Denied Entry to Canada

Refused Entry at the Canadian Port of Entry

Refused-Entry-at-the-Canadian-Port-of-EntryMajor Reason why you can be Refused Entry at the Canadian Port of Entry

If you are an American citizen, or even a foreign national from a different country, there can be several different reasons why you may be refused entry at the Canadian port of entry. In almost all cases, the reason for refusal resolves around inadmissibility. Inadmissibility can either be criminal, medical, financial, for security reasons and more. It is important to recognize that the Immigration officer has the authority to refuse your entry, even if you have a criminal conviction from over thirty years ago. Thus, it is very important to determine whether you are admissible or not. Therefore, in this article, I will address the major reason why you can be refused entry at the Canadian port of entry and other important information you should know if you are criminally inadmissible.

Major Reason to be Refused Entry

Due to Immigration officers being vigilant about who enters Canada and their intentions for entry into Canada, foreign nationals, especially Americans, who attend to cross the Canadian border or enter Canada at their port of entry with a criminal record, are most often refused entry into Canada. The reason for their vigilance is to ensure that Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and any visitors in Canada, are safe and secure from any threats or risks. Therefore, if you have a minor or major offence on your criminal record, it is not advisable to attempt to enter Canada without proper authorization. The authorization that you should obtain prior to travelling to Canada can be either a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation application. It is worth mentioning that a Temporary Resident Permit can be applied for at the port of entry; whereas, the Criminal Rehabilitation application must be submitted to the Canadian Consulate. If you have successfully dismissed or expunged your charge in your country of origin or residence, it is important to know that this may not translate into Canada. If you have a past charge from a foreign country and have not overcome your criminal record in Canada, you will be refused entry into Canada. You must ensure you take care of your criminal inadmissibility in Canada in addition to your country of origin or residence. Depending on the offence you had, this will ultimately determine which application you should apply for and how long you must wait before applying.

Questions Asked at the Port of Entry

If you have a criminal record and are attempting to enter Canada at the port of entry, it is very important to know what questions the Immigration officer may ask. That way, you may be better prepared and not be too overwhelmed or nervous when crossing the Canadian border. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to consult with an Immigration professional before attempting to cross the border with a criminal record. Most foreign nationals and American citizens get refused entry into Canada because they are unprepared or don’t know what to expect at the border. Therefore, to better prepare yourself, expect the Immigration officer to ask you any or all of the following questions:
  • Why you want to enter and travel to Canada
  • How long you would stay in Canada
  • What offence is on your criminal record
  • The severity of your offence(s)
  • How long ago your offence(s) happened
  • How many offences you’ve committed
  • If and when you served your sentence
  • Whether you have completed your sentence
  • Whether you are a risk to Canadian society
  • If you have any remorse or regret of the offence
  • If you have grown from the experience

Be Prepared for the Port of Entry

In order to be prepared for the port of entry, it is very important to either have a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation application. The Temporary Resident Permit is temporary, as indicated in the name. As a result, any foreign national or American citizen who would like to enter Canada can only do so temporarily. Keep in mind, the authorization period of a Temporary Resident Permit is entirely dependent on what the Immigration officer assessing the application decides. Therefore, the permit can then be issued for either one day or up to three years. The Immigration officer will often determine the authorization period based on why the foreign national needs to enter Canada. On the other hand, if you would like a more permanent solution to your criminal inadmissibility to Canada, it is highly suggested to apply for a Criminal Rehabilitation application. If and when the Criminal Rehabilitation application becomes approved, the foreign national or American citizen will not face any issues when crossing the Canadian port of entry going forward. However, keep in mind, that is only the case so long as the foreign national does not reoffend. Once they reoffend, the Criminal Rehabilitation application becomes void and they will have to restart the entire process. Please note that, for these specific applications, there has to be a certain amount that needs to have passed since the completion of your sentencing. For more information on both Temporary Resident Permits and Criminal Rehabilitation applications, please read our article “Temporary Resident Permit Compared to Criminal Rehabilitation.”

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all the aforementioned information into consideration if you are attempting to enter Canada through the port of entry with inadmissibility issues. If you would like to apply for either a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation, it is essential to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients create strong Temporary Resident Permit and Criminal Rehabilitation applications. 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. At Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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