility on permanent basis when meeting the requirements under the application. Once your application is approved you can spend a normal life again as long as you do not participate in any other criminal activity in the future.
So if you have criminal record do not attempt to enter Canada as there is a high chance of refusal. As the foreign traveller you need to get permission first from the immigration officials prior to attempting your luck. If you have an urgent travel date you can overcome your inadmissibility on temporary basis by applying for Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) . To determine your eligibility to apply for either application read further.
Am I eligible to apply for the Criminal Rehabilitation?
To be eligible for criminal rehabilitation
- Your offence must have occurred outside of Canada
- 5 years must have already passed since the completion of all sentences, probationary periods or fines. You can calculate the 5 year period after completion of sentence that was imposed on you.
- You may have to wait 10 years depending on the severity of your offence
When am I eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation?
- For suspended sentence you need to count 5 years from the date of sentencing but if the suspended sentence is with a fine, the 5 years will be counted from the date fine was paid
- For due payments, the rehabilitation period starts from the date of you last payment
- For the imprisonment with or without parole 5 years from the end of the term of imprisonment will be counted
- For driving prohibition, you are prohibited for 5 years by the criminal court. Probation is considered part of a sentence that is why, 5 years from the end of the probation period will be counted
Remember immigration officers do not care how long ago your offence occurred and what was imposed on you in your country of citizenship. What they care about what your offence equates in Canada and what steps you need to take to overcome your criminal offence. For example, DUI is considered a major offence in Canada while in the US it considered something minor. If you have a single offence and 10 years have passed since the completion of all sentences ranging from probationary period to fines imposed you may considered Deemed Rehabilitated. Travellers that are considered Deemed Rehabilitated can still be Denied Entry to Canada. The end decision is up to the immigration officer.
Minor or Summary Offences in Canada
For your offence to be considered minor or deemed rehabilitated by the immigration officials
- 10 years must have passed since the completion of your sentence
- It has to be only one conviction on your record that was non-serious, for example a DUI, an assault, or theft under $5000 and possession of marijuana.
Person with minor offences pay a government fee of $200 CAD that is non-refundable compared to $1000 CAD for serious offences.
Indictable or Serious Criminal Offences in Canada
The process of overcoming your serious criminal offence is the same as minor offences on record, but how it is processed depends on how many offences you got on record and what type of offence it is.
Your offence is considered serious if you served maximum prison time which is 10 years in Canada. Serious offences include domestic abuse, theft over $5000, any offence committed with a weapon, and drug trafficking.
Serious offences can take from 12 months to 26 months for processing and government fees range up to $1000 CAD.
Where I can submit my Criminal Rehabilitation Application?
Criminal Rehabilitation can only be filed at consulate level. There are only two office locations that deal with Criminal Rehabilitation applications which include Los Angeles and New York Consulate. Processing times can take from 8-12 months sometimes longer if your application goes through secondary review.
Criminal Rehabilitation Documents
There are many documents required for when submitting a criminal rehabilitation application, some of these documents are:
- FBI clearance
- State clearance
- Court dockets
- Reference letters from friends and family
- Reason for travel to Canada
- Personal statement demonstrate remorse, regret and growth
- Passport photos
- Places you have lived since age of 18
- Places you have worked since age of 18
Remember there are many documents, relying just on the above mentioned documents is not sufficient for the officer to grant you approval.
What if I don’t meet requirements for Criminal Rehabilitation?
If you don’t meet requirements for Criminal Rehabilitation you can apply for Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) until you are eligible for the permanent document. TRP helps you overcome your inadmissibility only on temporary basis. TRP can be issued at the port of entry if you come from visa-exempt country such as United States. The decisions at the border are made the same day, but you must ensure you go in prepared with strong documentation to support your case and reason for entry. TRP can be issued from 1 day to 3 years maximum, this all depends on your situation and what the immigration officer seems fit. If the risk outweighs the need then you can expect a refusal.
Contact Akrami & Associates
To get assistance with your criminal inadmissibility contactAkrami & Associates at 416-447-2545 or our toll free number at 1-877-82-7121 for a consultation. Our immigration experts deal with inadmissibility issues on daily basis and have successfully filed many TRP and Criminal Rehabilitation applications. Don’t wait till last minute to get your application started because collecting documents can take up 2-3 weeks for most applicants. Also, if you attempted to cross the border but the immigration officer refused you entry do not worry let us help you compile a strong case for higher chance of success. With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!