How to Obtain Temporary Residence in Canada with a Criminal Record
Any foreign national who has gone through the process of obtaining a temporary resident visa from Canada knows how difficult the process can be, especially if they have a criminal record. If a foreign national has a criminal record, then they will either need to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation in order to enter Canada with an inadmissibility issue. However, if the foreign national already has temporary status in Canada, such as being on a work permit or a study permit, then they will need to overcome their inadmissibility prior to pursuing permanent residency in Canada. Therefore, in this article, I will address how to overcome your criminal inadmissibility if you are a foreign national with temporary status in Canada.
What does it mean to be a Temporary Resident in Canada with a Criminal Record?
According to Canadian law, being criminally inadmissible means that you have been previously or presently convicted or charged of a criminal offence. The criminal offences can range from minor offences to major offences. Major offences can include assault, possession or trafficking of controlled substances or drugs, and many more. When assessing whether or not a foreign national is permitted entry into Canada, Immigration officers always assess whether the foreign national is inadmissible or not. Furthermore, the circumstances do change if the foreign national is convicted of a criminal offence while in Canada.
What Can I do if I was criminally charged in Canada?
For foreign nationals who were convicted or charged of a criminal offence in Canada, they may apply for a record suspension, also referred to as a pardon. A record suspension or pardon is intended for individuals that have a criminal offence within Canada and have successfully completed the sentence that was imposed on them. Furthermore, they must also prove and show that they are now law abiding citizens. Therefore, if and once you are eligible to apply for a Record Suspension, it will essentially remove your criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. In other words, by successfully receiving a record suspension, your criminal record and record suspension will no longer be seen in the future in the CPIC database.
The benefit of applying and obtaining a record suspension is that the criminal record of the individual will no longer impede with their chances of future employment or studies.
How do I know if I’m Eligible for a Record Suspension?
This is very important to determine before applying for a record suspension. Specifically, if you have been convicted of a sexual offence involving a minor, you will not be eligible to apply for a record suspension. Similarly, if you have been convicted of three or more offences that each resulted in imprisonment of two or more years, then you will not be eligible to apply for a record suspension.
Therefore, in order to be eligible to apply for a record suspension you must have:
- Successfully completed the sentence imposed and not have any outstanding fines, probation, sentence, or parole pending
- Met the required waiting period of 5 years for summary offences and 10 years for indictable offences
- Been a law abiding citizen and not have any new convictions or offences that may be outstanding
What Can I do if I was criminally charged outside of Canada?
If you have been charged or convicted of a criminal offence outside of Canada, you will most likely have gone through the process of obtaining a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation in order to gain entry into Canada. If not you have not obtained and completed one of these applications and have obtained Temporary Resident status in Canada without the Immigration officer noticing, then you are extremely fortunate. These are very rare cases and often result in the realization of the criminal offence or conviction in the future by an Immigration officer.
If you would like to re-enter Canada as a Temporary Resident but still have criminal inadmissibility issues, it is best to apply for either a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation. A Temporary Resident Permit is a permit that is issued to a foreign national with criminal inadmissibility and has valid reasons to return to Canada. Similarly, a Criminal Rehabilitation application is issued to a foreign national with criminal inadmissibility and is essentially asking for the forgiveness of the Canadian government in order to be permitted entry in any future occasion. The difference between the two applications is that the Temporary Resident Permit is usually issued for a one-time entry and often never exceeds a 3 year authorized stay, whereas the Criminal Rehabilitation application works somewhat as a permanent solution to the criminal inadmissibility the individual is facing. The Criminal Rehabilitation will allow the foreign national to enter Canada in the future without worrying about their criminal inadmissibility. Of course, both applications do have eligibility requirements that must be met by the foreign national in order to apply.
Contact Akrami & Associates
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration before you attempt to apply for Temporary Residency in Canada with a criminal record. If you are inadmissible to Canada and have not yet entered as a visitor but would like to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation, it is important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. 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 with inadmissibility gain entry into Canada as Temporary Residents. If you believe that you may be eligible for either a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation, 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 advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!