How does My Criminal Record Affect My admissibility to Canada

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Entering Canada with a criminal record

Anyone who has a criminal record may be potentially denied entry into Canada. It is indeed very frustrating to be denied at the port of entry; therefore, you are recommended to prepare a strong application to overcome your criminal inadmissibility to Canada. If you are struggling with your application, you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the surrounding laws and policies. If this sounds overwhelming to you, do not worry! Akrami and Associates will be with you every step of the way. Additionally, you will learn about how to duly take care of your inadmissibility issues in this blog.

How do I overcome my criminal inadmissibility

Temporary Resident Permit

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is temporary document that allows you to enter Canada on temporary basis if you have past health, financial or criminal inadmissibility. For example, if you have urgent business or leisure trip planned to Canada and you have DUI on record than applying for TRP would be your best option. Even if your offence was over 30 years ago and you have served and completed everything in your home country, the immigration officer in Canada has the right to refuse you entry. You have to remember that Canadian immigration laws are different from immigration laws in your home country, therefore, what you served and completed may be completely different from what you have to serve in Canada. TRP is viable option for persons with urgent travel needs because you get same day decision at the port of entry rather than waiting 8-12 months to get a decision from the consulate. TRP can be applied at the port of entry only if you come from visa-exempt country such United States. The immigration officer will review need versus risk; your need for entry has to outweigh the risks imposed on Canadian citizens. If the immigration feels that the offence on record is not a good enough reason for you to enter Canada then you will be refused entry and asked to apply at the consulate level.

Criminal Rehabilitation

Criminal Rehabilitation is also for persons with past health, financial or criminal inadmissibility but this document is permanent solution if you qualify to apply. To determine if you qualify for criminal rehabilitation the immigration officers looks at the following:

  • What your offence on record was
  • How many offences you got on record
  • What was imposed on you
  • What you served and completed
  • Why you want to travel to Canada
  • Your current situation

To determine if you have to wait 5 or 10 years depends on the above reason. If you qualify for criminal rehabilitation the wait time is usually 8-12 months and can only be submitted at consulate level. Sometimes your application may be sent for secondary review and that can be up to 18 months or more (usually for multiple serious offences). These applications are not easily approved; therefore, we highly recommend you to consult with an immigration expert prior to starting your application process. You can call us at 416-477-2545 for more information on this matter.

What If My Criminal Offence Occurred Many Years Ago

If your conviction occurred 5 years ago or longer, you may determine whether or not you are qualified for a criminal rehabilitation application. A Criminal Rehabilitation application allows you to overcome criminal inadmissibility on a permanent basis. If you travel often to Canada, or if you do not want to keep renewing your temporary resident permit, you may want to apply for criminal rehabilitation.

Unlike Temporary Resident Permits, which can be applied at both the port of entry and the consulate, criminal rehabilitation can only be applied at the consulate. Furthermore, the processing time is even longer for criminal rehabilitation. Generally, it takes 12 to 18 months to get a decision from the consulate.

What if I was a youth offender

If you committed an offense between the ages of 12 and 18, then you were a “Youth Offenders.” Technically, juvenile convictions do not make your criminally inadmissible, but there are some unique circumstances that may potentially lead to criminal inadmissibility.

You, as a youth offender, will be admitted into Canada if:

  • you were convicted in Canada under the Youth Criminal Justice Act or the Young Offenders Act (repealed), or
  • you were treated as a young offender in a country which has special provisions for young offenders, or

– you were convicted in a country which does not have special provisions for young offenders, but the circumstances of the conviction are such that they would not have received an adult sentence in Canada.

You, as a youth offender, can be inadmissible if:

– you were convicted in adult court in a country that has special provisions for young offenders, or

– you were convicted in a country which does not have special provisions for young offenders but the circumstances of your conviction are such that you would have been treated as an adult in Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

As previously mentioned, Canadian government is very strict when it comes to assessing foreign travelers’ inadmissibility. In order to compile a strong temporary resident permit or a criminal rehabilitation application, you will need to prepare for the correct documents. However, having to prepare all the required documents can very confusing and exhausting. It is also essential to note that this type of application is difficult to pursue on your own. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Akrami & Associates 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. Please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at 1-416-477-2545 ( 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!